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Online Trends

Published October 25th 2023

Frightfully Fabulous: What Halloween Costumes Are Trending This Year?

Spooky season is upon us, bringing with it the allure of candle-lit pumpkins, captivating ghost stories, and the thrill of trick-or-treating. And no Halloween is complete without dressing up. Read on to discover the latest costume trends according to social data.

Halloween costumes have a long history. The earliest reference to dressing up for Halloween comes from Scotland in 1585. 

With the rise of photography in the 19th century, there are many vintage photos of people showing off their scary costumes portraying ghosts, animals, or characters from famous fairy tales. Over the years, the repertoire of spooky Halloween costumes has expanded to include costumes based on famous people or characters from movies, books, or even video games.  

What costumes are trending this year? 

We looked at social data around Halloween costumes to determine the most popular costumes this year, the influence of pop culture, and what's in store for people’s pets, too. 

Here are our predictions for this year’s Halloween costumes.

Most popular Halloween costumes

Using Brandwatch Consumer Research, we analyzed over 1.53 million online conversations about Halloween costumes from August to October 2023 to identify the most popular costumes.

According to social data, ghosts, witches, and vampires are the top 3 most popular costumes this year. Cats, skeletons, and zombies are also popular choices for Halloween costumes. In addition to the more classical choices, the two highest-grossing movies of 2023 both made it into the top 10: Barbie and Super Mario Bros. So, you can expect to see a lot of pink this season, with people dressing up as Barbie, Ken, and Princess Peach.

And speaking of Barbie; pop culture influences many aspects of our lives, and Halloween is no exception. They shake up the costume game, leaving people curious each year about which pop culture character will emerge as a Halloween costume trend. They are also great for fans to celebrate their favorite movie or video game character. 

Let's take a look at what's trending this Halloween for pop culture costumes.

Favorite pop culture costumes

We already know that characters from Barbie and the Super Mario Bros. Movie will be big this year. There will be no shortage of stereotypical Barbies and Marios out trick-or-treating.

Other popular costumes include characters from Harry Potter, Chucky, Spider-Man, and The Addams Family, which were also frequently mentioned in online conversations. The Addams Family got a boost from the popular Netflix show Wednesday. Wednesday Addams and her relatives will surely be a popular choice for Halloween fans looking to dress more gothic. 

The top 10 pop culture Halloween costumes are dominated by characters from movies and shows. With one exception: Taylor Swift. 2023 has been a big year for the singer. Her Eras Tour concerts are expected to top $1 billion in sales next year, and her concert movie is breaking box office records. 

So it's no surprise that Taylor Swift exerts a significant influence on Halloween attire. Whether it's her iconic concert outfits throughout the years or elements inspired by her popular music videos, there’s something for everyone.

Rising stars in the Halloween costume game 

Which costumes have become more popular over the past few months? We looked at the Halloween costumes with the highest growth in mentions to discover costumes that may not be in the top ten but have seen a significant increase in online conversation.

The Addams Family, Paw Patrol, and The Bear top the list. All three are popular shows, and it seems that they inspire people this Halloween. Also, Wonder Woman and Frankenstein's monster are both seeing big growth in online costume conversations.

Howl-o-ween costumes: Dressing up pets 

For many pet owners, dressing up their cat or dog is a fun way to involve their furry family members in the festivities. According to a PetSmart survey, 76% of respondents said they enjoy dressing up their pets for Halloween. 

Buying a Halloween costume for dogs or cats is nothing new, but this year it could be a bigger trend than last year. Online mentions from August to October 2023 are up 14% compared to the same period last year. People are excited to show off their pets in cute costumes. 

What are the most popular pet costumes for Halloween?

According to social data, these are the top five costume trends: 

🎃 Pumpkin

🕷 Spider

👻 Ghost

🦇 Bat

🌭 Hot dog

Whether you dress up your cat as a scary spider or your dog as a spooky ghost, the cuteness is definitely over the top. And people are there for it. While sentiment-categorized mentions around Halloween costumes generally are 56% positive, conversations around pet costumes are 63% positive.

That’s a wrap

This Halloween season promises a mix of classic costumes like ghosts and witches, along with costumes inspired by pop culture icons like Barbie and Taylor Swift. Don’t forget to involve your pets for an extra dose of cuteness. With our list, you should now have enough inspiration to choose a Halloween costume and have a spooky time. 

Happy Halloween!

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