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Published: Sunday, 10/23/2011 - Updated: 3 years ago

Halloween trick: Ordinary adults turn into super heroes, celebrities

BY RONEISHA MULLEN
BLADE STAFF WRITER

Jodi Reineck loved playing dress-up as child. And like most little girls, she dreamed of being a beauty queen.

It wasn’t until she was 38 years old that her dream came true — when she and her co-workers dressed up as beauty pageant contestants for Halloween.

“I wish every day was Halloween,” said Ms. Reineck, now 39, of Genoa. “You get to be whoever you want to be.”

In recent years, adults have reveled in the opportunity to celebrate Halloween. From adult Halloween parties to outlandish costumes, adults have wholeheartedly embraced the fun.

“It’s a reason to get dressed up and have fun,” said Colbi Cousino, 35, of Deerfield, Mich., who will dress up as Little Red Riding Hood. “I don’t act like that all year long.”

This year Halloween spending is projected to be about $6.86 billion, according to a survey conducted by BIGResearch on behalf of the National Retail Federation trade group. Based on the survey, it is expected Americans will spend $1 billion on costumes this year.

“It’s that night where anything goes,” said Stephanie Beadell, spokesman for Halloweencostumes.com, an online costume retailer.

“You can act on your fantasies and be whoever or whatever you want to be.”

Blockbuster movies and headlinemaking celebrit ies provide much inspiration for Halloween costumes each year.

No doubt there will be plenty of Lady Gaga-inspired “little monsters” this year, and Charlie Sheen lookalikes, drinking “tiger blood” and quoting the comedian’s famous phrase, “winning.”

Pirates are the source of traditional Halloween costumes, but they have become more popular in the wake of Walt Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean movies. The costumes, for both men and women, have been flying off the shelves at area stores, retailers say.

Angry Birds will be everywhere this Halloween, as costumes based on the wingless characters in the Angry Birds video game have been a hit with adults and children.

“Angry Birds is definitely a big hit because it was such a hit game,” Ms. Beadell said. “It’s selling out across the board. It’s like the Tickle Me Elmo of Halloween.”

When it comes to women’s costumes, the obvious choice is to go sexy — a short dress or skirt, paired with fishnet stockings or knee socks.

“The sexy ones are the ones that sell the best,” Ms. Beadell said. “Women can put on this persona and have fun for the night.”

Corsets and sexy maid and nurse costumes are among the biggest sellers. And for the guys, comic book heroes are king.

“Captain America is a big one for the guys,” Ms. Beadell said. “The movie came out this year and the costume is rugged-looking so it appeals to a lot of guys.”

Star Wars and Harry Potter-themed costumes are also popular with men.

Mary and Larry Parks, of Ida, Mich. opted to go out as a couple for Halloween and in real life.

“I’m Katy Perry and he’s Russell Brand,” said Mrs. Parks, who is in her 50s.

Her costume featured a purple wig, striped knee socks, and and a red, white, and blue dress with a heart-shaped cutout in the back. Mr. Parks, 62, was on the hunt for long black, wavy locks.

“It’s fun. You can act outside of your normal self for the day,” Mrs. Parks said. “You’re never too old to dress up.”

Contact RoNeisha Mullen at: rmullen@theblade.com or 419-724-6133.



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