One obvious example of how Halloween costume selection reflects cultural trends is the observation that, although pirate costumes have long been favorite Halloween garb, the tremendous success of the Pirates of the Caribbean films propelled buccaneer-styled apparel to the upper reaches of recent "Top Halloween Costume" charts. The series of Spider-Man movies did the same for that comic book character, and the current spate of vampire-themed entertainment has pushed that always popular character type even higher on this year's Halloween costume list. And although masks of political figures were common Halloween garb for adults in 2008 (when the spooky holiday fell just a few days before the 2008 presidential election), such costumes look to be a far less popular choice for 2009:
Once again, witches take the top spot for adult costumes. Thanks to popular books, movies and television series, vampire costumes jumped to the number two spot from third last year. Hardest hit this year were nurse costumes, which fell from number five to number 13, and political figures, which didn't even make the list.
"The departure of both nurses and politicians from the top costumes list could be an indication that Americans would like to shelve the health care reform debate — at least for one night — to have a little bipartisan fun," said Tracy Mullin, [National Retail Federation] President and CEO.
|Top Children's Costumes 2009|
|5.||Pumpkin/Jack o' Lantern|
|8.||'Star Wars' character|
|Top Adults' Costumes 2009|
|5.||Wench / Tart / Vixen|
|8.||Scary costume/mask (generic)|
|Top Pets' Costumes 2009|
|1.||Pumpkin / Jack o' Lantern|
|3.||Bowtie / Fancy collar|
|5.||Superdog / Supercat|
Last updated: 12 October 2009
Federowicz, Jeffrey Allen. "Halloween Costumes Are Hot Items." [Pennsylvania] Centre Daily Times. 28 October 2006. Goldman, Abigail. "Halloween Costumes Fit Hollywood Well." Los Angeles Times. 27 October 2006. Nark, Jason. "For Adults, Halloween Costumes Get Risque, Rude." [New Jersey] Courier-Post. 28 October 2006. Petrecca, Laura and Matt Friedman. "Young Adults Go for Sexy Over Spooky." USA Today. 30 October 2006 (p. B3). Scott, Megan K. "The Top Halloween Costumes for Kids, Adults (Even Pets)." Hartford Courant. 25 October 2008. NRF. "Princess Continues Her Reign as Top Halloween Costume for Kids." Press Release. 26 September 2006. NRF. "Pop Culture, Election Play Role in Americans' Halloween Costume Choices." Press Release. 2 October 2008. NRF. "Vampires Move Up Top Costumes List; Nurses, Politicians Drop Off." Press Release. 1 October 2009.