Expect unprecedented peer pressure to dress up Halloween this year. Various studies report that adults will spend more than ever before to dress themselves, their children and their pets for the 2014 festivities.
Of course, adults will spend the most outfitting themselves. So, let the creativity wars begin.
The National Retail Federation estimates that Americans will spend $2.8 billion on Halloween costumes, including $1.4 billion on adult costumes. Sorry, Rufus, pets will only account for $350 million.
A spooky one in three Americans will either throw or attend a Halloween party, which means more people will dress up in costume than anytime in the survey’s 11-year history. A huge contributing factor is the fact Halloween will fall on a Friday.
Not everyone wants to look like a swamp creature, cartoon character (unless it’s from “Frozen,” apparently everyone wants to be Elsa), or political figure, but plenty of popular options exist.
The National Retail Federation actually ranked the most popular adult costume as witch at No. 1.
Average spending is expected to be around $78 a person, including decor, costumes and candy, so most costumes won’t be overly elaborate, and a great many will involve a healthy dose of do-it-yourself construction.
We rounded up a sampling of creative garb from vintage shops to showcase a few ideas that have personality without being overtly suggestive. Let’s face it, the sexiest person in the room usually isn’t the one in the least clothing.
Harlequin romance: Jacalyn wears a white peasant blouse ($39.95), wide brown belt ($14), maxi skirt ($35 rental) and huge hoop earrings ($5 rental). Meanwhile Sean is wearing pants, his own. But fear not, if your guy isn’t 6-foot-5 and able to bench press compact cars, he can fake it with a muscle man body costume ($64.95). Puffy chest shirts ($24.99) are available for fair or dark-skinned would-be He-men.
Zombie apocalypse: This perennial macabre Halloween favorite is easier to achieve than you think. A professional makeup artist dashed this look off in less than 10 minutes, but she said the tools are all very accessible and you can get suitably ghoulish results yourself. You’ll need a T-shirt and jeans that you don’t mind trashing. A quart of fake blood, some grayish body paint, a wig or teasing comb, hairspray (lots of hairspray) and black liner or powder. Warning, splattering people with fake blood is still pretty gross.
1960s girl in go-go boots: Brei wears a 1960s mod mini dress ($30) and green chiffon scarf ($6); with white thigh high stockings ($5.99) and white patent leather go-go boots ($39.95 to buy or $10 to rent them with a go-go costume rental).
Pin-up sailor girl: Remember when the sexiest calendar models looked like the cute-girl-next-door. Brei wears a 1940s era three-piece sailor girl set ($45 rental) with her own red pumps.