Halloween is approaching fast, so if you have yet to think about what you might want to dress as this year, now is the time to start planning. Yes, you could always default to a classic like Tom Cruise in Risky Business or a generic “scary” face mask you pick up at CVS. But pulling together a pop culture costume that works for this year and this year only is infinitely more fun and is sure to ring in many more compliments than a repeat of last year’s simple witch hat. (And don't forget to select a little costumey something for your pet, too.) Here's to pulling together looks at the very last minute with pieces you already have tucked in your closet or stowed somewhere in the house—as well as to freshening them up for this year's news. And now, the 30 best pop culture Halloween costumes to wear in 2023 (and a few honorable mentions from 2022).
32 Pop Culture Halloween Costumes We're Loving for 2023
Horror, music and collective bargaining
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1. Beyonce on Tour
What you need: Blond wig, leotard, boots
We’re not not saying this silver leotard-and-thigh-high boots combo is going to get a lot of wear other than tonight, but you will enjoy yourself in this dramatic outfit. Extra points if you can find a strong fan to stand in front of at the party, to fetchingly blow back your wig like Bey does.
2. Coco Gauff
4. Wednesday Addams from Wednesday
5. Venice Barbie
What you need: neon leotard, roller blades
It's not easy in the real world, but wearing this costume gives you a chance to discuss the year's most marketed film (and to drop America Ferrera's "state of womanhood" monologue).
6. Kylie Jenner and Timothee Chalamet
What you need: sunglasses, lip balm
What's not to love about a celeb couples costume? Honestly, we’re betting this particular match up won’t be timely next year, but for now, this celeb couple’s PDA and random pairing is punchline-worthy.
What you need: babydoll dress, samurai sword
We love this murder doll as a men’s outfit—just look at how terrifying producer Jason Blum looked when he dressed up as the title character for the film’s January 2023 premiere.
8. Queen Elizabeth II
What you need: Gray wig, lime green suit, green heels, silver brooch, pearl necklace, white gloves
You can honor the late queen by recreating one of her standout ensembles, which typically include an eye-catching suit, white gloves and a pearl necklace. If you want to take it up a notch, you can even pair the outfit with a matching hat.
9. Taylor Swift on Tour
10. Shuri from Black Panther
What you need: Black Panther Shuri costume set, combat boots
We're sure you've heard the rumors about Shuri possibly stepping up to become the next Black Panther. And if you ask us, she definitely has what it takes. Take your own journey to Wakanda with the full costume, including a jumpsuit, armbands and knuckle busters.
11. Loretta Sage from The Lost City
What you need: Sparkly pink jumpsuit, pair of heels
Since Bullock played one of the standout characters in The Lost City—one of Paramount's biggest releases of 2o22—so it's only fitting that you pay tribute to her character, Loretta.
12. Anna Delvey from Inventing Anna
What you need: Shawl scarf, bodycon dress, oversized sunglasses
Julia Garner definitely had fans talking with her standout performance as Anna Delvey, who scammed an entire community of socialites into thinking that she was a famous heiress. (One with great fashion taste, we might add.)
13. Evelyn Wang from Everything Everywhere All At Once
What you need: Cosplay Costume, Googly eye sticker, Black jeans
Evelyn starts off as a seemingly normal mom, then blossoms into a powerful heroine who embarks on a complicated quest to rescue her daughter. While there are quite a few memorable moments across parallel universes, it's this epic action sequence that's seared into our memory.
14. Galadriel from The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power
What you need: Galadriel dress, blond wig
Sure, you could opt for LOTR staples like Frodo or Gandalf, but why not take a trip to Middle Earth as the younger version of Galadriel? She's the bold, fierce heroine we can't help but root for—and this costume is sure to turn heads.
15. Mabel Mora from Only Murders in the Building
What you need: Faux fur coat, plaid pants, beanie, headphones
If we could add every outfit of Mabel's into our own fall closet, we totally would. But if we had to pick her best look so far from Only Murders in the Building, then it would have to be this cozy/chic yellow ensemble.
16. Kate Sharma from Bridgerton
What you need: Teal regency dress, heels, teardrop earrings
If you’re looking for a costume that's equal parts glamorous and elegant, you’d be hard pressed to find better inspiration than Bridgerton's Kate Sharma.
17. Daphne Bridgerton from Bridgerton
What you need: Empire-waist gown, gloves and a dainty tiara
Speaking of Bridgerton, Daphne is another brilliant source of inspiration for your royal look. If you want to add a special extra touch, tote around a pamphlet from Lady Whistledown with all the hottest gossip from the year.
18. Serena Williams at the 2022 US Open
What you need: Workout dress, black headband, tennis racket, tennis shoes
The tennis legend announced her retirement late in 2022, and only continues to be a cultural force. So yes, this means it's the perfect time to channel our inner Serena and practice our serve. (Bonus points if you've got a new baby to hold along with your tennis racket.)
19. Anyone from Ted Lasso
What you need: ’70s sunglasses, mustache, coach’s jacket and a whistle
We can’t get enough of Ted Lasso’s infectious positivity, or his comfy coaching outfit. Etsy has great options if you want to buy a realistic looking team jacket or uniform, or you can use colorful washi tape and a printed out Richmond logo to transform any navy zip-up into a coach Lasso’s jacket.
20. Britney Spears
What you need: Long blond wig, sparkly minidress and handcuffs
The Free Britney movement first came to a head in 2021 with Spears’s father stepping down as her conservator. Then this year, Brit became free once again as divorce proceedings from her husband Sam Ashgari ensued. If you have an old Britney costume (like her Oops!... I Did It Again red catsuit, her Hit Me Baby One More Time schoolgirl ensemble or her 2001 VMAs look complete with boa constrictor) you can simply add a pair of handcuffs and a sign reading “Free Britney”, or you can slip into any sparkly minidress you own to embody red carpet Brit.
21. Gabby Windey and Robby Hoffman
What you need: A fancy dress and a rose + round glasses and normcore
Fun media couple Gabby from The Bachelorette and writer-comic Robby get our vote for the opposite-styles attract award of Halloween '23.
22. Wanda Maximoff from Wandavision
What you need: Red one-piece bathing suit, pink tights, red shoes, cape, gloves and Wanda’s signature headpiece
There are tons of fun Wanda looks you can recreate from this time-hopping series, but if you don’t want to be confused for Lucy Ricardo or a generic ’60s babe, opt for Wanda’s very meta Scarlet Witch costume from the show’s Halloween episode. (P.S. If you want to make the headpiece yourself, here’s an easy tutorial using cardboard.)
23. Deborah Vance from Hacks
24. Harry Styles at the 2021 Grammys
What you need: Black leather jacket and pants, and a green feather boa
Harry Styles is our fashion inspiration for pretty much every other day of the year, so why not use him to craft your Halloween costume too? Besides, how often does one find an excuse to wrap oneself in a feather boa for the evening?
25. Janine Teagues from Abbott Elementary
What you need: Beige turtleneck, brown skirt, waist belt, golden hoop earrings, lanyard
Let's face it: Janine is the second grade teacher we all wish we had—but we'll settle for watching her shenanigans with the rest of the staff at Abbott. (And of course, dressing up as her for Halloween.)
26. Rockford Peaches Player from A League of Their Own
What you need: A League of Their Own costume set, white sneakers
Prime Video dropped a reboot of the classic film that's gotten plenty of praise. Sports fans, gather your squad and join the Rockford Peaches with these epic uniforms, complete with red caps and pink dresses.
27. Bernie Sanders and His Mittens
What you need: Blue medical face mask, gray parka, black pants and hand-knit mittens
So, you want a fun pop culture costume that prioritizes comfort over everything else? Look no further than Bernie’s iconic inauguration getup. It’ll keep you warm, cozy and safe from spreading disease, all with a hilarious pop culture twist.
28. Megan Rapinoe
What you need: soccer shorts, knee socks
This July Rapinoe announced that she would retire from professional soccer after the 2023 National Women's Soccer League season, and she’ll continue to give us kicks as an activist.
29. Hopper from Stranger Things
What you need: A Hawaiian shirt, light-wash jeans and a mustache
As we continue to anticipate season five, we might as well channel Hopper's laid-back, Hawaiian shirt-ed style. Simple, comfortable and can also pass as someone’s dad on vacation in the ‘80s in case people aren’t familiar with Stranger Things.
30. Fran Lebowitz
What you need: Round glasses, oversize button-down shirt and blazer, loose jeans and practical boots
Martin Scorsese’s Pretend It’s a City made us fall in love with Lebowitz all over again and introduced the writer to a whole new group of fans ready to embrace her signature no-fuss style.
31. Star And Barb from Barb And Star Go To Vista Del Mar
What you need: Tropical tops, elastic-waist capri pants, leis and a tropical cocktail
The brighter and tackier the clothing, the better. You can also add a visor or large sunhat and oversize sunglasses, or opt for a one-piece bathing suit and coordinating sarong. And don’t forget to blow your hair into voluminous mid-western curls for the perfect finishing touch.
32. Wordle Game
What you need: Wordle-themed dress, Wordle earrings
If you need some creative inspo that's got recent years written all over it, then look no further than this word-teaser game, which took over social media and went viral at the beginning of 2022. (Pro tip: Personalize your look by adding some letters to your Wordle-themed dress.)