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Halloween Costumes

Updated on July 10, 2014
Party Girl profile image

Hi, I am Adele, and I have run a large fancy dress shop in Essex, England since 1998. Happy to pass on my knowledge to help others.

Ghostly Bride Halloween Costume
Ghostly Bride Halloween Costume

Halloween Costumes

Halloween can be traced back over 2000 years. The correct spelling is Hallowe'en. Based on a Pagan festival, halloween is also known around the world as:

  • All Hallows Eve
  • Samhain
  • All Hallowtide
  • The Feast of The Dead, which may run on into 'All Saints Day' on 1st November. This date is also celebrated in Latin American countries such as Mexico.

Wearing of masks on Halloween stems from religious beliefs that a mask would protect the wearer from the spirits as they couldn't be recognised. It was believed that the dead would play tricks on the living, causing chaos. Gifts of food were given to passing druids to appease the dead. This is believed to be how 'Trick or Treating' came to be today.

Halloween is a major festival in the US Although it is said to have been 'imported' by Irish immigrants) and is gaining momentum every year in the UK. There are some differences in the US and the UK markets. In the US people will wear any type of costume whereas in the UK the majority will stick to the Halloween/Horror theme (however, every year we have seen more general costumes being purchased or hired at Halloween in our shop in the UK).

As we said above, some Latin American countries, notably Mexico, celebrate a 'Day of the Dead' at the same time as Halloween. This is a rather more colourful and decorative festival, involving the honouring of 'those who have gone before'. A principal feature of this festival is the Sugar Skull decorative design, which is becoming an increasingly popular face-paint alternative to the more normal halloween horror designs.

The range of Halloween costumes is growing year on year. The trend, especially in the under- 30s is to buy a costume rather than hire. The quality of these packaged costumes is getting better and better and it is also nice to see that the range of sizes is also improving. It is now quite easy to get costumes for the larger figure.

Many major retailers also stock Halloween ranges. This has caused friction between them and traditional fancy dress shops who argue that they are taking away a large slice of the Halloween market. This market will continue to be fought over as more of the 'seasonal' shops come into the Halloween market.

The traditional costume shop will need to evolve to be able to compete in this market. Rather than trying to compete with the 'cheap and cheerful' type of merchandise that is found in your local supermarket or garage forecourt, they should offer quality and look for niche lines. Do not overlook your local costume shop, you cannot beat the expert advice they can give you, as well as being available all year round. If they are not supported many will close and, that will just reduce the choices you have to the few lines the supermarket chains run at limited times of the year. Imagine that, you turn up to your party and everyone is dressed the same!

Winged Reaper
Winged Reaper
Sexy Witch Costume
Sexy Witch Costume

Sexy Halloween Costumes

'Sexy' costumes are the biggest area of growth in the costume market. There is a huge range of sexy halloween costumes available, from those that are suitable just for the bedroom to the less risqué! Do take care when ordering online as some of the sizes may be very small. It is normally worth double checking with your supplier to establish sizes.

If you are wearing fishnets with your costume and you are not confident about your legs, try this tip. Put on a pair of American Tan type of tights first and then wear the fishnets over the top. Not only will it look like you have a nice colour, it will help to give your legs a nice shape.

We have a large range of ladies Halloween costumes to suit all ages and sizes and for everyone's budget. Check out our website (in link list) where you can see all the Halloween range - including all the new costumes for this year.

Devil Man & Lady
Devil Man & Lady

Large Sized Halloween Costumes

The range of larger sized costumes available for both men and women has improved so much in the last couple of years. Check out my hub on large sized halloween costumes

Only a year or so ago and a 'plus' sized costume would barely fit an average sized UK dress size 14 which is hardly a large size. Nowadays we have a large stock of costumes right up to a UK size 20.

If you have any doubt over the fit of a costume, just give us a call and we will give advice over the telephone (or email). We will even measure any costume for you.

Larger sized pretty witch costume
Larger sized pretty witch costume
Zombie Halloween Costume
Zombie Halloween Costume

Male Halloween Costumes

Until recently men did not have much choice at Halloween. Okay, so they could go as Count Dracula, a Devil, Grim Reaper or a Wizard but there was not a lot of choice. Well, luckily for all you men, that has now changed. Probably due to the success of Pirates of The Caribbean, skeleton pirates have been a real success. Zombie costumes are also available and go up to a plus size. Zombies were very popular last Halloween as were the improved ghosts. However, many men just do not like dressing up at all. With a Halloween theme you can get away with just wearing a black cloak or failing that, just 2 small red teeth marks on your neck and a pair of vampire teeth!

Go on - be a Devil!

Beetlejuice Costume
Beetlejuice Costume
Deluxe Devil Costume
Deluxe Devil Costume

Trick or Treating Costumes

If you are being the 'responsible' adult, out Trick or Treating with children, you neede to wear a Halloween costume that is both comfortable, warm and with good vision (to keep an eye on the kids).

Try to avoid full masks and costumes that drag on to the floor.

You may want to purchase a cape to cover your costume, or go up a size so you can get some warm clothes underneath.

It is always wise to carry a torch when Trick or Treating: Aside from its practical use for helping you see where you are going, it is, of course, also useful for holding under the chin to give your face some scary illumination!

Halloween Morphsuits

Recent and popular additions to the range of Halloween costumes available have been the spooky versions of 'morphsuits' coming onto the market with outfits based on pumpkins, skeletons and zombies now available Although figure-hugging (and not the warmest thing to wear on an October night), these outfits can add novelty and impact to your Halloween dress-up outings.

Zombies and Liquid Latex

Recent years have seen increased enthusiasm for doing zombies for Halloween as a DIY costume, and for many this may involve use of liquid latex, which creates that great torn skin effect. Whilst you don't have to 'always read the instructions before use', it does help if you give them a lookover a least once, especially the bit about it being best to use it on hair-free skin. There are many good tutorials on social media on how to make best use of this product and create a good zombie look - they are, as you might say 'to die for'.

Devil Lady Costume
Devil Lady Costume


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    Post Comment

    • profile image

      Halloween Costumes London 

      10 years ago

      Hi Party Girl.

      Nice Post on Halloween, especially the History and the previous names.

      I see you don't have any videos. I think you will like some of the video's I have on

      I've also uploaded some video's of a Party that I attended last year.

      If you enjoy it feel free to post a comment!


    • Elsa is Elsa profile image

      Elsa is Elsa 

      10 years ago from Anywhere - Canada most of all

      Great to have some history to Halowe'en - and to get ideas of what to wear when Hallowe'en next comes around. Thanks for this hub.


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