Halloween Costume Ideas Inspired by 2016 Pop Culture


While 2016 has been a difficult year, there has also been a ton of great pop culture along the way to brighten things up. And lucky for us, many of the year’s most viral moments also happen to make great Halloween costumes. With October 31 right around the corner, we took the liberty of drafting up a list of costume ideas inspired by the most popular movies, TV shows, and viral moments of the year. (After all, you’re much more pop-culture savvy than those tried-and-true cat ears.)

NOTE: We don’t have these costumes pre-assembled in our store, but you can find much of what you need to pull these looks together at Mr. Lincoln’s Costume Shoppe .

Eleven From Stranger Things

Photo: Courtesy of 21 Laps Entertainment

Few characters have made more of a splash this year than the mysterious Eleven from Stranger Things. While she’s a girl of few words, she does possess a unique style that makes it an easy costume to pull together. All you need is a pink dress, a blue jacket, and a box of Eggo waffles, and you’re on your way to being a Netflix star for the night.

Super Simone Biles


Simone Biles dominated the 2016 Olympics, both on the floor and off. The pint-size athletic powerhouse earned over four million social media followers during the games. Biles’s impressive agility and strength warrant comparisons to superheroes, so a superhuman take on the Olympian is our prediction for one of this year’s top costumes. Super Simone Biles is going for gold!

Beyoncé From “Hold Up” and “Formation”


Photo: Courtesy of Parkwood / Columbia

When Beyoncé released Lemonade this year, it was one of the cultural events of the decade, and it created an entire set of looks that are immediately identifiable. If you’ve just had a bad breakup, pick up a gold dress and let your hair fly behind you as you carry a baseball bat wherever you go—there’s “Hold Up” made easy. Or if you’re feeling more sassy: A top hat, a bunch of chokers, a black dress, and your hair in braids will give off the “Formation” vibe.

Starbucks Rainbow Drinks


Diehard Starbucks fans love to show off their obsession on Halloween, dressing up as frothy Frappuccinos or drawing other caffeinated costume inspiration from the brand. The so-called “rainbow drinks” (variations of Starbucks Refreshers and fruity teas that show off the color spectrum) blew up Instagram over the Summer, leading our Food editors and resident Starbucks aficionados to call them out as early Halloween favorites. Because Starbucks is a widely beloved brand and the Insta-famous drinks are an easy costume to replicate, we totally agree with their prediction!

Joanne the Scammer


The Internet went wild over Joanne the Scammer this year, and even if you hadn’t heard of her from her Instagram feed, it was hard to escape the allure after she crashed the VMAs in August. It’s a simple look: a messy wig, optional sunglasses, a giant fur coat, and shorts to make it especially awkward.

Harley Quinn From Suicide Squad

Photo Courtesy of Marvel Entertainment

Though the movie itself turned out to be a bit of a letdown, Suicide Squad’sHarley Quinn will definitely live on in Halloween stores for years to come. It’s a slightly more complicated costume, but it ticks all the boxes for sexy, pop-culturally relevant, and basically all around awesome.

Jessica Jones


After Jessica Jones hit Netflix, there were loads of sites that picked up exactly how to replicate her looks, and it’s really pretty easy. Dark eye makeup and a dark shoulder-length wig (if your hair is light, or short) with black ankle boots, jeans, a gray scarf, and a leather jacket. Oh, and make sure you’ve got a permanent pout.

The Flower Filter From Snapchat

Photo: Courtesy of Chrissy Teigen / @chrissyteigen

If you’re looking for a simpler Halloween costume, there’s an easy way to dress up without putting too much effort into it: Snapchat filters! The most popular one this year was likely the flower crown, so all you really need to do is pop into your local crafts store and pick up a wreath to put on top of your head. Add a little bit of blush and some fake eyelashes and you’re good to go.

Characters From Pokémon Go


Pokémon Go was the game of the summer, and as a result, you should definitely expect to see a ton of people dressed up as their favorite Pokémon catches. Just put on a baseball cap, sneakers, and a track suit and carry around a ball—if you’re feeling super crafty, definitely paint it red and white to look like a Pokéball. Get more tips on pulling this look together on this  Ginny Di Pokémon Go cosplay tutorial.

Angry Michael Phelps


There were a lot of great moments from the 2016 Olympics, but none more meme-able than Michael Phelps looking pissed off in a corner. To achieve the look, simply pick up a blue track suit from your local sports store and affix a piece of red fabric down the middle of the hood. Just make sure you’ve always got your hood up, and you look absolutely furious.

Luke Cage


The Marvel series was released on Netflix late last month, featuring a now-iconic image of the titular character. Just pick up a yellow muscle tee from your local store and cut holes in it. Pair with jeans and you’ve got a quick and easy costume that will get high fives across the board.

NOTE: We don’t have these costumes pre-assembled in our store, but you can find makeup, wigs, masks, apparel and many of the accessories you’ll need to pull these looks together at Mr. Lincoln’s Costume Shoppe .

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