Feb 20, 2013
Costume Scene for 2013
Abby Heugel, Managing Editor

From bits and pieces to complete creations

With this comprehensive guide to what costume trends are expected to take over the market in 2013, retailers will always have an answer to the age-old complaint of, “But I have nothing to wear!”

PPR: When it comes to costume sales in general, what do you predict for 2013?

Keith Johnson


I see that comfort and accessory kits ruling the day in this down economy. People will be pairing their own clothes with some cheap accessories to create a costume.

Sean Monahan

Party King

I think uniqueness mixed with value is where the focus should be. Of course, accessories and “building your own costume” sections in stores will continue to see growth – accessories offer originality to each consumer and less sticker shock. However, they can add up quickly for the retailer, especially if the consumer is shown other ways to make their costume experience better by adding additional items.

PPR: What new collections do you have to introduce to retailers?

Warren Berkowitz

Forum Novelties

This year we are introducing a revamped line of ghost costumes and accessories we have named “Ghostly Spirits,” a line of adult “S.W.A.T.” and a full comprehensive line of mix and match neon wearable accessories called “Club Candy” that’s perfect for Halloween and year round sales.


Our Pixel 8 line is going to be huge. They are all accessories that you can wear with normal comfortable clothing.


A core accessory addition is our collection of Knit Caps with latex details. Some have rats crawling on what appears to be a flesh wound, beetles, a knife through the head, etc.- basically fun and inexpensive add-ons.

For our costumes, we’re introducing our new line of “Fairytale Zombies” featuring many childhood characters “zombified.”

Mishal Verjee


While the core of our business remains Morphsuits, a range of more than 30 MorphMasks are a major cornerstone of the new product innovation that we have brought to market. Masks also provide a great way to add variety to the Morphsuits that they already own. While we started with block colors, we’ve now extended into Halloween masks, team supporter masks and many more.

Gary Schneider

Rasta Imposta

We are very excited about new additions to our Crayola and M&M’s line. Our 2013 Crayola line will be highlighted by the addition of a Glitz and Glitter dress for teens and adults, giving retailers another option to offer customers.

Julian Smith


We’re expanding our animal-themed costumes in the Smiffy’s and Fever brands, offering both fun and ‘club-night’ styles, and we have expanded our Second Skin collection to incorporate Halloween styles. We’re also introducing new “decades” costumes, three new sinister Halloween ranges, light-up costumes, “Instant-Kits” and a huge new range of masks and costume accessories.

PPR: What costume category or license do you see as being most prolific in 2013?


Most people out there already have costumes, so they will be recycling what they already have with some new accessories. Pirates, witches, etc. will still rule the day. I also feel that with the sexy costume craze the guy has really been left out of the equation. Providing smart fun and clever comfortable costumes for men will be a big trend in the industry in the coming years. Men typically do not like to costume, but if it is easy and comfortable and clever, they will be much more likely to spend some money.


I think zombies will continue to be strong and pop culture seems to be a white space opportunity for many as well.


We are proud to hold the license for “American Horror Story,” an ongoing and growing series with a cast of new scary characters every year. This is something that will be good for continued sales.


Rasta Imposta will introduce the following new licensed costumes for 2013 – The Grateful Dead, The Hangover, Cleatus – the Fox Sports robot highlighted on their NFL game broadcasts, Trash Pack, Lava Lamp and Fruit Ninja.

PPR: How can retailers increase costumes sales year round?


Outside of supporting the various holidays and themes that take place year round, you can never overlook the importance of the “dress up” market for kids. Whether it be a cute fairy, bee, ladybug, etc., these items will sell year round. Don’t overlook the dress up accessories either, such as wings, antennas, etc.


Introducing a “Decades” or “Theme Party” walls in the store that features costumes and accessories from the ’50s right up to the 2000s. This will be helpful as add-ons when people are looking through the store for party themes.


Find out what local groups have on their calendar for the year and think about festivals and cons as a way to increase business. People are starting to dress up for more than just Halloween. Last year in New York City Santa Con brought out more than 15,000 people wearing Christmas costumes. Promoting other cons like these would be a fantastic way to promote year around business.


Promote team colored Morphsuits for supporting sports teams or flag Morphsuits for a particularly patriotic day. This is even more important when it comes to children because they’ll dress up any time.

PPR: What do you suggest for costume add-on sales?


Eyeglasses, scarves, a deluxe hat or any accessory that will make your costume stand out more than just the store bought one will go a long way to add-on sales. Every year I work a few nights in our local year round costume shop and it’s easy to get customers to add a pair of glasses or a small accessory to their purchase if it goes really well with the costume.


Accessories! If your customer accessorizes properly, they will stand out even if someone else has the same costume. What hosiery are they going to wear? Would a wig help put them over the top? What about make-up? A good petticoat can turn a drab costume into something a little more appealing, and don’t forget the shoes! The accessories make the costume and are the easiest add-on sale there is.

PPR: What can retailers do to make the costume process buying easier and less stressful?


We often see stores hamper the shopping experience by trying to offer as wide a selection as possible, cramming product into every available square inch, making it extremely difficult to find what you are looking for and actually damaging sales as a result. Use available space wisely, with hot styles being displayed out of packaging to help the consumer visualize these products.

In our experience, customers like to browse, and technology is playing an important part in-store. Access in the store itself to your company website and product selection helps fine tune choices quickly, and having experienced staff who can help with this process is essential.


Putting all of their costumes and accessories in themes so the customer does not have to look all over the store to find the things that will make their costumes really shine.


Ease of trying costumes on is important, as well as enough help in the stores to really hold their hand through the process (if needed) and recommend options. We all have to remember that consumers don’t really need anything we have, but if we all do our jobs right they may want it. If retailers know how to give customers what they want, they will continue to be successful.

By showing him/her a great costume that will flatter them and then proposing some additional accessories to finish it off, you can help that customer create a persona that will be hard for them to match with any other retailer.

Now you’re making it easy for them and more likely for you to hold onto the sale.

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