The Most Popular Halloween Costumes of 2011

  • Hot Halloween

    If you heeded our advice, you would have already purchased a Halloween costume this year. But, if you’ve been busy mourning the end of summer or are just plain indecisive, you might benefit from knowing what’s totally in this year (either to run with the crowd or to make sure you and your child aren’t dressed up like all the other people at your annual trick-or-treat party). To help those too scared to commit to a costume, MainStreet talked to industry insiders to find out which costumes are among the most popular with kids and adults this year. Photo Credit:  Party City
  • Zombies

    “Zombies are the new vampires,” says Ressa Tomkiewicz, spokeswoman for Halloween retailer Party City. That’s partially due to the popularity of AMC’s hit television show The Walking Dead and partially due to the fact that people are over ghosts and werewolves. To capitalize on the undead trend, both Party City and New York-based beauty chain Ricky’s, which launches a big Halloween campaign each year, have tons of zombie costumes in this year’s lineup, and they’re also selling makeup, masks and wigs so you can “zombie-fy” any costume on sale. As such, expect to see a lot of sexy cop zombies, sexy cheerleader zombies and sexy zombie cats hitting up Halloween parties this year. Photo Credit: Party City
    Mad Men
  • Mad Men

    Halloween costumes tend to mimic television and other pop culture trends, so it’s no surprise that many adults are choosing to dress up like characters from AMC’s other very popular show, Mad Men. But Kenig points out the 1960s-inspired costumes are -- perhaps a bit ironically given the show’s themes on social status -- actually an affordable option for those wanting to design their own costumes. “Men can get out an old suit, buy a fedora and go as Don Draper,” he says, adding that women can buy a red a wig and go as office manager Joan. Photo Credit:  cappenstance
    Monster High
  • Monster High

    According to Tomkiewicz, many tween girls will be dressing up as if they were attending Monster High, a fictional universe created by Mattel that features the sons and daughters of the world’s most notorious monsters. Options include Frankie Stein, the goth-girl daughter of (you guessed it) Frankenstein, and Cleo De Nille, whose mother is the infamous Cleopatra. “They’re among the most clicked-on costumes for children we have,” Tomkiewicz says, explaining that young girls consider them a more edgy and stylish alternative to Hannah Montana. Photo Credit: puuikibeach
    A New Crop of Superheroes
  • A New Crop of Superheroes

    Young boys continue to favor superhero costumes and, not surprisingly, this year’s crop of best sellers mirrors the summer’s big blockbuster hits. “You’re going to see a lot of Captain Americas, a lot of Green Lanterns and a lot of the Bumblebee character from Transformers,” Tomkiewicz says. Photo Credit: Party City
    This Year’s Stooges
  • This Year’s Stooges

    “Usually if there’s something in the news, it sells,” says Todd Kenig, CEO of Ricky’s NYC, so expect to see a lot of Arnold Schwarzeneggers, Charlie Sheens and Anthony Weiners this year. Photo Credit: Ricky’s NYC
    The Black Swan
  • The Black Swan

    Women, however, are short on “nutty people in the press to dress like,” Kenig says, so unless Lady Gaga (a favorite among revelers last year) dons something new and notable over the next few weeks, you can expect to see a lot of Black Swans. Tomkiewicz says tutus are a popular accessory in general this year. Since “everyone wants a unique costume,” they can customize it to fit all the different parties they may be attending. Photo Credit: Ricky’s NYC
    Morph Suits
  • Morph Suits

    Similarly, Tomkiewicz says many men and teenage boys are purchasing morph suits, a spandex suit that covers a person’s entire body but still allows them to breathe and see. This can be customized to suit a variety of different ideas. “There’s one really fun one that looks like a tuxedo,” she says. Photo Credit: Party City
    I Love the ’80s & ’90s
  • I Love the ’80s & ’90s

    Nostalgia is totally in this year, so expect to see a lot of adults dressed up like classic cartoon and video game icons from the ’80s and ’90s. “People are looking back to what they grew up on and sharing these characters with their kids,” Tomkiewicz explains. She says Strawberry Shortcake, Raggedy Ann and Andy, Super Mario Bros. and Ghost Busters are among the more popular old-school costumes this year. Photo Credit:  lululemonathletica
    10 Retired Candies
  • 10 Retired Candies

    Wanna feel even more nostalgic this Halloween? Check out MainStreet’s roundup of 10 retired candies to remember the good old days! Photo Credit: Tracy Hunter
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