Historical trends in Halloween costumes: Influenced greatly by culture, here is a brief history of how Halloween costumes have transformed over the last 150 years.

-In the 1870s to 1890s, people made costumes out of materials readily available around the house. Costumes were often classic symbols of Halloween, such as witches and ghosts.

-In the late 19th century, people became fascinated with the Far East. Popular costumes included anything considered “oriental” or “exotic”, such as Egyptian princesses.

-Between the 1900s and 1920s, mass produced paper costumes and buckram masks began showing up in stores, as Halloween became more popular. People donned paper aprons with witches and cats printed on them, paper masks and hats. This is how Halloween obtained its color scheme of black, orange, yellow and purple

-Paper costumes were set aside to make way for boxed character costumes in the 1930s and 1940s. Featuring ready-to-wear plastic masks and rayon costumes, many were themed after well-known characters from books, radio and cartoons. Considered a luxury in the 1930s, such costumes became more affordable after World War II.

-Pop culture was greatly influenced by television in the 1950s, with costumes following suit. Popular during this time was Tinkerbell, Peter Pan, Donald Duck, Snow White and Mickey and Minnie Mouse.

-As television and film continued to have a significant influence on pop culture, popular costumes in the 1960s included Barbie, The Addams Family, Flipper and The Beatles.

-In the 1970s, popular costumes included Star Wars, Coneheads from “Saturday Night Live” and John Travolta in “Grease”.

-In the 1980s, costumes were out of this world. Everyone wanted to dress-up like the friendly alien from “E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial”, which remains one of the highest grossing movies of all time.

-Gory Halloween costumes began to appear in the 1980s after the release of the movie “Halloween” in 1978.

-In the 1990s, costumes of brand-name products came into popularity. People dressed as McDonald’s fries and Tootsie Rolls roamed the streets.

-In the 2000s, political costumes were trending. Sexy versions of characters, food and anything else you can think of also became popular.

-Despite changing times, one costume that’s remained a constant favorite — is the witch.

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