group of people dressed up for halloween, taking a selfie
October 4, 2018

9 Topical Halloween Costume Ideas for 2018

Sure, you could throw a sheet over your head and call yourself a ghost—but where’s the fun in that? This year, make the most of the spooky season and craft a Halloween costume that’s all your own. Don’t worry: even if you’re short on spending money and low on supplies, these nine ideas are all simple enough to do in your apartment or dorm room (and likely to make an impression at your next Halloween party). From pop culture-themed dress-up ideas to no-fail disguises, here are nine topical Halloween costumes to try in 2018.

Own the room at your upcoming Halloween party with these nine creative costume ideas.Own the room at your upcoming Halloween party with these nine creative costume ideas.

Pop Culture Looks

This Halloween, take inspiration from 2018’s pop culture hits. Image courtesy of Lindsay Neilson Photos/Flickr.This Halloween, take inspiration from 2018’s pop culture hits. Image courtesy of Lindsay Neilson Photos/Flickr.

From music videos to prestige TV, 2018’s cultural landscape offers up tons of dress-up inspiration. Here are three topical Halloween costumes to show off your pop cultural savvy.

Ariana Grande: Ariana Grande is one of 2018’s biggest pop stars, and she’s served up no shortage of Halloween-worthy looks this year. To imitate her “God is a Woman” music video vibe, all you need is a flesh-toned t-shirt and matching leggings, plus several colors of paint (and matching makeup) that you can swirl on top.

The Crown: We’re in the midst of what many are calling the golden age of television, so don’t forget to turn to the small screen for Halloween inspiration—or just head to Netflix. The Crown, which took home multiple Emmys this year, is the perfect excuse to dress up in a thrifted gown, hand-me-down tux, or budget-friendly tiara. Don’t worry: you still have time to perfect your English accent.

Jay-Z and Beyoncé: No one serves up memorable music video looks like Jay and Bey, and the Carters’ video for “Apes**t”, shot in the Louvre, is one to beat. For this couples costume, browse eBay, or hit up your nearest thrift store, to score vintage pink and teal suits and glittering costume jewelry.

Social Media Style

All you need are a few key accessories to own your “social media influencer” costume.All you need are a few key accessories to own your “social media influencer” costume.

Some of 2018’s most topical Halloween costumes turn an eye towards social media and our digital day-to-day. Here are three super-easy suggestions that you can whip up in no time flat.

Social Media Influencer: The perfect poses, the too-good-to-be-true backdrops, and the humblebragging? In 2018, we’re all well acquainted with the social media influencer’s style. For this tongue-in-cheek get-up, print out a large photo of a destination-worthy locale—preferably a tropical beach or other far-flung getaway—and carry it with you. Stop to take “selfies” in front of it every now and then.

Fake News: The words “fake news” have been uttered so often in 2018 that they’re almost impossible to avoid. To make your own playful twist on the all-too-ubiquitous concept, keep a pile of newspapers handy, or paper your clothes in article cutouts. You can draw red Xs over the headlines, or simply write “fake” across your t-shirt using a Sharpie.

Snapchat Filter: Flower crowns? Puppy dogs? Cat ladies? If you’ve got a favorite Snapchat filter, you only need a few key accessories—and some creative make-up know-how—to rock this year’s Halloween costume. Here’s a selection of in-depth tutorials to get you started.

All-Around Favorites

Rosie the Riveter is a favorite Halloween look—and you only need a denim shirt, bandana, and your best bicep curl to rock it.

2018’s topical Halloween costumes don’t have to be complicated—and these three oldies-but-goodies are both relevant for the year but also reliable hits.

Rosie the Riveter: Rosie the Riveter never goes out of style, and 2018 is the perfect year to rep her look. Grab your nearest denim shirt, find a bright red bandana, put on a swipe of red lipstick, and perfect your fiercest expression. Don’t forget the bicep curls.

Cactus: According to various headlines, Millennials have killed off everything from department stores to engagement rings…but they sure love houseplants. Take advantage of the trend and dress up as a cactus in 2018. All you need: a green sweatshirt, a hot glue-gun, a box of toothpicks…and the ability to hold up your arms for a long period of time.

Your Middle School Yearbook Photo: Now that you’re in the “after” stage of your glow-up, poke fun at your middle school style by imitating your former yearbook looks: outdated clothes, bad hairstyles, and all. Bonus points if you actually print out the pics as evidence of your transformation.