National Halloween spending rises, students home make costumes
Published: Monday, October 22, 2012
Updated: Monday, October 22, 2012 21:10
The average price for an adult size costume at Spirit Halloween, a costume store in College Square shopping center, is $50 with some costumes costing up to $100. At some stores it is possible to find costumes exceeding $1,000, such as the authentic Storm Trooper costume that can be found on Halloween.com for $10,000.
The origins of Halloween and Halloween costumes date back more than 2,000 years, according to the National Geographic. Europe’s Celtic people celebrated their New Year’s Day, called Samhain, on Nov. 1. The night before Samhain, spirits were believed to travel the Earth to reach the afterlife. Celtics wore costumes to confuse the spirits and avoid being possessed.
Samhain was later adopted by the Christian religion and Nov. 1 became All Saints’ Day, also known as All Hallows’ Day, which later became known as Halloween and the tradition of wearing costumes continued. European immigrants brought Halloween to the U.S.
In 2011, Halloween spending reached about $70 per person, up from $55 per person in 2009, according to the National Retail Federation.
Freshman Marisa Portanova says she usually buys her costumes at Party City or Harrows, a costume store in New York, but she says that she often finds the costumes over-priced.
“Just considering that they are not made of a good material they should not be over $30,” Portanova says.
Some students prefer to make their own costumes. Kiragu says one of her friends has been making her costumes since freshman year of high school and she says she believes it is cheaper to make them instead of buying them.
Kiragua says making a costume allows students to have a one-of-a-kind outfit that no one else will wear.
“It’s cheaper to make your own costume and you can also put two characters in one costume,” Kiragu says. “For example you can be Cinderella and Snow White at the same time. You have more freedom to do what you want if you make your costume.”
Students such as junior Spencer Wilbert make their own costumes since it is cheaper and more creative. He says he will make costumes with cloth and might buy some accessories, but he has never considered buying a costume from a Halloween store. However, Wilbert says some people still prefer to buy an expensive costume.
“It depends on what kind of person you are,” Wilbert says. “If you want to be noticed for your costume or if you just want to have a good time at a party. For me, my costume just has to be an understandable joke.”
Sophomore Matthew Dec says he makes his own costumes with cloth he already has. Dec says he plans on dressing up as a citizen from the Capitol—characters from the book and film franchise “The Hunger Games” who are known for their crazy fashions, from colorful wigs to tattooed and dyed bodies.
Dec says whether or not a student should shell out money for a store-bought costume depends on where they are going. He says that it is understandable to buy an expensive costume if it is for an occasion.
“It depends on where you are going,” Dec says. “If you are going to a party, buying a costume is OK, but if you are just hanging out with friends it’s not.”
Wilbert says it is possible to make creative costumes with just a few accessories and materials and buying an expensive costume will not always make it original. Some of the most interesting costumes he has seen were homemade.
“The most fun costume that I’ve seen were a bunch of guys dressed as a bunch of characters from Mario Kart and riding around campus on scooters,” Wilbert says. “I think the students really liked it.”
Students are now looking for ideas for original costumes and preparing their outfits. Portanova says that she will be a rocker from the ‘80s, and that she will use some of her clothes to make her costume but will go to the mall to buy cheap accessories. Dec says he also needs to do some low-cost shopping for his costume.
Some costumes can also be made with accessories such as paint, Kiragu says. She says one of the most memorable costumes she’s seen was mostly done with paint, which can cost as little as $1 at Michael’s Crafts Store.
“I went to a party where a guy painted his face as Freddy Kreuger and I thought it was very cool,” Kiragu says. “And it stayed on until the end of the night.”