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Halloween is all about fun and treats, parties, dashing through a chilly evening to collect candy, and of course, the costume. Kids’ costumes are easy to select from online outlets to big box store racks. Adult offerings are a bit trickier, and many can be quite elaborate and expensive, depending on the type of party.

Halloween is one of my favorite holidays. I loved dressing up when I was younger and now I love seeing children all dressed up going trick-or-treating. Even though Halloween is a less than a month away, it’s time to start thinking about what you want to be, if you haven’t done so already. In my experience it’s not wise to wait until the last minute because costumes will start to sell out and many decorations that you desire using. Last thing you want is your child to be bummed out on Halloween!!  If your child is not sure what he or she wants to be this year, I have listed some great costume ideas!!

FROZEN – For kids, costumes from the year’s big box office hits are always popular. This is the year of Frozen! Elsa and Anna costumes to be some of the most popular choices for girls this Halloween, and the Olaf costume hoodie for boys as well. These princesses are spunky and independent, and the fearless girls are identifying with, and loving these positive role models.

NINJA TURTLES are a popular choice year after year for all ages, but with the movie reboot having been released this year, we expect the new, officially licensed, movie–based turtle costumes to be a huge hit for boys especially this Halloween for some unknown reason. These new styles feature realistic looking green skin detailing and coloring, and masks with defined noses, just like the turtles in the movie.

GUARDIAN OF THE GALAXY – This movie was a blockbuster hit, and it is expected that matching kids costumes to mirror that popularity this Halloween, particularly for the kids is the Rocket Raccoon costume. He’s a fun/spunky character, and animal costumes are top sellers year after for kids to begin with. It’s a winning combination!  For the girls there is a Gamora costume, the perfect strong heroine in a jumpsuit – for those girls who aren’t looking for the traditional princess-type Halloween character.

SUPERHEROS – Superheroes will always be a top kids costume selection. For boys, the “muscle chest” type styles always do the best, and expect Captain America, Winter soldier, and Rocket Raccoon to be the year’s biggest sellers. For girls, female versions of traditionally male superhero characters might be big trend this year. These fun costume “remixes” feature tutus, and are the perfect mix of bold/spunky and feminine/flouncy!  Expect to see Girl Hunks, a Girl Captain America, and a Girls Buzz Lightyear to be among the most popular.

GRUNGY GIRLS STYLES AS OPPOSED TO CUTESY GIRLS STYLES –   Of course many young ladies will still opt for the traditionally pastel/girly styles, and among these include the Care Bear and My Little Pony tutu style dresses to be the biggest sellers. But this year more than in Halloweens past, girls are leaning towards “grungy,” edgier styles and colors. Examples include costumes like our gothic ragdoll, voodoo doll, and zombie cheerleader. Along with this gothic twist, more kids are getting into the “Day of the Dead” costume trend that was just for adults in years past. Girls are enjoying everything from the gems and flower embellishments, to the funky skeleton makeup effects that tend to accompany this kind of dress-up.

Knit “Homemade” Looks for Babies/Infants – This knit/crochet “do it yourself” aesthetic is a popular baby/infant choice both on Halloween, and (perhaps surprisingly) year-round, because scheduling themed “newborn photo-shoots” has been a huge trend among parents this year. We carry full costumes/baby buntings like a little snowman, caterpillar, carrot, etc., but we also carry knit “accessory” kits that usually include a diaper cover and a hat. Popular examples of this accessory pack include our infant police officer and infant cowboy looks. We also sell just hats, in cute styles like feathery owls. TOO cute!

UNIQUE ANIMALS – Traditional animal costumes like puppies and bears will remain Halloween staples, but we’ve seen an increase in “unique animal” kids costume sales. We are the exclusive retailer of several of these animals, including dolphin costumes, frog costumes, a bull costume, giraffe, snake costume, and squirrel costume, among others! Some other ideas for those that love to dress up their pets could include. The list is out and if you’re a dog you are probably waiting with baited breath to find out what kind of costume are they going to put you in this year. The National Retail Federation said that Americans will spend $350 million on pet costumes and the costumes run the gamut from predictable to far-out.

Let’s start with what’s new. It is my understanding that the Minion Pet Costume is new, along with Wonder Woman, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Darth Vader, Captain America and Ghost Busters. Some of these are old hat for humans, of course, but they fall into the latest fashions category for dogs.  The trend seems to be that people will buy a pet costume to complement what the owner is wearing. So don’t be surprised if you see a family of Ninja Turtles and one of them has 4 legs.

The top 10 according to The National Retail Federation are: (1) Pumpkin; (2) Hot Dog; (3) Devil; (4) Bumble Bee; (5) Cat; (6) Batman Character; (7) Superman; (8) Witch; (9) Ghost and Pirate (tie); and (10) Star Wars Character.   People really like to dress up their dogs like food. Big sellers so far this year are the hot dog and taco. Pugs seem to be the dog of choice for these costumes.   You can’t go wrong with Star Wars costumes. If you have a favorite sports team, let your dog be the cheerleader or star quarterback. Many team options are available but be warned they do sell quickly.   Icons of the music industry are a huge hit like the Elvis costume. For some reason people like to embarrass their dog!

Just be careful your dog can’t swallow any part of the costume and that they can see where they are walking. Remember chocolate is a killer for dogs. Stick to dog treats. After all, your dog is still a dog, even if he’s dressed like Elvis.

It appears that adults are putting a lot of thought into Halloween this year. Some trends include: (1) Younger adults are more likely to be in costume; (2) Married couples are more active in Halloween activities (costumes, candy-buying, decorating, etc.) than singles; and (3) 5 percent of pet owners plan to dress up their pet for Halloween.

Many costumes can be put together through coordinating pieces that share color palates, textures, or themes. Halloween is one of those times when unlikely colors can come together with stripes, polka dots, lace and other accessories to create a trendy look that doesn’t appear homemade.

Americans are expected to spend like foolish ghouls this Halloween, according to a recent survey by the National Retail Federation.    Overall, $7.4 billion is projected to be spent on Halloween goodies in 2014.

Spice up your yard with a simulated plane crash or get your pet a costume. But whatever you do, don’t let this spooky day be boring. There are a lot of unique costumes, pumpkins and haunted houses in the world, so I wanted to share some ideas.

Witches, zombies and vampires will be taking over this Halloween. Also, the most popular haunting trends for 2014 include like “The Hunger Games” and “Divergent”. People have become accustomed to highly realistic special effects in their entertainment media, such as movies and television programs and video games “Particularly hot are young adult fiction and movies like ‘The Hunger Games,’ ‘The Maze Runner’ and Veronica Roth’s ‘Divergent’ series. Halloween is less than two weeks away. Many people are still debating what treats to give out, costume choice, and even if they will wear a costume. What is trending for Halloween this year? Kids’ costumes are easy to decipher- just go to any store. Treat trends are harder to follow, especially healthy offerings, or non-food items.

I am hearing that many homes are planning to hand out a non-candy snack like fruit or pretzels, rather than snack size candy bars on Halloween.   Treats given out should be factory wrapped for safety, or non-food items should be washable. The days of lovingly creating homemade delights for the general public has disappeared due to the acts of a few despicable individuals who poison or booby trap giveaways.

Depending on your budget and expected volume of trick or treaters, here are some offerings that are a bit different and fun. You can even have different baskets for boys or girls, close friends/neighbors vs. general kids, or older vs. younger kids. (1) Packs of mini play dough. Little ones love molding, sculpting, rolling, and designing with this classic toy. The fun lasts a lot longer than a candy bar; (2) Inexpensive Halloween themed toys that come in multipacks from the dollar store, box stores, teacher stores, or craft outlets. Select straws, slide puzzles, hair decorations (for girls), or gummy type creatures; (3) Miniature bottles of water or all natural juice boxes (kids get always thirsty when out trick-or-treating); (4) Light-up glow sticks, which can usually be found in a packs of 10 or 15 at craft or box stores for only $1. These are also a safety help; (5) Spooky pencils and erasers, and mini activity books are all good options; (6) Toothbrushes. Big kids might turn their noses up to this, but young kids may think new toothbrushes are fun. Dollar stores are a great source. Ask your dentist’s office for toothpaste samples, as well; (7) Mini packs of raisins or other dried fruit snacks; (8) Inexpensive little books or activity pads from thrift stores, garage sales, or the dollar store; (9) Leftover birthday favors, hair decorations or other “junk drawer” goodies you would sell for a quarter at a garage sale; (10) Temporary tattoos and/or stickers; (11) Small bags of microwavable popcorn; (12) Fruit leather (made with 100% fruit); and (13) Dollar store crayon packs and coloring books. Tape one of each together ahead of time or place in 2 separate baskets.

Kathy Kiefer


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