Hand sanitizer and mail-in ballots: Halloween costumes go 2020
© Courtesy Yandy

With costumes ranging from hand sanitizer to mail-in ballots, the pandemic and the election have Halloween looking quite different — and perhaps extra spooky — this year.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention last month advised against traditional trick-or-treating, indoor costume parties and visiting haunting houses, all of which it says can contribute to the spread of COVID-19, and many communities have put the kibosh on trick-or-treating. But Halloween costume retailers say customers haven’t been scared away.

Costume sales at Yandy.com, which makes headlines each year for its pop culture- and current events-inspired creations, are up 35 percent from 2019, the company tells ITK. HalloweenCostumes.com also says it has seen a year-over-year boost in sales.

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Many of those purchases are politically themed. This year, several of the costumes Yandy unveiled make light of the brouhaha over mail-in ballots.  

President TrumpDonald TrumpFranklin Graham says Trump comeback would 'be a very tough thing to do' Man suspected in wife's disappearance accused of casting her ballot for Trump Stefanik: Cheney is 'looking backwards' MORE has frequently claimed, without evidence, that the practice of voting by mail will lead to rampant fraud.

Yandy’s $38 mail-in ballot costume features a tube dress that comes complete with postal service details. A description reads: “It must feel good to know you're the key to the election, babe. Regardless of who wins the vote, you're always a priority in this exclusive Mail In Ballot costume.” The site is also selling a $44 “postal babe” costume that features a letter carrier crop top and navy blue mini shorts. A Yandy rep tells ITK that the mail-in ballot outfit is one of the site’s best-selling political costumes.

Children’s costumes — including best-selling Spider-Man, ninja, “Ghostbusters” and “A League of Their Own” garments — are driving sales at HalloweenCostumes.com this year, but a spokeswoman says adult costume sales are expected to take over next week just ahead of Oct. 31.

Political costumes have “sold well” on the site, the company says, but “not as well as we were thinking.”

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But the vice presidential debate between Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisHere's why Joe Biden polls well, but Kamala Harris does not Immigration experts say GOP senators questioned DHS secretary with misleading chart Carper urges Biden to nominate ambassadors amid influx at border MORE (D-Calif.) and Vice President Pence did help bolster sales for one bug-eyed outfit. HalloweenCostume.com’s vendor quickly sold out of the $90 adult fly costume after one of the black, winged insects was seen atop Pence’s snow-white hair during the debate. A $40 “holographic fly eyes plush headband” — which boasts a design that will “bring the true beauty of flies into sharper focus” — also sold out post-debate but is now back in stock.

He’s lagging in the polls ahead of Election Day, but Trump is the clear winner in terms of HalloweenCostumes.com’s sales. The retailer offers a “piggyback” costume of Democratic presidential nominee Joe BidenJoe Biden28 Senate Democrats sign statement urging Israel-Hamas ceasefire Franklin Graham says Trump comeback would 'be a very tough thing to do' Schools face new pressures to reopen for in-person learning MORE and Trump that makes it appear that either White House hopeful is carrying its wearer on his back. The Trump costume, which at $75 is $25 more than its Democratic counterpart, is “vastly outselling the Biden version,” the company says.

Beyond purely political pieces, Yandy is also taking a crack at a costume version of a staple of pandemic life, with its $73 hand sanitizer costume. The site says those who sport the mint green leotard and matching vinyl flared dress on Halloween can glow “with that germ-free vibe!”