Halloween costumes have come a long way from two eye holes poked through a white bed sheet.
Soon across the country children will be ringing their neighbors’ doorbells and be greeted with the stock question, “And what do we have here?”
And what will they be wearing? “Always blockbuster, pop culture, and current events,” says Julia Barrenkamp, a spokeswoman for Party City.
At the top of her list, Barrenkamp notes the big comic book summer hits of 2012; The Avengers, The Dark Knight Rises, and The Amazing Spider-man.
“They’re a popular costume every year because they are good for couples, groups or individuals,” Barrenkamp adds.
Costume America in Farmingdale already has rented out its two Captain America costumes, according to assistant manager Meaghan Monaghan. Costume America specializes in costume rentals, but it can also accommodate special requests by piecing together different costumes.
“This morning we had a request for Lucy and Ethel,” Monaghan says.
But the requests can be anything from presidential candidate masks, which Barrenkamp says are great last-minute costume ideas, to complex and over-the-top costumes.
“Our southern belles are humongous dresses, and when someone tries one on and wants to rent it [for Halloween] it is surprising,” Monaghan says.
The store dedicates nearly an hour to every customer to help put together their desired look, which includes alterations and tailoring. During the Halloween season, costumes can be rented for two weeks as opposed to the regular three-day period.
More topical and trendy costumes this year include Ecce Homo, the botched fresco painting of Jesus; Guy Fawkes, whose representation has become synonymous with the Occupy Wall Street movement; Korean rapper Psy, who became a viral hit with “Gangnam Style”; a naked Prince Harry partying in Vegas; Clint Eastwood’s empty chair; Bobak Ferdowski, the “NASA Mohawk Guy”; Pussy Riot, the imprisoned Russian punk band; Honey Boo Boo, of Toddlers & Tiaras and Here Comes Honey Boo fame; Roxio’s Angry Birds; Disney’s Merida the Brave; Lego’s Ninjago; blind NFL Referees poking fun at the recent lockout; and Big Bird, who became big news during the first presidential debate.
Another trend, says Linda Wite, manager of Long Island Costume, are morph suits. These skintight lycra bodysuits are popular among men and boys. Those looking to really creep out their fellow Halloween revelers can don a tuxedo over a beige morph suit and recreate Slender Man, an Internet-generated paranormal phenomenon.
Also popular are characters from other hit movies. Expect Katniss Everdeen from The Hunger Games, Snow White and Ravenna from Snow White and the Huntsman, and the familiar figures from South Park and Ted to show up at doorsteps and parties this Halloween.
For an over-the-top elaborate look, stores like Long Island Costume and Costume America rent thousands of theatrical-quality costumes that are sure to win contests—and won’t end up stored in an attic or basement never to be worn again, come November.
The scariest day of the year may be weeks away, but there’s still plenty of time to look absolutely “boo”-tiful.