Get Inspired by These 9 Out-of-the-Box Halloween Costume Ideas 

Illustration by Allison Bowen.

From cheeky internet puns to character crossovers you didn’t see coming, we’ve got you covered for costumes this year. 

With many people’s favorite holiday right around the corner, you’re well within the window to consider this year’s Halloween costume choices. But how do you stand out among the masses without falling into the all-too-common trap of picking something from well-worn or current pop culture territory — or grabbing some uninspired, prefab piece of plastic off the rack? Well, have no fear, because District Fray has you covered. We’ve scoured the interwebs to find a list of unique options for all, plus where to buy everything you’ll need. 

The Death of Twitter
With Elon Musk’s seemingly bottomless reserve of online and IRL trolling, it seems inevitable that the (whether loved or hated) social media powerhouse that was Twitter (now “X,” a letter long obsessed over by Musk) is not long for the digital landscape. The battle between the embittered app and newly launched “Threads” (developed by Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook) proved to be an incredibly “interesting” slap fights of the year, so why not turn it into a Halloween costume? Either decked out solo in grim reaper garb presiding over the funeral of  the now “deceased” blue bird logo, or as a collaboration with a friend dressed up as the opposing Instagram-owned app, you’ll be appropriately macabre and inspired for the night. At the very least, it’ll beat Elon and Zuck in a cage match.

“Girl Dinner”
The problem with online buzzwords, memes or trends is that they’re hip one minute and passé the next. However, “girl dinner” appears to be here to stay. The term was coined in May (in a TikTok video that has since garnered a million views) and set the Internet ablaze, with it nearly impossible to overlook or escape the buzzword. The best thing about picking this conceptually original option: there are no rules. Just pick some edible favorites you would choose to eat if planted at your kitchen counter or on the couch in front of your TV, slap them on an easy-carry serving tray or cheese board with your favorite guilty pleasure foods (even if tasty candy or play set versions of them), and you’re good to go. It’s an easy, no-fuss way to pick white-hot word from the cultural lexicon, but still celebrating your favorite snacks.

“Rueth” Bader Ginsburg
There’s no shortage of complex but impactful female characters, from either the entertainment landscape and in real life. So how about a way to highlight a couple at the same time?  “Euphoria” remains one of HBO’s biggest hits in recent memory, and the show’s lead character, Rue (played by actress Zendaya), has gained a dedicatedly captive audience. And to honor the anniversary of her passing and legacy of tirelessly fighting for gender equality under the law, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg remains an undeniable trailblazer and inspiration. The fact that both their names are strikingly similar doesn’t hurt either. All you’ll need is an appropriately “Notorious” judge costume paired with Rue’s signature purple hoodie and pair of Converse and you’re good to go.

Married/Divorced Britney Spears
Britney Spears has remained an enduring and impactful pop culture figure over the last nearly 25 years, since breaking through with her debut album “…Baby One More Time” back in 1999. To mark a significant personal event in the star singer’s life, her recent marriage to fiancé Sam Asghari, it could also be fitting to also to cheekily acknowledge her whirlwind Vegas wedding to childhood friend Jason Alexander (a 55-hour courtship, subsequent nuptials and annulment), now nearly 20 years later. Unless you’ve got convenient access to four different Versace gowns she wore at her most recent ceremony, pair her unmistakable red jumpsuit from the “Oops!…I Did It Again,” music video, blonde wig and veil to complete the look.

“Everything Everywhere All At Once”
In a movie landscape dominated by superhero flicks or established IP, it was refreshing to see last year’s “Everything Everywhere All At Once,” received so well by general audiences, not to mention snag Michelle Yeoh a Best Actress Academy Award. Being that it’s a story focusing on a mother-daughter relationship, if you happen to fit the main cultural characteristic, go as a solo or duo with a friend as lead characters Evelyn Wong (Yeoh) an/or Joy Wang’s evil doppelganger Jobu Tupaki (Stephanie Hsu). Pick either’s toneddown, googly-eyed style (even a bit more fight-scene gory!) or the villain’s more spectacular pink-haired, cowboy-booted and bedazzled Elvis jumpsuit option.

Zombie Goose
“Top Gun: Maverick” proved to be one of the bigger successes of Tom Cruise’s career, and a massively successful post-Covid blockbuster. While most might go with a more straight-forward look by throwing on a bomber jacket or Navy dress whites, give it a more spooky take by picking a combination costume that’s a tip of the hat to the original film. Imagine Anthony Edward’s “Goose” character (Cruise’s wingman who died tragically in a flight accident) managed to join the ranks of the undead as a zombie and is trying to track down Maverick for one last rendition of “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’.” Snag a zombie makeup kit, some fake blood, fake mustache, Aviators and flight suit and you’re ready to hop back in the cockpit, for combat or chowing down on the nearest brains.

“Cast Away” Mermaid
With all the films released this year, Disney’s live-action remake of “The Little Mermaid” took over the social media landscape with its new songs, casting choices and CGI scares. Another option that merges different beloved characters is to use another island adventure-based character: Tom Hank’s stranded, bearded FedEx employee from “Cast Away.” Throw in a mermaid wig and stuffed animal Flounder sidekick to create a fun hybrid option, you could even throw in an Ursula costume to take it all home.

Phoebe Bridgers Skeleton
A constant and comforting Fall combo is wrapping yourself up in a warm blanket or cozy onesie and throwing on some good music. So, how about creating a costume inspired by the two? Get an appropriately creepy yet cute-sy skeleton onesie and platinum wig to emulate contemporary folk-pop singer-songwriter Phoebe Bridgers (who herself boasts an affinity for “innocently creepy things”).

‘90s The Rock Fanny Pack Photo
For someone who has self-identified themselves as “box office Viagra,” to endlessly posting their workout routines and diet regimens via Instagram, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson clearly possesses a megadose of self-confidence that many of us could only aspire to. Perhaps it’s his level of bravdo that lead him to post this ’90s-era look (apparently self-deprecatingly so) that has gone on to become iconic in its own right. Re-create the ensemble to help any and all to “smell what The Rock is cookin’” this year. It’s a great short-notice or last-minute option, with some pretty commonly attainable items you might even have lying around already (fanny pack, black turtleneck, silver chain and blue jeans).

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