Ask a Shop Clerk: Wayne Baker

Photo: Melissa Hom

What’s the most popular costume this year?
Michael Jackson, but also Hannah Montana and that nasty pig from Saw VI.

What’s the best-selling sexy costume?
Catwoman is always popular, but this year the sexy police costumes have been doing really well.

Ever get any odd rental requests?
SNL called on a Thursday and needed mutt costumes for Saturday—not pedigree, they had to be mutts. There’s also a guy who wants a very specific Ace Frehley costume from KISS. I told him, “It’s not like they’re going to make four different kinds of Ace costumes.”

You’ve been in the costume business for 53 years. What’s been the biggest change?
There’s a tremendous demand for XXL and XXXL costumes. Years ago, we would put out a few costumes and they’d all be gone. We found out it was a totally underdeveloped costume category.

What’s the most expensive costume?
We have a Coca-Cola polar-bear suit for $1,000. We sold one of him yesterday.

What’s the male-to-female ratio in the store?
It’s about 60 to 40, women. I get a lot of girls in here who want their boyfriends to dress up as a couple costume. Guys just want to go to parties and impress women. They either want to be something really funny or they want to be gladiators.

Ask a Shop Clerk: Wayne Baker