5 Tips for a Successful Halloween Costume

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WEST DES MOINES, Iowa -- With Halloween and Beggars' Night quickly approaching many of you may be scrambling to find that perfect last-minute costume.

We went out to the Theatrical Shop in West Des Moines to talk to an expert on how you can put together a contest-worthy winning get-up.

The expert we tracked down is Kathy Harkrader. She has over 30 years of costume experience and has been the manager at The Theatrical Shop for the last 15 years.

If I want to fit in this year, what are some of the more popular costumes?

"Super heroes are always big. Batman is number one, he has been at the top for a number of years. For the kids, Star Wars is huge this year. For boys you can always rely on an oldie like a fire fighter or police officer,” says Harkrader. “Women on the other hand are all over the board. It's always been Renaissance related gowns and the 'Roarin' 20's' are also coming back. After, that Wizard of Oz characters are always big.”

If I want to stand out from the crowd this year, what are some unique or out the box ideas?

Harkrader says, "If you want out of the box the key is being creative. It doesn't have to cost a lot to get a good costume. I helped a gentleman create the Hunchback of Notre Dame. We showed him how to disfigure is face with make-up. Everything thing, all together for him was $20. The easy way out is to just come and pick out a costume in a package.”

I want to get a fun costume but I am on a budget, any tips on coming up with a big idea with a little bit of money?

"I would start with make-up. That is the cheapest way to chance your look. Add in an accessory and you have yourself the start of a good costume. It doesn't to cost a lot. If you come into to shop we will help you," suggests Harkrader.

I like Halloween but I hate spending $100 on a costume I wear just once, anything I can do to avoid that?

"Then let's go to the rental counter. We will see if we have a character you want to be. We take care of everything that way. The rentals run $35 and up. The most expensive once is $75. We have good selection left, we start with over 3,000 costumes just for Halloween," says Harkrader.

I am going out shopping to find a costume any rules of thumbs I should remember?

"First of all, know what kind of party you are going to. We find out if it's a private or company party. Is it indoor or outdoor? We find out what character you want to be and go from there. An average person spends at least $25 and that get you by on the low end. It doesn't take a lot. Remember, be creative and be comfort is the key," advises Harkrader.