This year has been unusually generous with providing Halloween costume concepts that everyone will recognize. We’ve collected a bunch of them (and yes, that includes Barbie) into this list of the best pop culture costumes for 2023.
There are two things we know in this world. Number one: Dunkin’ pumpkin coffee just hits better than a Starbucks PSL. We said what we said. And number two: there will be approximately five million Barbie costumes out on Halloween this year. It’s the beginning of a revolution.
So we’ve got her on this list, but if you’re looking for inspo for some other pop culture costumes to rock during spooky season this year, check out our picks. We’ve got everything ranging from a scary Wednesday Addams to a lovely Princess Ariel to a fabulous Taylor Swift to Just Allan. Hey, at least we didn’t say Ken.
The 21 Best Pop Culture Costumes for 2023
1. Allan (from Barbie)
There’s only one Allan…unless we’re talking about Halloween 2023 where there will likely be one Allan per Halloween party. Contribute to an army of Allans with this costume.
We stan a man who says no to toxic masculinity. We also stan ridiculously easy costumes.
2. The Hatbox Ghost (from the live-action Haunted Mansion)
As Disney fans, we’re happy about the Hatbox Ghost finally getting the attention he deserves. But also as Disney fans, we now have to tell you that it makes no sense for him to appear in the Endless Hallway in the Haunted Mansion in the Magic Kingdom. Sorry, we don’t make the rules. Mickey Mouse does, and he’s ruthless.
3. Stereotypical Barbie
We’re all just Barbie girls wishing we were in Barbie World (pre-Ken’s version, obviously). While Margot Robbie got to actually live that dream, we’ll have to live vicariously through her by donning her Stereotypical Barbie costume. We could also call this Existential Dread Barbie, but thankfully, the existential dread isn’t included
Are you Kenough? Hey, we’re all great at doin’ stuff, so maybe the perfect pop culture costume of 2023 for you is being Ken. We’re feeling the Kenergy. Are you Kenertained? Maybe you just need some Kencouragement. Okay, okay, we’re done. That’s the Kend.
5. Weird Barbie
Did you have a Weird Barbie? We bet everyone with a brother did. He may have said, “Hair grows back,” but failed to mention that’s not the case for Barbies. Yeah, we’re totally not bitter about that, Kevin. But Weird Barbies are cooler anyway, so joke’s on him.
6. President Barbie
Who runs the world? Well, like six mega-corporations and their lobbyists… We mean, girls! In particular, we mean President Barbie, who makes the laws and looks good doin’ it. Now, about that Ted Talk — we still have tickets left. No? Okay, we get it.
7. Cruella de Vil
Ah, Cruella, a fashion icon for the ages. If she doesn’t scare you, you must be very desensitized to violence. Are you OK? Anyway, we’d show you a puppy to make you feel better, but that seems wrong in this case.
8. Trump Mugshot
Fun fact: Trump has made millions on his own mugshot. Also fun fact: That money might actually belong to the sheriff’s department that took the photo. Personally, we think he should also be tried for egregious amounts of self-tanner next.
9. Carmy (from The Bear)
There are two types of people in this world — people who watched the “Fishes” episode of The Bear and thought, “Wow, that sounds awful.”And then the other people who texted their family, “LOL this is us!”
If you know it’s not Christmas without seven fish and a screaming match, this Carmy costume’s for you. BRB, we need to go call our cousins.
Catwoman is what our great aunt constantly warns us we’re turning into. It also happens to be one of the best DC Comics characters. So she’s actually complimenting us. Right? Let us live, Aunt Mertle.
11. Wednesday Addams
What’s the best day of the week? If you said Saturday, you’re absolutely correct. But the second-best day has got to be Friday, and then Sunday, and then Wednesday. And that’s thanks to Jenna Ortega and Tim Burton.
Hey, at least she beat out Thursday. What did you expect?
12. Morticia Addams
In the immortal words of Morticia Addams, “Black is such a happy color.” If you love all things dark, desolate, and delightfully dangerous, perhaps this costume is calling your name. Or maybe that’s just the demons. Isn’t that lovely?
13. Ariel (from the live-action The Little Mermaid)
Unfortunately, no matter how much you dress like Halle Bailey in The Little Mermaid, you cannot magically get her voice. Unless you make a deal with Ursula. And we all know how that’ll turn out. And that’s the tea…or the scuttlebutt. Tehehe.
14. Ursula (from the live-action The Little Mermaid)
When Ursula transforms into Vanessa, you may be saying, “Which witch is which?” But there’s just nothing like that iconic Ursula costume. Bonus points if your makeup is truly on point. Or is it on tentacle?
Spider-Gwen, Ghost Spider, Spider-Woman. Call her whatever you want, but just don’t call her late to the battle because this superhero kicks super butt. Now we’re thinking about what a villain called Super Butt would look like.
Honestly, Marvel, get on that. We’re giving you gold here.
16. Miles Morales
You know who is always going the extra mile? It’s Miles Morales, of course. You know who always has dad jokes at the ready? It’s us. But you could already probably guess that.
This costume should come with a warning because at least 60 percent of all the people who come up to you will say, “Great Zelda costume!” And you’ll be too polite to correct them. But hey, maybe you’ll link up with some true Zelda fans.
18. J. Robert Oppenheimer
In the Great Barbenheimer Battle of Summer 2023, we’re team Barbie. But we can respect Oppenheimer, which is why it deserves a spot on this list. (But Barbie deserved five spots. Not to, like, rub it in or anything.)
Don’t pretend you didn’t know this was coming. Unpopular opinion: Warner Bros. and Universal decided to release the two movies on the same day just in the hopes Barbenheimer would become the most popular costume of 2023. And we believe it was all worth it.
20. Taylor Swift
We’re in our Pumpkin-Spice-Is-An-Essential-Food Era as spooky season is approaching. So what better way to celebrate than by dressing like the woman whose eras we all know and love?
Except for whatever era Matt Healy was in. We could’ve done without that one.
Between Beyoncé, Taylor, and Barbie, the ladies just keep winning 2023. And around here, we don’t pit women against women. We just celebrate (and fork over the money for more tickets).
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