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The cost of a Halloween costume

A single word comes to mind regarding what's hot in Halloween costumes this year: arrr!

While that might not pass for a word, the store managers, costume buyers and owners of famous costume shops we spoke with did utter a single word to describe this year's hottest costume.

"Pirates," says Kevin Pohle, owner of the Colorado-based costume, toys and games shop, the Wizard's Chest. "Pirates, pirates and more pirates."

Made popular by the 2006 release of the movie "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest," pirate costumes and related accessories top the costume wish lists of kids and adults alike, male and female. Some costume shops even carry buccaneer outfits for pets.

The cost of a pirate costume
Costume retailers expect pirate costumes to be the big sellers this year with kids and adults alike. While movie enthusiasts might enjoy dressing like Captain Jack Sparrow, Davy Jones or Elizabeth Swann, shoppers can also find more generic pirate costumes. Cats and dogs can also join the buccaneer craze -- some shops carry bandannas and headpieces for furry mateys.

While these costumes retail under $50, costume prices in general vary widely. Since costumes usually exclude pirate accessories such as hats and weapons, be sure to budget for any extras you'll need to complete the costume.

Davy Jones Latex Mask
Davy Jones Mask
Prices: $33 to $50
Child Captain Jack Sparrow
Cpt. Jack Sparrow
Prices: $28 to $44
Pirate Cat
Pirate Cat
Prices: $11

Will the cost of a pirate costume cost you a treasure chest of gold? It might. Unlike other all-inclusive costumes, dressing like Captain Jack Sparrow can cost shoppers an arm and a wooden leg. "If it's something simple like cartoon characters -- Batman, Flash or Superman -- a low-end style costume is OK," says David Bertolino, owner of Boston Costume, a costume shop that's been outfitting the theatre, film and television industries for nearly 40 years. He says the pirate look, however, requires more accessories, including a hat, boots and sword. By the time customers get to the register, they've "got a wheelbarrow full of stuff."

A basic pirate costume's price can vary widely. At Web retailer, for instance, kids' pirate costumes retail for $20 up to $40, while adult pirate outfits can be as much as several hundred dollars. One Captain Hook costume costs $1,000!

Shiver me timbers.

Not all pirate costumes mimic the clothing in the movie -- some costumes offer a more traditional pirate look, while others look sexier or cheesier. More traditional adult pirate costumes can be found at the Wizard's Chest in the $30 to $40 range. Boston Costume also carries adult pirate costumes, starting at $35.

Next: "Choices abound for those who don't want to walk the plank."
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