Social Media Influences On The Fashion of Halloween Costumes

by: tTimothy Webb


We’re less than a month away from one of the biggest U.S. consumer holidays of the year, according to The Nielsen Company. Halloween. Thebalance.com states that, last year was a banner year for spending totaling $8.4 billion up from $6.9 billion the year before. This year, more than ever, social media is effecting how we dress for Halloween.



Certainly, social media has played a role in this success. Another reason for this uptrend is the fact that Halloween is still less expensive than either Thanksgiving or Christmas and is so much fun! One way or another, Halloween is about fashion. Whether it be mimicking a popular (or unpopular) character in a movie, a political candidate or just a go to costume such as a princess, vampire, superhero, or zombie.

Halloween is fashion. With that said, expect higher prices for Halloween fashion in 2017. Last year prices were markedly higher over the previous year. For example, Costume Hair Coloring increased by 125.5% alone. While False Eyelashes and Accessories were up 9.5%. False Nail and Nail Decorations rose 3.2%.

From small to large, some of the most popular costumes, according to Consumer Affairs, on the year’s biggest night to dress up include anything Star Wars, animal characters, Batman and zombies. Of course, with kids, for the 11th year running, princess costumes of all descriptions will more than likely trump the little girl costume category. Think anything Disney— pirates, Peter Pan and especially Frozen.

Speaking of Trump, political characters will most likely be running amok in your neighborhood on October 31st as 774 million adults will don costumes honoring or defaming the most notable politicians on The Hill. With all that being said, dressing as a witch for Halloween is again and by far the most popular costume with more than 4.3 million adults will be wearing a pointy hat and toting a broom.

Don’t think that our furry friends are getting off scot free. About 10% of us will be taking Fido or Fluffy against their will and dressing them up for the big night. Instagram and Pinterest will be filled with the sad, dejected faces of pups and kittens wearing the most unlikely and uncomfortable outfits. Many pets with easy going owners will opt for a simple bandana, bowtie or fancy collar for the evening.

For those pets whose owners are more inventive and creative it is more likely that they will be stuck wearing a minion, princess, shark or Star Wars character costume. Those with a wry sense of humor may cross-dress their cat as a dog and vice-versa. Other popular costumes this year include a bumble bee, devil, Batman characters and a hot dog. But, Facebook will more than likely be burning down the internet with this years’ number one Halloween pet costume: A pumpkin.


Halloween Goes Viral

For those on a budget, social media promises to deliver some clever home-made choices for the upcoming All Hallo’s ‘Eve. Get online and print out one of the many filters and lenses available on SnapChat. The puppy face is pretty popular. Or, wear a sign with Facebook’s thumbs up LIKE button. For a total effect, wear white gloves and give a thumbs up all night. The ideas are endless.

You could be a YouTube or Snapchat app encouraging people to LIKE you. Be a Tinder app by wearing a box with a variety of profile photos—-with a cutout for your face. Encourage those you’re interested in to swipe right! Or perhaps you want to be a viral video. Certainly, the Chewbacca Mom would get you lots of attention—-it’s an easy costume. All you need is a black T-shirt and the Chewbacca mask that makes the Wookie growl like the one heard on the Facebook Live video and laugh all night. The Texas mom who starred in the original video made it the most watched Facebook Live video ever.

Of course, many Halloween revelers will want to imitate their favorite moments on social media. There will be costumes inspired by the social commentary that social media has created. More than likely, there will be costumes serving as walking tributes to challenges found on social media such as the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, the Kylie Jenner Challenge, the Mannequin Challenge, the Running Man Challenge, the Harlem Shake and many more.


Then there’s how social media effects American Royalty: Celebrities. Apparently, celebrities are not immune to the effects and allure of social media on Halloween. Plus. with thousands of fans and endless amounts of cash they are online to impress us (and themselves). Kylie Jenner got huge amounts of eyeballs and clicks when she dressed as Christina Aguilera and posted her scantily clad pics online. Katy Perry in admiration of Hillary Clinton, dressed in full Clinton regalia including a detailed and made up prosthetic face formed to look like Hill.

Heidi Klum is never one to sit on the sidelines. She’s always pushing the limits of fashion and using her makeup artistry to impress with her Halloween getups. Her Jessica Rabbit costume became an Instagram sensation. Even Beyonce gets into the act as a 1960’s Barbie doll. Mylie Cyrus dresses as Li’l Kim to get through the nights’ festivities. Apparently, celebs are so inspired with Celebrity that they want and need to dress like each other.

A Cautionary Tale


The time to think about your costume is about a month ago. But, careful, the influence of social media can make your clever costume irrelevant at the speed of Twitter. Facebook status updates, Instagram pics and Pinterest posts can all have an effect on “what’s in-style”. According to an article published in The Arizona Republic, Stephanie Lough, a woman who was on the pulse with her own creative costume idea cost her over $150.

The costume was of Miley Cyrus paying homage to her now famous twerky MTV Music Awards performance.

Before Halloween arrived, Spirit Halloween had manufactured hundreds of Twerkin’ Teddy Adult Women’s Costumes for just $39.99 each causing a twitter-storm of jokes and other social posts. “When I saw it on the shelves I was disappointed” Lough said. “I didn’t think they’d have time to get it on the shelves. They were, like, making it while the show was on.”

Moral to the story: If you want to be original, either stick to the basics in your costume choice or go so far out on a limb with your costume that no manufacturer would dare tread in that territory. The Miley Cyrus costume was ruled to be irrelevant by social media almost immediately leaving many unsold.

The balance of the month is left for you to figure out your getup for the big night. If you’re attending a party, going on a pub crawl or just staying at home and feeding the trick-or-treaters copious amounts of sugar—the time for shopping is now. The key is to get a costume that is fun for you to wear. If you’re happy in it, you’ll have a good time all night long regardless of what anyone else (including the internet) thinks. There’s still time, get out there and shop or go online. You can even check your social media accounts for inspiration.

Article Name
Social Media Influences The Fashion of Halloween Costumes
How social media effects what we choose to wear on Halloween.

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