2018’s Most Popular Halloween Costume Ideas

According to Lyst and Pinterest Data

While there’s still over a month to get planning before the big day, global fashion search platform Lyst and visual discovery engine Pinterest have combined and crunched their huge data sets to predict what everyone will be wearing this Halloween.

Together we’ve been tracking user activity and global trends over the past year, flagging the early signals for 2018’s hottest Halloween costumes. Which cultural moments translate into outfits that people want to wear, and which fashion trends crossover into costume territory?

To compile this list, the teams at Lyst and Pinterest analysed searches and saves across a combined pool of hundreds of millions of monthly users around the world. In order of popularity, here’s their ultimate prediction list for the outfits you’ll see at every Halloween party this year.

The data shows that consumers start searching, planning and pinning their perfect Halloween outfit from as early as spring onwards – giving a pretty strong indication of what will be the most popular costume ideas ahead of time. By monitoring search volume around trending topics and the key fashion pieces you’d need to get the look, we’ve pieced together this prediction list of the most-wanted looks worldwide.

1. Tonya Harding

At the start of the year, the dark comedy I,Tonya put skating star Tonya Harding, played by Margot Robbie, firmly back in the spotlight. Her kitschy skating costumes and iconic hair and makeup, combined with fashion’s current obsession with all things ‘80s, makes her the ideal 2018 Halloween reference.  

Pinterest has seen a 720% increase in searches for the ice skating icon, and Lyst data shows skater skirts and bejewelled leotards have been trending worldwide this year. Essential to getting the Tonya look, there has been a 43% increase in searches for scrunchies on Lyst since August. It’s also an easy look to recreate on a budget; all you really need is a leotard and some crimpers.

2. A Riverdale Character

Based on a story from the Archie Comics, hit Netfix show Riverdale centres around a group of stylish high school students as they try to unravel their small town’s hidden secrets. Like Twin Peaks meets Gossip Girl, the cult show’s sexy/preppy aesthetic has made it a popular source of outfit inspiration.

Pinterest saves for Riverdale costume ideas have jumped 316% this year, with Betty and Jughead amongst the most Pinned characters. Fashion searches for Peter-pan collar tops, fluffy pink sweatshirts, Jughead-inspired beanies and fur-lined denim jackets have been increasing  steadily on Lyst since August.

3. A 90s Icon

From Buffy to Britney, grunge to Gen X, the ‘90s are back and bigger than ever. Millennial nostalgia has driven a 110% increase in Pins for 90s make up and costume ideas this year, while on Lyst searches for iconic 90s brands such as Buffalo, Sketchers, Tommy Hilfiger and Fila are up a combined 920% in the last 6 months.

Halter necks, throwback logos, crop tops and chokers were amongst the most purchased fashion items this Summer – so it’s not a stretch to think lazy trick-or-treaters will re-wear these pieces for Halloween as a spooky Spice Girl or a zombie Backstreet Boy.

4. A Warrior of Wakanda

Marvel’s Black Panther broke multiple movie records by becoming the highest-grossing superhero flick of all time. So it’s no surprise that the comic-book blockbuster has also taken Pinterest by storm, with searches for Wakandan costume inspiration up 504% YoY.

Pins of Princess Shuri are amongst the most popular, with her half-moon braids and tribal markings fun to replicate at home. Lyst data shows sales of chunky gold cuffs are up 14% since June; the ideal accessory to finish the look.

5. A Flamingo

This year we’re waving goodbye to ubiquitous unicorns; flamingos are the most-wanted creature costume of 2018. Fashion searches including ‘flamingo’ have increased 105% this year on Lyst, with Pins saved up 77% on Pinterest.

Pink co-ords, pink fluffy jumpers and pink leggings were all trending in the US this Summer, and with a flamingo emoji in the pipeline for 2019, this is a costume we predict has (one) legs.

6. Edna Mode

The Incredibles’ resident style adviser Edna Mode first won our hearts back in 2004, but the long-awaited release of The Incredibles 2 this year has inspired thousands of shoppers to recreate her avant-garde look this Halloween.

Pinterest data shows a 669% increase in searches, while on Lyst, demand for heavy black round frame glasses is up 38% YoY. A-line black dresses have been viewed more than 4,000 times since July.

7. An Abba-Inspired Dancing Queen

A rumoured 2019 digital reunion tour, and the release of Mamma Mia 2: Here We Go Again has got us rediscovering Abba’s iconic disco style. Lyst has seen a surge in searches for bold, colourful trouser suits, and searches for patterned flares have increased 210% since June.

White platform boots, fringing and metallics couldn’t be more on trend. And of course, no outfit would be fit without 70s disco makeup and hair – Pinterest data shows saves on Mamma Mia-inspired costumes are up a huge 1636% YoY.

8. A Cosmic Fairy

It’s been a pretty cosmic year. Against a frantic digital world data shows we’re looking to crystals, star signs, celestial bodies and other worldly influences as a major source of style inspiration, making the cosmic fairy a popular Halloween option.

Pinterest searches for all things astro are up 33% year on year, while Lyst data shows that zodiac and constellation jewelry is trending worldwide. Milky-way make up, crystal accessories and bright hair colours will define this look. And with more than 10,000 searches a month globally for star-print dresses and tops – it’s pretty safe to say you won’t be the only galactic guest at a Halloween party this year.

9. Frida Kahlo

Halloween fans have often looked to the Mexican Day Of The Dead and its macabre La Catrina for costume inspiration, but this year it’s Mexican artist Frida Kahlo driving specific outfit searches. Frida served as a major fashion influencer this year; Beyonce and Rihanna both wore giant floral crowns in Vogue’s September issue cover shoots and she was the subject of a major exhibition in London’s V&A Gallery this summer.

Shoppers looking to embrace Kahlo’s colorful spirit this halloween are searching for off shoulder embroidered blouses and of course the flower crown. Pinterest has seen a 55% increase in Frida-related costume searches.

10. A Cow

An unexpected entry, we predict cows will be this year’s hottest hipster Halloween look. Doja Cat’s viral hit ‘Mooo!’ has had more than 15 million views on YouTube this summer, and Lyst has seen a spike in demand for bovine-inspired fashion products.

Page views of cow print bodies, T-shirts, trousers and jackets are up a combined 138% in the last month alone, with Topshop, Forever 21, BooHoo and Asos all stocking the trend. Pins on cow makeup and costume inspiration are up nearly 680% year on year. For group costume inspo, team up with cowboys, milk maids and milkshakes to complete the look.

Head to Lyst to search for the perfect fashion items to create your Halloween look. 


To discover more Halloween inspiration head to the Pinfrights 2018 board for all the latest trends on Pinterest.


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