The most popular Halloween costumes for 2021, and where to buy
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In the largely risible Sex and the City (2008) movie, Miranda Hobbes summarises women’s Halloween costume options succinctly, “That’s it. The only two choices for women, witch and sexy kitten.”
But times have moved on in the past decade. A plethora of intriguing anti-heroes popularised in Disney movies, Marvel shows, and comic book movies mean that now, there are many more options for ladies - and, indeed, gentlemen - searching for a fun Halloween costume.
With a Halloween season necessarily abandoned in 2020 due to Covid restrictions, this year interest is already peaking for people seeking out a spectacular Halloween costume for spooky celebrations.
We’ve already summarised the best Halloween costumes for men and women in this handy guide, and a list of the best Halloween costumes for trick or treating children.
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What are the most popular 2021 Halloween costumes
But if you’re hoping for a costume that’s bang on trend for 2021, SlotsUp have analysed this year’s Google search trends and detailed the ten most popular UK Halloween costumes.
While a few old favourites feature, recent movies and TV shows have dominated the list of on trend costumer. We’ve listed them below, as well as where to buy.
The ten most popular Halloween Costumes for 2021, counting down from 10 to 1...
Money Heist costume
Money Heist - or, to use its Spanish title, La Casa de Papel - was (until Squid Games was released) Netflix’s highest rated foreign language show, a rollicking thriller and runaway success.
The first season saw a gang of criminals code-named after major cities, garbed in revolutionary-red overalls and Salvador Dalí masks.
They broke into the Royal Mint of Spain, taking 67 people hostage and literally printing themselves money, the sweet little sum of 2.4bn euros.
Not hard to understand the popularity of dressing as a Heister, then. It’s a deliciously comfy unisex option. All you need is a red boiler suit, and a Dali mask - counterfeit money is optional.
Since the release of George Romero’s 1968 horror classic, Night of the Living Dead, zombies have been a mainstay of scary costuming.
They’re back in fashion, with the notion of a disease tearing its way through nations (struck by supply shortages and a paranoid populace) rapaciously oddly popular just now, for some reason.
The great fun of dressing as the undead is that you can chose the moment your character was bitten and frozen in time. Zombie clown? Teacher? Bride? Terrifying, and with a hint of pathos.
We love this zombie priest option, for the added sinister ecumenical overtones.
There are now almost as many Joker iterations in movie history as there have been takes on Hamlet, so alluring is the Clown Prince of Gotham to actor’s wanting to dial their performance up to 11.
This writer prefers the dark, dirty vocal work of Mark Hamill on the superlative animated version, or the deranged menace of Heath Ledger’s Dark Knight incarnation.
But there is little doubt the current surge in popularity for Joker costume’s is due to Joaquin Phoenix’s Oscar winning turn in the 2019 The Joker film.
Link to that costume below.
We here at Recommended are going to keep our feelings about the fact that Halloween costumes are meant to be scary to ourselves (you can split hairs given the celebration’s Christian and pagan roots, but c’mon, people - it’s Fright Night) and instead stick to reporting that Princess costumes are the seventh most sought out costume option for spooky season.
Further to that, Disney princesses top that particular sub category, with ‘Women’s Princess Jasmine’ costume the most popular search overall, because there is never a better time to bare your midriff and wear diaphanous harem pants than the onset of winter at night.
Harley Quinn costume
The DC anti-hero with a distinctive Brooklyn accent and a love of anarchy has sky-rocketed in popularity thanks to Margot Robbie’s masterful performance in Suicide Squad, Birds of Prey, and The Suicide Squad (Hollywood puts a lot of primacy on the definite article).
The films are of varying quality (the first on the list is an argument that Jared Leto needs to be sent back out into the desert to meditate and left there) - but she is excellent throughout.
A brilliant choice for a lady who likes chaos, short shorts, or simply needs an excuse to wield a baseball bat for the night.
Cruella De Vil was the latest Disney villain given a sympathetic overhaul in a prequel this year (we can debate the necessity to redeem a woman whose prime character trait was a desire to murder puppies later), and the resultant film was unexpectedly fun.
It’s little wonder the black and white garbed anti-hero proved so popular: depicted by Emma Stone, in the 2021 movie Cruella’s costumes were designed by genius costumier Jenny Beavan and they’re a luscious treat.
No wonder shoppers are seeking to emulate those striking looks. Please just step back from the puppies.
Midsommar Flower Queen costume
Ari Aster’s 2019 psychological horror Midsommar is a psychedelic, unnerving, and often darkly comic watch: not one to watch if you relationship is a bit shaky, though.
Its conclusion sees our long-suffering heroine Dani crowned ‘May Queen’ and garbed in an elaborate floral gown and crown (pictured), while her boyfriend gets to dress up as a cosy teddy bear.
Danni’s floral gown is the ideal costume if a) you don’t fancy flashing any flesh and b) you want to stay cosy on a crisp October’s eve.
You can’t purchase the costume (we’ve looked!) but there are images of many a DIY option floating around the internet. We’ve linked to an excellent florist if you want to give it a go...
It’s a cat, what can we say. In defence of its popularity, cats are excellent animals, so there’s much to be said for dressing as one. Sleeping in the sun and staying aloof? The animals know how to live.
We’re linking to a lightly fetish-y, Catwoman-inspired cat costume, because it can’t be denied the Sexy Cat outfit is an enduringly popular one. You were right, Miranda Hobbes, what can we say.
The Purge franchise has proven to be a modern movie phenomenon, using a basic premise: for one night, all crime is legal.
The film is an allegory that examines the disparity between classes and, in later films, racial divides. Either that or it’s an exploitative excuse to show ultraviolent gory murders. (A little from column a, a little from column b)
It’s not surprising it’s a popular costume: little more to it than a scary, sinister mask (several iterations are available), and comfy hoodies and track pants as clothing.
Pair with a faux weapon and despair at societal decay.
Scarlet Witch costume
Did we say that times had changed, and there are many more costume options for women than witch or sexy kitten? Oops.
Although Scarlet Witch, popularised in the Marvel Avengers movies and the subject of the hugely successful TV show WandaVision, is a cut above the average witch (no disrespect to the Wiccan community intended).
Depicted by Elizabeth Olsen, she’s an astonishingly powerful superhero, one who rides the line between good and evil in a thrilling way.
You can plump for the modern, leather-clad, modern version, but this 1960s inspired outfit looks altogether more comfortable - and fun.