The ghosts of the 1970s are back for Halloween

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Getting ready for Halloween? Are you and your children busily choosing easy-to-sew patterns for this year’s costumes? My mother was much more skilled at cleaning and cooking than she was at sewing, and so I recall many a Halloween night when my costume of choice (my only choice, really) was to be a ghost for Halloween.

My ghost costume required no sewing – just a nice and clean white bed sheet and a pair of scissors to cut out the eyes. Snip, snip, snip, and that old sheet becomes a ghost costume! While this costume was not oh-so-fashionable compared to that of the other neighborhood kids, my ghost costume served its purpose.

Today, the interest in Halloween costumes has a lot more to do with our 21st century, highly fashion-conscious kids than it did back in the 1970s. Vintage couture, including outfits often worn by celebrities, are popular Halloween costumes.

Popular for 2009

I predict the trendy costumes for 2009 will be the many faces and fashions of Michael Jackson. Early Michael costumes, looking back to his days with the Jackson 5, will feature the fringed suede vests of the late 1960s and early 1970s. Other children will parade up and down neighborhood sidewalks wearing the purist Hugo Boss white suit that Jackson made famous on the cover of his chart-busting “Thriller” album.

More contemporary costumes based on the King of Pop’s outfits might include his short to the waist, bolero-style military jackets and of course, his ultra-famous bejeweled glove. This particular piece of Jackson memorabilia – a single glittery white glove – sold recently for $48,000 at an auction in Melbourne, Australia. The original owner was a fan who made a lucky catch while in the audience at a 1999 concert. So, this Halloween, don’t worry if your kid gets chocolate all over that white glove.

In addition to this year’s wide range of Jackson costumes, we will encounter our fair share of fairy princesses, astronauts and angels collecting candy, too. Angels with a flair for vintage television history may appear on our doorsteps wearing halos and wielding (toy) handguns. Again, pop culture icons from the 1970s, like the late actress and advocate, Farrah Fawcett, and her colleagues from the “Charlie’s Angels” TV series may appear in the form of neighborhood children wearing skimpy outfits from the Age of Aquarius.

Cartoon Candy Seekers

Also, Jimmy Carter-era comic strip characters and Saturday morning television figures are going to be big this year, like the Scooby-Doo gang and the first frog of the Green movement, Kermit. And, of course, contemporary cartoon favorites will appear this Halloween as I expect to greet Sponge Bob, Dora and Diego, Bart Simpson and everyone’s favorite cartoon subcontractor and the miniature cultural icon of the early 2000s home remodeling movement, Bob the Builder.

On All Hallows Eve, these celebs will be accompanied historical figures like Betsy Ross, Uncle Sam, President and First Lady Obama and that 200-year-old birthday boy, Abraham Lincoln. No matter if you are in search of chocolate as a scary ghost or silly, deep-sea cartoon sponge this Halloween, dressing up is always a treat.

Ph.D. antiques appraiser and award-winning TV personality and talk show host Dr. Lori presents antique appraisal events nationwide. Join Dr. Lori on her next vacation cruise, focusing on antiques and watch her on the Fine Living Network’s “Worth Every Penny” and locally weekdays at 8 a.m. on Fox 4 TV’s ”Morning Blend.” Visit or call (888) 431-1010.

© 2009 All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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