Checkout Lane: Customize your Halloween costume

Julie Onufrak

Some classics never go out of style, and that is especially true for Halloween costumes. Batman, Indiana Jones and Star Wars costumes are all top sellers this year, said Dorice Dionne, co-founder and senior vice president of merchandising at Dedham, Mass.-based iParty. So are costumes of Dorothy from “The Wizard of Oz'' and Hannah Montana.

Given the upcoming election, political masks have also been popular.

Dionne said that at iParty, Barack Obama masks are outselling John McCain masks by three to one. “Strangely enough, we are selling as many Bill Clinton masks as McCain masks,'' she said.

Dionne also said that manufacturers have rushed to make Sarah Palin masks, which should be available soon.

Masks and other accessories can make the difference between a mediocre store-packaged costume and something unique, according to Jon Diamond, owner of Dorothy's Boutique in Boston. He recommends that people use their creativity to build off of a basic costume.

“Think of it as an investment,'' he said. “You can wear the same costume but add on a new accessory next year.''

Another way to get more bang for your buck is the reversible costume, which Diamond said is new this year: devil on one side, angel on the other, for example.

Julie Onufrak may be reached at

Costume tips

- Wear flame-retardant costumes.

- Make sure your Halloween costume is colorfast so that the color does not run if it rains.

- Try on costumes before Halloween to allow time for altering.

- Apply reflective tape to your costume.

- Wear makeup that is hypoallergenic and nontoxic.

- Wear comfortable, practical shoes.