The answer is spirit gum and crepe hair. What?
It’s time to rent or buy my Halloween costume or mask and I don’t know where to start.
Many ideas are swirling through my mind, but where do I go to try on a few to see what costumes match my personality and interests?
Of course, I’ve seen costumes at those large brick and mortar chain stores, and even at my local drug store or grocery store; but I want to move it up a level.
About this time of year, it seems the seasonal Halloween shops emerge to pay their annual visit, but rarely in the same place two years in a row.
Perhaps I should go to a full service costume store. The full service stores usually are open all year rond, and carry costumes for all seasons and occasions like Christmas (Santa’s and Elves), Easter (Easter Bunnies, Biblical), St. Patrick’s (Leprechaun) and Valentine’s Day (Cupid). In addition they support local theatre, high school and college productions with costumes as well. Did you ever wonder where the costumes from your high school version of “Music Man” or “Crucible” came from? Or who manufactured your college mascot costume?
Costume Shop or Halloween Shop. Where do I go?
The answer is spirit gum and crepe hair.
Both types of shops have similar goods for sale, and the prices are comparable; but the similarities end there.
When I walk into a Halloween shop, I always ask if they carry spirit gum and crepe hair. If it’s not the blank stare that I get, it’s a stammering that sounds like this “ummmm”
When I walk into a costume shop, I ask the same question and am greeted with “what color and how much do you need?” or something similar to that.
Sidebar: Spirit gum is a liquid adhesive used for fake mustaches, beards, hair pieces and a few other unique purposes. Crepe (pronounced like ‘grape’) hair is a braided woolen fiber that is used to create mustaches, beards, sideburns and that occasional hairpiece or hair on the chest.
A costumer (not customer) knows what spirit gum and crepe hair are and how to use them, and perhaps thousands of other tips and ideas that a Halloween shop doesn’t know. And why? Because the costumer has a broader knowledge, by far, than the Halloween shops. The costumer will also utilize permanent and temporary help that too, are knowledgeable. Perhaps theatre majors. To me, that’s ‘value added’.
In addition the costume shop offers the possibility of renting a better quality (than the packaged costumes) costume. You probably won’t use the costume you are buying this year in the future anyhow.
Is ‘value added’ a good enough reason to drive a few extra miles?