Halloween 2021 is shaping up to be a lot more fun than last year’s fright-filled COVID-19 holiday. Trick-or-treating for children in small groups should now be okay, experts say, and vaccinated grown-up kids can take part in small gatherings or outdoor activities with relative safety—like the Zoo Boo at the Houston Zoo, the Montrose street party at Eagle Houston, or Scream on the Green at downtown’s Discovery Green park.
So now the big question is, what will you be wearing? We talked to costume experts Sophia Romo, president and director of Erotic Cabaret, and Gino Chelakis, director of theatrical support at CostumeWorx.
Marene Gustin: How is this Halloween different than last year’s?
Sophia Romo: I think everyone is doing their shopping earlier this year. Last year, a lot of people weren’t sure anything was going to be open for Halloween due to COVID, so we had an influx of people come in last-minute.
Gino Chelakis: The biggest difference is that there is indeed some fairly healthy Halloween traffic this year, and the Renaissance Fair is happening as well.
Pop culture is driving a lot of costume choices this year, from Squid Game to Britney Spears. What are your most popular costumes?
SR: Right now, the best-sellers have been the characters from Scooby Doo and Austin Powers!
GC: We’re mostly a rental house, although we sell some makeup and accessories. That said, for us, Bridgerton, Cruella, and shows like The Witcher have created something of a buzz. When we get calls for Britney Spears or anything of that sort, we usually refer them to Erotic Cabaret.
Are scary and slutty costumes still popular?
SR: Yes! We managed to get some scary-yet-sexy clowns in, as well as sexy Toy Story characters for all genders.
GC: Scary is always popular, and the sexier side of our scary (like Morticia Addams) is always popular. We’re doing a lot of Viking women warriors this year. If not sexy, they’re certainly fierce!
What are the hottest LGBTQ costumes this year?
SR: [Our] best LGBTQ costumes are definitely Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn—our favorite [DC Comics] couple!
GC: We’ve fashioned a lot of Pose-inspired characters this year—those that want their RuPaul drag moment are always a thing, and we’ve done a couple of Wynonna Earp-inspired lady-cowboy cops this year. And several Lil Nas X-inspired characters, especially the Marie Antoinette look.
And what will you two be wearing this Halloween?
SR: If you can picture it, I’ll be a sexy bucket of movie popcorn!
GC: Over the course of the run-up to Halloween, I’m pulling something from our racks and dressing up almost every day. Come the great night, I’ll be wearing my PJs and a blanket, and I’ll be on the sofa with my dogs watching some classic horror pics.
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