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Neon Tommy - Annenberg digital news

Affordable Is The New Black And Orange This Halloween

Irma Widjojo |
October 31, 2009 | 11:30 a.m. PDT

Staff Reporter
Aahs! in Santa Monica sells traditional costumes, but many customers are heading to
thrift stores instead. (photo by Irma Widjojo)

Michael Jackson, vampires and thrift stores are the trends for this year's All Hallow's Eve.

With the tragic death of Michael Jackson this year and the vampire craze that is sweeping the nation, expect to see a lot of MJ and the Cullen clan wannabes  from the Twilight saga roaming the streets on Halloween this year.  
"We had a section of Michael Jackson's costume and accessories," said Vicky Quero, store manager of Party City on Sepulveda Boulevard. "Everything was sold out in the first couple of weeks. Gloves are really popular."

However, the recent death is still too raw for some people to dress up as the King of Pop.

"I've had people tell me that it is too early [to dress up as Michael Jackson]," Suris Medel, manager of Aahs! in Santa Monica, said. "But, there is still a demand for it."

Medel also said that one of the most popular costumes for little girls is the vampire dress.

"Vampires are definitely more popular this year," she said. "Especially with all the vampire movies that are out now."

This year, however, the Jacko and Edward Cullen impostors are not looking to break the bank shopping at these specialty stores.

"This is the worst year I have ever seen in my five years working here," Mendel said. "Normally, people can't even walk through the aisles and things just get crazy."

This year, the store is anything but crazy, with no line for the register.
"People want to save money and many just come in here to look for ideas," she added.

And those who already have the ideas are moving to the more affordable shopping option: thrift stores.

Brooke Fitzmorris, 20, browsed through the rack at a Goodwill store < www.goodwill.org > in West Los Angeles to complete her cat costume. This was Fitzmorris's first time going to thrift stores for Halloween.

"I've always gone to the party stores," she said. "But this year I'm trying to save money and the things there are way too expensive."

Fitzmorris has also gone as far as making her own cat ears by using black felt material, a headband, some wires and glitter to her Halloween parties this week.  

"It's cheaper and I can make it the way I want it to look like," she added.
Jaime Richter,30, and Io Diosdado, 32, have always preferred going to thrift stores rather than the specialty stores for their Halloween costumes.

"The things are cheap enough so that I don't feel bad when I have to alter them, like spray paint or cut them apart," Diosdado said. "The ready-made costumes also look a little weird most of the time anyway."

However, Richter added that it does take a little longer to shop at thrift stores.

"You need to spend the time to look for the specific stuff," she said. "You have to come with a specific idea in mind."

Money might be an issue for most this Halloween, but thrift stores have definitely offered the option to still dress up and be creative within a budget.

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