More and more people are choosing to spend All Hallows Eve dressed like — and mocking — those in the limelight, retailers say.
“Everyone is always trying to look like a celebrity,” said Julie Yarsawich of EvesAddiction.com, a Web site that feeds the public's demand for celeb knockoff jewelry around Halloween-time.
Indeed, accessories are a major part of the ever-growing celeb-based costume market. For example, the Paris Hilton 2006 costume differs from the Paris Hilton 2005 costume because instead of a stuffed Chihuahua and massive diamond, the newest incarnation is characterized by a margarita and a mug shot.
“Paris has been a chameleon this year, so you should pick one event, like her DUI arrest, to focus on,” said Dawn Yanek, editor-at-large of Life and Style magazine.
To be the misdemeanor Paris, Yanek says you can wear a red headband, red belt, skinny jeans and a sleeveless shirt.
"You can even have a mock necklace with the numbers and mug shot pic … you have to pick one moment. The girl wears four outfits a day," she said.
As for guy costumes, Yanek recommends Taylor Hicks, aka this year's "American Idol" winner.
“All you have to do is buy a salt-and-pepper wig, wear a T-shirt that says 'Soul Patrol' on it, top it with an old blazer from the back of your closet and carry a microphone,” she explained.
Group costumes are also big this year, especially TomKat and TomKitten.
“You can recreate their Vanity Fair cover. You can have Katie wear big Jackie O sunglasses and Tom wears jeans and a leather jacket with a baby doll popping out," Yanek said.
This year's sexier costumes are inspired by Pamela Anderson’s bikini-clad wedding vows, "Desperate Housewife" Eva Longoria’s mile-high hemlines and Matthew McConaughey’s torso.
“If you’re a guy, you have to be in really, really good shape to pull off Matthew McConaughey as a costume, because he’s basically been shirtless for the last few months,” joked Yanek.
If a man decides to be so bold, Yanek says the McConaughey look can be achieved rather easily and inexpensively.
“Aside from being shirtless, you have to put a rag over your hair and walk around with a toothbrush in your mouth. If you aren’t comfortable with baring your flesh, you can always pick up a fake muscle chest from a prop store.”
Yanek also suggests going as Lindsay Lohan, which requires black leggings, a tunic and oversized jewelry, or as a glam-a-fied Christina Aguilera, which requires red lipstick and a retro blond wig.
According to Kathy Grannis of the National Retail Federation, Halloween is a nearly $5 billion industry, with an ongoing increase in adult participation.
While witch is still the No. 1 adult costume, according to the Federation's 2006 Halloween Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey, pirate is second, as Johnny Depp’s "Pirates of the Caribbean" character has captivated even the middle-aged Disney fan.
Other movie characters expected to strut around this year include Ricky Bobby from the hit Will Ferrell flick "Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby," "Nacho Libre" from this year's Jack Black effort and of course the Man of Steel himself — Superman, who appeared this year in "Superman Returns."
“It actually makes the night fun when you are playing a real character,” said 23-year-old Chris Mayo of Long Island, N.Y. “I’m sure I’ll see people dressed as 'Talladega Nights' or even 'Anchorman,' even though the movie is a few years old. I also overheard lots of girls in sororities saying that they were going as Paris Hilton.
Mayo himself is going as Maverick from "Top Gun."
“I actually ordered a flight costume off of eBay and I got the glasses on eBay also ... my friend is going as Goose. He’s growing out his mustache. We are going all out.”
Whether you throw on a cloak and Viking hat and go as Flavor Flav or wear a black turtleneck, gray wig and Prada purse and go as Meryl Streep's "The Devil Wears Prada" character, keep in mind that it doesn’t necessarily pay to break the bank for Halloween, as the shock value of a costume doesn’t last too long.
“At last year’s party that I went to there were a lot of people dressed as stars,” said Mayo. “I just can’t remember which ones. I was too drunk.”