Nerd Culture

The 10 Hottest Halloween Costume Trends of 2017

Masks and costume items for sale at a local Spirit Halloween store.
Masks and costume items for sale at a local Spirit Halloween store. Benjamin Leatherman

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click to enlarge Stranger Things costuming items at a local Spirit Halloween store. - BENJAMIN LEATHERMAN
Stranger Things costuming items at a local Spirit Halloween store.
Benjamin Leatherman
Stranger Things
The hullabaloo over Stranger Things is about to get even bigger over the next few weeks. The second season of the phenomenally popular Netflix program fittingly debuts just a few days before Halloween on October 27, and – according to its producer – things are only going to get stranger.

While that’s good news for fans, who have awaited the show’s return in earnest, it doesn’t allow much time to create any potential Halloween costumes referencing the new season. If that happens to be you, consider going with something from the epic first season, be it the Eggo-loving Eleven, Chief of Police Jim Hopper, or any of the kids. There are a variety of accessories and costuming items available at local costume shops like Groovy Ghoulies in Mesa or Easley’s in Central Phoenix, not to mention all the Spirit Halloween stores, to assist you.

Bill Skarsgård as Pennywise from It. - BROOKE PALMER/WARNER BROS.
Bill Skarsgård as Pennywise from It.
Brooke Palmer/Warner Bros.
Evil and insidious clowns have typically been a big hit during the scary season. In recent years, we’ve encountered such dastardly jesters as Twisty from American Horror Story, various versions of The Joker, and Captain Spaulding from House of 1000 Corpses. And then there’s Pennywise from It, who’s downright inescapable at the moment due to the success of the recently released remake.

As you’d expect, costume retailer are selling Pennywise costumes like mad, including both Tim Curry’s O.G. incarnation from the 1990 miniseries and Bill Skarsgård's frillier version currently seen in cinemas. Both are fantastically frightening.

Kyle MacLachlan and Al Strobel from the latest Twin Peaks season. - SUZANNE TENNER/SHOWTIME
Kyle MacLachlan and Al Strobel from the latest Twin Peaks season.
Suzanne Tenner/SHOWTIME
Twin Peaks
The odd and off-kilter nature of Twin Peaks makes it an easy choice, especially for anyone who’s a fan of the much-beloved original show or the long-awaited continuation. Like with It, you could go old-school or new-school.

If you're into the former, consider dressing as Sheriff Harry S. Truman, the original incarnation of the Log Lady, The Man from Another Place, or even the corpse of Laura Palmer (complete with plastic wrap and pale makeup). If you’re more into the new series, there are such options as Dougie Jones, Dr. Lawrence Jacoby, Diane, or (of course) Agent Cooper. You could also consider doing Candie and the Casino Girls with your gal-pals or The Woodsmen if you’ve got a few duders.

Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman.
Clay Enos/Warner Bros. and Ratpac Entertainment
Wonder Woman
Millions of folks flocked to cinemas this summer to see Wonder Woman on the big screen, smashing box office records and the glass ceiling in the process. The adventures of Diana Prince raked in $410 million domestically, making her the undisputed champ of comic book movies in 2017. Thanks to both of these facts, plus the legendary status of the character as a pop cultural icon, Wonder Woman costumes are expected to be phenomenally popular during Halloween among women and girls alike (and maybe even a few dudes, too).

Given that the character is going to be featured in the upcoming Justice League flick, there's a chance you might see her rolling with Batman, Superman, The Flash, and Aquaman in various group costumes as well.

Rick and Morty will be everywhere during Halloween. - COURTESY OF ADULT SWIM
Rick and Morty will be everywhere during Halloween.
Courtesy of Adult Swim
Rick and Morty
Adult Swim’s hit Rick and Morty Planet Musicis subversive, hilarious, nihilistic as hell, and occasionally pretty gross. It also was arguably one the biggest television shows of the summer, animated or otherwise. As such, expect to encounter plenty of characters from the show this Halloween season, including Summer, Beth, Mr. Meeseeks, Mr. Poopybutthole, and the gigantic Cromulons heads behind Planet Music.

Oh yeah, you also might run into any number of different Ricks and Mortys, owing to the infinite possibilities of the show’s multiverse shtick. Just off the top of our heads, there’s Doofus Rick, Hipster Morty, Junk Yard Rick, Karate Morty, Rick D. Sanchez III, and maybe even Pickle Rick. Or you could use your imagination and come up with something original.

Show us what you've got.

Other Ideas
If none of these suggestions are to your liking, you also could consider going as the human version of that gaudy Unicorn Frappuccino from Starbucks, the ass-kicking femme fatale from Atomic Blonde, or even characters from either the television remake of Westworld or that live action Beauty and the Beast film. The choice is up to you.
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Benjamin Leatherman is a staff writer at Phoenix New Times. He covers local nightlife, music, culture, geekery, and fringe pursuits.