Dressing up has always been a huge part of Halloween. The licence for grown ups to don outrageous costumes and wear wigs, masks and out there make-up makes the annual celebration irresistible and one of the most popular events of the year.
Halloween parties in private homes, bars and clubs, as well as traditional trick-or-treating around your neighbourhoods also means that costumes are big business with local merchants selling even more lines of ready-to-wear outfits and of course the all-important accessories.
According to a recent National Retail Federation survey, American shoppers are likely to spend $5.8 billion on the public holiday.
Not restricted to hobgoblins, ghouls and vampires, fashions come and go for Halloween costumes and this fall is clearly no exception, say local party outfitters, some of whom have fresh stock and are already doing brisk trade on the run up to 31 October.
At Party Source in Paddington Place co-owner Cherry Facey said, “Regardless of the recession or perhaps because of it adults aren’t willing to let their children have all the fun this Halloween. Dressing up is a great stress buster and we’re getting more adults than normal looking for outfits for themselves. Luckily we’ve got 500 costumes, several in plus sizes, so there is plenty to choose from.
“This season the trend is for sexier costumes than in the past: witches, nurses, police officers, cute devil outfits and fantasy costumes,” she said. Shoppers also seemed to be very influenced by what they see in the movies or have grown up watching on television.
“We’ve had plenty of interest in the male Avatar body suits and masks and couples outfits like Batman and wonder woman, Alice in Wonderland and the Mad Hatter, as well as pirate and wench outfits,” said Ms Facey.
“Once they’ve chosen their costumes they make straight for the accessories and the men are just as interested as the women in tricking out their outfits, with eye-catching accessories and plenty of fake blood.”
Cayman’s newest party supply shop — It’s Your Party — at Grand Harbour is also getting a lot of customers. The store’s manager, Sue Hilton, says that costumes are flying off the shelves.
“It seems that we’ve chosen well and our stock is proving popular with adults thanks to lot of attention to detail in terms of the cut of the costumes and the right accessories,” she says.
“Fantasy is huge this year. One of our most popular lines are fairies. The costumes come with multi-coloured fairy wings. Accessories for the cosmic fairy outfit include the fantasy net cape and pale and fishnet patterned tights. For guys the Michael Jackson outfit is getting a lot of attention; it comes with shades, a sparkly glove, a long black wig and the Prince of Pop’s trademark black fedora hat.”
So whether you’re wanting to be Tinkerbell or a Twilight character Halloween this year will be a scream; go as dark and vampiric or as full-on fun fantasy as you like.