Remember last Halloween when you vowed to put more time and thought into next year’s costume, because so many people had outfits that were way cooler than yours? Time to get going on that promise to yourself.

We interviewed two top experts in Halloween garb: Todd Kenig, CEO of Ricky’s NYC, and Pamela Pekerman, accessories and style expert who works with
ShopRunner.com. Here are their tips on the hottest costumes of 2011.

Shop your closet: “Source your closet or your parents’ closet,” Pekerman says. “Pick up a few accent pieces.” You can get away with buying only a few new items to go with your costume if you base it around clothes you own. “When you play with accessories, you can make it look your own,” she says.

A wig makes all the difference: “You can get a wig and probably change it up every year to make you look different ways,” Pekerman says. “Use some product on it. Treat it the way you’d treat your hair.”

 

When buying a costume, shop early and often: “It’s always the trashy ones that go first. You can quote me on that, because it’s true,” says Pekerman. So don’t be the slouch and end up as the only sexy bunny at the party who doesn’t have ears and a tail. Pekerman says that ShopRunner.com can ship quickly and offer free shipping for costumes at CostumeExpress.com.

Costume trends

1. Zombies

“We’re pushing zombies because zombies seem to be the big thing between ‘The Walking Dead’ and Brad Pitt making a zombie movie,” says Kenig. “It seems to be a hot item right now.” Kenig adds that sexy zombies will be big for the ladies as well.



2. Kate and Will


“It was a huge year for the royals,” says Pekerman. “I guarantee there’s going to be a lot of girls in wedding dresses walking around, a lot of guys looking like Prince William.”

3. Headline grabbers

“There’s the [Anthony] Weiner mask that we made,” says Kenig. “When Weiner was in the news, we decided to make a spoof on him, so that’s gotten a lot of press. And then there’s the Arnold [Schwarzenegger] we did which seems to be doing well, and also the Charlie Sheen.”

4. Reality stars galore

The Kardashians, Real Housewives and yes, Snooki, will be back again. “I think it’s still going to be a big year for Snooki,” says Pekerman. “With the season just ending it’s really popular and an easy costume to make. All you need to do is the bump-it [and] a fake tan.”

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