Every Halloween, there is one costume partygoers can’t get enough of and another that never leaves the rack.
Many choices this year are inspired by popular movies.
While Star Wars is still in and Darth Vader and Storm Trooper costumes are easy to find, Spock from Star Trek also popped up in costume shops this year. Because of the new movie, it’s a popular costume and isn’t recommended as something original and eye-catching.
But there are other choices out there.
“It’s a huge year for vampire costumes — there’s a vampire craze,” said Jesse Hutson, assistant manager for Spirit, a Halloween headquarters located at University Mall.
This season’s bloody thirst for the vampire look has been inspired by popular books and movies, and Howl-O-Scream at Busch Gardens could contribute to vampire costume popularity around Tampa. The selections of vampire ensembles range from $10 to $120 at Spirit and are definitely in this season.
For those looking for a more seductive look, Hutson said “Alice in Wonderland” costumes, from Alice to the Mad Hatter, are popular this year and can be found in a variety of sexy styles. Accessorizing these costumes with knee-high white boots or fishnet stockings is sure to yield plenty of treats this Halloween.
In seven different styles, the price to be Alice for a night ranges from $35 to $70 in the Spirit Halloween store or online.
For males, movie character costumes are also in high demand, but Hutson said there are others that catch their attention.
“Most guys like to go for the sillier costumes,” Hutson said.
This year, it will only cost $50 to be a watermelon or a beer keg.
On Fowler Avenue, Party City, another costume shop, has more than 3,000 costumes starting at $10. With aisles of customers snatching from the racks and scurrying for costume accessories, this Halloween one-stop-shop has been anything but slow.
Many popular Party City costumes seem to be inspired by hit movies this year, like the Silk Spectre costume from the comic-based movie “Watchmen” — which was sold out for a time on Spirit’s Web site — or G.I. Joe characters from the recent live-action movie.
Among skeleton props hanging from the ceiling were costumes many people expected to find this year, including Michael Jackson in famous concert ensembles, starting at $30.
Not all costumes are predictable, however, like the beer pong table for $30.
These more original costumes stand out while trick-or-treating in a sea of popular bestsellers. Hutson said one of his favorite costumes at Spirit is a slow seller this season.
“The Gumby costume is impressive, but he is the underlying hero,” Hutson said.
While Halloween Horror Nights movie characters like Saw’s Jigsaw — an expensive costume at $60 — aren’t setting records in sales, the pirate look and the Jason mask are still very popular and less expensive options.
Being a pirate from Party City doesn’t have to break the bank, with costumes ranging from $20 to $70.
Originality is key, and store-bought costumes are more intense and detailed than ever. So when scrimmaging through the political masks and Robin Hood getups, partygoers should try something new and branch away from popular costumes.
After all, Halloween is about being someone else.