Halloween night is only a day away and the search for the perfect costume is in full swing downtown.
Biology junior Cari Orniston waits in line to enter Costume Capers off of Chorro Street. She plans to dress up as Nancy Sprungen, the girlfriend of late Sex Pistols bassist, Sid Vicious. She has already assembled most of her outfit – tight pants, a “sleazy” shirt and a fur shawl – and has come to Costume Capers to pick up a wig. She plans to show off her costume this Friday at a party. “You’re allowed to go to your extreme and you’re not looked at like you’re weird. Everyone’s weird,” Orniston said of Halloween.
Store manager Brandon Farmer said traffic flow is nonstop this time of year at Costume Capers, a densely packed store with everything from boas to political masks hanging from the floor to the ceiling. Farmer said employees have been staying after hours each night, sometimes until 4 a.m., restocking for the next day.
Pirate costumes are the most popular items this year, Farmer said, a by-product of the “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest” release this summer. Oktoberfest costumes have been popular items for girls, he said, a result of the movie “Beerfest” that also came out this year. And there are always the staples: “Star Wars,” skeleton, Grim Reaper, devil and angel costumes.
Still outside, agriculture business senior Eric Johnson said he isn’t sure what he wants to be, but is leaning toward a Superman outfit with a Clark Kent suit over it. He said he plans to hang out at Marti’s Bar and Grill and other parties downtown for Halloween.
“Everyone dresses up and gets crazy,” Johnson said of his favorite part about the holiday. “Inhibitions are lost.”
Down the street, women swarm at Fanny Wrappers, a lingerie store for most of the year, to pick out racier costumes. Manager Linda Murray said the store’s pirate costume has also been a top seller this year. Bumblebees, ladybugs, cops and firefighters are also popular items, Murray said. There’s even a Hugh Hefner costume for men.
Fanny Wrappers also helps its customers put together their own costumes. Past customers have made “The Matrix” costumes out of the store’s corsets. The store’s petticoats and wigs have also helped complete costumes.
“The girls get a chance to be less conservative and get to dress to be something they’re not,” said employee Kendra Barton.
A few blocks down in The Creamery, Moai Sue sells Halloween accessories from lobster hats to bowling ball sunglasses. Owner Sue Schinsing said her pirate accessories like hooks, gold teeth, swords and parrots have been the most popular items this year. She also sells wigs and has Polynesian accessories like leis, grass skirts and coconut bras.
Schinsing said the unpredictability of Halloween is what makes it different from any other holiday.
“The popular themes change every year. You never know what’s coming,” she said. “One year it’s French maids, the next year it’s whatever.”