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In Hill Costume Shop, Obama Takes the Top Spot

Who wants to be former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin for Halloween? Apparently, a lot of people do.

Sandra Duraes, co-owner of Eastern Market costume shop Backstage Inc., has been helping customers find wigs and style them in ponytails with a poof in the front and swoop bangs on the side. Don’t forget the glasses ... and a plastic rifle.

With Halloween around the corner, Backstage has been filled with customers looking for the perfect costumes.

“This is our Christmas,” Duraes said.

This year’s best-selling political mask is the likeness of President Barack Obama.

“Typical,” she said, since masks of the sitting president usually bring the most sales. Except the mask of President George W. Bush — “No one wanted to be Bush” when he was in power, she said.

A few days ago, Duraes helped a man and woman who wanted to go as Palin and former Vice President Dick Cheney. Both insisted on toting fake guns.

The mask of President Richard Nixon is another favorite this year. “He’s a cult-like classic,” she said.

Political masks, however, are not the most popular sell at Backstage, which has been open since 1981. Most young people are “looking to be sexy or funny,” she said. For the men, “Top Gun” characters are a hit this season. So are gladiator costumes. The women are grabbing the short-skirted bar maid, flapper and Cleopatra outfits. Horror rentals, including witches and other scary characters, are only 5 percent of sales.

Duraes warned: “Scary is out of style.”

Dress accordingly.

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