Palo Alto High grad Tiffany Gush only seems to live in the past. Surrounded by clothing of the 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s and 80s at Empire Vintage Clothing, she has an eye for detail that helps customers step into a different era without ever leaving home.
Her top assistant, Orchid, has a unique look all her own. The college student is thrilled to help folks find a way to transport themselves to another time in style.
Halloween is one of their busiest times, though the day after Thanksgiving can be quite hectic as people search for the perfect Christmas gear.
There's something for everyone in the family, from girl scout to biker chick.
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Modern-day popular literary characters appear to be this year's biggest sellers when it comes to Halloween costumes, say the owners of Redwood City's House of Humor costume superstore.
Jack Greenbaum, who has been running House of Humor at 747 El Camino Real for roughly 28 years now - his son Mark just joined the family business about six years ago - says sexy characters from the controversial 50 Shades of Grey book series, as well as the iconic heroine Katniss from the Hunger Games series, are proving to be two of this year's most sought-after costumes by Halloween lovers on the Peninsula.
"Our '50 Shades of Grey' kit that Jack designed has been pretty popular," Mark told Patch this week. "The kit was his idea."
Lingerie in general has been a popular choice this year, said Jack. House of Humor has a small room dedicated to lingerie and other sexy costume accessories within the store.
As for Hunger Games costumes, Jack said House of Humor's large crossbow is a great choice, and he said the store was expecting a shipment of Katniss wigs - featuring her trademark long, dark braid - at any minute.
Naturally, Mitt Romney and Barack Obama masks are also a popular seller. House of Humor has an entire wall of political masks to choose from, including good-old Ronald Reagan, George W. Bush and others.
So, what do the kids all want to be this year?
For the boys, Jack and Mark say zombies, pirates and superheroes are all popular choices this year. House of Humor has an entire small room within the store stocked with pirate costumes and accessories like eye patches, swords and beards for those looking to be a sea-dwelling captain this year.
And, the store has plenty in the way of the living dead as well.
Candice, a mother from Menlo Park, was shopping Wednesday with her two boys, ages 10 and 6, who want to be something scary like a zombie or skeleton this year. With House of Humor's large selection of scary costumes, they were sure they would be able to find something.
Another family from Portola Valley also came to House of Humor especially to check out the selection of scary costumes Wednesday. Ella, 12, wants to be a zombie bride, and her two younger brothers - Luke, 6, and Theo, 9 - want to be a zombie and an alien, respectively.
For girls, Katy Perry with her vibrantly-colored wigs, tall platform shoes and cupcake-adorned dresses is starting to trend for the first time this year. House of Humor has an entire wall filled with every kind of wig one can imagine, and plenty in the way of Katy Perry-esque dresses, shoes and accessories as well.
For the younger girls, rest assured that House of Humor has nearly an entire wall in its kids' room devoted to Disney princess costumes - always a popular choice.
PATCH WANTS TO KNOW - What are you looking to be for Halloween this year? Parents, what's at the top of your kids' costume wish-list? Tell us in the comments below, and feel free to add/upload photos to this article!