HALLOWEEN MAY BE a North American tradition but in the last decade or so it’s been fully embraced here too, with kids trick or treating around neighbourhoods, fancy-dress parties and, of course, social media saturation.
Each year the costumes that trend reflect the year’s pop-cultural and political output, offering a snapshot of the social and cultural zeitgeist. Last year, for example, Stranger Things, Elvis and Priscilla, Patrick Bateman, Harley Quinn and Top Gun, were huge. Celebs often lead costume trends, with Megan Fox and Machine Gun Kelly dressing up as Pamela Anderson and Mötley Crue drummer Tommy Lee, while others opted to pay tribute to established classics, with Kendall Jenner turning out as Jessie from Pixar’s Toy Story.
Here’s a look at the character costumes likely to be lighting up social feeds this Halloween.
Ken and Barbie
Ken and Barbie are a no brainer this Halloween—the movie has grossed over $2.74b at the box office this year—and both characters present a plethora of dress-up options. Everyone’s favourite toy boy offers Roller Skate Ken, Cowboy Ken, Mojo Dojo Casa House Ken, Beach Ken, Ken in a box, and Denim Ken. Take your pick, as long as you bring the requisite “Kenergy” you’ll be fine. Barbie, of course, is a clothes horse offering a similarly lavish suite of costume variations. If you don’t have a partner these two also work in isolation.
Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce
The ‘It’ couple of the moment, certainly in the US, are an easy win. Kelce, in case you’re not familiar with American football, plays for the Kansas City Chiefs and is one of the NFL’s all-time greatest tight-ends with eight Probowls and four All Pro selections. Swift, who is dating him, needs no introduction, (right?!), with her appearances at Kelce’s games reliably melting the internet.
This perhaps makes too much sense for Halloween, ticking off both pop-cultural heft and gothic spookiness.
Oppenheimer and Einstein
You can either opt for J. Robert Oppenheimer’s brown suit, wide brim hap and pipe or Einstein’s wild white hair.
Becks and Posh
These two benefit from the Beckham docuseries dropping right in the Halloween lead-up sweet spot at the beginning of October. Beckham, who is possibly football’s embodiment of a Ken Doll, has always been a figure for fans to project onto and his portfolio of hairdos over the years give you plenty of options: buzzcut, braids, mohawk and curtains to name a few. You could also bust out his various team’s strips: Manchester United, Real Madrid, LA Galaxy, Inter Milan, and Paris Saint-Germain, along with England. Not doing it for you? There’s always the sarong.
Carmy from The Bear
The main character from the year’s standout comedy drama series The Bear requires fairly minimal effort: a white T-shirt, a blue apron and your most comfortable shoes will suffice. Better yet, it’s a good excuse to pick up a new pan to use as a prop and put it to use with a post-Halloween fry-up. The show’s newly single star, Jeremy Allen White, has been on a social media heater of late—to pull off his look you’ll need to lose your shirt.
Someone from the Roman Empire
Thanks to the Roman Empire TikTok trend, swords and sandals or togas are likely to be big at Halloween parties. The question is, are you leader, warrior, philosopher or orgy participant?
The Last of Us
Zombies are a Halloween staple and this year they get a fresh spin thanks to the post-apocalyptic HBO hit. Some kind of papier–mâché fungal growth spilling out the side of your head is the type of gruesome gore Halloween fans love.
The question here is which character? Logan Roy is suitably frightening and his shawl cardigans are easy to pull off. Kendall’s non-descript blue baseball caps and luxury normcore is also an option, though perhaps a little too subtle. The rest of the boys, Roman, Connor, Tom and Cousin Greg, largely just require a nice suit, otherwise there’s Lucas Madsen’s Scandi gamer look. Prefer to keep it real with a real-life succession story? Try Lachlan Murdoch.
If you’re a couple why not embrace the year’s biggest pop-cultural phenomenon by combining Barbie or Ken with Oppenheimer?
Tanya from The White Lotus
The fan-favourite heiress, Tanya McQuoid (Jennifer Coolidge) is ripe for the picking this Halloween, particularly if you’re hanging out with a crew of “high-end gays”. You’ll need a floral maxi dress, pink scarf, and heels, maybe a Vespa if you can swing it. Alternatively, resort wear is an option for the rest of the cast.
The drug-fuelled American black bear is sure to be a menace at Halloween this year. The bear outfit shouldn’t be too hard to come by. The white powder may require more of an outlay.
Ariel from The Little Mermaid
While you might think the evil Ursula is the more likely Halloween costume, being scary often comes a distant second to appearing sexy for many fancy dress fans. Expect to see a lot of sparkly tails around.
Actors on strike
The fact is this year many celebs weren’t actually making a splash onscreen as they were busy manning picket lines in the SAG actors’ strike. Grab a placard and show your solidarity.
Mario or Luigi
A good choice if you have kids, the iconic Italian plumbers set fire to the box office to the tune of $1.36b USD.
After the failure of the Voice referendum, in no small part to the opposition leader’s scare campaign, you could consider dressing up as Dutton to run your own version of a Halloween scare campaign.