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Archive for October, 2012...

Filed under Masks
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Halloween has mushroomed into a massive retail event.  Results of The National Retail Federations’ survey are staggering.  In 2011, they reported a billion dollar increase in sales from the year before.  That was with 68.6% of people surveyed saying they were going to participate in Halloween.  In 2012, 71.5% are planning on joining in the celebration.  Not only are more people planning on celebrating, but they are also planning on spending more.  The average spend per person is increasing from $72.31 last year to $79.82 this year. 


So Halloween can be a major boon for retailers and this is the kind of business we don’t want to miss.  Is most of the money spent on kids?  According to Infographics Archive, adults outpace kids by nearly a quarter billion dollars.  


How can a retailer profit from Halloween if they’re not a party shop?  Of course, nearly any retail location can offer Halloween jewelry and accessories.  But there is an even bigger niche they can cash in on—the Halloween party business.  According to Infographics Archive, 34.3% of surveyed people either threw or attended a party last year.  THAT IS HUGE!  Everyone will certainly want some way to dress up or mask for the occasion and this is a big opportunity that works for nearly every retailer. 



 Venetian style masks

Our site breaks masks into categories so businesses can zero in on the type of masks they want more easily.  The main categories that work for Halloween parties are feather masks, Venetian masks, and masquerade masks.  When the person throwing the party provides the masks, they want a good looking option that is also reasonably priced.  Masquerade masks fit this bill better than anything. 



masquerade mask on a stick

Of course, any of the categories of masks mentioned above will work for masquerade parties.  But buyers that are outfitting large groups want value.  The lowest priced category on our site is masquerade masks.  Actually, the number one best selling mask regardless of categories is MM14, which is found under masquerade masks.   These are eye masks shaped to the face on a stick that folds down.  They have a wide choice of metallic colors with one side overlaid with lace.  One reason this is the leading mask is because the attractive look and color selection makes it popular for proms, sweet sixteens, and quinceaneras. 

 domino mask

That mask works well for gals, but guys prefer something not so ornate and not on a stick.  The most recognized of all masquerade masks is the domino mask and it is a popular choice for guys.  This is often referred to as the Lone Ranger mask because that is the style he wore.  The name, domino, comes from the French word for priest because they were originally accompanied by a hood and the black and white combination resembled the winter garb of priests.  


Also popular for guys are a paper Mache’ eye mask that ties on with ribbons like Venetian masks do.  These masks are available in white or painted with a variety of color options.  Black along with white are the most popular colors. 


The selection of masquerade masks has expanded considerably in recent years with the addition of cat masks, butterfly masks, and eye masks with painted eyelashes or with artistic shapes that are enhanced with sparkling stones.  More on masks in the next blog, but right now let’s look at another hot item for Halloween parties—novelty hats. 




If there are two things that are going to be top on the list for grown-ups participating in Halloween parties, it has to be masks and novelty hats.  These hats are magic.  Think about yourself or anyone else that comes across a display of novelty hats.  It takes all the will power in the world to keep from trying them on.  They have some kind of magical attraction. 

 witch novelty hat

Furthermore, nothing is too crazy in novelty hats for those celebrating Halloween.  The number one best seller for gals during Halloween is the witch hat.  These black hats with a wired brim that stands out straight and a spider dropping from the brim on a string make great decorations for the store as well as hot items to sell.  Actually, they sell out well before October and have to be reordered more than once before we get to Halloween. 

 hamburger novlety hat

Novelty hats can be as ferocious as tigers or alligators or as sweet as princess hats.  Really crazy designs include pizza hats, hamburgers, and hotdogs.  How about a giant chili pepper, a Rasta hat with dreadlocks, or a cow that moos.


More common party hats are pirate hats, crowns, Uncle Sam hats, and military hats.  In addition to more than 80 designs listed under Novelty Hats, there are another 18 under Mardi Gras Crazy Hats and more under nearly every category for seasonal items like Christmas. 


Masquerade masks and novelty hats—they certain to be important in celebrations as big as Halloween and can be a huge plus for sales in your shop.  Next blog will detail all the categories of masks for the season.

Comments (0) Posted by admin on Thursday, October 11th, 2012

Filed under Dress Hats
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Fall is here with new fashion statements and color palettes.  In apparel, this can be dramatic, but in dress hats changes are subtle.  Yes, you can look at dress hats from ten years ago and see big changes, but from season to season, developments fly under the radar. 



winter cloche hat

One reason is ladies dress hats are often reinventing vintage looks and that happens again for the fall of 2012.  Most of the felt hats this fall are inspirations from earlier eras.  The cloche from the 1920s is perhaps the most obvious.  The twenties were a real break from styles that preceded it.  World War I was over and fashion became more practical reflecting a new independence experienced by women. 


The hat that defined the era was the cloche, a bell shaped hat with little or no brim that was worn at eyebrow level.  The name actually comes from the French word for bell.  Almost anyone that sees a cloche automatically thinks “Roaring Twenties”. 

 New developments for the fall of 2012 have cloches in wool felt with a large diagonal bows on one side, shimmering with sequin fabric.  Others use decoration of wool felt flower arrangements.  This is not the first season to see the revival of the cloche, but the trend continues because of innovation.


One of the major markets for fall dress hats is Homecoming.  The cloche is ideal for filling this need because smaller hats are popular for the occasion. Also, since the cloche first appeared in the 1920s, it always had appeal to younger consumers.



 ladies fall wide brim dress hatCount on felt wide brims to be included in ladies dress hats every fall.  This style also works well for homecoming, but is even more popular as church hats.  This fall asymmetrical brims are adding a new look to headwear.  Where do we find these in hat history?  First impression is the silver screen of the 1940s—leading ladies with those sassy wide brims that dipped over one eye in a debonair fashion. 


But the look is rooted further back in millinery history as TV enthusiasts will note that watch Boardwalk Empire.  Costumers for these period shows know their stuff and the asymmetrical wide brim pops up in that show. 

 The reinvention of these felt hats makes a striking appearance that will grab the attention of church ladies that want elegance in styles that are different. 


satin braid church hat


Satin braid hats seem to be something new to the headwear industry.  In reality, they have been around for more that 100 years.  A search reveals print advertisements for stain braids from 1870 and later.  The hats use narrow ribbons of satin continuously sewn to create different shapes in headwear. 


Today’s market for satin braids is almost exclusively church hats.   Designs are fabulous with high rounded crowns combining with narrow down turned brims and lavishly trimmed.  Colors can be metallic gold and silver as well as any color we find in satin.  Even wide brims are available today in satin braid. 




The palette is unusually bright for fall and winter seasons this year.  Pantone’s fashion color report includes hues of lime, tangerine, bright fuchsia, and a mustard gold color.  The bright colors are a slightly subdued version of the spring and summer palettes and we will see more brights in the next summer palette.  Apparel is using these vibrant colors and expect them in the spring hat line, but fall hats are more traditional and stick mainly with conservative fall colors. 


These traditional fall hat colors include gray, black, brown, taupe, camel, navy, and winter white.  But there are also some color you can call edgy in a conservative palette for fall—colors like rust, red, mustard, and burnt orange.   




Fall hats seem to be in short supply this season, most likely because we are experiencing a challenging economy.  The retailers we are in contact with report brisker than normal sales, no doubt because consumers can find fresh supply in their shops while many other retailers are being cautious.  This can be an opportunity for you if you have the customer base for winter dress hats.  So here is a chance to make hay while the sun shines.

Comments (0) Posted by admin on Wednesday, October 3rd, 2012