Welcome back! Today we're going to talk about a Halloween Staple! Costumes! This one is a bit wrapped up in nostalgia. But hey, what isn't this time of year, right?
One of the sure-fire ways of knowing the Halloween season is upon us is the arrival of Halloween costumes in all of the stores.
People have been celebrating Halloween with costumes for quite some time. In colonial America, it wasn't uncommon for adults to have masquerades during the fall season. But it wasn't until the early 20th century when Halloween parties for children began to grow in popularity, mainly to hopefully distract children and teenagers from being overtly mischievous on the holiday. Since then, Halloween costumes have gone through a crazy evolution. Some early costumes were DIY projects, which look particularly spooky when seen in an aged black & white photograph. Then when department store saw the growing craze, of course they had to get in on it and start mass producing costumes. The quality improved, but not by too much.
For a guy who grew up in a small town in the 1980s, a trip to the local drug store would have been the Halloween hot stop. Two whole isles devoted to costumes and decorations (more on decorations in another post)! The two popular costume companieswere Ben Cooper Inc. and Collegeville. Both of which had been around decades before losing steam in the late 1980s. These children's costumes consisted mainly of a mask that was made out of cheap plastic and painted with some fluorescent colors. The suit part of the costume was a thin vinyl smock that typically had a picture of what you were supposed to be dressed as showcased on the chest/stomach portion of the suit.
Now, Halloween costumes are a HUGE money making industry. So much to the point that there are numerous seasonal pop up shops like Spirit of Halloween that seem to just appear from overnight. But I'm OK with that. I'm sure I'm not the only one. Costumes have also become more elaborate and intricate. Nothing like attention to detail!
Costumes and dressing up have always been a constant for the modern Halloween tradition. It almost seems wrong to not have fun with it.