What’s NOT: gory, trending and risqué costumes
Goodwill’s First National Halloween Poll in partnership with ORC International research
- ST. PETERSBURG, FLA (Oct. 8, 2014) – According to a random national poll of American adults commissioned by Goodwill, funny, minimalist and unique costumes are America’s top adult Halloween choices this year. Funny and minimalist costumes topped the charts at 17%, closely followed at 14% by “very unique attire.” The iconic or classic costume was preferred by 11% of Americans, followed by couple’s costumes at 10%. Gory (4%), trend costumes (2%) and risqué attire (1%) lagged far behind the popular choices.
Goodwill’s First National Halloween Poll contains three perspectives: a random phone and cell phone national survey of 1,005 respondents independently conducted by ORC International research (also CNN’s official pollster); a separate “Do-It-Yourself” national in-store costume poll of more than 8,500 respondents held in 90 Goodwill stores in Florida, Washington, California, Nevada, Texas, Illinois, Wisconsin and Minnesota on Sept 29 – Oct 6; and the opinions of the world’s top Halloween costume designers and manufacturers.
Poll results revealed below are:
- All about those parties, why the big surge, what type, and party themes…
- Dressing to impress: what impresses men & women most. How they differ.
- Top “Do-It-Yourself” costumes across America; DIY –vs- packaged
- Best advice on creating a costume – 1,000 ideas from Goodwill
BIG SURGE OF PARTIES THIS YEAR !
Goodwill’s National Poll (ORC) reports that 39% of adults plan to attend or host a party this year. 19% will attend a party for adults (3% will host); 16% will attend a party for both adults and children (4% hosting); and 15% will attend a party primarily for children (with 4% of brave adults hosting).
Industry experts are predicting strong trends toward medieval and period (20’s, 50’s, 60’s and 80’s) parties this year (more detail under Packaged Costumes below).
DRESSING TO IMPRESS
Minimalist attire slipped from first to a tie for third place when it came to impressing others.
An overwhelming 34% of women and 24% of men are most impressed by someone wearing a “very unique costume” – something completely original/one-of-a-kind. Second place for both men and women went to “funny costumes” with 28% of women and 20% of men being most impressed with someone wearing that category (ORC).
Women and men differed on third place choices. Women favored both iconic/classic costumes (9%) and minimalist costumes (8%) – just a mask and a cape or similar for their third pick. Men (13%) preferred risqué costumes – compared with 1% for women (ORC).
A distant fourth for both men and women are trend costumes (6%), couples costumes (3%), and gory costumes – 2% for women, 6% for men (ORC).
Karen Bauer from Bauer Pacific Imports advises on minimalist costumes. “Using your imagination is key,” said Karen Bauer. “You can take a masquerade mask, then get a couples mask and you have a “his and her outfit” going on. Take a witch hat and pair it with a pair of gloves and it’s that easy – you can have your costume,” said Bauer. (Bauer Pacific is a designer and manufacturer of over 500 styles of Venetian-style masks, garlands, feather boas, Halloween decor, paper lanterns and parasols, hats, and nylon wings.)
DO-IT-YOURSELF (DIY) COSTUMES
62% of women and 57% of men prefer do-it-yourself costumes over packaged products. Do-it-yourself includes “separates” where shoppers can combine individual pieces around a theme to create that custom look. Ages 45 – 54 are the strongest group of DIY at 68% (ORC).
First Goodwill National Halloween Poll: after two weeks of Do-It-Yourself costume hunting and sales at Goodwill stores in Florida, Washington, California, Nevada, Texas, Illinois, Wisconsin and Minnesota, customers report zombie, pirate and vampire costumes are topping the list for adults and children this year.
|RANK||Male Adults (1,201)||%||Male Teens (657)||%||Male Children (1,703)||%|
|6||Police Officer||2.1||Football Player||2.6||Pirate||4.2|
|8||Day of the Dead||1.8||Jason (Fri 13th)||2.1||Police Officer||3.0|
|10||Gangster||1.6||Ninja / Soldier (tie)||2.0||Vampire||2.5|
|RANK||Female Adults (1,823)||%||Female Teens (667)||%||Female Children (1,968)||%|
|7||Flapper (1920’s)||2.3||Pirate||2.9||Lady Bug||2.4|
|9||Lady of the Night||2.0||Nurse||1.7||Tinker Bell||2.0|
Goodwill’s National Halloween in-store straw poll of 8,019 shoppers between Sept 29 – Oct 6 revealed:
- More adult costume shoppers this year (2,024 adult costumes reported, 3,671 children, 1,324 teens)
- Ninja Turtles, Spider Man, Frozen, Batman, Superman, Friday the 13th and Day of the Dead are strong movie themes among DIY shoppers.
- Zombie, pirate and vampire costumes are trending unisex (gender neutral)
The poll reflects the imagination of Florida residents this year as the vast majority of Goodwill costumes are assembled from a non-Halloween base product that is accessorized. (For example, a fairy would be centered around tights, a leotard, a tutu and slippers accessorized with wings, a wand and makeup. A “ghost bride” would consist of a real wedding dress with a white hat, parasol and makeup for accessories – and all for 20% of original cost).
“By culling through thousands of truckloads of donations each year, we create a Halloween shopping experience similar to visiting a wardrobe department in a movie studio,” said Brad Steffani, director of retail operations for Goodwill Industries-Suncoast. “Real coats, boots and belts make great costume components. Likewise with pilot, soldier, fireman, doctor and nurse attire,” said Steffani.
ADULTS PREFER PACKAGED CHILDRENS COSTUMES…
Half of adults prefer packaged children costumes (compared to 38% who prefer DIY), and there is still a huge market for adult packaged product, with 27% of men and 24% of women preferring packaged costumes (ORC).
Each year costume quality and detail increases to meet the demand for “authentic” attire.
“Costume trends generally follow entertainment. …what’s popular on TV and what movies are playing,” said Warren Berkowitz, Product Development Manager for Forum Novelties (Forum Novelties has become a leader in the Halloween industry, as well as the Joke, Trick, Magic and Novelty gift item business.) “Two major categories that are getting a lot of play – one is the medieval fantasy category, a lot of TV shows based off that. The medieval fantasy line is a growing market because people are seeing this particular genre on television, and of course it’s a fantasy life and people during Halloween like to play the role they wouldn’t normally play in their day to day lives. Dress up with capes, crowns, weapons… and women like sexy and guys like to look macho or silly… The other category is the roaring 1920s Great Gatsby etc. A lot of 1920s parties and stores that sell 1920s outfits … and now more year-round, not necessarily Halloween oriented…. With adult parties being big this year, adults think nostalgic and 1980’s will be big this year, 1980s will be a big trend this year – neon, animal prints, tiger prints, a lot of interest due to adults nostalgia. … zebra pants, fur vest, any neon colored outfits will be popular. Also trending in the industry is selling separate accessories such as capes, hoods, gloves, swords, and so forth. Very good economically for those who don’t want to spend a lot of money. Customers feel like they made the costumes instead of buying a pre-made costume in a bag,” said Berkowitz.
Hot is NOT hot this year …
“The trend is moving away from sexy revealing outfits to more classic, wholesome styles and we are responding to that with our product line,” said Carole Crist, President and Founder of Goddessey (The company is known as a year-round, innovative source for costumes, wigs and accessories). “What were strong last year for us was the adult flapper costumes. Now we are introducing the trends from the ‘20s to kids this year. Also new this year is we are keeping the designs classic and timeless, lots of 1950s and sixties clothing. And there is a big trend with mermaid costumes this year, and a lot of vibrant colors in all the various characters,” said Crist.
Industry contacts for media:
Karen Bauer, Bauer Pacific Imports (925) 294-4002
Warren Berkowitz, Forum Novelties (800) 443-6786
Carole Crist, Goddessey (727) 592-1947
- 1000 costume ideas are also available on Pinterest courtesy of Goodwill’s across the country.
About Goodwill Industries-Suncoast
Goodwill Industries-Suncoast is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization whose mission is to help people achieve their full potential through the dignity and power of work. The organization’s successful donated goods retail operation helps support its human services in 10 counties in West Central Florida including employment services, training centers for people with disabilities, affordable apartment communities for seniors and people with disabilities, and community corrections programs. For more information, visit www.goodwill-suncoast.org.
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