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Chicago does Halloween

October 23, 2012|By Zara Husaini @zarhus

Halloween has a way of creeping up every year, and for those of you who don't have the perfect costume already, you're not alone.

If you still need to costume shop, why not sneak in a visit to a costume store after a trip to the bar?  Starting tomorrow, Fantasy Costumes, 4065 Milwaukee Ave., will extend its hours.  The store will be open nonstop from now until Halloween. According to Frank Roberts, rental employee at the shop, customers flock to the store between the hours of midnight and 3 am.  “People rush in after bars,” he said, citing the economy as a major cause of last-minute shopping. 

Michael Goon, a spokesperson for Spirit Halloween, said the 10 to 15 days leading up to Halloween tend to be the busiest for the pop up store that’s only open seasonally. (Some locations open as early as late August, but all close on November 1.)

There are some topical options this year that’ll be big (we’re talking Big Bird big), but the classics tend to run the show.  And by classics, we mean sexy for the ladies and pop culture-inspired for the men. 

The "Sexy Wall" is Fantasy's  claim to fame – according to Roberts, the area around it is always packed with women clamoring for sexified versions of traditional costumes – from sexy French maids to sexy witches to sexy librarians.  Men tend to favor the macho, movie-inspired costumes, taking leads from "Star Wars," "The Dark Knight" and "Pirates of the Caribbean." Goon echoes this idea, saying that movie costumes tend to be popular for both sexes. He expects a lot of women to dress as Katniss Everdeen from the "Hunger Games," and Spirirt Halloween is launching an exclusive "Ted" costume, inspired by this year's comedy about a talking teddy bear.

With this being an election year, we'll likely see a lot of political costumes.  Romney and Obama masks have been extremely popular, according to Roberts.  Both Goon and Roberts think Obama masks will be especially popular in Chicago.  Roberts said that Rod Blagojevich and Rahm Emanuel costumes are available as well, though they aren't as popular as candidate masks.

Candidate costumes are so popular that, according to Goon, Spirit Halloween uses a "Presidential Index" to predict who will win the election based on which costume is bigger seller.  They've accurately predicted the past four elections. Which candidate will prevail this year? We'll have to wait until October 31 to find out.

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