44 Classic Halloween Costumes That Will Never Go Out of Style

From pirates to lifeguards, nothing beats a classic Halloween costume. It isn’t that we don’t enjoy going above and beyond for the annual holiday (i.e., dressing up like Harley Quinn—pink/blue hair included), but there’s something oddly nostalgic about chasing our kids around the house while wearing a simple witch costume and chanting, “I’m melting!”

Whether you're prepping for your next Halloween party or planning to go trick-or-treating with the family, it doesn't hurt to pull some inspiration from your favorite TV shows and movies, like Barbie, Mean Girls and Bring It On. We compiled a list of 44 classic Halloween costumes that'll turn heads, from the quintessential cheerleader to the zombie bride. Keep reading for all the deets.

The 70 Best Halloween Movies of All Time

Getty Images

What Was the Most Popular Halloween Costume in 2022?

According to Google Trends data, witch costumes were the most popular Halloween costume search, taking the top spot in a total of 11 states. The second most searched was Spider-Man, with dinosaurs coming in third.

Paramount/Getty Images

1. '50s Girl

  • Inspired by: Grease (starring John Travolta, Olivia Newton-John, Stockard Channing)
  • Costume difficulty: Easy

Want to bring retro vibes to your next Halloween party? Take some inspiration from Sandy Olsson's classic "Summer Nights" outfit, complete with a poodle skirt and matching accessories.

Get the look: Kidcostumes adult poodle skirt with printed scarf ($22); BengPro retro costume accessories ($13); Button-down shirt ($21)

remember the titans
Buena Vista/Getty Images

2. Football Player

  • Inspired by: Remember the Titans (starring Denzel Washington, Will Patton, Wood Harris)
  • Costume difficulty: Easy

It's the perfect excuse to support your favorite football player or pay homage to the Titans. Either way, your custom uniform will be a total touchdown.

Get the look: Sports Unlimited integrated football pants ($30); Custom football jersey (from $15)

station 19 firefighter costume
ABC/Ed Herrera

3. Firefighter

  • Inspired by: Station 19 (starring Jaina Lee Ortiz, Jason George, Grey Damon)
  • Costume difficulty: Easier than easy

You'll turn heads in your firefighter suit, which includes overalls and a matching jacket. All we can say is, bring on the heat!

Get the look: Aeromax adult firefighter suit (from $78)

fbi agent
Michael Parmelee/ CBS

4. FBI Agent

  • Inspired by: FBI (starring Missy Peregrym, Zeeko Zaki, Ebonee Noel)
  • Costume difficulty: Easier than easy

An FBI jacket and a pair of aviator glasses are all you need to pull off this look. (One we're sure LT Maverick Mitchell would approve of.)

Get the look: Smart People Clothing FBI jacket ($38); Livhò aviator sunglasses ($14)

baywatch lifeguard
Getty Images

5. Lifeguard

  • Inspired by: Baywatch (starring David Hasselhoff, Pamela Anderson, Yasmine Bleeth)
  • Costume difficulty: Moderate

Want to dress up with your BFFs? Consider paying tribute to the iconic lifeguards from Baywatch. CPR certification not required.

Get the look: Dixperfect one-piece bathing suit (from $15); BLARIX whistle and lanyard ($10); Ever Ready first aid fanny pack ($10)

million dollar baby
Warner Bros. Pictures

6. Boxer

  • Inspired by: Million Dollar Baby (starring Hilary Swank, Clint Eastwood, Morgan Freeman)
  • Costume difficulty: Easy

Channel your inner Maggie and show the world your boxing skills with this simple costume, which includes a simple green robe and a pair of boxing gloves.

Get the look: Sioro bathrobe ($21); Sanabul punching bag gloves ($30)

dracula vampire
Universal/Getty Images

7. Vampire

  • Inspired by: Dracula (starring Bela Lugosi, Helen Chandler, David Manners)
  • Costume difficulty: Moderate

You'll need the full vampire costume and some fangs to transform into a creature of the night. And remember, it’s not the size of your fangs, it’s how you bite.

Get the look: Renaissance vampire costume (from $30); CoolJoy vampire teeth ($9); Washable fake blood ($6)

mean girls 2
Paramount Pictures

8. Mouse

  • Inspired by: Mean Girls (starring Lindsay Lohan, Amanda Seyfried, Rachel McAdams)
  • Costume difficulty: Easy

Karen's unforgettable mouse costume is relatively easy to copy. Just pair a silky dress with some mouse accessories and you'll be one of the plastics in no time.

Get the look: Miqieer long silky dress ($21); Skeleteen mouse accessory set ($12)

mean girls
Paramount Pictures

9. Zombie Bride

  • Inspired by: Mean Girls (starring Lindsay Lohan, Amanda Seyfried, Rachel McAdams)
  • Costume difficulty: Moderate

For this Adam Samuels-approved look, pair a zombie wedding dress with a long wig. (Bonus points if you have a zombie groom to team up with.)

Get the look: Fun World Costumes zombie bride dress ($29); Beautyself silver grey costume wig ($22); Mehron Makeup coagulated blood ($8)

men in black
Sony Pictures

10. Undercover Officer

  • Inspired by: Men in Black (starring Tommy Lee Jones, Will Smith, Linda Fiorentino)
  • Costume difficulty: Moderate

Thankfully, you won't have to deal with extraterrestrial lifeforms, but you can certainly look the part. This look is relatively easy to put together, with just a two-piece suit, glasses and an earpiece.

Get the look: P&L 2-piece suit jacket and pants set ($100); Joopin polarized sunglasses ($16; $12); Skeleteen secret spy earpiece headphones ($8)

witch wizard of oz
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer/Getty Images

11. Witch

  • Inspired by: The Wizard of Oz (starring Judy Garland, Frank Morgan, Ray Bolger)
  • Costume difficulty: Expert

Wear your favorite witch costume, don a wig, apply some green face paint and voila! You're the Wicked Witch of the West. But you might want to avoid buckets of water…or else.

Get the look: Forum Novelties classic witch costume ($25); Mehron Makeup green face and body paint ($14); Da Vinci wig ($20)

lion wizard of oz
MGM Studios/Courtesy of Getty Images

12. Lion

  • Inspired by: The Wizard of Oz (starring Judy Garland, Frank Morgan, Ray Bolger)
  • Costume difficulty: Easy

Practice your best roar (oh hey, Katy Perry), and rock this lion costume to show that you're far from a coward.

Get the look: Funny Party Hats lion ears and tail set ($23; $20); Elope fingerless costume paws ($18; $12)

scarecrown wizard of oz
MGM Studios/Archive Photos/Getty Images

13. Scarecrow

  • Inspired by: The Wizard of Oz (starring Judy Garland, Frank Morgan, Ray Bolger)
  • Costume difficulty: Easy

Scarecrow hat? Check. Straw outfit? Check. Now, if we only had a brain cornfield…

Get the look: Rubie's Store adult scarecrow costume (from $42)

tin man wizard of oz
MGM Studios/Courtesy of Getty Images

14. Tin Man

  • Inspired by: The Wizard of Oz (starring Judy Garland, Frank Morgan, Ray Bolger)
  • Costume difficulty: Easy to moderate

Lucky for you, this Tin Man costume already has a heart. You can even take it to the next level by using silver face paint to blend in with the costume.

Get the look: Rubie's Store adult tin man costume (from $38)

it clown

15. Clown

  • Inspired by: It (starring Bill Skarsgård, Jaeden Martell, Finn Wolfhard)
  • Costume difficulty: Easy to Moderate

Need a seriously terrifying costume that'll get under people's skin? Look no further than Pennywise.

Get the look: Rubie's deluxe Pennywise costume (from $35); Binggle Pennywise mask ($30)

bring it on
Beacon Pictures

16. Cheerleader

  • Inspired by: Bring It On (starring Kirsten Dunst, Eliza Dushku, Jesse Bradford)
  • Costume difficulty: Easy

There must be some Torros in the atmosphere! Bring It On fans will revel in this eye-catching cheerleading outfit.

Get the look: Bring It On Cheerleader uniform (from $38); Cheer sneakers ($39)

black swan
Searchlight Pictures

17. Ballerina

  • Inspired by: Black Swan (starring Natalie Portman, Mila Kunis, Vincent Cassel)
  • Costume difficulty: Moderate

We'd like to think we're not the only ones who dreamed about starring in The Nutcracker. Blossom into a Black Swan with a satin corset, a matching tutu and sparkly crown.

Get the look: Kranchungel embroidered corset ($20); v28 tutu skirt ($25; $12); Floral Fall crown ($13); Stelle ballet tights ($10)

princess diaries
Buena Vista Pictures

18. School Girl

  • Inspired by: The Princess Diaries (starring Julie Andrews, Anne Hathaway, Hector Elizondo)
  • Costume difficulty: Easy

Here's your excuse to break out your Lisa Frank merch. Just dust off your plaid skirt and pair it with a matching shirt and bowtie to complete the look.

Get the look: French Toast pleated skirt (from $17); Beninos simple shirt ($22); Patiky criss-cross bowtie ($9)

legally blonde
MGM Pictures

19. Bunny Rabbit

  • Inspired by: Legally Blonde (starring Reese Witherspoon, Luke Wilson, Selma Blair)
  • Costume difficulty: Moderate

With Mindy Kaling's Legally Blonde 3 on the horizon, it's the perfect time to channel our favorite Harvard grad, Elle Woods.

Get the look: Bunny girl outfit ($33); Jacobson Hat Company bunny ears headband with fluffy tail ($11); Capezio soft transition tight ($13)

Walt Disney Pictures

20. Pirate

  • Inspired by: Pirates of the Caribbean (starring Johnny Depp, Keira Knightley, Xavier Alexander)
  • Costume difficulty: Easy

You can't go wrong with the legendary pirate of the Caribbean, Jack Sparrow. All you'll need to achieve the look are a costume set and pirate hat.

Get the look: Smiffy's high seas pirate costume (from $55); Jacobson Hat Company pirate hat with braids (from $23)

ABC/Christopher Willard

21. Doctor

  • Inspired by: Grey’s Anatomy (starring Ellen Pompeo, Chandra Wilson, James Pickens Jr.)
  • Costume difficulty: Easy

This doctor costume is pretty easy to put together, and just might trick someone into thinking you went to medical school.

Get the look: Paramed scrubs set uniform ($24); Paramed classic dual head stethoscope kit ($21)

greatest showmna
20th Century Fox

22. Ringmaster

  • Inspired by: The Greatest Showman (starring Hugh Jackman, Michelle Williams, Zac Efron)
  • Costume difficulty: Moderate

Prepare to put on the greatest show by dressing up as the infamous P.T. Barnum. A simple circus outfit and stuffed lion will transport you to the exciting world of clowns, acrobats and trapeze artists.

Get the look: Fun shack circus costume outfit ($42); Betheaces Aurora World plush lion ($19)

that 70s show
Everett Collection/Getty Images

23. Hippie

  • Inspired by: That ’70s Show (starring Topher Grace, Laura Prepon, Mila Kunis)
  • Costume difficulty: Easy

Need an affordable, last-minute option? Consider going for the hippie aesthetic from That '70s Show. What you'll need is a tie-dye shirt, a suede fringe vest and retro glasses.

Get the look: Joe's USA tie-dye T-shirt (from $21); Kulywon fringe vest (from $12); SunnyPro Store retro round sunglasses ($15)

sound of music
20th Century Fox

24. Nun

  • Inspired by: The Sound of Music (starring Julie Andrews, Christopher Plummer, Eleanor Parker)
  • Costume difficulty: Easy

We imagine that Deloris Van Cartier would also approve of this ensemble. And the best part? You can get the full costume for just $30.

Get the look: Fun Shack nun outfit ($34)

yellowstone universal
Paramount Network

25. Cowboy

  • Inspired by: Yellowstone (starring Kevin Costner and Luke Grimes)
  • Costume difficulty: Easy

You can pay homage to the characters by dressing like them for Halloween. A classic cowboy hat and shirt with a holster belt ought to do the trick.

Get the look: Wrangler Riggs long sleeve shirt (from $34); Western Express cowboy hat (from $35); Cowboy gun belt ($22)

westworld robot

26. Robot

  • Inspired by: Westworld (starring Evan Rachel Wood, Thandie Newton, Ed Harris)
  • Costume difficulty: Easy

Another great option is to dress up as one of the robots from the show. (Bonus points for stellar robot dance moves.)

Get the look: Morphsuits creepy monster costume ($44)

et alien
GREG WOOD/AFP/Getty Images

27. Alien

  • Inspired by: E.T. the Extra Terrestrial (starring Henry Thomas, Drew Barrymore, Peter Coyote)
  • Costume difficulty: Easier than easy

Venture into outer space by paying tribute to the infamous alien from E.T. Just pair your alien mask with a cozy gray blanket and you'll be ready to board your spaceship.

Get the look: Ghoulish Masks Area 51 mask ($50; $39); Utopia blanket ($25; $20)

toy story
Walt Disney Studios

28. Astronaut

  • Inspired by: Toy Story (featuring the voices of Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Don Rickles)
  • Costume difficulty: Easy

Who can say no to an inflatable Buzz Lightyear jumpsuit? Get ready to go to infinity and beyond.

Get the look: Disguise inflatable costume ($108; $60)

Fox Searchlight Pictures

29. Runner

  • Inspired by: Juno (starring Ellen Page, Michael Cera, Jennifer Garner)
  • Costume difficulty: Moderate

TBH, you may already have these pieces in your closet. You just need running shorts, a polo shirt, a headband and tube socks.

Get the look: Soffe running shorts ($18; $13); Aeropostale polo shirt ($12); Suddora yellow sweat band ($8); Pareberry tube socks ($10)

napoleon dynamite
Fox Searchlight Pictures

30. Nerd

  • Inspired by: Napoleon Dynamite (starring Jon Heder, Efren Ramirez, Jon Gries)
  • Costume difficulty: Easy

Napoleon's "Vote for Pedro" T-shirt and aviator glasses are pretty easy to replicate. Just add a curly brown wig and you're all set!

Get the look: South Horizon Vote for Pedro shirt (from $16); WebDeals aviator eyeglasses ($7); Alluara afro wig ($27)

Columbia Pictures/Getty Images

31. Exterminator

  • Inspired by: Ghostbusters (starring Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Sigourney Weaver)
  • Costume difficulty: Easy

This could double as your Halloween costume and a uniform for your next major ghost-busting job. Either way, this classic jumpsuit (which comes with an inflatable backpack) is sure to be a hit.

Get the look: Rubie's Store costume with inflatable backpack ($69; $59)

mary poppins

32. Nanny

  • Inspired by: Mary Poppins (starring Julie Andrews, Dick Van Dyke, David Tomlinson)
  • Costume difficulty: Easy

Make it a jolly holiday with a Victorian nanny costume inspired by everyone's favorite nanny. (Gravity-defying umbrella not included.)

Get the look: Smiffys nanny costume (from $38); Elope Mary Poppins hat ($25)

hocus pocus devil
Buena Vista Pictures

33. Devil

  • Inspired by: Hocus Pocus (starring Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, Kathy Najimy, Doug Jones)
  • Costume difficulty: Easy

From mini-dresses and pitchforks to red bodysuits and capes, there are plenty of ways to dress as the devil. If you're looking for an affordable option, try a red long gown with a flame-cut skirt.

Get the look: FunWorld Gothic Devil Costume ($77)

hocus pocus billy
Buena Vista Pictures

34. Mummy

  • Inspired by: Hocus Pocus (starring Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, Kathy Najimy, Doug Jones)
  • Costume difficulty: Moderate

Consider this look a cross between Edward Scissorhands and The Walking Dead. (Bonus points for sewed lips.)

Get the look: Wishu Long frock coat ($39); Short Messy Black Wig ($19); Monster makeup ($25)

classic halloween costumes sailor
Courtesy of Netflix

35. Sailor

  • Inspired by: Stranger Things (starring Joe Keery, Maya Hawke, Millie Bobby Brown)
  • Costume difficulty: Easy

Devoted Stranger Things fans will instantly recognize this look from Steve and Robin's ice cream gig. Scoops Ahoy!

Get the look: Fun Shack sailor costume ($37); Fun Party Hats white sailor hat ($22)

classic halloween costumes cat
ABC/Craig Sjodin

36. Cat

  • Inspired by: The Bachelorette (starring Katie Thurston, Connor Brennan)
  • Costume difficulty: Easier than easy

Connor Brennan (AKA Connor B.) may not have won Katie Thurston’s heart, but he sure is memorable. Partly thanks to his cat costume.

Get the look: Adult black cat costume ($74; $44)

classic halloween costumes huntress
Murray Close/Lionsgate

37. Huntress

  • Inspired by: Hunger Games (starring Jennifer Lawrence)
  • Costume difficulty: Easy

If you’re going as a teen heroine, then you might as well pick the fiery Katniss Everdeen. Even if you're not as skilled with a bow and arrow, no one will mess with the girl on fire.

Get the look: InCharacter huntress costume ($30); Morris bow and arrow ($12)

classic halloween costumes ghost1
Noam Galai/Getty Images

38. Ghost

  • Inspired by: Scream (starring Neve Campbell, Matthew Lillard, Skeet Ulrich)
  • Costume difficulty: Easy

Pay homage to the Scream franchise by dressing up as Ghostface, aka one of the greatest villains ever. The costume set comes with a hooded robe, a belt and the Scream ghost mask.

Get the look: Fun World ghost face costume ($19)

classic halloween costumes genie
Walt Disney Studios

39. Genie

  • Inspired by: Aladdin (starring Will Smith)
  • Costume difficulty: Moderately easy

Wonderful, magnificent, glorious, punctual! Grant everyone's wish by transforming into the magical genie from Aladdin.

Get the look: Mehron face and body paint ($8); Joerica gold jewelry ($17); CandyHusky gypsy pants ($26)

classic halloween cotumes willy wonka
Silver Screen Collection/Getty Images

40. Master Chocolatier

  • Inspired by: Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (starring Gene Wilder, Jack Albertson and Peter Ostrum)
  • Costume difficulty: Easy

We can't promise you a golden ticket, but you can take everyone to a world of pure imagination as you transform into the chocolate master himself, Willy Wonka.

Get the look: Rubie's Adult Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory costume (from $38)

classic halloween cotumes constantine
Warner Bros. Pictures

41. Fallen Angel

  • Inspired by: Constantine (starring Tilda Swinton)
  • Costume difficulty: Easy

All you need is an all-white 'fit with angel's wings and, tada, you're the archangel Gabriel. Well, minus the evil schemes to unleash hell on earth.

Get the look: Party Angel Wings ($29); White tank top ($20); White pants (from $18)

classic halloween cotumes top gun
Paramount Pictures

42. Fighter Pilot

  • Inspired by: Top Gun (starring Tom Cruise)
  • Costume difficulty: Easy

Feeling the need for speed? Gear up with a Maverick-inspired uniform and your favorite pair of aviator shades.

Get the look: Top Gun Flight Suit costume (from $90); Aviator sunglasses ($19)

barbie margot robbie mattel cmo podcast
Warner Bros. Pictures

43. Barbie

  • Inspired by: Barbie (starring Margot Robbie)
  • Costume difficulty: Easy

Come on Barbie, let's go party! If you're eager to take a trip to Barbieland, all you'll need is a doll box costume.

Get the look: Adult Barbie Box Costume ($35)


Senior Editor

Greta Heggeness is a California-based editor at PureWow and has been writing about entertainment since 2015. She covers everything from awards shows to exclusive celebrity...

nakeisha campbell bio

Associate Editor, News and Entertainment

Nakeisha has been interviewing celebrities and covering all things entertainment for over 8 years, but she has also written on a wide range of topics, like career...