The Evolution of Halloween Costume Trends from Time to Time, From Scary to Sexy and Playful

by Dimitrie Hardjo
Halloween, a very popular celebration in various parts of the world where people turn into other people, whether fictional characters, ghosts, to celebrities. Theme parties, cute costumes, children walking from house to house picking up candy, and of course the phrase “trick or treat!” more and more heard. Popular since the 19th century, Halloween is a day full of fun that many people look forward to.

In addition to a row of scary-themed Halloween decorations, the costumes worn are the main attraction on October 31st. The evolution of Halloween costume trends from year to year cannot be separated from popular culture at that time. The reflections shown come from many things, from television broadcasts, trending movies, to the popularity of magazines and tabloids that inspire makeup. It's no wonder that the costume change, which was originally a scary dress up, has now turned into a more sexy and playful one. Let's take a peek at the costumes worn from time to time!

1870s-1910s: Spooky Makeup with Homemade Costumes

Halloween which has existed for more than a century ago is much different from today. In the late 1800s, there were no shops selling Halloween costumes. The beginning of Halloween's popularity was marked by people making their own ghost costumes. But the turn of the century brought a new change, namely the mass production of Halloween costumes by the Dennison Paper Company made of paper, including papier-mâché or masks that tend to be scary. Popular costumes that were often found at the time included clowns, witches, and fairies.



1950s-1970s: Pop Culture from Television

After the end of world war 2, television began to be owned in every home. Television popular culture greatly influenced Halloween costume trends in the 1950s and 1960s. In addition, the variety of costumes worn is also more diverse. For example, superhero costumes, cowboys, comic characters like Catwoman and Wonder Woman, Disney characters, and others. This era depicts Halloween costumes that are initially scary, become more 'fun'.



1980s: E.T and A Nightmare on Elm Street

The release of the 1982 film E.T had a big impact on Halloween, with adorable alien costumes becoming a crowd favorite. But even though costume trends began to change since the 60s, the costumes, which were heavily influenced by pop culture, had turned into gory with the high popularity of the 1984 film A Nightmare on Elm Street. Horrible costume details and bloodied looks were common in this era.



1990s: DIY School Girl Costumes

The 90s were the year when DIY costumes became popular again. Although ready-to-wear costumes are available in stores, not a few people choose to make their own costumes and dress up like schoolchildren. Of course, this costume was influenced by the popularity of the film Clueless and the video clip of Britney Spears' song Baby One More Time. On the other hand, the use of costumes for products of a brand, such as McDonald's, was also a favorite at that time.



2000s-Present: Celebrity Styles and Sexy Versions of Characters

The increasing sales of magazines and tabloids also brought new creativity for Halloween costumes. Starting from the 2000s era, dressing up like celebrities and political figures became a Halloween trend at that time. For example, Paris Hilton-style Y2K costumes with Juicy Couture velor tracksuits and masks with the faces of political figures were also widely traded. Starting from the 2000s to the present, costumes with sexy styles are also often found, especially with Halloween parties.

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