Things are busy at Frankel’s Costume near downtown Houston. Ghouls and goblins hang from the rafters as customers wander through aisles of colorful coats, dresses, and capes, hoping to find a sought-after item for their Halloween outfit. Second-generation costumer Terrie Frankel says it’s the night grownups come out to play.
“And I’ve had this comment where people say, ‘Well, I love Halloween, I don’t have to buy anything for anyone but myself. And I get to enjoy myself.’ And that’s fine. We do deserve to get to enjoy things for ourselves. And that’s the fun part.”
Nearby a woman checks the fit on a shiny black bodysuit, while another customer admires the flowing lines of a medieval dress. Frankel says women’s costume choices range from sassy to elegant, while men prefer the rugged look.
“Men want things that are adventuresome, that are macho, and that have some kind of weapon. Even if it’s plastic you put a weapon in a man’s hand and he starts to salivate.”
Frankel has been in the costume business for 45 years and she says part of the fun is playing dress-up along with her customers. But she says things aren’t so good for costume shops in other parts of the country because of the economy.
“And we are very, very fortunate that we do still have two pennies or three pennies that we can put together and have some fun for this fun season.”
As for any unusual requests she’s received at her shop, Frankel says most folks want costumes that are fairly mainstream. She says if someone wants something really outlandish they usually try to make it themselves.