Hot costumes for Halloween

ESCANABA – With Halloween around the corner, soon little witches, zombies, princesses, vampires and pumpkins will be taking to the streets with their bags filled with treats.

These traditional costume choices continue to rank among the most popular this Halloween season, according to the National Retail Federation’s 2013 Top Costumes Survey.

The survey results indicate more than 5 million adults plan to dress as a witch this year, while 2.9 million plan to be a character from Batman. Approximately 3.8 million and 2.8 million kids respectively are expected to dress up as a princess or animal, while Batman characters are popular, too – the costume of choice for 2.5 million children.

In addition, nearly 8 percent of people will dress up their pets, among which the most popular costumes include pumpkins, hot dogs, cats and devils.

On a local scale, several retailers have indicated a mixed bag of their most popular costume choices.

According to Escanaba Kmart store manager Theresa Prosen, the most popular themes among girls and boys are Monster High and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

“We’ve already sold out of Monster High,” she said. “Monster High for girls has been the No. 1 costume. It’s very popular this year.”

Popular among adults are couple’s costume pairings such as ketchup and mustard or eggs and bacon, but Prosen said the usual favorites like witch and ghoul costumes are selling well, too.

The popularity of certain themes is dependent upon current trends in pop culture.

“It changes,” noted Prosen. “It depends on what’s on TV and what the movie of the year is, though Disney is always popular.”

Escanaba Shopko store manager Dan Branam said zombies and vampires have been widely embraced by customers this year, though he agrees with Prosen on costume popularity.

“It does change year-to-year based on what’s popular,” he said.

Colleen Valencic, regional manager for Goodwill in Escanaba said she has not really noticed any popular trends this Halloween season, as most people go to the store for creative ideas on making costumes.

“What’s popular here is mostly make-your-own,” she said. “Just being creative – creativity is the limit here.”

This year marks the first year U.P. Bras that Fit in Escanaba has sold Halloween costumes and accessories, with some popular choices among its customers.

“The police and the firemen have been popular,” said store owner Linda Romps. “Gretchen the beer maid and the pirates have been popular, too.”

Romps noted the store’s first year selling Halloween costumes has been a hit; she plans to continue offering Halloween costumes in the store in the future.

The National Retail Federation estimates Americans will spend $2.6 billion on Halloween costumes this year; the average person will spend $75.03 on Halloween candy, costumes, and decorations, bringing total spending to $6.9 billion.