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  • 2016 Costume Popularity

    What to wear on Halloween in the year of the "Stinkuel"
    Or: Rip's Costume Predictions 2016

    Having run a professional costume shop for many years, I have discovered that every year during the last two weeks of Halloween, the reporters start calling you to ask what the hottest costumes are this year. Most years, I already know the answer to that question by August, as the summer blockbuster movies have mostly played out, and the most recent TV season has wrapped up, but this year, a little more guesswork will be required. Why? Well, for the last three decades America has been obsessed with dressing as their favorite pop culture icons, based on the movies and TV shows that are popular each year. The only problem is that this year, most of the big movies stunk, so a lot of folks will probably be looking for inspiration elsewhere! From my three decades in this business I usually have a pretty good idea of how it is going to go. So my predictions for this year are as follows:

    1) Superheroes - Even though the Stinkuel ruled the screens there were stand outs. Captain America! Wonder Woman! Harley Quinn! Deadpool! Supergirl! Yes, superheroes will still lead the pack, and run the price range, from the cheap costumes to the professional level. If you want to look good, go for the Grand Heritage line, as it is the best. But for the ladies, the Secret Wishes line is priced in a more affordable range! There are also options if you are on a budget. And this year, Forum Novelties has come out with a great line of individual superhero costume parts that you can use to create your own hero!

    2) Medieval ("Game of Thrones") is next on the list. Before this show came to cable, my historical costumes only ever went out for theater productions, and to the occasional Dungeons and Dragons players. Now it is one of my most popular sections! Once Upon a Time also falls into this category!

    3) Steampunk - I love my steampunk scifi fans! They have so much imagination! This sub genre of science fiction has begun to get more and more notice! The olde late Victorian and Edwardian costumes with steampunk style accessories look good on so many body types!

    4) Politics - Every year I have misinformed journalists call me as to what are the popular political costumes. 3 years out of 4 the answer is "none, because it's not a big election year!" Few may care to do political costumes, most years. Now before you try to predict the race by mask sales, know that masks are used both to support and to ridicule! So it's a toss-up. We also have elephants and donkeys!

    5) Colonial - Thank you to both "Hamilton"and "Turn"! My Colonial costumes are renting well and requests keep increasing! You'll probably want to rent on this one, as the decent Colonial costumes that actually look good will cost anywhere from $200 to $3000 to buy, but in rental, the range is from $40 to $600 dollars for costumes of the same quality. And the cheap versions do not look good at all, except in internet pictures!

    6) Harry Potter - with the release of the new play, and the "Fantastic Beasts" movie soon to follow, the wizarding world is back!

    7) Day of the Dead - this Mexican theme Halloween has been building in popularity over the last several years!

    8) Zombies are still popular, but have moved down on list from their spot at the top two years ago.

    9) Pirates - When I started doing this 30 years ago, no one wanted to be a pirate. Then a certain movie came out, and pirates have been one of our most popular rental categories ever since!

    10) Pop art - a new category that is quickly gaining popularity. With a 50s /60s comic art appeal.

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