San Angelo's Simple to Skanky Halloween Costumes


Candy, kids and ghost costumes made from sheets of low thread count: these used to be the images one associated with Halloween. Nowadays, the consumer holiday has become as much of an adult dress-up event as one for children, without much difference in the clothing.

San Angelo’s got the Spirit store, Wally’s Party Factory and a slew of local supermarkets with their own costume sections, offering city party goers a rather large variety of catwalk clown suits and cutesy cowgirl garb.

And when it comes down to female costumes, cute is generally expressed by minimal coverage. Wal-Mart has already seen a bit of backlash this holiday season on their “Naughty” toddler series, but the brazen costume trend is one whose trajectory has been steadily rising over the past couple of decades.

“I want to say the styles [have changed the most since I was a kid],” says Gina Peofry, owner of Wally’s Party Factory, “because it seems like they’re getting a little more risqué. Halloween has changed so much. It used to be scary, now it’s turning towards stuff you would wear in a strip club.”

Of the costumes for women available in both San Angelo stores, the best sellers are often those that are a bit more revealing. “We sell a ton of this stuff,” Poefrey says, motioning to the Leg Avenue selection of adult women costumes. “This tends to be more the risqué stuff.”

Spirit’s online store even offers a Miley Cyrus “Twerk It” costume, which is little more than an armless body with bear ears over the breasts. The costume has sold out online, and according to our local store, San Angelo won’t be receiving any stock, since demand is so high and supply is limited.

But sex appeal hasn’t been the only change over the past several years. Spirit store manager Donna Jones remembers what the costumes were like when she was younger. “We got them in Kmart in a box,” Jones said. “[Nowadays, they are] incredibly more graphic, easier to wear, easier for the kids to walk around in, they have better sight out of the masks. Now they’re really detailed.”

Both store owners say that the majority of costumes this year are inspired by movies and television series, like The Walking Dead and classics like Batman and Spiderman.

Surprisingly, superheroes and Duck Dynasty look-a-likes seem to be this year’s favorites among the male population. Both stores have seen exponential sales in beards and wigs since the costume stock appeared on the shelves.

“This is on our third shipment,” Peofrey says, motioning to a peg wall full of hooks with different sized beards hanging from them. The Spirit store says the same.

“I think Duck Dynasty [is our most popular costume]. We’ve sold the hell out of that this year,” Jones says, also referencing beards. “I guess it’s because it’s been such a popular show on cable, and it’s an easy outfit to do. We sell a lot of beards. Probably second is Walking Dead.”

Zombie and TV star ensembles are usually cheap and easy to put together, and Jones says that with so many beard sales this year, the average ticket price is running from $20-$25. There are, of course, the ever popular bagged costumes, which run from $50-$60 apiece, and these include complete outfits and accessories.

Poefry over at Wally’s Party Factory says her sales have remained in the $50 range. The store selection may not be as comprehensive as the Spirit store up the street, but they have a number of costumes in the “Discount Dungeon” on sale, and offer more flexible return policies.

“To me, there’s no competition,” Poefry says. She’ll be purchasing her costume this year from her own store at Wally’s. What she’ll be wearing she hasn’t decided yet.









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