Princesses, witches top lists of hot costumes for 2010


Oct. 28, 2010 at 5:28 a.m.

Tiny Mariah Saenz navigated the grounds at Riverside Park clad in play clothes, her black hair pulled into a bun.

On Sunday, however, the almost-2-year-old will doll it up with a Snow White Halloween costume as she prepares for a night of trick-or-treating.

She isn't alone.

An estimated 120 million children, grown-ups and pets will don costumes this year, according to a National Retail Federation news release. And costumes are going fast throughout the Crossroads area.

The big sellers at Victoria's Card and Party Factory include characters from the movies "Toy Story" and "Alice in Wonderland," said Jimmy Gibbs, a clerk at the store.

"Alice in Wonderland, those costumes are already gone," he said. "But we still get asked questions about them. They're probably the most popular ones."

Although newer pop culture icons might be catching on, old favorites such as vampires and werewolves also remain popular.

Spirit Halloween has also kept busy with holiday spenders, said Bianca Rojas, a store cashier. It's busy throughout the day, but the big rush comes when school lets out.

"We make our sales," she said, in between assisting customers with payments. "People come in here with two or three kids, and they'll spend $200 on costumes for everyone."

Law enforcement costumes are popular at Spirit, Rojas said, explaining that includes police SWAT team, military and sailor outfits. Butterflies, pirates, goddesses and Hercules-type costumes are also hot.

"It's a variety," Rojas said. "A little bit of everything."

Nationwide, princess costumes rated the No. 1 children's costume choice for the sixth consecutive year, according to a BIGresearch survey for the National Retail Federation. Witches top the list for adults, while pumpkin get-ups are the pet population's chosen look.

Katelyn Jimenez, 6, opted for a witch costume herself this year. She said she planned to celebrate the holiday with a party and some trick-or-treating.

While people are still spending money on holiday celebrations this year, the economy has had an impact on many people's costume plans, according to the BIGresearch survey. Of the more than 9,000 people polled, 18.5 percent said they plan to use last year's attire, while 19.5 percent planned to make their own.

"Americans are excited about Halloween but are still being frugal and pinching their pennies where they can," Phil Rist, BIGresearch's executive vice president of strategic initiatives, said in the release.

Gibbs said he isn't surprised.

"I think, no matter how troubled people are or how difficult times are, they're still out here celebrating whatever season it is," he said. "Weddings, birthdays, Halloween, they still celebrate it."



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