Halloween costumes: Going with the Flo (and Gecko)

John Egan

Aside from the traditional witches, superheroes, pirates and princesses you'll see around Halloween, you may spot children and adults dressed like advertising characters from two car insurance companies. Perhaps the most popular of the costumed insurance characters is Flo, the perky pitchwoman from Progressive.

This is one of dozens of people who've posted their Flo costume photos on Facebook.

The company even has gone so far as to dispense online advice about how to look like Flo, including tips on clothing, hair and makeup. This year, Progressive worked with beauty expert Kandee Johnson to show YouTube viewers how to mirror Flo's appearance. To date, the YouTube video has been viewed more than 250,000 times, Progressive spokeswoman Brittany Senary says. This is the second year that Progress has promoted the "Dress Like Flo" campaign on Twitter and used the #DressLikeFlo hashtag, Senary says.

This, according to Progressive, is what you need to be a Flo-alike:

• Perky wig or hairstyle.

• Navy headband.

• MAC Lady Bug lipstick (a product endorsement).

• White polo shirt.

• I ♥ Insurance button.

• Tricked-out name tag.

• Watch with thin brown band.

• White apron with Progressive logo.

• White pants.

• Navy Chuck Taylor All Star shoes (another product endorsement).

If you don't want to go to the trouble of putting together the entire ensemble on your own, you can buy the official Flo costume on Amazon.com for $29.95. The outfit includes a Progressive apron, I ♥ Insurance button and tricked-out name tag. "This is the first year that Flo’s uniform has been sold by Amazon.com," Senary says, "and it is a best-selling costume."

Progressive's Flo page on Facebook is full of photos of girls, women and even men sporting Flo attire. The page has about 3.2 million fans. Two other Halloween costumes you're likely to catch around Halloween are the Caveman and Gecko characters from car insurance company GEICO. Last year, the Gecko catapulted to the high-fashion scene in New York City, as the British-accented lizard was featured in Parsons The New School for Design's "Workwear" exhibit.

"The thought of the GEICO Gecko costume being invited into a high-brow fashion exhibition hosted by one of New York's most prestigious design institutions is truly an honor for us," Ted Ward, GEICO's vice president of marketing, said in 2010. "We thought it seemed like the perfect way to illustrate the connection between clothing and business and are proud to be included." Various websites offer instructions on how to morph into the Gecko or Caveman.

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