LAKEVIEW — Kim Davis is so hot — as a Halloween costume.
"It's really rare when someone throws something at me that I've never heard before. Just making sure you have your pop culture knowledge down is huge for you to do your job well," Thannum said.
The key — along with Davis' signature long skirts and layered shirts — is long hair with a front poof. As the master of wigs at Beatnix, Thannum has just the right touch to perfect the look.
As Chicago rounds the corner to Halloween, the Boystown costume shop, 3400 N. Halsted St., has gotten a lot of Ru Paul Drag Race requests (Bianca and Adore are top picks) and mermaid costumes, which Thannum credits to "just something in the zeigeist. Everyone wants to be pretty with long, wavy hair."
Natalie Thannum, who oversees the wig selection at Beatnix on Halsted, demonstrates the signature poof with a wig for a Kim Davis costume. [DNAinfo/Ariel Cheung]
As for the flops? Presidential candidates haven't hit it off like she'd predicted — in 2012, Barack Obama and Mitt Romney were all the rage. But even with colorful characters like Donald Trump in the running, it hasn't caught on a year ahead of the election, Thannum said.
But if it does over the next two weeks, Thannum is ready, with both Trump and Hillary Clinton wigs among dozens at Beatnix.
Wigs styled like Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are among dozens of hair pieces available at Beatnix on Halsted. [DNAinfo/Ariel Cheung]
People have also backed away from turning culture into costume with geisha or Native American outfits, which "means we're going somewhere as a society," Thannum said.
For Cubs fans, it comes as no surprise that Harry Caray is a popular choice at Hollywood Mirror, also in Lakeview at 812 W. Belmont Ave. The thrift store and costume shop known for its colorful window displays has seen a rush of superhero costumes, too, proving that "Avengers: Age of Ultron" helped Marvel maintain its grasp on pop culture.
Hollywood Mirror has dozens of new and used Halloween costumes and accessories, in addition to a large selection of vintage and thrift clothes. [DNAinfo/Ariel Cheung]
Going to a year-round costume store instead of a generic Halloween pop-up means the selection is huge and there are employees who can help piece together the perfect costume, said Thannum, who will be dressing up herself as a crazy lady cat ("like a cat that's obsessed with humans.")
Both stores also have thrift clothes, making them "a really good one-stop shop." The prices, particularly at Beatnix, are lower than a pop-up Halloween shop, and the variety of accessories can't be beat.
"We're just always into trying to give each person a special look when they don't want to look like they bought their [costume] out of a bag. Even if you don't know what you want to be, I want you to leave here with a good idea of what you want," Thannum said.
Beatnix on Halsted, a popular costume shop for Boystown drag queens and partygoers, really vamps up its selection for Halloween. [DNAinfo/Ariel Cheung]
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