Popular Adult Costume Choices for Halloween 2006

Posted on October 26, 2006

Many adults plan to dress in costume this Halloween. A survey conducted for the National Retail Federation (NRF) found 34% of adults plans to wear costumes. The younger adults are the most likely to dress up -- 62.8% of adults aged 18-24 plan to wear costumes this year.

The survey found that the witch costume is by far the most popular costume choice for adults. Other popular costume choices include pirate, vampire, cat and clown. Here are the top 20 costume choices for 2006 according to the NRF.

1Witch 17.5%
2 Pirate3.7%
3 Vampire3.7%
4 Cat2.6%
5 Clown1.8%
6 Fairy1.6%
7 Gypsy1.6%
8 Superhero1.6%
9 Ghost/Ghoul1.4%
10 Dracula1.3%
11 Devil1.2%
12 Woman of the Night1.1%
13 Nurse1.1%
14 Pumpkin1.1%
15 Athlete1.0%
16 Princess1.0%
17 Zombie1.0%
18 Angel0.8%
19 French Maid0.8%
20 Cowboy/Cowgirl0.7%


Adult costumes tend to be either scary, sexy or silly. A New York Times article quotes costume merchants who say the sexier women's costumes are some of the top sellers this year.

Salacious costumes - the most visible reminder that Halloween is no longer the sole domain of children - have been around longer than plastic Grim Reaper scythes. But there has been an emergence of "ultrasexy" costumes in the last couple of years, according to Christa Getz, the purchasing director for BuyCostumes.com, which sells outfits with names like Little Bo "Peep Show" and Miss Foul Play.

One major problem with a sexier costume trend is when costumes meant for kids are also made to look sexy. Target recently pulled some of these youth costumes after parents complained.

Other adult costume trends include dressing up as politicians or media moguls. George W. Bush and Martha Stewart ranked high in a BizRate Research survey. The survey found president George W. Bush was the clear cut winner among men with 47% choosing the Commander-in-Chief over Mel Gibson (36%) and Tom Cruise (18%).

Overall, the pirates trend appears to be one of the most dominant adult costume trends. The Deseret News reports that the pirates trend is boosted not just by the popularity of the recent pirates film but also because it is not difficult to dress up as a pirate.

The pirate costume is the procrastinator's friend this year. A Chicago Sun-Times article says the Capt. Jack Sparrow costume is a runaway favorite in Chicago. They article also lists a wide range of costumes that are popular this year including historical figures like Caesar and Cleopatra; the Twister board game costume; the Grim Reaper; religious costumes like monks and priests; 70s and retro costumes and athlete costumes like cheerleaders and football players.

The Rubie's Costume Co. Women's Black Hooded Cape costume pictured above can be found at Amazon.com.

Note: We may receive a commission from sales made through product links in this post.


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