Two weeks before Halloween, Hip Wa Zee, the costume shop in Five Points, is well-stocked and ready for any outfit request.
Going as Harley Quinn, Prince or Eleven from “Stranger Things?” Head to the row of wigs spanning the entire side wall of the store. Channeling a different era? Peruse the racks of poodle skirts, paisley shirts and flapper dresses.
The employees, who are required to dress-up for their shifts, specialize in piecing together costumes.
“Every year, people get more creative,” said owner Leslie Minerd, dressed as a princess with a flower crown on a recent day.
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Prosper Insights & Analytics found that 171 million Americans plan to celebrate Halloween this year, spending an average of $82.93, up from last year’s $74.34.
Minerd said superheroes are proving popular, given superhero and action movies like “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice,” “Deadpool,” “Captain America: Civil War,” and “Suicide Squad” that were released this year.
“And we have plenty of Donald Trump wigs,” she added, although so far, no one has come in looking to be Ken Bone, the red sweater-wearing voter who became an internet sensation in the second presidential debate.
While the election practically screams for a creative political statement, global thrift store retailer Savers predicts we are more likely to see Halloween ensembles inspired by Pokémon Go characters.
Spirit Halloween, the seasonal Halloween retailer with multiple outlets in the Columbia area, says anti-heroes, pop culture figures who made headlines this year and DIY costumes will be among the most popular outfits.
ABC news reported that Snapchat filters – which turn users into dogs, deer and bumblebees – will be a 2016 trend.
Another one to watch out for in South Carolina: clowns.
Clown sightings and clown-related crimes have been popping up in increasing numbers, causing some retailers like Target to remove clown masks from its stores. Others have reported clown masks are flying off the shelves.
“I’m preparing for a clown invasion,” Minerd said. “I dressed as a clown yesterday.”
2016 Halloween trends
Pokemon Go : You can get a Pikachu onesie for less than $20 on Amazon. Or DIY yourself into a Pokeball.
Superheroes:- Harley Quinn, Joker, Deadpool, Captain America. Your choices are endless.
“Stranger Things”: Slap on a wig and a pink dress and go as Eleven; bonus points if you eat Eggos all night. Or round up your squad and go as the whole gang. No fighting over who gets to be Barb.
Election: Go crazy for Trump, Hillz or Ken Bone. Sexy Donald Trumps will be judged accordingly.
Dead celebrities : Pay homage to Prince, David Bowie, Alan Rickman or Gene Wilder, who all died this year.
Snapchat filters: It’s as easy as creating dog ears, a flower crown or using face paint to make it look like you’re vomiting a rainbow.
Olympic athletes : Put on a hoodie and a scowl for “Phelps Face” or dye your hair an unflattering shade of gray and go as Ryan Lochte.
For a costume in a pinch, Minerd advises working off a base clothing layer:
Use a white dress for a white witch, angel or bride of Frankenstein.
Take a red dress and go as a devil, diva or a disco queen.
Transform a simple fringe vest into a hippie or Daniel Boone getup.
Some of these have multiple Columbia area locations
Vintage costume pieces as well as costume packages
Hip Wa Zee
940 Harden St.
One-stop shopping for a full outfit (but be prepared to pay for it):
Spirit Halloween Store
5560 Forest Drive
For cheap clothes you won’t feel guilty about cutting up or altering
Goodwill Thrift Store
6642 Garners Ferry Road
Sid & Nancy
733 Saluda Ave.
The place for DIY supplies
4400 Fort Jackson Blvd #200
5422 Forest Drive, Suite 110