Last Minute Tips for a Safe and Sane Halloween

  • October 31, 2012
  • Jenna Maxwell
Happy Halloween from Halloween Express! Classic carvings from The Pumpkin Master, Ray Villafane. The pumpkins are carved and ready to be lit.  The Halloween costumes are purchased and ready to wear!  Halloween, one of the most fun and exciting holidays of the year, is finally here! Halloween mishaps can ruin or put a serious damper on your holiday fun, however; so don’t let them happen to you!  Here’s our list of last minute tips to make sure your Halloween comes off without a hitch or any unexpected disasters! Trick or Treating Tips:
  • Make sure your costume is hemmed up to an appropriate and easy to manage length.  Kids get so excited to go trick or treating that sometimes all that running around can be made downright dangerous by a too-long costume.  Make sure your child’s is short enough, even if it means a last minute pin-up with safety pins or in a pinch, you can tape it up with masking tape.
  • Costumes can be made more visible as well as safe in the dark by using reflective tape in various places, such as along the sleeves or the hemline.
  • Make sure your child can see well!  This is especially true if your child is wearing a mask, hat or headpiece.  Avoiding running while trick or treating in the dark is always a good idea.
  • Use caution with all props as well as play weapons.  Even plastic swords can hurt when someone gets inadvertently poked.
  • Many people will be lighting Jack-o-Lanterns with candles.  It’s a good idea to remind children how to “stop, drop, and roll” if their costume were to accidentally catch on fire.
  • Make sure each child has their own flashlight so they can see where they are going while out and about at night.
  • Trick or treat only in groups of children or with an adult supervisor.
  • Only trick or treat at well-lit homes in neighborhoods that you are familiar with.
  • Discuss treat management with your kids and tell them not to eat any of their candy until you’ve had a chance to take a look at it.
  • Have your kids fill up on a hearty meal before they go out trick or treating so they will not be as tempted to dive into their candy bags while they are out.
  • Never run across the street from in-between parked cars.  Always cross the street at a corner where you are more visible to drivers; don’t assume that the driver can see you either.  It can be very difficult to see trick or treaters at sunset or in the dark.
  • If you are not going trick or treating with your older children, know the route your kids intend to use.  Make sure you have a specific curfew stated for when they are expected back at home.  Carrying a cell phone to use for emergencies or just to check in is always a good idea.
  • Remind your kids to never go inside anyone’s home, even if invited or encouraged to do so.
  If You’re Staying at Home: 
  • Make sure your home and walkway are very well lit so trick or treaters can see the way clearly to your doorway.
  • Put your decorations in safe places so they don’t get tripped over and so they don’t obscure your Halloween visitor’s vision in any way.
  • Illuminate your Jack-o-Lanterns with battery-operated lights if possible, or use smaller candles.
  • Make sure you only pass out wrapped candy/treats.
Dealing with Pets: 
  • Even if your pet is the most adorable and friendly creature on the planet, it may be safest for him to be contained or put far away from the front door on Halloween.  Pets can get scared with all the strange costumes, incessant doorbell ringing and scary sounds and thus may behave somewhat unpredictably at times, possibly even unexpectedly darting out the front door!
  • Put the candy bowl out of reach!  Chocolate and many other Halloween treats can be toxic to pets and can also have serious health ramifications for them.  Avoid this situation altogether and keep your candy way up high, far away from your furry friends.
  • It’s probably not the greatest idea to let little kids pet Rover or Fido.  Halloween is very stressful for most animals and you can’t be sure how yours is really feeling or going to react; it’s possible that even the most docile animals can be a little touchy during Halloween, so why risk it?
  Halloween Tips For Big People:
  • Be very aware when driving on Halloween night.  Excited kids will be running around in the dark everywhere and may be coming out of unexpected places, so drive slowly and more cautiously, especially in residential areas.
  • Headed to a Halloween party?  Always have a designated driver.
  • Make sure you have enough gas in your car to get where you are going and home once again.  You really don’t want to run out of gas on Halloween night while dressed up in your costume, so plan accordingly!
  • Consider some limits when it comes to being overly sexy.  Decide if you are going for some serious cleavage, a super short look, or something midriff-baring--all of the above may just be too much of a good thing; usually it’s better to pick just one of the above.
  • We love Halloween makeup (and we know you do too!) but please, no matter how tired you are post-party, do yourself (and your pillowcase) a big favor, and wash all of your makeup off before you hit the sack.
  • If unfortunately you show up at your Halloween party with the same costume on as somebody else, trust us, yours is always better.  Relax and don’t worry about it.
  From all of us here at Halloween Express, have a safe, sane and super fun Halloween! HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

Howl-oween Fun Goes Straight To the Dogs

  • October 29, 2012
  • Jenna Maxwell
It’s funny.   On the news we hear over and over about economic struggles that are happening throughout our great nation.  Many of us have cut coupons, shopped sales, and to a great degree, done without.  Apparently, however, when it comes to Rover and Fido, American’s have refused to scrimp or even cut back. This year, over 370 million dollars (no that’s not a typo!) is expected to be spent on Pet Costumes alone.  Yep, you read that right.  Outfitting pets for Halloween (and life!) is big business.  Today’s chicest pets are wearing every imaginable and creative get up.  Along with community Pumpkin Carving Contests and other local events, it’s not at all uncommon to see Pet Costume Contests and Pet parades as part of neighborhood Halloween festivities. What in the world is going on here? Retailing has been trending in the “pet” direction for a while now and has definitely reached an all-time high.  Pet products in general are one of the fastest growing segments of the retail marketplace. You can likely thank the baby boomer age group whose kids have now gone off to college for this fast growing trend.  With kids grown up and out of the house, the family pet then becomes the focus of attention in much the same way the kids used to be.  Today’s pets are considered vital members of families and for many, are treated very much like children. Some pets are more responsive to wearing costumes than others, and even though you (and everyone else) may think that a pet costume is cute, it still is wise to keep your pets feelings in mind when dressing them up.  If you shower your pet with attention (and a few treats) when putting a costume on them, they likely will learn to associate the experience with good things and thus may not mind dressing up at all; they may even look forward to it!  If your pet clearly isn’t into the experience, try something less obtrusive (perhaps remove the headpiece for example) and maybe that will be enough. Halloween themed collars and leashes are an easy way to get your pet into the spirit of things if they aren’t into the clothing part.  At any rate, the experience is supposed to be fun, not frightening, so be sensitive to your animal’s needs as some are already a little anxious around Halloween anyway due to all the door bell ringing, costumes, flashlights and other doggie annoyances.
Some pets are more responsive to wearing costumes than others. Not sure what costume is right for your pet?  There are many costume choices out there that are designed to fit an animal’s body appropriately and comfortably.  If your family has a theme for costumes this year, of course you will want to try and dress your pet to go along with every one else’s costume if possible.  Sometimes it’s fun to take into consideration your dog’s breed and choose a costume that is well suited for his body type.  Choosing something completely contrary to the dog’s breed can be very funny. For example, dressing a tough looking Bulldog in a fluffy tutu and tiara, or a tiny Chihuahua in leather Biker attire, etc.  Pet costumes come in a wide variety of sizes as well.  The correct size is especially important for a pet costume, as too small will be tight and uncomfortable for your pooch and too large is going to be hard to keep on a very busy furry friend. Pet costumes are here to stay and you are likely to see many of them out and about in your neighborhood this Halloween.  Perhaps it won’t be too long before dogs will be trick-or-treating on Halloween night for dog treats, just like kids who go out looking for candy.  Your pet is part of your family.  Be sure to include them in all your Halloween fun with a really cute pet costume.  Don’t forget to take lots of pictures of the lovable furball!

Last Minute Costume Solutions for Halloween Procrastinators

  • October 25, 2012
  • Jenna Maxwell

You know who you are.  We also know (honestly!) that you just can’t believe it’s happened again!  You swore this time last year that you were going to plan for Halloween better, didn’t you?  Here it is, just days from Halloween, you’ve been invited to a party and you have absolutely nothing to wear--and the ideas are running pretty dry as well.  OR even worse, your kids don’t have a costume to wear out trick-or-treating and they are looking to you for some solutions.  (Mom’s can fix everything, right?) Anyway, once again, we are here to save your bacon and offer you some last minute costume ideas that might just help bail you out!

Make up (for lack of planning) with Makeup:  Creative use of makeup can create a character face that will redeem you in many instances, and with relative ease.  Many costume looks can be created using makeup supplies you likely already have on hand, or that can be easily obtained at the last minute.  Drawing on a nose and whiskers with black eyeliner can easily create a cat face.  With brown, green and black eye shadows you can turn an ordinary face into a camouflaged soldier.  With white face makeup and black eyeliner, any face can be transformed into a stunning mime.  Procrastinators often are forced to be a little bit creative, but some of the best, most original ideas can often result.  Don’t be afraid to experiment a little bit.

Hit the Thrift Store…or the Back of Your Closet:  Your local thrift store can be a gold mine when it comes to throwing together a last minute Halloween costume.  Go into the store with few preconceived notions and see what inspires you.  Retro looks are usually a great place to start, as thrift stores often have a plethora of outdated clothing styles for you to choose from.  Hippies, Rock Stars, Hobo’s, Gypsies and Nerds are easy looks to put together with a quick trip to Goodwill or even to your own closet.

  • Hobo:  Any old raggedy clothes will work for this look, but if you can find an old suit jacket, even better.  Cut the fingertips off some old gloves.  Find an old hat to wear on your head; a beat up fedora style would be considered the Holy Grail to top off your look.  Making up your face to be a Hobo is pretty easy--check out our how-to video here for some Hobo makeup ideas.
  • Gypsy:  Creating a gypsy look is pretty easy for you Halloween desperados.  A good gypsy look, requires jewelry--and lots of it.  Especially necklaces, rings and bracelets; pile them on with reckless abandon.  The most critical piece of jewelry is a pair of very large, hoop-style earrings--if you don’t have these, look for something that is fairly big and ostentatious.  The finishing touch is to tie a headscarf around your head and don’t forget to add some very bright, red lipstick.
  • Rock Star:  The great thing about a Rock Star costume is that you can go in a lot of directions depending on the look you are shooting for.  A Lady Gaga look can be obtained with a pair of sunglasses and a scarf worn as if it were a snood.  A more classic rocker look can be obtained by braiding long hair and letting it dry--when you remove the braids, tease the hair a little to make it look huge and instant rocker.  Black leggings or tight jeans, a loose shirt (don’t forget cowboy boots if you have them) and some beads or other bling around your neck and you are set.  If you have a guitar, by all means, accessorize with it, even if it’s plastic. 
  • Hippie:  An old t-shirt can be cut along the bottom hemline to create “fringe”.  A sort of must-have item is a peace sign worn around the neck, but if you are truly desperate, you can make one of these with carefully fashioned tin foil positioned on another large pendant you already have or make one from a cardboard disk.  Headbands, beads and sandals will complete the look.
  • Zombie “Anything”:  Nowadays, any character can be made into a cool zombie.  Shred the clothing you are wearing a little bit and then add some dark makeup around your eyes, using a white powder or a more pasty colored makeup on the rest of the face.  Mess up your hair--zombies always have bedhead.  A must-have item for any proper zombie look is vampire blood and lots of it; this is especially effective around the mouth area. 
  • Nerd:  Short pants, pulled up too high or khaki shorts belted tightly, along with a button front shirt, buttoned all the way up to the top are the essentials you will need for this hilarious last minute getup.  Find some dorky shoes to wear with white socks, of course. (If you are wearing shorts, make sure your socks are pulled all the way up--crew or knee length socks are best.)   Outdated glasses are an important part of the nerd style; add some tape at the bridge of the nose to really “goofball” up your look and give him some extra dorky flair; a pocket protector if you have one, is a very nice, nerdy touch.

 

Work with what you have:  Sometimes it’s easier to start with what you do have on hand rather than trying to come up with things that you don’t.  For example, sports uniforms make great last minute costumes.  If you are guy, borrow a female friend’s uniform or if you are a girl borrow a boy’s uniform--this swapping adds an instant hilarious factor that will make up for what creativity you may be lacking.  Tutu’s are a great accessory to work with for a wide variety of costume looks. In fact, most any dancewear or yoga apparel can be easily morphed into a last minute costume with just a few additions.  Add a cape and a mask; you are a superhero.  Add cat or bunny ears placed on a headband and you are cute (or even sexy) cat--etc. 

Whether you are just low on cash, are a bit of a bona fide Halloween humbug, or just plain lazy--waiting until the last minute to put a costume together doesn’t have to spell disaster for your Halloween plans. You will have to be open-minded, flexible and a bit creative, but all these factors put together may give you what we will call a “Halloween opportunity.”  Of course, next year you swear to plan a little bit better--but for now, don’t stress out and try to have some fun!

P.S.  You may want to check out our affordable, guaranteed, fast-shipping upgrades.  If you hurry, there is still time to get that perfect costume shipped right to your door!

Taking Great Photos: Making The Most of Your Halloween Memories

  • October 22, 2012
  • Jenna Maxwell

Once you have your Halloween costumes and all the associated activities planned out, you are definitely going to want to take plenty of photographs, to make sure these memories will last for a lifetime!  Getting the best photos doesn’t require any special equipment or even any special skills--in fact, today’s cell phone cameras are often all you need to take some pretty amazing photos.  Halloween creates some unique and special photographic scenarios, however; and these may require a little bit of know-how so you can obtain the best possible photo results. Here are some tried and true tips to help you get the best Halloween pictures ever!

Baby, It’s Dark Out There!  Many Halloween activities are done in low lighting that can create some unique dilemmas for anyone with a camera in hand.  An easy way to deal with low lighting is to raise the ISO setting on your camera, which makes the camera a bit more sensitive to light.  More sensitivity to light means the camera can take the shot faster, reducing any blurred images that are caused by camera movement.  You will want to experiment a bit with these settings prior to Halloween however; because if you set the ISO too high your photos can turn out on the grainy side.  Practicing in low light situations can give you an idea of what works best for your particular camera.

Hey, The Gang’s All Here!  It’s fun to get all the kids or large groups of costumed up friends into one photo--but jamming a whole bunch of people into one large group shot may not make as good of a photo as you might have hoped.  Oftentimes, someone gets shoved into the back where you can’t really see them, and squishing a bunch of dressed up subject’s into one shot doesn’t really give them a chance to show off their costumes very well.  When it comes to people wearing costumes, smaller groups are much better.  Small groups or even pairs allow more room around each subject, creating a more visually appealing photograph and even an opportunity for the subject to really get into character!  Now we’re talking! 

Don’t Forget Jack!  You’ve put some effort into carving that Jack-O-Lantern so doesn’t miss the opportunity to add him to some of your Halloween photos for a truly amazing effect! The best time to photograph a lit Jack-O-Lantern is about 20 minutes after the sun goes down.  At this time, the light in the night sky is approximately equal to the light being emitted from Jack.  With all things being equal, this creates the ideal lighting circumstances to capture the Jack-O-Lantern’s details perfectly!

Pets!  If your pet enjoys being costumed up (and many do love the extra attention and the inevitable treats, too!), make sure and include your pets in your Halloween photos.  There is something about a pet in costume that ups the adorable quotient ten-fold and will definitely add some unique character to your Halloween photographs.

Flashlights!  You are likely going to have these with you as you go out trick or treating anyway, so why not use them to create some unique photographic effects.  Have the kids take turns pointing the flashlight at each other while you shoot some ghoulish photos.  These shots can be very cool!

Get Down!  When taking pictures of children, it’s very important to be on their same level.  Whether this means stooping or sitting down, make sure the camera is being held at their eye level for the best-angled shots. 

Turn off the Flash!  Spooky, silhouetted effects can be created without using a flash.  You may want to try taking pictures with and without the flash just to see which ones you like the best.  Using the existing light alone to illuminate your subject can sometimes create a very interesting and even at times, spooky effect.

SURPRISE!  Don’t forget to take those spontaneous shots catching your subject completely unaware.  The surprise emotions that are captured in these types of shots are often the most fun and authentic.

Take Full Advantage of Seasonal Surroundings:  With all the cool decorations and props you are likely to see around town at this time of the year, you will want to make sure some of these are used as cool background and backdrops for your Halloween photos.  Spook alleys and pumpkin patches are filled with colorful and seasonal props that you will want to pose your subject around, creating that perfect Halloween themed shot!

The beauty of digital photography is that you can experiment a lot with your photos without worry or waste.  Take plenty of photos--you can always delete those that you don’t like.  The more photos you have to choose from the more likely you are to get the ones that capture the memories of your event perfectly! 


Halloween Zero or Hero? It's All About the Candy

  • October 17, 2012
  • Jenna Maxwell

We know you’ve gone to a lot of trouble getting ready for Halloween. It takes a bit of effort to scout out the perfect Halloween costumes for you and your family, assembling your best Halloween looks from head to toe.  You are almost ready to go--it’s the final countdown to what could arguably be the most exciting holiday of the year!  You definitely don’t want to blow it now.  What we are saying here dear friends, is that at some point, it really comes down to the candy.  What you are handing out to the trick or treaters in your neighborhood does matter--and yes, you will be judged.  What does your Halloween candy say about you?

Fun Size Candy Bars:  You are a Halloween traditionalist and you are into the whole Halloween gig.  These little candy bars are pretty standard Halloween fare and you can’t really go wrong with buying these for your neighborhood Halloween revelers.  Since most of these treats are chocolate based you will be scoring some major points with the entire group of mommy’s who may be sneaking some of the goodies for themselves.  (C’mon…don’t we all do this?)

Sugar Blast:  These are not necessarily going to be any adult’s favorites, but these are the ones that year after year score some major points with the kids.  This group of super sugary treats includes Starburst, Skittles, Twizzlers, Nerds, Sour Patch Kids,  Pop Rocks and gummy anything.  If you are looking to impress your neighborhood trick or treaters with no chocolate temptation calling out to you, these candies are sure-fire winners.

Full Size Candy:  You Halloween overachiever you!  With a treat basket filled with full size candy bars, the word on the street is going to get out fast.  If you don’t mind having lots of repeat customers, a line at your door, and your doorbell ringing all night long, these treats are for you.  Be aware that the other neighborhood parents may think you are just showing off.

Homemade Treats:  Don’t waste your time unless these are for a private party at your house.  Nobody lets their kids eat homemade treats anymore and more likely than not, they are going to get thrown out.

Lollipops:  Usually the only thing that is left at the store on the day of Halloween, this treat will scream, “I waited until the last minute!”  These are never a Halloween favorite and when the treat bag is almost empty sometime in late November, you are likely to find it filled with a variety of Dum Dum suckers that will eventually find their way into the trash as well.

Apples or other healthy snacks:  You might as well just turn out the lights and not participate.  No one wants to get these in their trick or treat bags.  Besides, haven’t you heard the urban legends of the real sicko’s that put razor blades in apples?  Apples, raisins or any fruit item are likely to get thrown out by scrupulous mommies anyway.

Pixy Sticks, Junior Mints, Sugar Daddy’s and Wax Lips:  These “retro” candies are not only popular with the kids, but they are a great way to help you re-live your childhood memories as well.  It’s not like you see these favorites in your grocery store everyday, but at Halloween it’s a great time to bring back some of these old and very groovy candies from the past!

Pencils, Toothbrushes, Coupons:  Oh please!  Are you trying to be the ultimate Halloween killjoy?  Save your passive preaching for another day and let the kids have fun on Halloween without the hidden agenda thrown into their treat bags. Boring!

The candy that’s found in your Halloween treat bowl speaks volumes.  You may actually want to put some thought into this before the big night and think about what you are communicating to all those costumed up kids that are coming to your door shouting “TRICK OR TREAT!”  Make sure at your house, it’s a definite “Treat”. 


Big Bird and The Joker - Who'da Thunk It?

  • October 15, 2012
  • Jenna Maxwell

You really can’t make this stuff up.  Sometimes in the course of life, something a little bit crazy happens that sets the world a-giggling and making fun.  Even the most serious events, like the upcoming Presidential elections have put some interesting (and very unforeseen) characters straight into the limelight.

A few weeks ago, Big Bird was happily living a quiet and peaceful existence down on Sesame Street, when all of sudden he was thrust into the nation’s headlines through a casual reference to him by Mitt Romney during one of the Presidential debates.  Chatter about Big Bird is now all over the Internet and headlining in the media.  Big Bird is starring in memes, is in headlines everywhere and Big Bird costumes (just in time for Halloween) are literally flying off the shelves. Big Bird’s presence also has been requested on “Good Morning America” as well as the “Today” show, not to mention several of the late night talk shows. (Big Bird has respectfully declined all offers thus far.)  Who in the world ever saw this coming?  It certainly gives new meaning to the song lyrics, “Can you tell me how to get to Sesame Street?”  Now all anyone wants to know is how to get Big Bird!

Recently, it appears that the left side is getting some costume character comparisons of their own.  After the Vice Presidential debate had concluded, Twitter and other social media sites were abuzz with commentary on Joe Biden’s steady stream of bizarre grinning and smirking during the entire debate, some calling his demeanor more akin to “The Joker” than anything close to what is expected of a Vice President.

Halloween costume masks designed in the likeness of the presidential candidates themselves are also an obvious popular choice this Halloween season.  Can Halloween mask sales predict which candidate is more popular with the masses?  Some sites say they can and others swear that they can predict the election winner based on Halloween mask sales alone.

No matter what your personal politics are, Halloween falling right before the Presidential election makes it the perfect time to parlay your political agenda into a night of All American, tongue-in-cheek costume fun. Whether you sport a Big Bird suit, a Joker costume or go with a much more obvious choice with one of our life-like political masks, these costumes are going to be the talk of your Halloween party and create a lot of laughs for you and your friends, while at the same time hopefully inspiring them to get out and vote!


When Your Costume Doesn't Fit - Making it Work!

  • October 10, 2012
  • Jenna Maxwell

Halloween Costumes are supposed to be fun and you can bet that when you (or your kids) have picked out that perfect costume ensemble and are set to head out for some exciting Halloween festivities, you will all be ready to rock the house! But what about when things don’t go quite as planned?  Sometimes an unforeseen problem can loom over your best-laid costume plans.  Here are some of our solutions for your most common costume dilemmas!

Costume Is Too Small:  This is one of the most challenging of the costume woes, and takes a bit of creative thinking in order to solve the issue gracefully. 

  • If a costume is hopelessly too small, consider taking critical elements of the too small version and reattaching them to a larger basic clothing item that fits, such as a t-shirt or leggings.
  • You can also consider wearing a body hugging non-obtrusive leotard or tights under the outfit so some of the snug parts can be left unfastened.
  • If the back of the costume has a zipper you can use very wide safety pins to attach the opening in the back, giving you more breathing room. A cape, a jacket, wings or many other character-appropriate accessories can be used to conceal the opening in the back.

 

Costume Is Too Big:  This costume dilemma is one of the easiest to deal with and solving this issue will ultimately make you a lot more comfortable (not to mention safe) while you are wearing your costume. 

  • Tripping over a costume that is too long can be hazardous to trick or treaters (or anyone really!) so hemming up a costume to the right length is of upmost importance.  This can be accomplished in a number of ways. Obviously the most ideal solution would be to have the hem properly sewn or taken up using a fusible web product from your local craft or fabric store.  When this isn’t possible, a quick hem fix can be accomplished by taking up the hem with safety pins or even masking tape. 
  • Double stick tape can solve a plethora of costume woes and is useful to keep straps in place or to hold in place inappropriately gaping necklines.
  • If the costume is just too big all over, try it on inside out.  Safety pins can be used in a pinch to take in the costume in all the critical places.
  • Once again, creative use of accessories can solve many of your costume fit issues.  For a costume that is too big, the use of sashes and belts can help tremendously.

TIP:  Even the most hopeless fit issues can be redeemed with some clever distraction techniques.  Put the focus on your face rather than your body to alleviate the attention that may be on the fit issues you are having.  Fabulous makeup that really gets you into your character can be a great solution and no one will even notice that your costume is a little tight or a little loose! Check out our how-to videos for some really great character makeup ideas to help get you started!

Measuring Tips For a Perfect Fit:

If you haven’t made your costume purchase yet and want to avoid any potential fitting issues altogether, here are a few tips to make sure you get a costume that fits you perfectly in the first place!

  • Measuring.  For the best fit, you must take accurate measurements, especially of the areas of your body that the costume will fit around most snugly.  Have your bust, waist, hip and inseam measurements handy and read the sizing information on each costume selection carefully.
  • In order for accurate measurements to be obtained, make sure you are wearing undergarments, a tank top or bra, etc. when you measure.  Measuring in street clothes is not a good idea and you may end up with a costume that is too large.
  • Keep in mind your planned activities while wearing your costume and then decide if you are going to need a little “breathing room” or if you want a more precise, snug fit.

Having the correct fit for your Halloween costume is very important.  If you spend the entire night tugging at or fussing with your costume and feeling uncomfortable, your focus is not where it should be, and that is on having fun! 

One Final Note on Sizing for Seasonal Costumes

Seasonal costumes are typically designed to be worn for one or two events. They are not professional, theatrical grade costumes (and are not priced as such). So while the sizing information provided by the manufacturer is generally accurate for the measurements indicated, a seasonal costume will rarely fit every person as if it were tailor made for that person. This simply means that even though a costume may fit based on waist or hip measurements, it doesn't mean the inseam length or sleeve length will fit every body style with the same waist measurements. In some cases, alterations may be required and in others, you may need to order another size. And because seasonal costumes tend to run small, we suggest buying the larger size when in doubt.


Halloween Dress-Up In The Workplace

  • October 08, 2012
  • Jenna Maxwell

When it comes to wearing Halloween costumes, if there aren’t officially mandated rules in your office or workplace, perhaps there should be.  We’ve all heard of those rather awkward moments where someone wears something completely inappropriate or even takes their characterization a little bit too far, thus weirding everyone in the entire office out.  Halloween falls on a Wednesday this year, so it’s likely that many of you out there will be faced with having to make some decisions regarding dressing up in a costume.  You want your costume to be fun (that’s the point, right?) but it still needs to be appropriate for a work environment. Here are some basic ground rules and guidelines you may want to keep in mind as you make your workplace costume plans!

Who dresses up?  Yes, it’s sort of like going back to high school when you asked all your friends what they were going to wear to an upcoming event.  The reality is, you do not want to be the only person in a costume on Halloween.  Nor do you want to be the only person that is dressed up at your employment level.  If the lower level employees dress up but the management never does, this is a fact you may want to know in advance and be aware of.

What does this costume say about me?  Original costume ideas are often very fun and exciting and you may be tempted to really go out on a limb when it comes to your office costume choice.  Be careful not to go too far, however.   If your co-workers are likely to question, “What are you supposed to be, anyway?” you may have crossed over the line of originality into the way-too-obscure (or bizarre) zone.  You may want to stick with something more obvious that people can understand and relate to.

Avoid too sexy.  The workplace is not likely the best place to bring out the super sexy costume.  If your get up has a plunging neckline, a short skirt, or super sexy accessories like thigh high stockings, you will need to make a few alterations or adjustments to your look to make it office-appropriate.  If you can do so without ruining the look, add a jacket or sweater over it if necessary.  For example, a sexy nurse costume could have a lab coat added over it to make it less sexy and then it might work better to wear in the office.  Instead of thigh high stockings or fishnets, opaque tights can be worn which will create a more modest look.  This is especially handy if you are attending a party after work--a quick change of stockings, ditching a sweater and you are set for an after work party!

Comfort and Workability:  Think about your costume and the accessories that go with it and decide if you are going to be able to properly function at work while wearing them.  Things like large fairy wings, giant hats, masks, etc. can be very annoying to wear after a long period of time at work so take these factors into consideration when making your office costume game plan.  It may be easier to minimize accessories and wear makeup instead of wearing a mask to complete your costume look.

Listen to Your Mother:  You know how mom used to say you should avoid talking about religion and politics?  Well, when it comes to work environments and costumes, this holds doubly true.  Avoid costumes that are religious, political, potentially offensive, risqué or even too violent like some of these costumes from last year.  Sounds like mainstream classic style?  Exactly…now you are getting the point.

Plan ahead!  Don’t procrastinate your costume buying too long so that you are forced to throw something together the morning of Halloween in order to not look like the office dud.  Costumes come in a wide range of characters, styles, price ranges and genres, so getting the perfect look that you will feel great and comfortable in is really easy when you are prepared!

Don’t let Halloween falling on a workday cramp your costume style.  By following a few basic rules you can have a successful dress up day that is not only fun, but it can also give you a chance to show off a little more of your own personal style.


Tim Burton’s “Frankenweenie” Comes Alive

  • October 03, 2012
  • Jenna Maxwell

Just in time for Halloween, Tim Burton has once again gifted the world with his ultra creepy magic.  Based on his 1984 short film classic, Frankenweenie has been revamped into a full-length stop-motion animated feature film that is sure to delight audiences everywhere this fall.

The 2012 version of the Frankenweenie story is essentially the same as it was in 1984 with a few surprises built into the tale that truly make this new morphing a full-blown monster-studded mash.  At the core of the tale is Victor Frankenstein, a misunderstood outsider who feels little connection with anyone in the world aside from his beloved pooch, Sparky who he spends most of his time with.  Victor and Sparky absolutely embody the Tim Burton-ized version of the love that exists between a boy and his dog.

One tragic day, Sparky is hit by a car and killed.  Victor has lost his best friend, perhaps his only friend, and is totally devastated by the loss.  His mother, in her efforts to console Victor, reminds him that Sparky will always live on in his heart.  Victor, however, finds little consolation in this notion and wants his dog to live with him in the here and now!  Inspired by his Science teacher, Mr. Rzykruski, Victor hatches a plan based on science to attempt to revive his beloved pet.  Victor digs up Sparky, sneaks his body up to the attic and sets up an elaborate scientific protocol that he hopes will add some spark to his ol’ pooch Sparky.  A few well-timed bolts of lightening later, the Tim Burton magic begins as this film comes to hilarious life with all sorts of monstrous shenanigans to soon follow.

As nearby children in the town hear of Victor’s success in bringing Sparky back to life, other kids start using the same procedure with some pretty creepy and hilarious results as they attempt to bring their own deceased pets back to life as well.  The quiet town will never be the same as the reincarnated pets are now unleashed all over the place with some pretty doggone funny results occurring in the process! 

Representing the collaborative efforts of Disney and Tim Burton, Frankenweenie is an absolutely not to be missed film for your entire family, and is the perfect way to kick off your Halloween celebrating.  Frankenweenie will be in theaters October 5, 2012.  Looking for more Tim Burton Halloween inspiration?  Check out our how-to video featuring another one of Mr. Burton’s all time greatest film characters, Edward Scissorhands.  He’s dark, gothic and even a little bit weird--but oh so much fun!! 


The Best Movie One-Liner's Ever (Some Fabulous Costume Ideas Too!)

  • October 01, 2012
  • Jenna Maxwell
Terminator Costume Masks

From the earliest days of silent films to the more modern film masterpieces that today thrill audiences everywhere, movies have definitely become a huge part of the cultural fabric of American society.  Many movies are so infamous that they are known by one simple line from the script--these catchphrases have become a huge part of American vernacular with multiple meanings as well as associations.  As you get ready to get into your favorite movie character this Halloween, keep some of these more infamous movie lines (and the characters that go with them) in mind!  Here’s a list of some of our faves:

I’ll Be Back.  (The Terminator)-Today you can put on your best tough guy imitation and use this line to say you are soon returning, with an “attitude” of course!

Frankly, My Dear, I don’t give a damn.  (Gone With The Wind)-In today’s terms, this phrase is a very useful way to show complete indifference after you’ve “had it up to here”…particularly effective spewed right before heading into the man cave.

The Name is Bond, James Bond.  (James Bond Franchise)  Just feeling sexy and you know it? This phrase can be pretty funny if timed just right.  If you take it too seriously, however, you might fall flat on your noggin’ and just look like an idiot.

Life is Like a Box of Chocolates. (Forest Gump)-This phrase means basically that you never know what life is going to throw at you--some of life’s surprises are good, others not so much.

Houston, We Have a Problem.  (Apollo 13)- A universal phrase that now means, “Uh-oh, we’ve got big trouble…!!”  You’ve said it, I’ve said it, okay--we’ve all said it.

May the Force be with you.  (Star Wars) -This is sort of a sci-fi-ish way of expressing a similar sentiment to “May God be with you”.

Show Me the Money!  (Jerry Maguire)-Exactly what it says, essentially “put your money where your mouth is” or let the “money do the talking!”  This is useful in so many fiscally oriented situations!

I’m going to make him an offer he can’t refuse.  (The Godfather) Hmmm, sort of a threat guised in false sincerity, but we definitely get the point.

Toto, I’ve got a feeling were not in Kansas anymore.  (The Wizard of Oz)  This essentially states that something big is going down that is really out of the norm.

If you build it, they will come.  (Field of Dreams)  Basically it means the same thing as believe in yourself and trust your instincts; good things will happen.

Why so serious?  (The Dark Knight)  The Joker’s infamous line is still useful in situations that may require a little release valve for lots of built-up tension.

Go ahead, make my day.  (Sudden Impact)  Still being used today, this infamous line almost taunts as it challenges.

Here’s Johnny! (The Shining) Obviously this infamous line was originally swiped from the Johnny Carson show, but Jack Nicholson’s version is now useful for any surprise entrance.

Elementary, my dear Watson.  (Sherlock Holmes)  Nowadays, this is the same thing as saying “this is going to be really easy!” 

They’re Here! (Poltergeist)  Getting the willies or the heebie jeebies?  Are the hairs on the back of your neck, standing straight up?  This famous line pretty much says it all. 

Yo Adrian! (Rocky) A very Philadelphia, boxer-style greeting that most anyone gets warm and fuzzy over. 

Shop our huge collection of movie character costumes for lots of fun and exciting character choices for the most Hollywood inspired Halloween costume ever.  You might even consider learning a little bit of the lingo--some of these one-liner’s seem likely to live on forever!