Halloween costume traditions are a walk-through history! Reviewing the most popular trends throughout the decades is a fun reveal of what was trendy in the day….and it might just remind you of some awesome nights of dress-up of your own!
Clowns were all the rage! Gypsies, witches, and farmers also showed up at the door, but the Pierrot clown was what all the cool kids were wearing. (Although a painted white or black face is most definitely NOT a trend we will see in 2023!)
DISNEY gets the vote! The introduction of store-bought costumes made Minnie and Micky Mouse, in addition to the original princess (SNOW WHITE), the top costumes of the day.
WITCHES. Somehow they made the transition from frightening to sexy, as did black cats. This was the introduction of fishnet stockings and bodysuits…and no doubt quite a few arguments in homes across America. Pinup girls and the liberated woman reveal a drastic change in American culture and all that showed up at the front door on October 31!
ALL THINGS HAWAII. Floral prints and grass skirts were easy homemade outfits as well as Tarzan, Zorro, and Davy Crockett. Who knows? Perhaps this tiki trend was the motivation for Elvis’s acting career in the 60s!
SUPER HEROES – Superman, Spiderman, Catwoman….and the very common rubber masks of Dennis the Menace and other comic strip favorites. If traveling in a group, the Beatles were an easy costume and very popular at the front door as well.
PEANUTS – Not the guy with the top hat and cane, but Chuck and Lucy, and of course, the loveable Snoopy were the hits of the day! A little more complicated in the costume arena, STAR WARS characters were in vogue as well.
HULK (Hogan, that is) and ELVIRA – Muscle shirts and vampy black wigs took over neighborhoods everywhere across America. Manufactured best-sellers were Freddy Krueger, Princess Leia, and the Care Bears.
POWER RANGERS – Kids everywhere chose their favorite ranger and grabbed a plastic mask. TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES ran a close second in this decade.
MICHAEL JACKSON – These years brought a big change to Halloween costumes, as TV characters transitioned to the actors and singers themselves. HARRY POTTER and SPONGEBOB also made the popularity list.
FROZEN – the little ones gravitated to America’s favorite princesses and the slightly older crowd chose DONALD and HILLARY, as politicians became favorite fodder in the media and beyond.
It remains to be seen! So far, the popularity vote is as broad as American culture itself. Keeping with the expansive interests and quick turnover of trends, everything is seen on the streets from STRANGER THINGS characters to FAIRIES.
No matter what the costume, one thing has stood strong throughout the decades: Halloween is a night of creative reflection of our culture to be enjoyed by all ages. Stay safe and have fun!