Brothers Cameron Yaksitch and Jake Lattimor are spending part of their vacation in Los Angeles focused on an important task: Halloween costumes.
Poking around a costume store in Hollywood they debated different looks before settling on the iconic duo of Pennywise and Georgie from the recent “It: Chapter Two” movie. Nevermind that Yaksitch won’t let his younger brother Lattimor see the movie.
The brothers are among thousands of LA residents who are focused on what their attire will be for Halloween. With October comes sweaters, pumpkin spice lattes and deliberations on the all-important Halloween costume.
With a virtually unlimited amount of Halloween costumes available, it can be difficult for buyers to decide who or what they want to be for the night.
Lars Perner, a USC professor who specializes in consumer psychology and holiday shopping, said Halloween allows people to dream and experiment with a different type of personality.
“It’s kind of like saying what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas,” he said, because the person is not responsible for keeping up with the personality after the fact.
Perner also said current events and celebrities in the media can influence Halloween looks. Last year, video games were the biggest influence.
Costumes from Fortnite, the wildly popular video game, were the most popular in 2018, according to Google’s annual Fright Geist report.
This year, movies are playing a big role.
Dele Richardson, an employee at Hollywood Toys and Costumes on Hollywood Boulevard, believes Maleficent will be the most popular costume of the year.
“It’s been booming,” he said.
“Maleficent: Mistress of Evil” starring Angelina Jolie will be released on Oct. 18. Richardson said although the costume is primarily for women, men also enjoy portraying this beautiful yet evil character.
Dylan Wright and Noah Willis, sound engineers who work in Hollywood, also drew inspiration from what they saw in the media. Wright said he has always been interested in fantasy and movies and festivals have encouraged him to keep building onto his renaissance outfit for the last 10 years.
Willis is going to be President Donald Trump.
“I’m going to wear the best suit you’ve ever seen and an orange wig,” he said.
Willis said he wants to save money on a costume this year and hopes to make people laugh along the way.
Dana Chinn, a USC expert in media and web analytics, said a way people are saving money on costumes is by buying them online.
“For such a seasonal product, it’s just way more cost effective,” Chinn said.
With the help of social media and ads, she said, it’s easier for companies to get more traffic to their website rather than to an actual store. Online buying is also more accommodating for sizes she added.
Richardson said he has a family member who doesn’t shop in stores for that reason.
“She thinks people are going to talk about her,” he said.
Although it might be more comfortable and convenient to shop online, Richardson said he sees a lot of people having fun in the store.
“I love seeing people smile when they find that perfect outfit,” he said.
For brothers Yaksitch and Lattimor, they’re excited to show off their Pennywise and Georgie costumes trick-or-treating.
“That’s what the seasons all about,” Yaksitch said.