What are Some Popular Halloween Costumes?

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  • Written By: Diana Bocco
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Images By: Patrick Hermans, 1950Sunlimited, Wisky, Oleksii Sergieiev, Aceshot
  • Last Modified Date: 08 January 2020
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Popular costumes change from year to year, heavily influenced by trendy movies and TV shows, music celebrities, and well-loved cartoons. Every October, the National Retail Federation puts out a list of the most popular costumes for the coming season. In 2006, for example, pirates, superheroes, and witches were amonth the most popular. In 2004, the top costume was Spiderman; in 2003, it was The Hulk.

These trends have much to do with the current blockbusters, which goes to show that even when it comes to popular Halloween costumes, the popular media has the last say. Some other popular costumes are timeless classics. Fairies, cheerleaders, and Disney characters are always popular, along with vampires and clowns. Older kids and preteens often favor scary costumes. In 2006, some of the most popular costumes for teens included undead cheerleaders and corpse brides. Some of the most popular costumes for babies are Disney classics such as Winnie the Pooh. Animals such as bunnies, ladybugs, and cats have also been trendy choices for babies and toddlers.


Among adults, sexy outfits tend to be popular costumes. It's hard to imagine a Halloween without a sexy nurse, an attractive French maid, or a seductive vampire. Traditional characters never get old and are popular costumes among adults. This includes classic movie characters, such as Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz, or celebrities such as Elvis or Marilyn Monroe. For adults, much of the fun of Halloween comes with playing dress up, so many opt for costumes based on puns or visual gags.

For people who prefer to skip stores and make their own Halloween costumes, creativity is key. Even those who can't sew can easily piece together a costume from the back of the closet. Don a Hawaiian shirt and an old camera and you have an instant costume as a tourist, for example.

Above all, remember to be safe and have fun. Halloween is a day when everybody gets to be a child again, no matter their age.


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Discuss this Article

Post 4

@babyksay - I agree. They are certainly cute, but not all of them are appropriate. Still, that is the beauty of dressing up for Halloween. Children's costumes, of course, would be be more docile and even quite cute in some aspects. I really love that most specialty Halloween stores have different sections by age. It can help you decide where to go and which costume to buy for your family members.

It is certainly fun to dress up, but most adults don't and leave it to the kids. I think it is our responsibility as adults to join in on the fun. I have seen Lady Gaga, Snooki, and all the Twilight crew this year.

Post 3

@Pimiento - I know those costumes that you are talking about. They are made my Leg Avenue and Dream Girl and some of them are just awful. They do not promote healthy body images in my opinion... at least not with their advertising and some of them are borderline unacceptable for teens. I think they should have a rating on them much like movies do, but what can you do? Leg Avenue is actually a clothing company that most adult shops carry. Still the costumes are quite cute for the right person slash body type, but they are by no means cheap costumes.

Post 2

@bbpuff - I think it's really important to keep reinventing the classic costumes like Snow White and such. When you reinvent a costume it's like it is brand new. I have actually seen a lot of rather risque looking interpretations which, of course, wouldn't be appropriate for younger children, but there are always the Disney Princess costumes for that. I think it is a lot more difficult to find costumes for boys and men than it is for girls and/or women. It seems to work out the same with clothes shopping in general.

Post 1

I think the popularity of costumes really depends on what shows are popular. Aside from the traditional costumes like witches and ghouls and stuff, television and movies currently have a lot of pull in the costume department. I went to a local Halloween store recently to buy costumes for my kids and I saw all kinds of new things, including Lady Gaga costumes. Yikes!

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