Ah, Halloween. The perfect escape from the humdrum of everyday fashion normality. For those who wait all year for the chance to cake on the makeup, dress like an '80s prom queen or change their names to Cullen or Compton and insert fangs, now is the time to shine.
Americans are expected to emerge from the minimal spending that spooked retailers last year and throw down an estimated $5.8 billion on cavity-inducing candy, spider webs and Halloween paraphernalia, according to the National Retail Federation's 2010 Halloween Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey. After hearing from 9,291 consumers, the federation expects that individuals will spend around $66.28 each, the majority of which will go toward a costume.
This year's biggest costume trends, according to Los Angeles costume retailers, will have you thinking you're from another world, becoming a quick-change artist or putting on your best poker face.
To view all the costumes, click here for a gallery.
The hissing, blue-skinned human-hybrid Neytiri may wear close to nothing while running around on planet Pandora, but the humanoid is inspiring some of the bestselling costumes this year. Most are skintight blue jumpsuits with attached tails, dark stripes and a skimpy apron that looks more like a loin cloth. You can purchase a full Neytiri costume at Hollywood Toys & Costumes for $64.99. If you're short on cash, you can create your own avatar with some body paint and chunky, space-inspired jewelry. Just be sure to give yourself an avatar-worthy Na'vi name.
Hollywood Toys & Costumes sold out of their Lady Gaga Poker Face Video Swimsuit costume within the first week of receiving the skin-tight blue suits. The barely there costume with a plunging neckline comes with blue Michael Jackson-ish gloves and is available at Rickyshalloween.com for $49.99. The queen of pop has officially licensed her music-video look along with a couple of other memorable outfits, such as her 2009 MTV Video Music Awards performance apparel: white, single-sleeved midriff top and hot pants. License or not, you could just throw some soda cans in your hair, have someone named Alejandro light your cigarette and call it a day.
The angry steward
Make an entrance — or more appropriately, an exit — as the angry steward of JetWho? inspired by former JetBlue employee Steven Slater, who memorably spewed profanities to a cabin full of passengers on the tarmac at New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport, deployed the plane's emergency slide and made a getaway from his job, grabbing some beer on the way out. Don the angry steward costume by Ricky's NYC, which consists of a flight attendant shirt, tie and Band-Aid to apply when that pesky customer hits you over the head with some oversized baggage. The costume is available to buy online for $39.99 from Rickyshalloween.com. Make sure to double-fist your way through the big night with the beverage of your choice and try to manage a smile through the snarl that will keep you in character.
The Old Spice guy
We've all seen the commercials with Isaiah Mustafa wrapped in a towel or wearing crisp khakis on a horse. Now your man can look and smell like the man you wish your man could smell like too — well, at least for one day of the year. All he'll need is a white towel (or khakis), a sexy baritone voice and a bottle of Old Spice body wash. It wouldn't hurt for him to walk around with a swagger and impart invaluable wisdom to fellow Halloween partygoers: "Smell like a man, man."
A tale of two seas
Ever experience the unfortunate party faux pas of showing up to a costume soiree only to find that another partygoer is sporting the same look? Oh, the absolute horror! No need to fret if you're in a quick-change costume by Dreamgirl for $51.99. In less than 30 seconds you can unhook, twist and pull a short and sexy sailor dress into a full-length mermaid costume. The sailor-mermaid duo is available at Ozzie Dots in Silver Lake.
'Alice in Wonderland'
The 2010 Tim Burton film version brought this Disney classic to the forefront of the costume world, spurring a Halloween trend full of wonder, mystery and danger. But you don't have to be as mad as a hatter to survive it. You can flee the Red Queen, befriend a Cheshire Cat and keep your head in a pretty blue dress with white lace ruffled sleeves, striped glovettes and a petticoat. The full Alice ensemble is available at Hollywood Toys & Costumes for $59.99 or at Disneystore.com for $49.95.
It seems the pickle-loving, über-tanned "Jersey Shore" star is everywhere. As if securing her own MTV "Jersey Shore" spinoff show and appearing in a "South Park" spoof weren't enough for the pint-sized star, she's taking over Halloween. Snooki costumes are popping up for sale on Starcostumes.com, Costumesupercenter.com and a slew of other retail sites for less than $50, but why spend the money when you can put together a Snookerific look of your own? All you'll need is a short, skintight party dress (preferably black or leopard print), some orange-colored face makeup, a bump-it hair style and a pout. Acting like an overall hot mess is an encouraged, but optional, behavioral costume addition.