As Halloween gets closer every day many Chatsworth and Northridge residents are preparing to celebrate with candy, parties and spooky costumes. Here is a quick guide to some of this year’s most popular getups and a few suggestions of where to look.
For those looking for a traditional, prefab outfit, the Northridge Fashion Center boasts not one, but two Spirit costume shops, each with its’ own selection of props, makeup kits and costumes for all ages.
“I’m going to be a ballerina,” said eight-year old Suzy Hernandez. “And Mommy is going to be a witch.”
While perennial classics like witches, fairies and princesses are well represented in the shop, the big ticket item this year for all ages and genders is superheroes. Fueled by the billion-dollar grosses of both The Dark Knight Rises and Marvel’s The Avengers, both Spirit stores boast rows and rows of Batman, Spider-Man, Wonder Woman and Superman costumes, mostly branded to match their big screen counterparts but occasionally taking the form of close knockoffs, like the feminine Mario-spoof, “Heroic Maria.”
“I don’t know what I’m going as yet,” said Sarah Michaels, 26, of Woodland Hills as she strolled through a Spirit aisle. “Maybe a grim reaper? I don’t like the really short skirts on some of these.”
While each store is split up into quadrants focusing on young girls, young boys, adult men and adult women, the latter demographic features primarily costumes including the prefix, “Sexy.” Shoppers will find plenty of lace, lingerie and fuzzy handcuffs, sometimes amusingly linked to the mega-popular Fifty Shades of Grey franchise. An adult costume will run buyers an average for $30-40, plus make-up.
“I know it’s cliché, but I love the sexy costumes,” said Andrea Newman, 32, of Northridge. “It’s fun and playful and it’s a good excuse to keep that swimsuit body for a few extra months.”
If Spirit’s somewhat vanilla selection of Sexy Policewomen, Sexy Pirate Wenches and sexy animals of all stripes and spots don’t fit the bill, the Fashion Center’s youth culture-centric hubs Hot Topic and Spenser’s Gifts offer a more eccentric selection at a similar price point. But be forewarned, many of the choices found in these two shops run very blue.
“I’m totally going as a breathalyzer test,” said James Haut, 19, of Chatsworth, while holding up a Spenser’s costume featuring a man with a elongated tube at the waist.
If one has the time to dig a little bit, a better alternative might be the Salvation Army at 21375 Roscoe Blvd., Canoga Park, or the or the Goodwill on 10170 Reseda Blvd. in Northridge.
While these stores are not focused on the holiday, both have a very extensive variety of strange clothing from which one can make an excellent ensemble. And as an added bonus the clothes are real and not simply overpriced pajamas, so you can get a suit to wear year 'round at a fraction of the price.