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The best holiday of the year—Halloween, of course—is basically right around the corner, and I’m already trying to figure out the perfect costume idea to make all my friends jealous that they didn’t think of it first. If you’re in the same boat, I highly recommend perusing some of the best 2021 Halloween costume trends for women as a much-needed source of inspo. You’ll definitely see these costume ideas everywhere this year, but honestly, most are still too good to pass up.
So many of the top 2021 Halloween costume trends for women are inspired by the shows and films you’ve been binge-watching or discussing in your group chats all year long. I’m talking Tiger King (obviously), Never Have I Ever, Little Women and the like. If you’ve been paying attention to the hit TV shows and movies this year, you’ll know that there are so many amazing costume opportunities just waiting to be brought to life this October. You and your friends are obsessed with the characters already, so you might as well embrace them and go as them for Halloween, right?!
Typically, popular Halloween costumes are either classics—like a witch, a skeleton or a cat—or something that’s trending within pop culture, so pay close attention to what you see as you scroll through Instagram and TikTok this month. By taking note what everyone’s talking about this year, you can easily come up with a fun costume that’s bound to get plenty of compliments. Creativity + Pop Culture Relevancy = Halloween Costume Gold, baby! Just don’t forget to wear a mask with whatever look you go with.
Below, you’ll find a bevy of culturally-relevant Halloween costume ideas to give you major inspiration for your costume. I hope you have several Halloween outings lined up (or maybe just a few Zoom parties), because you’ll be hard-pressed to choose just one of these Halloween costume trends. And, if you’re worried about how to actually recreate some of these looks, we got you. We’ve included plenty of tips on how to DIY these costumes wherever possible, so you don’t have to frantically Google your favorite Little Women character and brainstorm in the fabric aisle at Hobby Lobby.
You’re welcome. Now, let’s get spooky, y’all.
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Old-School Kim K & Paris Hilton
Ever since this duo reunited to create SKIMS’ new Velour Collection campaign, all I want to do is throw on my Juicy tracksuit and reminisc.
The Fly On Mike Pence’s Head
A debate moment to go down in history. Either get a wig and place a faux fly on it, or have one friend go as Pence and the other as the fly, then be a Stage 5 Clinger all night. Too funny.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg
The iconic late Supreme Court justice makes a great costume for anyone looking to celebrate incredible women. Just grab a judge’s robe, some glasses and of course, a cool collar.
Addison Rae & Kourtney Kardashian
Listen to me: If you’re in charge of taking your child, neighbor or little cousin trick-or-treating, use the age difference to your advantage and absolutely nail this BFF costume. Too funny.
Anyone From Tiger King
One of the most unforgettable things to come out of this past year (and there are plenty to choose from) is Netflix’s Tiger King. There’s no way to ignore this show’s impact on pop culture, and there’s no doubt you’ll be seeing plenty of Joe Exotic and Carol Baskin costumes floating around this Halloween. For Joe, just find yourself an over-the-top animal print shirt. Then, for Carole Baskin, you can always add some hippie-inspired accessories to a maxi dress look.
Early 2000s Girl
Grab your butterfly clips, denim mini skirt and chunky flip flops, because this Halloween there will be plenty of folks dressed like they’re straight out of the early 2000s. While a few years ago this costume would have taken quite a bit of work to find all the right pieces, thanks to early aughts style coming back for a second run, it’s now easier than ever to get the look.
Throw on a colorful wig (I’m talking neon pink or green, folks!), an alternative thrifted top that looks like it came straight from Depop and high-waisted pants, and you’ve become a classic e-girl for Halloween. If you need further inspo, we recommend Doja Cat’s beauty secrets video on Youtube. It’ll give you plenty of tips on how to create the perfect e-girl look.
Anyone from Hamilton
We are not throwing away our shot to dress like one of the characters from Hamilton. Since it was released on Disney+, there’s definitely been an uptick in fans of the musical since its original Broadway run. You can always go as Alexander Hamilton himself or choose one of the iconic Schuyler sisters.
Megan Fox & Machine Gun Kelly
One of the weirdest couples to come out of 2020? Megan Fox and Machine Gun Kelly. If you’re looking for a truly wild couple’s costume, this is a great place to start. We high-key still do not understand this relationship, but it definitely makes for a great Halloween costume for women—and everyone else, too.
The 3 BFFs from Netflix’s Never Have I Ever
Grab your two BFFs and plan the perfect small group costume from Never Have I Ever. There are plenty of good outfits on the show, but we definitely recommend you opt for the red dresses the friends wore when they tried to make a fun Instagram dance video. (You know the one.)
Ariana Grande & Lady Gaga From “Rain On Me” Music Video
Perhaps one of the most iconic things to happen this year was Ariana Grande and Lady Gaga collaborating on a song—and music video. You and your BFF can go as the duo with a few post-apocalyptic vibes and some structural dresses. Just don’t forget the white eyeliner and high-pony.
The Masked Singer
It’s one of the most absurd (and enjoyable) shows on television, and there’s no doubt in our minds that The Masked Singer will reign this Halloween. While it’s not likely you can create a costume quite as elaborate as the ones on the show, you can always put your favorite Masked Singer-themed face mask to good use and add a microphone for a fun play on the show.
Dress like your favorite TikTok star (We’re looking at you, Addison Rae!) or try to create your own stereotypical TikTok celeb look. If you need a little inspiration, we recommend starting with a pair of high-waisted jeans and a plain white crop top. From there, you can add some Gen Z accessories and add a TikTok dance or two.
Folklore-Era Taylor Swift
Though there have been plenty of surprising things about 2020, one of the best surprises we received was a new Taylor Swift album. This Halloween, why not copy the style Taylor Swift boasts in the photos for the Folklore album? You can go for the fuzzy overcoat vibe or the striped polo and jeans look. The choice is yours.
Cheerleaders From Cheer
Grab your pom poms and your closest friends, because this Halloween you better believe we’re wearing costumes based on the Netflix docu-series Cheer. The drama! The competition! The cheerleading outfits! It all makes for one of the best Halloween group costumes.
Put your chunky dad sneakers and summer’s tie-dye trend to good use and DIY your own camp kid Halloween costume this year. You can’t go wrong with a pair of chunky white sneakers, some khaki or camp shorts and a tie-dye sweatshirt or tee (if you don’t want to make your own). This can also be an homage to American Horror Story 1984, which takes place at a spooky summer camp.
Popeye’s Chicken Sandwich
Never have we ever witnessed a mass craze about a dang chicken sandwich until recently. Show your love for the sammy with a Popeye’s chicken sandwich costume this year. If you’re not in the mood to dress like a literal meal though, you can always go as as a Popeye’s employee while holding the sandwich.
Put on your trendiest outfit (puffy-sleeve crop top or a maximalist street style ensemble, anyone?), then go around filming yourself doing, well, everything. You can say things like, “A lot of people have been asking about my beauty routine” or “So many people have been messaging me about this outfit” to really seal the deal.
Pregnant Celeb Couples
Need a couple’s costume idea or two? This Halloween, go as Joe Jonas and pregnant Sophie Turner or Zayn Malik and pregnant Gigi Hadid. Both spent a lot of their adolescence in different boy bands, so it truly is a variation on a theme here. You could even double date with your boo and BFF as the two couples at the same time.
Jump on the K-pop train become a Blackpink stan ASAP. Not only does this girl group make a great group costume—just add a few cute going-out dresses to your wardrobe—but you’ll definitely fall in love with all of their catchy songs and incredible dance moves. We won’t blame you if you stay up all night watching their music videos over and over. (Been there.)
Your Fave Schitt’s Creek Character
We’ve all fallen in love with the Rose family from Schitt’s Creek over the years, and 2020 marked the show’s final season. Rather than wallow in sadness, grab your BFFs and plan to dress like the gang for the best Halloween costumes ever. You can have everyone go as their favorite character, or opt for a solo costume just for yourself.
You likely already had a Coachella outfit (or three) picked out, so why not go ahead and put it to good use this Halloween? Of course, if you weren’t planning on heading to Coachella this year but still want to rock the costume, you can easily get the look with a fringe or denim bottom and a bright neon top.
Your Favorite Meme
Whether it’s the “What are you” meme from Instagram or one of the older-but-iconic Spongebob Squarepants memes, going as your favorite meme is a fun and creative to dress up this Halloween. Most memes can easily be DIY’d with items already in your closet, so why not?
Quarantine Couch Potato
Throw on a tie-dye sweatsuit and fuzzy slippers (plus your mask!) and carry around a thing of hand sanitizer this Halloween. The quarantine couch potato couldn’t be an easier—or more timely—costume to create this year. Just make sure to take plenty of photos so that you can look back on how strange this time was in 10 years.
Baby X AE A-12
Low-key, I still can’t pronounce this baby’s name. When Elon Musk and Grimes announced to the world that their child’s name was something out a sci-fi novel, we all kind of bonded as a society due to all the confusion. At least it makes for one of the funniest Halloween costumes! Just toss on a diaper and carry around a computer.
Though it doesn’t get released until after Halloween, we have a feeling that Black Widow costumes are going to be huge this year. After all, Black Widow is a badass woman superhero—played by Scarlett Johansson—so it’s truly the perfect costume. All you need is a black bodysuit and some temporary red hair dye!
Ugh, Emma—the film adaptation of the novel by Jane Austen—was so, so good. And you better believe I’ll be out here dressed in 1800s upper class garb this Halloween. There’s nothing quite like a romantic comedy period piece, and the costumes are seriously too good not to copy.
The Kissing Booth From The Kissing Booth
Sure, you could go as any of the actual human characters from The Kissing Booth, or you could as the actual kissing booth from the film. Just dress in all red and wear or attach a sign that says “kissing booth,” and you’re set. Bonus points if you get your friends to dress up as Shelly and Noah and kiss in front of you.
Any Of The Trolls From Trolls World Tour
If you’re looking for the perfect costume for a big group, dress up as the trolls from Trolls World Tour. There are so many from which to choose, so everyone can pick the character with whom they most identify. For me, that’d have to be Barb (voiced by Rachel Bloom) or Delta Dawn (voiced by Kelly Clarkson).
We were blessed with not one, but two iconic period films this past year—one of which was Little Women, starring Soirse Ronan, Timothee Chalamet and Florence Pugh. If thinking about those actors in the film isn’t enough to make you want to don some vintage florals this Halloween, I don’t know what is.
You know we had to. Cats was truly one of the oddest films to come out of the last year, but it definitely makes for some good Halloween costumes. Rather than go as your classic sexy kitten, opt for a full-on cat ensemble this year in honor of the musical. Bonus points if you burst out into song in the middle of the street.
Put your cloth face masks to good use by wearing one as a masked mummy this Halloween. Complete the look by wrapping yourself up with toilet paper or other fabric. Your mummy costume will look so good, no one will even realize the mask is there to protect yourself and others. Win/win situation.
Rosa From TikTok
Any TikTok reference is welcome this year, but you can’t go wrong with a Rosa costume. ICYMI, Rosa is a hilarious character created by Adam Ray for TikTok. She’s so freakin’ funny, and her bold makeup choices (like half-on false lashes and nails) make her the perfect Halloween look.
The world needs more people like Mr. Rogers, so the least we can all do is dress like him for a night. All you’ll need is a button-down, dress slacks, fuzzy cardigan and some red sneakers to get the look. If you have a little puppet that looks like a bear, that’s even better.