Go-to costumes get a new twist

Zombies, pirates, flappers are taken to the next level
Jackie Ricciardi/Staff
Beth Ann Johnson tries on a statue of liberty costume as Michele Hattman looks on at Costumes by Michele in Augusta.

This year, costume shops are seeing customers default to the classics, but with a twist.

A zombie might be brought back to life from the 18th century, including Colonial dress. And don't expect pirates to resemble Johnny Depp's Captain Jack Sparrow, but instead wear pieces more befitting the lifestyle of a plunderer.

Those looking to cash in on costume contests should also remember to bring their best faces, preferably those that can't be purchased in a one-stop costume shop.

Michele Hattman, who owns Costumes by Michele on Broad Street, said many of her rental customers this year are looking to up the ante.

"They want really pretty costumes that aren't packaged," she said.

"If they're going for the Renaissance theme, they want the velvets and the lace. Guys dressing as pirates want costumes that are well cut and made along with authentic hats and vests," Hattman said.

Other popular options among the 10,000 items in her shop include flappers, witches and gangsters.

"This year has really been about getting back to the basics," she said.

Hattman said customers can come in until Halloween day to perfect their look.

At Halloween Express on Martintown Road in North Augusta, shoppers are capturing the childhood joy from favorite fairy tales.

"A lot of women have said they're excited about finally being able to dress as the girls they wanted to be," said Mitzie Sharp, the store manager.

Other children's classics seeing a revival this year include Buzz Lightyear and Woody from Toy Story 3 , and the Mad Hatter and Queen of Hearts from Tim Burton's take on Alice in Wonderland .

Lady Gaga's parade of costumes in the last year are also sure to inspire many copycats this season. Her latest head turner included raw meat, but those looking for a tamer version can purchase accessories and wigs to complete a look at Halloween Express.

"Everyone's loving the sunglasses," Sharp said. "And they're from her line, so you know it will help your costume strike the right look."