Halloween 2017: How high-street retailers are catering to consumers

Photo credit: David Menidrey @cazault via Unsplash

Halloween is around the corner and this year it bears witness to an increasingly trend-led assortment. WGSN INstock collects retailers online product offer daily and gives us the insight into the biggest trends for Halloween 2017.

With the emergence of vinyl (a trend that did not exist last year and therefore increasing volumes by 495.7% YOY) and an increasing presence of lace and mesh (+7.8% and 1.8% YOY), Halloween dressing becomes edgy and contemporary. As retailers push focus away from costume to commercial accessories, outfits can affordably be updated for festivities. So whatever the budget or style, we have compiled a list of some key UK players bringing Halloween visions to life.

Halloween 2017: Fashion ideas from Boohoo

Halloween 2017: Fashion from Boohoo

Boohoo is a great example of a retailer playing to their own strengths this Halloween. In their 411 guide to Halloween dressing, they stay true to their signature style and update bodysuits with printed skeletons and dripping blood from their chokers. Tapping into a Millennial favourite, the fishnet (doubling its volume in the market YOY) is redesigned into a spider’s web to commercially refresh the product and provides an affordable way for customer’s to spook-up their outfits. Reacting to consumer demands for competitive pricing, the retailer is offering up to 50% off Halloween products a week before the event, making them a clear cut above their competitors.

For the lovers of vinyl and mesh (a fabric that has increased 22.8% YOY), Missguided becomes a go-to place. While their zip-up dresses and backless bodysuits may not immediately scream BOO, they do work perfectly for those consumers that simply want to add a Halloween twist to their partywear. Continuing the successful beauty trends of this year’s festivals, Missguided offer entry priced face jewels as an outfit top-up, whilst their £6 lace masks tap into the UK’s increasingly norm Halloween dress codes.

It goes without saying that everyone is buzzing for the start of the new Stranger Things series this month. Nicolas Ghesquiere paid homage to the show in the Louis Vuitton runway during Paris Fashion Week, and now Topshop is hot on his heels with a Netflix collaboration which goes beyond logo t-shirts to an interactive Hawkins’ Lab and Byer’s living room at the stores Oxford Circus flagship store. Stranger Things has offered up a new aesthetic for Halloween which moves beyond cobweb lace and skulls to a more American approach to the holiday fuelled by 70s sportswear pieces favoured by Dustin, Mike and Eleven. As velvet grows 25.3% YOY, these 70s trends become easily adaptable across all markets. The official merchandise is also shot upside down offering a quirky twist on online merchandising.

Back in the real world, Topshop’s Halloween shop offers a more vampy feel for 2017 with vinyl bralets and sharp red suits (as red women’s products grow 1.2pp YOY).

(Image: Topshop)

H&M is one of the few fast fashion retailers to offer full costumes for Halloween with jester and unicorn onesies starting at £19.99. They support the costume offer with basics from their core range such as skinny jeans, mini-skirts and hoodies but offer very little in the way of horror themed apparel to hit the middle ground of shoppers looking for a fashion-focused Halloween outfit.

(Image: H&M)

River Island has made it no secret that their Halloween offering was less about dressing up and swayed towards a more versatile range of products. Despite being labelled under a Halloween tab, their site offers “something you’re guaranteed to wear again”, especially important for those consumers with tight budgets. With sequins growing 7.4% YOY within the UK market, River Island’s Halloween delivery features sequin covered dresses that will not look out of place re-worn at upcoming Christmas parties. However, while their new-in accessories do inject a slightly feminine edition of Halloween, with lace cat ears and diamante masks, each possess the ability to be re-worn at other occasions, heightening its appeal to those looking for more than a one-off product.



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