“Lions and tigers and bears, oh my!”
No, I’m not quoting that famous line from “The Wizard of Oz.” Rather, I’m referring to the magical approaching holiday … Halloween! As the weather transforms the scenery, complete with leaves falling, cool temperatures and snow already on the ground, Mother Nature lends itself to the eerie backdrop the night commands.
In Aspen, whether you’re a child or an adult, dressing up in costume to scare or entertain, appeals to many of us.
According to the Huffington Post business blog, 158 million people are getting ready to partake in this year’s Halloween’s activities — 72 percent hand out candy, 48 percent decorate their home or yard, and 44 percent carve a pumpkin. $1.4 billion is spent on children’s costumes with an unbelievable $330 million shelled out on pets’ outfits. I pity Max and Mittens!
National Retail Federation President Matthew Shay reports that the top three trends this year are pirates, Batmen, and ninjas followed by Disney costumes, superheroes and monsters. No surprises in these stats.
I’ve been hearing the Goodwill commercials on TV for what feels like weeks. That sing-song-y jingle, “Goodwill, Halloween” may be ringing around in my head until Christmas, when it is supplanted by my favorite carols. But I’m sure those ads will be effective, since 32.9 percent of costumes are purchased online, while 32.8 percent are bought in retail stores and costume shops. In addition, 23 percent of millenials (those born between 1977 and 1992) will wear costumes inspired by celebrities, TV shows and movies.
When I spoke with our own local “Halloween headquarters,” Carl’s Pharmacy, members of their staff confirmed these findings by telling me that characters from the AMC show, “Breaking Bad” and A&E’s “Duck Dynasty” are very popular this season.
Timeless classics, such as pirates, princesses, witches and vampires always prevail, while others come and go, according to our experts at Carl’s. I also talked to Amber Dunkelberg, proprietess of Amber’s Consignment on Hopkins Avenue, who agreed that pirates are always a big seller, along with disco-themed characters, and a resurgence of cat costumes, featuring big cat prints like leopards and tigers.
I found that particularly interesting, since animal prints, in every interpretation, are also very big on the fashion scene this year. Amber told me she is waiting for a zebra costume to arrive, which sounds like a fun mix of ”fashion meets Halloween” for that perfect costume designed for the fashionista trick-or-treater. Amber’s shop both sells and rents costumes ranging in price from $10 to $128.
Both Carl’s staffers and Amber agree that Aspenites are notorious for waiting until the last minute to get their costumes together, so it was kind of tough to tell, at this point, what was selling best this year. Carl’s staff said that children do buy their outfits first, culminating in a rapid frenzy to buy a complete costume in the last two or three days before Halloween, especially for adults. Wigs, goofy glasses, and funny hats are staples. Colored hairspray and face paint are must haves.
According to a buyer at Carl’s, “The days leading up to the holiday is a crazy and fun kind of chaos. In some ways, Halloween prep at Carl’s is where a lot of the locals as well as seasonal people meet for the first big social event in anticipation of the snow season.”
“Halloween is about the child in all of us,” she adds. “Even if you just throw on a mask and put out a bowl of candy, it’s a holiday not to be missed!”
I agree. Though I haven’t missed one in the 15 years I’ve lived here, this, sadly, will be the first one, since I’m traveling, but I will certainly be here in spirit, though many miles away. Dance to MJ’s “Thriller” for me … I’ll know.
You can contact Giovanna at firstname.lastname@example.org with ideas and comments. Her blog is fashionistainaspen.com