Pop culture costumes

Helen O'Neill

Stranger Things

Halloween costumes are no longer just a cut out sheet thrown on to provide a few scares. Today, costumes are a reflection of how up to date you are with popular culture.

Recently, Halloween costumes have been mimicking the hit movies, TV shows and celebrities of that year. Even the most talked about, bizarre celebrity rumour becomes a costume. This year’s costume sites are selling a buzzed about Kylie Jenner pregnancy costume, complete with baby bump and slick black wig.

While old-school costumes such as a witch and the devil still make an appearance, the real MVP of Halloween are this year’s top pop culture references.

2017 was a scary year in many ways but the stand outs were clowns. The cult following of the year, whether you loved them or cowered at the very sight of them, there was no denying clowns had their moment. Saves on Pinterest for clown make up is up by 941% according to American fashion marketplace Lyst.

The most memorable clown of 2017 was not Trump, although we will come to him later. The hotly anticipated IT remake hit our screens a month ago and instantly the clown Pennywise became the go-to costume for Halloween. While the costume might look like a lot of effort, a slick of face paint and someone handy on the sewing machine could transform old threads in your dad’s wardrobe to achieve this look.

As well as movies, American Horror Story: Cult also jumped on the clown bandwagon to provide even more costumes to choose from. Twisty the clown is a staple for the series and costume sites are selling full Twisty costumes. If you’re partial to just throwing on a mask for Halloween take your pick from the cult of clown’s in Season 7 and you’re set.

The popular Netflix show Riverdale is definitely going to make a big appearance on the scene this Halloween. The costumes for Betty, Veronica, Archie and Jughead are super easy with the hardest piece to source probably being a letterman jacket. Riverdale has set up the perfect group costume with minimal effort.

On the topic of TV, Big Little Lies have provided a costume within a costume for Halloween. The women of the show go to an Audrey Hepburn party where they each dress as a different Hepburn role. Fans of the show will know that a group of 5 could pay serious homage to the series by each picking an Audrey to portray.

Another standout show with a strong costume presence is The Handmaids Tale, which could be tricky to source the capes and hoods but there would be no fear of having an unrecognisable costume while donning those dramatic outfits.

Stranger Things character Eleven was a big hit last year and with the release of Season 2 for October 27th, you can bet money on it that the streets and the parties will be full of Elevens. A pink dress and white shirt complete with either a blond wig or the shaved head look depending of how extreme you want to go will make for an easy and popular costume.

Every year the reliable Wonder Woman costume is inevitably seen but this Halloween will see an increase in the superhero costume following the Gal Gadot hit movie release. Think your normal Wonder Woman with an updated uniform and added woman power and you’ll be well on your way to a bold costume.

For something a bit more topical, and depending on your political view, potentially frightening, an easy look to recreate if you have enough confidence is that of American president Donald Trump. The true inspiration for the best costume of Trump is not from the man himself but from Alec Baldwin’s SNL sketch. A suit, a few cushions for extra padding and a blond comb over are the key pieces to an inevitable 2017 costume. And of course, don’t forget to invest in a bottle of tan to recklessly splash over your face. The streakier the better.

While a lot of Halloween sites will be stocking all the costumes mentioned, they don’t come without the steep price tag. Second hand and vintage stores are a treasure trove for costumes and don’t forget to rummage in your parents or grandparent’s wardrobes. You could find exactly what you’re looking for to piece the perfect Halloween costume together.

Helen O’Neill

Image Credit: Netflix