Suit Up, Ladies: Sexy Halloween Costumes Are Far From Being "Over"
Sexy devils and Werewolves in downtown Phoenix over Halloween weekend. Photo by Benjamin Leatherman
Halloween parties rocked bars and clubs across Phoenix last weekend, and because the official day lands smack in the middle of the week, we're planning on seeing more costumed party-goers out and about tomorrow night through this weekend.
This year's popular costumes have been all over the pop culture map. And when the Arizona Republic's Megan Finnerty claimed "sexy" Halloween was on its way out, we did a double take.
We saw more far-reaching sexy costumes and sexy angles on a zombie than we care to outline. Slate Magazine shot the Republic piece down yesterday as a trend piece with no evidence of an actual trend, and we have to agree. If Finnerty was looking for a real Halloween trend, she could have thrown a rock and hit one in her backyard.
In fact, Phoenix is home to a national company that specializes in -- wait for it -- sexy Halloween costumes. And Yandy.com reports record sales this year.
See also: - Yandy, Creators of the "Sexy" Sesame Street and Hamburger Costumes, Explain Why You Should Be a Sexy (Whatever) for Halloween - Scottsdale Halloween Party Roundup andDowntown Phoenix Halloween Party Roundup(Photos) -Nine Hottest Halloween Costume Trends of 2012
A sexy Mad Hatter and her friend in a sexy something costume in Scottsdale over Halloween weekend.
Sexy referees, SWAT team members, vampires, Cleopatras, Mad Hatters, Avatar creatures, ladybugs, firefighters, household animals, cowgirls, zombies, candy land board games, Sesame Street characters, and whatever this woman is trying to dress up as are still the norm.
We covered a number of parties in downtown Phoenix and Scottsdale and found that -- believe it or not -- women still want to be sexy somethings for Halloween. And whether or not their fathers, exes, or bathroom mirrors approve, they'll continue dressing as sexy somethings as long as the Halloween punch is around.
Finnerty cites a declining Yahoo search for "sexy Halloween costumes" (down 47 percent since 2010), a psychologist who studies Facebook photos, and responses from a few shoppers at Easley's -- a Phoenix Halloween Costume store -- as proof the trend is dying.
"Maybe women are tired of how Halloween serves to turn them into sexual objects," writes Finnerty. "Maybe women are stymied by the lack of self-expression available to them when the choice in the costume aisle seems to be only "sexy or unsexy." Maybe after years of so many women using the holiday to express sexual fantasies, the transgressive fun of all that flesh-baring is gone."
But Chad Horstman will tell you a different story. He and his brother Evan started Yandy.com, an online costume retailer that's based in Phoenix in 2005. This year, the company sold huge amounts of its more than 7,000 products and was responsible for top sellers including the the Sexy Fox, the Sexy Watermelon, the Sexy Hamburger, and new arrivals, "sexy" Bert, Ernie, and Big Bird. Seriously.
Yandy's Director of Marketing, Sarah Chamberlain says there's been no decline in sales of "sexy Halloween costumes" at Yandy.com -- it's actually been the company's most lucrative year to date.
"What we have found is that most young women want to feel attractive on Halloween," says Chamberlain. "They may opt for a funny costume or a scary costume but in the end, they still want to look attractive in doing so ... Whether it be a sexy hamburger a zombie cheerleader or a sultry sailor, at Yandy, we don't see a decline in interest in sexy Halloween costumes happening any time soon."
A sexy CandyLand costume in downtown Phoenix over Halloween weekend.
When we tracked down Halloween trends with the help of employees of Valley's best mom-and-pop Halloween emporiums - including Easley's, Bubbles of Joy in Mesa, and the Mardi Gras Costume Shop in Scottsdale, they pointed us in the direction of nine top sellers, including the ever-sexy Magic Mike, tightly clothed characters from the Hunger Games, the sexy Nicki Minaj, and leather-clad Black Widow, played by Scarlett Johansson in The Avengers.
Search terms may be down in popularity, perhaps because people no longer need to Google a costume idea they've seen on Facebook or shop around when they already know a sexy roundup of the "Fab Five" American gymnasts who swept the Olympics this year will just take some muscle leggings, tight tank tops, a few medals, and one team member who scowls.
As Slate's Amanda Hess writes, the lines between sexy and ironic costumes have notably blurred. Chamberlain told Jackalope Ranch earlier this month that Yandy employees fully embrace the irony and will stop at nothing to make an unsexy thing sexy -- she'll even try a toaster. But humor, irony, and small scraps of clothing is what Chamberlain and anyone who dressed as a sexy Honey Boo Boo (there were a few) will continue to carry sexy Halloween through
A sexy Halloween costume company thriving in Arizona and enough photos to last us through next year should be proof enough that sexy costumes are far from done. And if she's still steadfast in her belief that sexy Halloween is on its way out, perhaps Finnerty should take a trip to Scottsdale tomorrow night, where a few more bars are hosting last-gasp parties of the costume season. We're sure more than a few scantily clad partiers would be happy to show her that sexy's sticking around.
Get the Arts & Culture Newsletter
Find out about upcoming performances, exhibitions, openings and special events happening in the Phoenix art and theater scene.