So watchu going to be for Halloween this year? It's a question that often perplexes anyone who plans on participating in the holiday, whether that involves attending some massive masquerade ball or just hitting up a friend's house party.
Typically, the more creative, impressive-looking, or outlandish costumes are the ones that are the most memorable and -- more importantly -- stand a better chance at winning all those costume contests that are the norm this time of year. In other words, the usual fallback of a bedsheet ghost or some other half-assed getup isn't going to cut it, so better start rubbing a few brain cells together if you want to have a cool costume in time for Halloween. We've got a few suggestions that might help.
We've pored through the social media sphere and spoken with the staff at many of the Valley's costume retailers -- such as longtime local landmarks like Easley's Fun Shop, Bubbles of Joy in Mesa, and Scottsdale's Mardi Gras Costume Shop -- to learn what some of the biggest hits and best sellers will be for All Hallow's Eve this year. And our list includes many of your favorite TV shows, movies, and memes.
10. Superman If there's one constant to the Halloween season, it's that you're guaranteed to see superheroes. Lots and lots of superheroes, whether it's pint-sized members of the Justice League out trick or treating on All Hallow's Eve, dudes in homemade Iron Man armors made with masking tape, or sexy Wonder Women out in Scottsdale. Superman made his long-awaited return to movie theaters this summer in Man of Steel, and as a result, comic book fans and wanna-be Kal-Els are eager to wear his iconic red and blue outfit and pretend they can leap tall buildings and whatnot. Just remember, it really won't make you bulletproof or able to fly, no matter how much you've had to drink on Halloween.
9. Monsters Inc. Speaking of much-beloved and ultra-colorful cinematic characters making a return to the big screen this year, Pixar fans got to witness the college years -- including some frat-tastic partying fun -- of Mike Wazowski and James P. Sullivan via the Monsters Inc. prequel Monsters University. As such, costumes of either character are for sale or rental at both local shops like Easley's and Mardi Gras. Heck, Valley-based lingerie company Yandy even has a couple of sexy knock-offs that resemble the pair. No, seriously.
8. Sharknado SyFy's latest made-for-TV schlockfest, Sharknado, was the disaster movie mashup that nobody asked for and yet tons of people still watched (including during sold-out theater screenings in New York and L.A.) And the whole sharks-in-tornados thing could make for an interesting Halloween costume, if you can think of a coherent way to pull it off, like adorning yourself with swirls of cotton tufts and toy sharks. Or maybe a blood-covered Tara Reid. Use your creativity. You might have to explain what it is your wearing to people at parties, but it makes for a good icebreaker.
7. Despicable Me's Minions The animated flick Despicable Me and its 2013 sequel were both big hits with kiddies everywhere. And one of the breakout characters are Gru's legion of tiny rambunctious Minions. According to some costume shop proprietors, adults are just as into the cutesy yellow creatures as the younger crowd. Hence the reason why there's been a demand for both the adult and kid versions of Minion get-ups. Patty Colomy, an assistant manager at Bubbles of Joy in Mesa, says it's one of their most popular getups. "It's mostly adults asking for Minion costumes," she says. "We've got many people on a call list waiting for that costume to come in."
6. Grumpy Cat Despite the large amount of merchandise -- both official and unofficial -- that's been inspired by the Valley's Tardar Sauce (a.k.a. Grumpy Cat) since the infamous frowny feline made her debut last fall, no one's sold a full-on Tardar Sauce costume...yet. And that, pardon us for saying, is just awful, since a lot of people we know would love become the anthropomorphized version of Grumpy Cat for Halloween. As the YouTube video below demonstrates, however, it's possible to assemble a DIY one via different costuming items, makeup, and materials. Oh, and your best scowl.
4. The Roaring '20s Thanks to the release of the latest cinematic version of The Great Gatsby earlier this year, the era of prohibition and putting on the ritz is the cat's meow right now. As such, flappers and Tommy gun-toting gangsters might be a common sight at Halloween parties or events later this month. Douglas Loynd of Scottsdale's Mardi Gras Costume Shop says they've been selling a slew of anything and everything having to do with the 1920s since the movie came out. "It's a look that any age range can pull off," he says. "Girls can go short, sassy, and flirty or maybe more demure with their dresses and guys can wear pinstripes and fedoras."
4. Breaking Bad If you hit Facebook at any point over the weekend (especially on Sunday) it was hard escaping any mention of Breaking Bad's series finale and the ultimate fate of Walter White and his alter ego Heisenberg. (Don't worry, we won't spoil.) Given that 10 million people watched the episode, we're certain that there will be more than a few folks mimicking characters from the show. If you wanna cook up a costume of your own, hit up secondhand stores for Heisenberg's signature porkpie hat or swing by one of the Halloween chain shops for a hazmat suit. A baggie of Blue Sky is optional.
3. Duck Dynasty The backwoods misadventures of Louisiana's Robertson clan (particularly the mischievously irascible Uncle Si) and their multimillion-dollar duck call business have made for some entertaining television fodder during Duck Dynasty's first four seasons. And it's also made the A&E program the highest-rated cable reality show. So it's no surprise that many plan to dress like a lost member of the Robertson family for Halloween with gigunda beards, bandanas, and camouflage. Most local costume shops carry faux beards in stock for any dudes who don't have enough time to grow a huge patch of facial hair by month's end, as well as a few pieces of camo clothing.
2. Orange is the New Black First, the good news: Fans of Netflix's phenomenally popular women-behind-bars dramedy Orange is the New Black can put together an outfit resembling the prison-issue duds worn by Laura Chapman pretty easily. Just hit up local hospital supply establishments for a pair of orange scrubs, which will run you about $50 to $60. Most stores also stock tan versions if you're doing a group costume thing and a friend wants to go as Taystee, Big Boo, or Crazy Eyes. Easley's and Bubbles of Joy also stock prisoner orange jumpsuits that can easily be modified, as well as police officer gear if anyone wants to be corrupt guard George" Pornstache" Mendez. So what's the bad news? The fact that a ton of people will also be dressing up like the characters from the show.
1. Miley Cyrus Let it never be said that the costume industry doesn't know how to capitalize on current trends or scandals. And they tend to do so in record time.
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To wit: Less than a month after Miley Cyrus got tons of ink and gave the social media world its obsession of the nanosecond with her barely-clothed twerking hi-jinks with Robin Thicke on the VMAs, a few retailers and manufacturers had costume items ready to go.
The cats at Spirit Halloween are offering a "Twerkin Teddy" one-piece and a "Party Finger" (perfect for whatever inappropriate gestures come to mind), which they guarantee on their site can help "cause a scene." Oh, and some far more innocent Hannah Montana ensembles are also available, in case you're the twisted sort that wants to do an ironic or sexy version of the Disney starlet.
Yandy had the same idea as they're selling a virtually identical looking "Furry Party Animal Costume" and a "Twerk Finger" on its web site. (You can also consult this online tutorial about creating your own Miley Cyrus and Robin Thicke outfits.) An employee at Easley's also mentioned that people have called about renting their bear costumes in hopes of recreating Miley's VMA antics even further. Here's hoping they remember to clean it before returning it.