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We’re here to help make this spooky season a little less scary with fashion-forward costumes inspired by the moments that dominated 2023.

This article was originally published on September 18 and has been updated. 

It’s October, pumpkin spice everything is having its annual moment once again, and chilly temps are around the corner, so naturally we’re thinking about our Halloween costumes. Overwhelmed by choice? Worry not, we’re here to help get you prepared with our predictions for the biggest pop culture Halloween costume trends of 2023.

Between Rihanna’s Super Bowl Halftime Show performance back in February to a summer dominated by Barbie, 2023 has provided us with no shortage of unforgettable celebrity and fashion moments that are embedded in the zeitgeist — and will surely lend themselves to the kind of Halloween costume that wins spooky season.

Whether you love to go all-out every October 31 or you’re looking for a good reason *not* to dress up as a black cat for the fifth year in a row, we have you covered with all the biggest pop-culture-inspired Halloween costume trends of the year.

Barbie

Photography courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures

With all the super-pink hype that followed it this summer, it’s clear that the Barbie movie was one of the biggest pop culture phenoms in years and a 2023 Halloween costume trends prediction list just wouldn’t be complete without mentioning the iconic Mattel doll. While Barbie has been a go-to costume for decades and the film has already produced so many unique fan-made replicas of the movie’s looks, we’re sure that this Halloween will see more Barbies than ever before.

What you’ll need:

If there’s one thing that the Barbie movie taught us it’s that there is literally a seemingly infinite amount of different Barbies — which means that this costume can be taken in just about any direction. But, if you’re looking to take inspiration from one of the first outfits Margot Robbie’s Barbie sports in the film’s official trailer, you can achieve the classic doll-like look with a white and pink A-line gingham dress, a complementary bow in a blonde half-up-half-down ‘do and a matching floral earrings and necklace set.

Halle Bailey’s Ariel

Halle Bailey took the world by storm this year with her critically acclaimed performance of Ariel in the latest live-action Little Mermaid film. Not only was Bailey praised for her stellar acting and singing, but she was also a catalyst for bringing a new, more diverse version of Ariel to life that captured all the magic of the animated version while incorporating her own unique beauty and Ariel interpretation for modern audiences. The film was a major hit, so it’s no surprise that this look found a way on our Halloween costume trends 2023 list.

What you’ll need:

Any kind of tea-length sea-green dress with ruffles will work to imitate one of the on-land outfits that Bailey’s Ariel wears. (May we suggest hitting up thrift stores for a sustainable option?) To look even more like the live-action Ariel, you can even pair the dress with brown sandals and a wide pink headband. In terms of Ariel’s iconic hair, opt for more of a ginger shade of red rather than the animated version’s bright red colour to stay as true to Bailey’s version of Ariel as possible.

Justin and Hailey Bieber

Photography by Getty Images

You and your partner will be the best dressed pair at the costume party when you show up as Hollywood’s favourite forever-mismatched couple — or at least one of you will be. Almost every couple has one person who enjoys dressing up for Halloween more than the other and this funny, celeb-inspired take on the classic couple costume captures that unique dynamic that the Biebers seem to know all too well.

What you’ll need:

For Justin: Your favourite “lazy day” outfit — whether that’s a sweatshirt and sweatpants with crocs, gym shorts and a tank with socks and slides or anything in between! — will do the trick. But to really capture that off-duty Bieber look, remember to throw on that quintessential backwards baseball cap and Crocs.

For Hailey: This half of the costume may require a bit more effort. For a classic “dressed-up” Hailey Bieber look, a mini-dress and heeled sandals works. To go the extra mile, you can accessorize with some of the Rhode founder’s staple pieces, including small golden hoop earrings and a “B” pendant necklace that mimics the model’s.

An Olivia Rodrigo-like vampire

There’s no denying it, Olivia Rodrigo is owning this latest era of her career since June 2023 when she released her lead single, “Vampire,” from her most recent album. The song has an edgier and darker tone than most of her previous work, and with lyrics such as “I should have known it was strange, you only come out at night” it seems to be aptly named after the blood-sucking mythical creature.

What you’ll need:

Take inspo from the single’s artwork and upgrade a traditional vampire costume with a nod to Ms. Rodrigo by simply placing two crisscrossed purple bandaids on your neck. You can take your reference a step further by also replicating Rodrigo’s makeup look from the single’s artwork and music video, which includes a dark red lip and a classic sharp black winged eyeliner.

Rihanna at the Super Bowl Halftime Show

Photography by Getty Images

Can you believe that Rihanna’s unforgettable Super Bowl Halftime Show performance only about eight months ago?! Between its use of a sky-high stage, medleys of many classic Rihanna hits, a Fenty plug and the surprise announcement of her second pregnancy, it’s no surprise that RiRi’s performance was the most-watched Super Bowl Halftime Show of all time — making this look a definite top contender for Halloween costume trends in 2023.

What you’ll need:

Although Rihanna’s iconic all-red outfit was comprised of designers like Loewe and custom Alaïa, you can recreate this outfit with just a few simple pieces. To get the look, try to find a jumpsuit, long-sleeve shirt and boots in the most striking red colour you can get your hands on. To go the extra mile, include some of the look’s most eye-catching accessories, such as red gloves and a long, puffy coat — which can also double as protection against the typically frigid Canadian Halloween temperatures.

A The Bear-inspired chef

Since its premiere in 2022, The Bear has become a fan favourite for its raw, honest characters, emotional storylines, fast-paced restaurant work environment and unexpected stylishness. Unsurprisingly, the FX show has only grown in popularity since its second season was released in June of this year, which also resulted in the network’s most-watched Hulu premiere of all time. And, just like how the show’s restaurant setting lends itself to some amazing storylines, it has also produced some unforgettable looks that will surely make for a Michelin-star-approved Halloween costume.

What you’ll need:

To mimic the classic uniform seen throughout much of the show, all you’ll need is a crisp white t-shirt, any kind of straight-leg, dark pair of pants, a navy blue apron and, of course, non-slip restaurant-grade shoes. To perfectly capture the essence of the show’s main character, draw on some of Carmy’s tattoos, such as the “773” the character has on his arm, which represents the area code of his hometown in Chicago.

Nepo baby

Photography by Getty Images

Who can forget when New York Magazine released their issue all about Hollywood’s most famous nepotism kids at the end of 2022? The feature sparked tons of online discourse throughout the beginning of 2023 and some “nepo babies” seemed to respond to the discussion in their own not-so-subtle ways, including Hailey Bieber sporting her now-iconic “nepo baby” tee.

What you’ll need:

There are a couple of directions you can take this costume. First, you can dress up as a literal baby — but with a celebrity-inspired spin. Think: a pacifier and a baby bottle paired with trendy sunnies and lots of jewellery. Or, you can always follow Bieber’s lead by simply wearing a T-shirt that literally says “nepo baby” for a modern celebrity-inspired costume that all your trendiest friends will surely love. A cheap T-shirt (or one from your closet that you’re ready to part with) and a Sharpie will suffice.

Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce

Photography by Getty Images

There’s no denying it, “Tayvis” is officially the hottest celebrity couple of 2023 — and lucky for us, they’ve captured our attention just in time for spooky season. In the weeks since they’ve gone public with their romance, Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce have already gifted us with tons of couple’s costume inspo. With many near-viral date night looks to choose from, you and your boo can take this costume in a number of directions, but we’re here with all the tips you need to create a touchdown-worthy “Tayvis” look.

What You’ll Need:

For Taylor: 

To mimic Swift’s usual WAG style, all you’ll need is a variety of red, white and black clothing. Be sure to opt for more casual pieces, such as sneakers, jean shorts, tank tops and maybe even a Kansas City Chiefs sweater (like the vintage one Swift wore last weekend from Toronto-based brand Ellie Mae). To really lock in that certified Swift style, recreate her go-to makeup look with a bright red lip and sharp cat eye.

For Travis: 

To replicate Kelce’s football uniform, opt for a Kansas City Chiefs jersey adorned with his number (87), white pants, and some Nike kicks. And as the footballer suggested himself, adding that signature Kelce ‘stache to your look will really take this costume to the next level.

Beyoncé’s Renaissance World Tour personified

Photography by Getty Images for Business of Fashion

Instead of dressing up as Queen Bey herself, this costume is all about embodying the vibe of Beyoncé’s Renaissance World Tour. Although an on-stage Beyoncé tour outfit replica would also be a stellar look, the Renaissance Tour became a pop culture phenomenon this summer as it took on a super-sparkly, silver and disco-inspired identity of its own that stood apart from Bey.

What you’ll need:

The Renaissance Tour was a place where concert dressing (literally) shined this year, so we’re sure you’ve already seen tons of inspiration on your Instagram feed. A unique take on the theme would be to dress up as a literal disco ball. Yup, this costume can draw inspiration from Coco Rocha’s Christian Cowan outfit at Paris Fashion Week (above) and can be a totally DIY cardboard-crafted creation outfitted with all the shiniest silver jewellery pieces you own. To take it a step further, you can add some unique shades and a fan as a nod to the accessories that Bey often sports on stage, or you may be interested in replicating one of Bey’s on-stage beauty looks to take your glam to the next level.

A nod to “Flowers” by Miley Cyrus

There seemed to be a point earlier this year where you couldn’t open TikTok or listen to the radio without immediately hearing Miley Cyrus’ monster hit “Flowers.” With its catchy melody, uplifting lyrics and nod to Bruno Mars’ hit “When I Was Your Man,” it’s no wonder why this song has remained at the top of the charts — and stuck in our heads — since its release in January of 2023.

What you’ll need:

You can take this costume in a literal direction by dressing up as a giant bouquet of flowers for a DIY-friendly look. Just grab a dress, some faux flowers, and fabric to wrap around yourself to look like the paper most bouquets are arranged in. For an extra nod to the song, create a hood with that same fabric or wear a pair of large-framed sunglasses to mimic Cyrus’ look in the music video.

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