– The different types of costumes available and what is hot for 2013.

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October is my favorite month. In my neck of the woods, the weather is not too cool and not too warm, it’s just right. The football season is well underway and Major League Baseball finally concludes its season. There are lots of festivals and outings, all of which are topped off by Halloween with “ghoulies and ghosties,” not to mention trick or treat.

I’ve always enjoyed the various Halloween costumes I’ve seen over the years. Some are prepared with great imagination, others are simply banged out by machine and available at various discount outlets. It has been my observation there are four categories of costumes:

1. TRADITIONAL – these are costumes representing the ghoulish side of Halloween, such as witches, ghosts, Jack O’ Lanterns, skeletons, pirates, Dracula, and the Frankenstein monster. Perhaps the best costume I have seen in this category was a friend dressed as the Wolf Man. He even went so far to glue dog hair on his head, chest, and hands. He also had some great artificial teeth with fangs. When he was done, he looked very much like the Wolf Man as portrayed by Lon Chaney, Jr. It was simply remarkable. I just wonder how long it took him to use mineral spirits to remove all of the hair afterwards.

Then of course there are the little girls dressed as princesses, and others dressed as clowns, maids and butlers, all of which represent the sedate side of Halloween.

2. TOPICAL – this involves some sort of pop culture reference. I suspect we will see a lot of Miley Cyrus lookalikes this year, but I shutter to think if they will be dancing like her. In the past, I’ve seen some great costumes to replicate people such as singer Dolly Parton, boxing promoter Don King (complete with his signature hair), and the various Presidents over the years, starting with Nixon. After the furor this summer, I’ll be curious to see if there will be any President Obama masks. It will either be incredibly popular or nonexistent as the NAACP has probably snapped up all of his masks.

Perhaps the best costume in this category, that I have seen, was someone dressed as John DeLorean, the famed automotive engineer responsible for creating the DeLorean DMC-12 sports car, which was made popular in the 1985 film, “Back to the Future.” As you might remember, DeLorean was arrested in 1982 for drug trafficking, a very high profile case. At a Halloween party later that year, we had a friend dress up as DeLorean, complete with business suit, loud tie, his signature gray hair, and little baggies filled with white cane sugar stuck on him and representing cocaine. He played the role perfectly and everybody loved it. It wasn’t a complicated costume but it was the hit of the party.

That’s just the point for costumes in this category, they need not be very elaborate, just something very timely that everyone has heard about. For example, a Michael Jackson impersonator may have been good a few years ago, but not today. Maybe there will be some George Zimmermans patrolling my neighborhood this year.

3. MOVIE/TV – this is perhaps the easiest category to find a costume, particularly kids who gravitate to comic book heroes now on the big screen, e.g., Spider Man, Iron Man, Thor, Captain America, Superman, Batman, etc. This year though, I expect to see some people dressed like Walter White from “Breaking Bad”, or perhaps some more zombies from “The Walking Dead.” I think we’ll also see some “Duck Dynasty” characters this year.

Years ago, Groucho Marx was a favorite. I also had a friend who had an outstanding Indiana Jones outfit, the best I’ve seen, complete with whip. One of my favorites though was a friend dressed as Father Guido Sarducci of SNL fame, and dating a pregnant nun. However, I don’t think too many people would recognize the character anymore. My wife and I dressed up as the SNL “Killer Bees” years ago and won the prize for best costume. The point is, SNL is still a good source for costume ideas.

4. AVANT GUARDE – this is my favorite category as you will see some rather nutty stuff dreamt up by people, with hand-made costumes and extensive makeup. I particularly enjoy those costumes where the person’s head is misplaced. It’s all rather creative, but I’m not sure how they go to the bathroom or have a drink. There are also the sexy and provocative outfits good for a laugh.

One of the best I’ve seen in this category was a friend who dressed as a legless beggar rolling around on a four wheel cart close to the ground. To this day, I still don’t know how he managed to hide his legs.


I searched the Internet to see what was planned for this season. At Purecostumes.com, I found a listing of the top masks, including:

1. Dark Harvest Ani-Motion Mask (a demented Jack O’ Lantern) 2. In Stitches Ripper Mask (evil clown) 3. President G.W. Bush Mask 4. Tormented Soul Ani-Motion Mask (angry ghost) 5. Dungeon Dweller Ani-Motion Mask (Frankenstein monster) 6. President Obama Mask. 7. President Clinton Mask. 8. Bart Simpson Mask. 9. Homer Simpson Mask.

10. Muckmouth Ripper Mask (ghoulish).

Frankly, I was surprised President Bush is still more popular than Obama and Clinton. I was also surprised to see the Simpsons were still popular after all these years.

It’s interesting what you see on All Hallows’ Eve; some people go out to make a political statement, some to terrorize the neighborhood in their own small way, but most are out simply to have a good time and enjoy a few laughs. My personal favorite is to have a young child come to your door for his/her first trick or treat. The parents watch closely nearby as the child knocks on the door (as he cannot reach the doorbell). When you open the door, he modestly muffles a “Twick or tweet.” His eyes sparkle as you offer candy; he is still amazed by the idea of getting something free. The parents admonish him to say, “Thank you,” before scurrying down the sidewalk to the next house. The look on the child’s face and their pristine costume is simply priceless.

I’m really not too sure who enjoys Halloween more, the adults or the kids.

Keep the Faith!

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 30 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at [email protected]

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Copyright © 2013 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

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Listen to Tim on WJTN-AM (News Talk 1240) “The Town Square” with host John Siggins (Mon, Wed, Fri, 12:30-3:00pm Eastern), KGAB-AM 650 “The Morning Zone” with host Dave Chaffin (weekdays, 6:00-10:00am Mountain), and KIT-AM 1280 in Yakima, Washington “The Morning News” with hosts Lance Tormey & Brian Teegarden (weekdays. 6:00-9:00am Pacific). Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube.

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