It's been another weird — not to mention spooky — week in retail. Urban Outfitters is trying to get customers Instagram-ready with an "influencer" costume, Yandy.com is back at it selling unnecessarily sexy costumes and a seltzer brand is giving away a $25,000 mermaid costume.
Here are five costumes that will make Halloween a whole different kind of frightening this year:
1. Influencer or athleisure maven?
There's nothing quite like showing up to a Halloween party only to realize no one knows what you're supposed to be dressed up as ("Oh, that's a cat? I thought you were just cold..."). Yet, that appears to be exactly what Urban Outfitters is going for with this "Influencer Halloween Costume Set" which, in addition to being made up of products that could be found in any woman's closet, is also a cool $59. To add insult to injury, that price does not include the sunglasses, the sneakers, the sweater, the hat or the wig. So yes, your "costume" now consists of a small sports bra and a pair of leggings.
Normally we would just call that "exercise clothing." Now compared to our usual findings, $59 doesn't really seem that bad. We can already hear every reader of this article saying quietly to themselves: 'Isn't that what Halloween costumes usually cost at Party City or seasonal Halloween stores anyway?' And while we acknowledge that point, those costumes are usually 1. More elaborate and 2. Complete.
Urban Outfitters selling “ Influencer” Halloween costume ???????? Does it come with 100k followers too?— ᴋɪᴍ ʟᴇᴇ (@OfficialKimlee) September 29, 2018
Honestly, under other circumstances we might not care as much about how terrible this Halloween costume is, except… we've seen better. A lot better. Like this fully-functional demogorgon costume, this couple who announced their pregnancy with a blow-up T-rex family and a dad who's made better costumes for his one-year-old son than Urban Outfitters can manage to sell.
The Demogorgon pic.twitter.com/Ie5Z1CdtOq— viral viral (@xxlfunny1) September 30, 2018
2. Everything Yandy.com sells
We tried to pick just one of Yandy.com's Halloween costumes, but then we saw more of them and we were really torn between the ones that were disturbingly sexy and the ones that really shouldn't be made sexy (three guesses why the "Beetle Babe" costume is on clearance right now). So instead we chose to just alert everyone to the best (and by that we mean worst) costumes on Yandy.com.
Starting off with the disturbingly sexy is a costume that attempts to turn Jigsaw — a character from the Saw franchise who handpicks people every film to try and escape his death puzzles (hint: they usually die) — into some kind of sexy clown. This is only slightly more unnerving than the fact that Yandy.com tried to make Native American costumes sexy (and received backlash, surprising no one), as well as the Handmaid's Tale (how many times do we have to go through this one?).
There are so many other Halloween costumes worthy of our criticism — but we'll stop here with two costumes that should never have been made sexy: sexy Sherlock Holmes (it disgraces the art of witty, reason-based detective work) and sexy NASA employee. Somehow this one feels a lot like saying women that work at NASA are blaster-toting, silver leotard-wearing alien babes rather than, I don't know, hardworking individuals with a lot of degrees.
3. The only food you ate in college costume
We like to call this next one the last-ditch-resort costume. It's the costume someone buys when they realize it's already the 25th and they really need to get a costume to go to that friend's Halloween party but they are no longer invested or creative enough to spend time making one or even extensively searching for one.
And so, they take the first step toward an underwhelming Halloween costume by deciding to go as … food. But not just any food, the kind of food that requires nothing more than hot water and a styrofoam cup. Yes, we're talking about a Cup Noodles costume. So desperate are these Halloween goers that they shell out the $60 to buy the costume without giving a second thought to whether or not it's worth the cash.
On the plus side, Nissin also offers a $40 dog costume, but customers run the risk of being out-dressed by their miniature schnauzer.
4. A $25K seltzer mermaid
There was a time in our lives when being Ariel from "The Little Mermaid" was enough. That time has passed. Mermaids have become so worthy of imitation that SpikedSeltzer made a costume worth $25,000 as a brand promotion. People who feel strongly about drinks made of bubbly water and alcohol could share the photo on social media (after following SpikedSeltzer, of course) and pitch why they wanted to be a mermaid for Halloween for a chance to win.
Now, don't get us wrong, the Halloween costume itself actually looks pretty awesome — which we attribute to the fact that a Hollywood designer came up with it — but there's something about the shameless self-promotion that's concerning. It's essentially the Instagram version of "would you sell your soul to the devil if it meant getting a really cool costume?" Except instead of selling their souls, customers are selling their likes, follows and brand love.
For the record, this costume is way better than the offerings KFC put on the table last year, but the over-the-top effort to acquire loyal brand followers has us longing for the $60 version from Halloween.com that looks kind of like Ariel but also kind of like they're trying to avoid copyright infringement.
Beautiful hair and Scales. While I would prefer to be a dragon, I do indeed love a good mermaid, and this costume is amazing! p.s, mmmmm @SpikedSeltzer #mermaidcruisade #contest https://t.co/JPiEslXKs5— HollyMichelle K Vine (@lunarthistle) October 4, 2018
5. Sexy geisha costume
Going back to inappropriately sexy costumes, we submit Fashion Nova's Geisha costume, reported on by Teen Vogue, which slams the retailer for cultural appropriation. The Japan-inspired $50 costume includes a kimono and hair sticks, and features the model with her hands held in front of her chest.
It's garnered some intense backlash on social media, as well as some who don't see anything wrong with it. But if Halloween is supposed to be scary, maybe retailers would do better to stick to the more traditionally spooky costumes? Although being a witch is probably still frowned upon if you ask the Wicca community, which was recently outraged at a "starter witch kit" Sephora had planned to sell.
like I really wish y'all were this mad enough to take down costumes that appropriate real people that still exist today , costumes like "the geisha" "the drunk mexican" "native hottie" "belly dancer" and etc. but y'all don't pic.twitter.com/nuIngFcD9i— emily (@pixiegang) October 11, 2018