Nerd Culture

10 Hottest Halloween Costume Trends of 2016

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Star Wars
Thanks to the fact that Disney will be busting out Star Wars films annually, the legendary sci-fi franchise will probably be a staple of every Halloween for years to come. (At least until everyone gets sick of the whole thing, that is.) At the moment, people are still going gaga over The Force Awakens, especially for its two biggest characters. “Star Wars is still a big seller for us,” Colomy says. “There’s a more interest in The Force Awakens, definitely with Kylo Ren and Rey. We just got a few costumes in for the new film, Rogue One, and have sold a few of ‘em.”

The obsession over the tragic death of the now-famous gorilla, who was shot and killed by snipers at the Cleveland Zoo back in May, has reached a fever pitch over the last several months. And since certain costume companies have little shame or have never seen a trend or scandal they couldn’t exploit, there are a wealth of Harambe-related items and getups for sale. That includes the “sexy gorilla” outfits or Harambe cardboard masks, as well as more tasteless items like a T-shirt resembling a gorilla’s chest that’s been riddled with bullet holes. Seriously. And if you'd like to get a jump on the holidays, there are already Harambe ugly sweaters available.

Dressing up as characters from the phenomenally successful video game/anime/pop culture franchise has been a thing dating back to its debut in the late ‘90s. (Fast fact: local superstar cosplayer Jessica Nigri rocketed to worldwide fame after wearing a sexy Pikachu costume in 2009.) However, with Pokémon Go becoming a national obsession this summer (with everyone and their mothers playing the augmented reality game), it's guaranteed that tons of people will become anthropomorphized versions of Bulbasaur, Squirtle, Snorlax, or any of the other creatures from the Pokedex. Just refrain from tossing any Pokéballs at ‘em. That’s rude.

Stranger Things
Good news for anyone hoping to put together a Stranger Things costume this year: Most of what you’ll need can be found at local secondhand shops and thrift stores, whether its Eleven's pink collared dress and denim jacket, Barb's ruffled shirt and big glasses, or Nancy's cable-knit sweater. (Or if you want to be the Ouija wall from the Byers’ residence, you can probably score a shirt mimicking the ugly floral pattern of the wallpaper before painting letters on your chest and wrapping yourself with Christmas lights.) The bad news? Everyone else is probably hitting up the same places for the said items. In other words, better get a move on.

Harley Quinn and the Joker
Suicide Squad was an awful movie. Phenonemally awful. Probably the worst superhero movie since either Superman IV: The Quest for Peace or Batman and Robin. Seriously. That said, it was also phenomenally popular (earning in excess of $743 million worldwide) and – for better or for worse – cemented the character of Harley Quinn as a pop-culture icon. So, as we previously discussed, you’ll encounter doppelgangers of both her and the Joker in great abundance at Halloween events this year. While it's understandable if you prefer Margot Robbie’s sparkly, pants-wearing, bat-wielding Harley Quinn from the movie, it’d be cooler (and a lot less exploitative) if you did the OG version from Batman: The Animated Series. Just saying.
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Benjamin Leatherman is a staff writer at Phoenix New Times. He covers local nightlife, music, culture, geekery, and fringe pursuits.