Thursday, October 30, 2014

What's Hot for Halloween? CREATIVITY!

Pardon me while I step out of the proper writing format of "This Author" and just chat about Halloween this morning.  Tomorrow is the big day and everyone is scurrying around trying to get all their last minute shopping done.  Cleaning, decorating, getting all the costumes, accessories and make up together and ready to GO!

I'm happy to see, at least at Beauty and the Beast, the costume trends are moving away from the super sexy stuff.  I can't speak for other stores because I don't have time to shop there and the sales people don't report to me, I can only talk about what I personally see.  Maybe my "Family Values" store image has finally taken root.  Whatever the reason, I'm happy to see bright, beautiful young people shopping for all kinds of OTHER costumes.  I'm extremely happy to see so many people looking for more creative options. 

Personally, I'm pretty old school, I like classic scary costumes.  For me, classics are Frankenstein, the Monster's Bride, Dracula, Werewolf, Witches, Grim Reaper and Devils.  For this generation, the classics are Jason, Freddy, Micheal, Leatherface and Zombies.  However, I know as a child, my one true wish was to be Cinderella, so that little girl desire to be a Princess for just one night will never die.  My Halloween costume is a Day of the Dead inspired creation, a skeleton in a long brightly colored dress and big hat.  My husband laughs and calls it my "Happy Dead Person" costume.  In a way, it's a combination of classic scary skeleton and princess dress!

Whenever the media asks me the age old questions "What's Hot for Halloween" I never have a good answer because there is never ONE costume that outsells everything else to the point of being overly noticeable.  At Beauty and the Beast, our sales are all across the board, Heroes, Princesses, Classic Monsters, Patriotic, Famous People / Media Characters, and the buyer's own imagination.  Perhaps the good answer for "What's Hot for Halloween?" should be - At Beauty and the Beast, what's hot is CREATIVITY! 

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Clearance Spotlight

More fun stuff from the Adult and  Child sized Clearance!

Batman for $20? You can't beat that. From the less popular Batman and Robin movie, these suits have printed blue muscles on the chest and no padding. We thought we had sold out of them, but while cleaning up the back room about a year ago, we found a whole box full. Still have most sizes Small, Medium and Large. Maybe not the best choice for the serious Bat-fanatic, but it's really fun for those with a sense of humor and a tight budget.

Warrior Queen has long been one of my favorites.  It comes in Standard and Queen.  Full length red velvet dress with silvery grey and black trim.  The crown has red rhinestones and a very full, sheer black drape.  I believe that most people trying this one on just get confused about which way it goes or how to do the double wrap belt.  For about $20 (plus sized is a little more), this is a great dress to use as a base to build an empire, start your own Game of Thrones or convert into a Viking.

Funky Witch is an unusual piece that came out several years ago, now reduced to just $15, all Small child size 4-6 intended for children 2-3 years of age.  This adorable velvet dress in either pink or orange with spider web lace robe and long black fur trim and crazy hat was most popular with pre-teen girls.  We reordered heavily in Large, only to receive SMALL costumes in 'Large' packages, which was quite upsetting to young ladies trying to get into these tiny dresses.

This writer would suggest that customers ignore the oversized furry hat and ad a $4 cat dress up kit for an amazing cat costume!   It would also work for taller, thin girls in the 8-10 age range as a top with leggings.

 This Scary Clown coat came in the wrong package.  It is currently reduced to $16.50 and comes with a mask and one fingerless white glove.  The picture on the front was a different costume out of the same line of scary costumes for boys sized Large (size 12-14 for boys aged 8-10) and Teen.  The entire series of costumes came with masks, but the over the head clown mask is to small for most boys in that age range.   This clown coat is exceptionally nice with faux leather shoulder and cuff accents and rainbow striped trim that seems to defy my camera the ability to properly focus.  Great accessories would include a wig for $7 or less, a make up kit with nose for $2.50 and a scary plastic hammer for just $6.50!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Clearance Spotlight - Make it Work!

How to Pin  - Go from Baggy to Fitted without sewing!

Sometimes really good costumes land in the clearance because they just don't fit right.  Many of these items can be quickly and easily adjusted to look fantastic with no sewing ability at all.  You have have heard people say "Just pin it up", but if no one ever showed you how to do that, your results may not be acceptable. 

Today's Clearance Spot light is one of the Uptown Girl costumes from Rubies, currently in the clearance section for $38.  These were extremely popular for several years at Beauty and the Beast Costumes, Chattanooga, but only if we had time to pin up the jackets for the customers.  The problem was that the pants fit nice and tight, but the jackets just kind of hang like a bag.  Most of the young women who wanted these costumes wanted to show off their curves!  Here's how you can do it at home, with these Red or Neon green 'pimp girl' costumes, or with just about anything else.  The same techniques apply.

All you need for this Jacket Re-Do is three large safety pins and a trusted friend.  First, turn the garment inside out.  Put it on and button it.  Have your friend loosely grab the back of the jacket to figure out where to start.  Then using a large safety pin, start on one side where you were holding it and just weave the pin in and out to the other side.  Close it up.  We did this one rather quickly, but you will get better results if go slow and make your pleats even.

If you are alone, you can still do this with the help of a pencil or chalk.  Just hold the garment together in the back and mark where your fingers and thumb are grasping the material.  Take the jacket off and weave the pin through the fabric between the marks.  This may take a couple of tries to get it just right.

If your bust is much larger than your waist, you will want to do the same in the front with two pins, shown with yellow arrows.  Do not make it TO TIGHT as the pins can tear holes in the fabric!  Give yourself some room to breath and move.

This is the back view, a little out of focus, of how this gathering should look in the back. 

Please notice that these costumes include the hat.  At Beauty and the Beast Costumes, Chattanooga, we REMOVE the hats from the bags so they still look nice when you buy one, even out of the clearance.

Now, if you've got yourself looking good, and you need a Mac Daddy to hang out with, we just marked the black leather look suits down half price from $80 to just $40!  Men's costumes do not include hats.  At the time of this writing, we still have them in Medium, Large and Extra Large.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Last Week!

Time is running out for Halloween 2014! 

If you haven't made up your mind, you better start thinking fast.  If that costume you ordered off the internet isn't here yet, you might want to start hitting the brick and mortars for a back up plan.  Ya never know if that thing is gonna show up, if it's gonna fit, if it's gonna look ANYTHING like the picture.  If you were waiting for all the 50-60% off sales, hope you don't think the temp store still has anything popular in your size.  What?  You haven't even been over there yet?  Man, are you ever gonna be disappointed!

So, is that about the way the conversations are going in your home or circle of friends?  At Beauty and the Beast, Chattanooga, we are very prepared for those last moment panic attack shoppers.  We've been helping out desperate people for 25 years.  Yes, we're running short on Disney princess dresses for sale, but our rental racks are still bulging.  We still have over a thousand different styles of adult and children's costumes to buy, hundreds for rent.

As a matter of fact, we only recently realized that we don't have our Halloween Classic costumes out on the rental racks at all.  So come on in... We can still make you look GOOD, and no one will know you procrastinated.


Thursday, October 23, 2014

Clearance Spot Light 10/23

Today we turn the Spot Light on Children Sized costumes!   Let us show you a couple of exceptional costume pieces that are frequently overlooked.

First up is a Boy's Medium Executioner's costume, currently in the clearance section.  This one has been difficult for many customers to understand as it is not so much a costume as it is a set of dress up accessories.   The costume pieces include a black velvet poncho with sparkling silver hood, a molded plastic half mask with elastic strap, 3D vinyl collar and belt which tie in back, all painted to resemble  weathered brown leather. with silvery accents.

The costume accessories are listed as size 7-10, however it should work well for just about any child under 4' 6".   It is meant to be warn over the child's regular clothing, preferably a dark shirt and pants. Brighter colors could be used for contrast and visibility.  This author also believes this would be an excellent alternative for any child who may have problems getting dressed or wearing more complex costumes.

The most popular accessory would be the jumbo Executioner's Ax for $7.50. 

Other ideas would include a sword for a "Black Knight", and possibly a Cape in black or red.

Most swords under 36" in length are priced between $3 and $8.  The most popular capes with collars are 45" long and $10 each.


Next up is the fair maiden to be escorted by her brave knight or possibly be taken prisoner by the king's headsman. This lovely purple velvet gown has lighter pinkish sleeves and a golden cord tie belt.  It also includes a purple velvet choker and floral headpiece.

This gown would be a major asset to any dress up closet.  It is machine washable, soft, comfortable and quite simple to transform into just about anything with just a few simple accessories. 

Most popular accessories would be fairy wings in shades of purple or pink and gold fairy wand.  A gold sequin tiara turns it instantly into a princess.

If you want to think a little more outside the box, add a sheer purple hooded cape from the adult clearance section for just $7 and a purple, green and gold wand for a Mardi Gras Queen.

(All prices will be posted as soon as they can be verified.)

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Clearance Spot Light

Adult sized Clearance section

Beauty and the Beast Costumes, Chattanooga has a huge clearance section.  It's so big, that this author believes a lot of cool things get over looked.  So, I'm going to try to shine some light on items that have recently been reduced or that have been there for quite some time, but never seem to get noticed. 

This bright pink and purple 80's dress has just been marked down to $24.   The bodice is made of light weight polyester, pink with purple and hot pink dots.  It is gathered at the bust with a tie belt to the back.  The asymmetrical, dropped waist line is accented with fuchsia sequin trim.   The gathered skirt is violet taffeta with lavender and hot pink tulle overlays.

Shown here with red, purple and blue beads sold separately.

This dress comes with red fishnet glovelets.  The outfit captures the  miss matched, kitschy style of the 80's.  The artwork on the package shows a Cindy Lauper type, but I believe this would work as almost any pop star.

OR - Think outside the box!  Ad wings, tiara and wand for a fabulous fairy that is exclusively yours!


This exquisite, full length black velvet cape with short red velvet capelet overlay is a much over looked gem!  It gathers at the neck with a thick, black satin drapery cord draw string.  The same cording trims the capelet as shown in the close up. 

This is an example of a great costume accessory which has been cursed with poor art direction on the packaging.  The cape's misfortune is your gain!  You can pick these up for just $17 each while supplies last.

At Beauty and the Beast Costumes, Chattanooga, you will find these capes in the adult sized clearance section with the Vampires, but it would also look great over any number of other costumes or garments for men or women.  It would be just as striking with a Devil, Black Cat, Witch, or even a medieval knight, king or queen.  (Look for the Perfect Queen dress in our next update!)

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

New Avengers from Rubies

Most customers probably won't notice, but the manufacturing license for Avenger's and Spider-Man Costumes has changed hands.  Disguise, who is best known for making Disney brand costumes, has held the rights to produce all Marvel Comic costumes for many years. This year, that prize piece of franchising has passed to Rubies.

This year, Rubies, the long time license holder for all things DC, has been given the chance to show what they can do with Avengers and the hottest movie of the decade, Guardians of the Galaxy.  This is really big news in some circles!  Rubies has been the sole supplier of costumes for the Batman, Superman, and Justice League franchises as well as the mega line of Star Wars costumes and accessories.  Now they have another slice of the Disney empire with the currently top selling Super Heroes, including the Ninja Turtles.

We at Beauty and the Beast Costumes, Chattanooga are thrilled that our favorite company will be handling both DC and Marvel comic characters!  Anyone who has wandered through a Halloween section at any chain store has seen the excellent quality of the Rubies brand Super Hero costumes.  Those who have shopped at Beauty & the Beast may have also noticed the truly beautiful princess dresses they make.  Who knows?  Since Rubies has done a great job with DC super heroes, Disney now owns Star Wars, which have been superbly handled by Rubies for decades, could Rubies get the Disney princess line next?  You may rest assured that this author is keeping her fingers crossed!

So, let's take a better look at the new Rubies Iron Man Costume shown above. 

The  photo on the right, above is the front of the Adult sized Iron Man, back shown on right. 
B&B price is $55, compared to $70 for the Disguise brand costume.  The Disguise brand had larger padded muscles and a two piece mask with a very pretty metallic paint job.  The Rubies brand has light padding only in the chest, abdomen and shoulder areas and the upper back is not printed.  However, the color of the Rubies suit is much brighter and the mask is made of a thicker, more durable plastic.

While you will be able to find the muscled versions of the Avengers costumes at most chain stores for $25-30, you better snap those up before November 1st or they will be GONE until next Halloween.  Beauty and the Beast only has the un-padded suits for children, similar to the adult sized shown above, for $24, but you will be able to get them all year long.  These suits may also prove to have more "play time value" than the more heavily padded ones. 

For an 'Economics 101' explanation on pricing differences, please see our blog post  "Why you can't find Frozen Costumes".

The Avengers costume licensing was SO NEW this year, that Rubies didn't even have time to print a proper catalog for everything.  Stores like Beauty and the Beast were ordering from catalogs that didn't even have pictures of the finished product as many designs were still pending approval by the licensee, aka Marvel / Disney.  Since B&B is open all year, we don't return 'left over' costumes after Halloween.  Therefore, we still have some Disguise brand Avenger and Spider-Man costumes in stock. Our purchasing agent was concerned about confusing our customers by having two brands of the same costume on the shelves at the same time.  These factors influenced our decision to only order the items we were out of, or very low on. 

As of mid October, 2014, we only have the Rubies brand Avenger Super Heroes listed above.  Our Rubies brand Spider-Man costumes are still on back order, although we do have a few of the Disguise brand left.  We also have one last Disguise Iron man that was hiding in the wrong box, Ironetts (sexy girl Iron Man side kicks), War Machine, Hulk, Thor and Captain America.

Please see our Quick Shots! and Quick Shots, Kids! pages of our Website  for a better overview of available Super Hero Costumes.  Apologies for not having the website completely finished in time for the holiday.  We are doing our best to keep the public informed in ways we never have before.  It takes a little time to get all the wrinkles ironed out.  Thank you for your patience.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

This Just In!

Late arrivals at Beauty and the Beast Costumes, Chattanooga.  Sometimes, we order items that come in quickly, some arrive by September, many times the newest items don't come at all.... but sometimes, the really cool stuff gets here Just In Time!

Three awesome new masks, left to right, Deluxe Freddy Kruger Double Mask, Original Planet of the Apes General Ursus, Pennywise the clown.  Each of these three deluxe masks sells for $55.

The Freddy mask has a 'tear away' face!  It is actually a full over the head mask with a 2nd mask 'patch' over the forehead, down to the chin.  It comes with oddly placed Velcro tabs to hold it on, but veteran Mask Man Jeff Stringer bought the first one commenting that he plans to remove the Velcro and attach small magnets to hold the face patch in place.

General Ursus is a full latex mask with long fur overlay.   The removable helmet is cloth with an EVA foam glyph on the front.

Pennywise is the monstrous clown from Steven King's novel IT.  Tim Curry portrayed the character in the movie.  The mask is pure white latex with very long clown hair all the way around.  The full Pennywise costume is also available for $60 and comes with a smaller, front face vinyl mask with hair.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Lake Winnie SPOOK House

Lake WinnepeSPOOKah

Photo from 2012 Lake WinnepeSPOOKah Haunted House

It's up and running!  Grab your kids and grandparents and hit the road for Lake WinnepeSPOOKah this October.  I strongly suggest that you go on a Friday night if you're not going to a local football game.... because lots of other parents WILL be at the ball game, you'll find shorter lines and less crowding at the park.

Things are just a little different for the event.  First, it's only open from 6 pm until 11 pm on Friday and Saturday nights in October.  Luckily, 2014 will have FIVE Fridays, including Halloween night, the 31st.  You will not be able to get into the park at a reduced price and then buy ride tickets separately.  It's just one admission price lets you in, and into all the fun and rides.  The Water Park area will be closed, but all the regular rides will be running.  The whole park is decorated for the season and many of the park employees will be dressed in Halloween Finery.  Local performers will be doing free shows and parades throughout the night.

Some confusion has arisen in the last couple of years about the location of the Haunted House.  It's NOT in the Wacky Shack as many believe.  It's at the back of the park, near Jukebox Junction.  Take the train from the station near the front gates to the back of the park and then walk through the scariest show at the park. 

PLEASE LEAVE THE KIDS OUTSIDE!  The haunt is to scary for most children.  It is not fair to other people in a group to have parents with small children yelling "Don't Scare my Kids!"  Most people go to haunted attractions to be frightened.  If they get stuck in a group with children, no one gets to have any fun.