For people who love Halloween, wearing a costume during the holidays means they can play a character for the night.
And the people who love it are really getting in the mood this year. Americans will spend $ 10.14 billion on Halloween this year, an all-time high from $ 8.05 billion last year, according to an annual National Retail Federation survey.
Most of this money will be for costumes. Americans plan to spend $ 3.32 billion on costumes this year, exceeding the total for last year ($ 2.61 billion) and 2019 ($ 3.16 billion).
And, this year, people are shopping for Halloween sooner than ever. The NRF says 45% of people plan to shop in September, while another 39% will shop in the first two weeks of October.
With all of the costume options available, choosing the right one can be overwhelming. But there is no need to worry. Here are some helpful tips:
Costume ideas for children and adults
Juanita Cameron, office manager for the Theatrical Shop in West Des Moines, said this year there were simply fewer costumes to choose from. Fewer movies have been released as the entertainment industry slowed down during the pandemic, which means there aren’t as many new characters for kids and adults to emulate.
This means that many of his clients are betting on classic or vintage costumes.
“A lot of people are falling back on the older, older ones,” Cameron said. “Someone just walked in and got the Mad Hatter. People are mostly relying on things they knew before.”
If there’s a year to recycle that old Popeye and Olive Oyl costume, this is it.
“Princesses and superheroes are what people turn to. And groups that want to be the Scooby Doo gang or Alice in Wonderland,” Cameron said.
The theatrical store at 145 5th St. in Valley Junction has over 3,000 costume rentals, rents out wings, makeup, and even light gels for shows or exhibitions.
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Where to buy Halloween costumes in the Des Moines metro?
If you are looking for a new costume, you are in luck. In addition to the Walmarts and Targets of the World, there are a number of stores that focus solely on Halloween or costumes.
Dubbed the largest Halloween retailer in the United States, sells Halloween costumes for adults, boys, girls and babies, animatronics, inflatables, and other holiday-themed decorations and products.
Locations in central Iowa:
- Valley West Mall, 551 Valley West Drive, Suite 200, West Des Moines
- Jordan Creek Town Center, 6925 Mills Civic Parkway, # 110, West Des Moines
- North Grand Mall, 2801 Grand Ave., Ames
Considered the largest party retailer, Party City offers supplies for the holidays and other celebrations, including costumes, makeup, decorations, meal supplies, and gifts.
They can be found on:
- 6503 Mills Civic Parkway, West Des Moines
- 2010 Southeast Delaware Avenue, Ankeny
Offering props, group costumes, props and more, Halloween Express has one location on the metro:
- 8801 University Avenue, Clive
For DIY enthusiasts who want to put together their own costume, thrift stores often carry a wide variety of affordable, unique, or vintage items. Here are the Salvation Army locations in the Des Moines metro:
- 211 E. Court Ave., Des Moines
- 105 E. Ave Euclid, Des Moines
- 4620 14e Rue Sud-Est, Des Moines
- 9997 University Avenue, Clive
- 801 S. Ankeny Blvd., Ankeny
Most popular costumes for children
According to the National Retail Federation, more than 1.8 million children plan to dress as Spiderman, followed by 1.6 million children as their favorite princess.
Plan to see children dressed as:
- Spider Man
- Super hero
- Avengers character
Most popular costumes for adults
Almost 69% of adults who plan to dress up for Halloween have already decided on their costume, according to the NRF.
Witches are the most popular selection with over 4.6 million adults planning to dress in their favorite witch hats. Vampires fall far behind the number one choice for 1.6 million adults.
Here’s who you might meet at your next Halloween party:
- Superman / Joker (tie)
- Spiderman / Dracula (tie)
- Avengers character
Animals enter the Halloween spirit too
For some pet owners, it wouldn’t be Halloween if their furry animals didn’t dress up too. The most popular costumes for animal lovers include a pumpkin, a hot dog and a superhero, according to the NRF.
Other popular ideas for furry friends include:
- Hot dog
- Superhero / Cat (tie)
- Dog / Witch (tie)
- Devil / Pirate (tie)