Despite an undeniable “ick” factor, Trump costumes seem to be in higher demand than Clinton’s.
Last Halloween, Erin Holin and her husband coiffed their 2-year-old’s blond hair, Donald Trump style, and bought him a little suit with a red tie.
“I taught him to say, ‘I’m very rich!’ He even squished his face to be ‘angry Trump,”’ she said.
This year, her husband wants to do the same and her answer is no.
“Last year it was silly,” Holin said. “It was meant to be a joke and taken as tongue in cheek.”
Not so much at the moment, at least for her young child, after a video surfaced of Trump boasting about groping women’s genitals and other lows in the presidential race, including two women who told The New York Times that Trump reportedly touched them inappropriately.
“He says he wants to go as Batman, so I think we’ll go with that,” Holin said of her child.
Until recently, Trump and Hillary Clinton costumes were still selling strong despite some reservations among those who once had none. What turned them around? The “grab ‘em” video, for one, and general anxiety over the low-brow nature of the race.
In spite of it all, Heather Higgins is going for it — for her dogs at least.
She lives in the heart of New York’s Greenwich Village, where Halloween is a big and bawdy affair with its famous parade for humans and costume parties for neighborhood dogs in nearby parks. This year, her male schnauzer-dachshund mix, Winslow, and her female Havanese, Carly, will be dressed in matching royal blue pantsuits as the two candidates.
Winslow will wear a tie, while Carly will accessorize with a scarf.
“Concerned that my male dog will be Trump, I’ve solved the problem by making him a big, ‘I’m with Her’ button,” Higgins said.
Following the second debate, another political costume entered the Halloween costume sweepstakes, riffing on the red-sweatered Kenneth Bone, who was among a group of undecided voters invited to question the candidates on stage during the town hall-style meet up.
After Bone became an immediate social media sensation, the site Yandy.com — known for creating costumes based on hot-button pop-culture figures — didn’t waste any time with the rotund, mustachioed Bone.
Less than 48 hours after the debate, the site went into production for a “sexy” Bone costume and began taking pre-orders, selling out within four hours.
Yandy’s “Sexy Undecided Voter” features a red crop top, white crop undershirt, blue high-waisted pants and the must-have mustache, black glasses and — natch — a microphone ala the one passed around on debate night.
And the price? $99.95.
Yandy also has its own take on the Republican nominee with its “Donna T. Rumpshaker” look, priced at $71.95. It comes with a white sleeveless collar shirt, red tie, royal blue faux blazer and royal blue booty shorts. A “Making America Great” red cap and blond wig are sold separately.
So how does Yandy feel about the “ick” factor?“That is for the customers to decide,” said Chad Horstman, the site’s founder and chief executive.
At costume seller Fun.com, chief marketing officer Mark Bietz said searches for Trump costumes were on the rise, while Hillary costume searches have been about one-third of Trump’s.
“Since we’ve restocked a billionaire wig that was sold out almost all year, the demand has stayed steady for this product,” he offered as one small example. “Though personally I see an ‘ick’ factor, I’m not seeing it change demand at all.”
At thrift destination Savers/Value Village stores, Trump and Clinton costumes overall were selling at twice the rate of other Halloween looks, the company said. Trump masks and wigs were leading Clinton masks and wigs ever so slightly.
In Seattle, Anita Lavine’s 10-year-old son was among those who dressed in Trump costumes for Halloween last year. She and her husband also went as Trump supporters, though they have every intention of voting for Clinton. While that might seem counter-intuitive, perhaps it makes sense in an election as strange as this year’s.
Normally, the candidate who inspires the most costumes wins the election. But Clinton is lagging at the costume stores, even though she’s well ahead in the polls. That suggests the popularity of Trump costumes might not reflect his electoral appeal so much as his bizarre, clown-like look, which is easy to parody.
“Last year, it was still pretty funny,” Lavine said of her son’s Trump garb. “Would I let him do it now? Probably not. I’m sure there will be a ton of little Donald and Hillarys out there this year, but not my kiddos.”
Nick Braun in Columbus, Ohio, has a 2-year-old son. While he and his wife are registered Republicans and say they will vote for Trump, they’re not touching the presidential race for themselves or their toddler.
“Maybe in the past it would have been cute,” Braun said of transforming their young child into a baby Trump, like the one the candidate himself was handed by a supporter at a recent campaign event.
Besides, dad said, “he wants to be a pirate.”