10 Hottest Halloween Costume Trends of 2016

Masks for sale at a local Halloween Spirit store.EXPAND
Masks for sale at a local Halloween Spirit store.
Benjamin Leatherman

Let’s just get this outta the way first: A helluva lot of people will be spending their Halloween as either the Joker or Harley Quinn.

That’s not just our gut reaction, mind you, even though we’ve already encountered a gazillion different versions of the famed DC Comics characters this year. According to Google’s Frightgeist site, which tracks Halloween costuming trends, both Harley Quinn and the Joker are the most most popular costume choices, both nationally and here in Arizona.

Thankfully, there are plenty of other options when it comes to choosing what you’ll be going as for Halloween.

To wit: If you’re a fan of Stranger Things (and you really oughta be), you could always go as Joyce Byers, Eleven, or even the silver-haired Dr. Brenner. Or you could dress up as Kylo Ren or Rey from Star Wars: The Force Awakens, go as your favorite Pokémon, or spring for one of those nifty inflatable T-Rex deals you’ve seen on YouTube.

Put simply, you’ve got plenty of things to choose from. One thing you don’t have, however, is time, as Halloween is a week away. So in order to help you decide, we’ve assembled a rundown of the biggest and hottest costume trends this year.

An attendee of Phoenix Comicon Fan Fest 2016 wreaks havoc in an inflatable tyrannosaurus rex costume.EXPAND
An attendee of Phoenix Comicon Fan Fest 2016 wreaks havoc in an inflatable tyrannosaurus rex costume.
Benjamin Leatherman

Inflatable T-Rex
As countless viral videos can attest, that inflatable Tyrannosaurus rex costume that’s become a thing over the last year will never not be funny. Maybe its all the absurd situations we’ve seen it in (pole dancing, horseback riding, ballet classes, even running the course on American Ninja Warrior) or the comical manner in which it bumbles and bobs about, but it's always hilarious to watch. So much so that you don’t mind forking over upwards of $100 to get one. It certainly hasn’t stopped people from buying it at local shops like Groovy Ghoulies Costumes in Mesa. “It’s been popular throughout the whole year,” says assistant manager Patricia Colomy. “We’ve sold out and reordered it a couple of times now.”

Cosplaying Aladdin Sane at BOO! Arizona 2016.
Cosplaying Aladdin Sane at BOO! Arizona 2016.
Benjamin Leatherman

David Bowie
Its been 10 months since the world was robbed of the tremendous talents of David Bowie and we’re still very much in mourning. If you’re feeling the same and would like to offer tribute to the late, great musician, Halloween would be the perfect time to do so, considering his penchant for theatricality and over-the-top artistic flair. And thanks to the sheer multitude of projects (both acting and music-related) that dot his prolific career, there are plenty of potential costumes to choose from. You could mimic the lightning bolt face-paint and glammy hairstyle of Aladdin Sane, go all out to replicate the fantastical look of Jareth the evil Goblin King from Labyrinth, or recreate his dapper look playing Nikola Tesla in The Prestige.

Ghostbusters
If there’s one thing we can take away from the unfortunate controversy surrounding the new Ghostbusters film (other than the fact that chauvinistic trolling by creepy male geeks is sadly a thing), it's that people still love the supernatural comedy with a passion. Hence the reason why interest in Ghostbusters costumes is big this year, albeit more in the ‘80s version rather than the reboot. “People want to be Ghostbusters,” Colomy says. “But they're more interested in the original costumes instead of the new ones with orange stripes.”

Ryan Reynolds as Deadpool.
Ryan Reynolds as Deadpool.
Joe Lederer/Twentieth Century Fox

Deadpool
Let’s face it: Everything about Deadpool is cool. Not only an ass-kicking comic book character who sports a rad costume and lays waste to bad guys, the “merc with a mouth” tends to get all the good one-liners. He was wildly popular and oft-mimicked by countless geeks even before the hit Deadpool film from earlier this year raked in a gazillion dollars and made Wade Wilson’s alter ego a household name. As such, prepare to see several Deadpools raising hell and having fun during Halloween.

Cardboard masks of Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton for sale at a local Halloween Spirit store.EXPAND
Cardboard masks of Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton for sale at a local Halloween Spirit store.
Benjamin Leatherman

Donald Trump & Hillary Clinton
Election Day truly can’t get here fast enough for us, especially since it seems like the never-ending battle between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump dominates pretty much everything. That includes Halloween, as evidenced by the multitude of masks depicting either candidate that are available for purchase at local costume stores. As is often the case with Halloween, some folks will take things to extremes, such as wearing a Clinton mask with a prisoner outfit in reference to the whole “Crooked Hillary” thing or dressing as a Mexican version of Trump for obvious reasons. If nothing else, it would be befitting of the WTF nature of this whole election.



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