Halloween: Everyone in costume!

Top costume shops tell all about the trendy, tried, true and tired Halloween costumes they are pushing this year.

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Alice wondered what good was a book without pictures or conversations, and we wonder what good is Halloween without a costume. As it happens, Alice and a few of her Wonderland denizens will be out galavanting on October 31, if our highly unscientific poll results pan out.

Andrea Bogle, supervisor at Glow Parties Costume & Party Superstore (3600 Strawberry Hill, 443-4569) reports that there’ll be a few Mad Hatters on the streets of Halifax this weekend, but most popular costumes for sale or rent in her store are characters from Star Trek. “The Spock ears are going fast,” she says. And there’ll be more than a few vampires, naturally. “Not so much the costumes, but the fangs.” Most popular at Glow Parties for women is the cop costume. (Hey, isn’t it illegal to impersonate an officer of the law?) “If they don’t want to be a cop we usually suggest a firefighter,” says Bogle, who says another option popular this year for women is the standard gangster, complete with fedora and pin stripes. “We even have pink machine guns.” Their hours Thursday and Friday are 9am-9pm, Saturday 9am-5pm.

Allie’s New Boutique (1144 Barrington Street, 420-1070) is also known as Allie’s Costume Magic to those in the know, due to the over 4,000 costumes filling the two-bedroom apartment upstairs from Allie Edgecombe’s shop. They are descending this week, and go for sale or rent. Her plan is, in fact, to sell more of the older ones. “I have so many I can do that,” she admits. “Plus, I’m running out of space.” She says people are asking for crazy things this year. “Leiderhosen,” she says. “And belly dancers again. A lot of people are asking about furry characters. Two people asked me if I had a bull costume. It’s sort of weird.” On weeks that don’t precede Halloween, Edgecombe’s most popular items are her handbags, imported weekly from New York City and going for a sweet $45-$55 each. “No one can touch them in this town,” she says. “Halifax deserves to have what Manhattan has.”

Over at Second Hand Rose (1272 Hollis Street, 423-0617), Shirley Hart reports that pirates are a popular choice this year. “And for women, it’s anything that’s sexy.” That includes Cleopatra and Corpse Brides. “Everyone wants a bridal dress.” For between $20 and $30, Second Hand Rose has some great deals, and it's open from 10am-7pm Thursday, Friday and Saturday, or “thereabouts, anyway.”

If sexy is at the forefront of your brain---or one of your other organs---you may want to drop by Night Magic Fashions (5268 Sackville Street, 420-9309), which offers costumes for staying in and going out. Traditionally popular for women are the nurse, schoolgirl, French maid and, yes, cop costumes. Don’t be surprised if you purchase them from Night Magic you’ll find they’re often as much flesh as fabric. “A lot of women want to go as characters,” says store operator Pamela Smith, including Alice in Wonderland---her again!---Little Red Riding Hood and Strawberry Shortcake.

For men, “the RCMP, racecar driver and football player are fun,” says Smith, who says the men’s costumes are a little less risqué. “They’re all covered.”

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