Dressing to Thrill

Halloween Special 2000

You've been invited to a swank, hoity-toity Halloween party this year. What costume should you wear that will knock people's socks off? Should you go as a super heroic earthworm? Jo-Jo the psychic flamingo? A single-cell organism? Trent, the talking beer can?

Anything goes
According to many costume shops, this year's theme is "anything goes", as no new, trendy outfit has yet made their ghostly appearance. "This year is actually quite odd, as there is no outstanding theme," Margot Loveseth of Calgary's The Costume Shoppe told Sympatico-Lycos. "Usually, the trends that really jump out come from the movies - Austin Powers, Batman, Star Wars - nothing like that, this year."

Joyce Koke of Brandon, Manitoba's Country Costumes agreed. "There hasn't been a trend yet. Usually, you see one by now, but I haven't noticed any."

As for the Star Wars merchandise phenomenon, Ms. Koke sees the lucrative sci-fi marketing machine as a Halloween no-show. "I was expecting Star Wars to become really popular in the costumes," she explained. "We brought in the costumes, and no one has asked to even try them on."

Let's do the time warp again…
BEWARE! It's the dastardly Disco Pumpkin!What seems to be happening across Canada is that what's old is still good. "The retro trend is continuing," clarified Ms. Loveseth. "It started coming about two years ago, and then Austin Powers really threw it over the edge."

The retro trend is evolving, though, into other cheesy chic areas of yore. "Now we're seeing hippies," said Ms. Loveseth, "and a little bit of disco."

Disco Sucks! Gladiator Rules!
So does this mean that you'll have to dig through your closet for those horrific Saturday Night Live Tony Manero hot pants come Halloween? According to Douglas at Toronto's Malabar Limited, the disco-queasy may have other options.

"This year, we've had a few more gladiator rentals - Roman soldiers, Mark Anthony, Cleopatra - they're always popular," he explained, adding that knight costumes are also in demand. "Guys tend to go for the warrior stuff, and woman are getting baroque gowns and things like that - the sexy stuff."

Bring out the Party Animal
Douglas also mentioned a new interesting series of masks called "Party Animals". He described them as a foam appliance that you apply to your face, adding, "The best thing with these are, you can talk, you can eat, you can drink in them, and they don't affect anything you do." He put their price in the $80 to $100 range.

"If you're somebody that's opposed to doing a rubber mask on your face, and need something a little better, a little easier to put on, in terms of makeup or to change your look entirely, they're really good to do."

Get on the good foot
But, if you want to go with the flow, retro seems to be your best ticket. "There's three girls standing in my office door with giant bouffants, " Ms. Loveseth said, laughing, "so the retro trend is definitely a thing this year."

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