Has forecasting for Halloween costumes become a scary trick?
The hot costume picks for Halloween have shifted away from generic staples (sexy cats, spooky witches) toward pop culture references, making choosing the right mix a more hair-rising effort for merchants.
In an interview with Business Insider, Lesley Bannatyne, an author who has written extensively about the history of Halloween costumes, said television started to define pop culture in the 1950s, leading Little Orphan Annie, Bullwinkle and Disney costumes to become popular. Other trends over the years include “gory” costumes that arose with the popularity of slasher films in the 1980s. Dressing in “ironic” costumes, like a Tootsie Roll or McDonald’s character, marked the 1990s, while politician masks and “super sexy” takes characterized the 2000s.
A combination of tradition and pop culture trends continues to drive costume choices.
Pinterest found that, in sync with this year’s major launches, searches around “Stranger Things,” “Elvis,” “Top Gun” and “The Lord of the Rings” are trending on social platforms.
“The classics always hold a special place in our hearts, and this year this proves true following the growth in searches for Patrick Bateman, from ‘American Psycho,’ Harley Quinn — the Joker’s ex, and the season’s favorite, ‘Hocus Pocus,’” Pinterest stated. “Bold women are also topping 2022’s costume list with iconic figures like Anna Delvey, from ‘Inventing Anna,’ as well as Priscilla Presley, Avril Lavigne and Maddie and Cassie, the infamous duo from ‘Euphoria.’”
A survey of 2,000 adults from the U.K. from 19 Crimes wine found that some newer go-to Halloween looks included celebrities such as Beyonce, Billie Eilish, Kim Kardashian, Kanye West and Will Smith.
Google still found classic and nostalgic costumes, such as characters from eighties horror films, as well as Marvel and Star Wars franchises, continuing to rank high in searches.
A Wall Street Journal article said retailers are conducting extensive research, including analyzing fandom conversations on platforms like Reddit and Discord, to gauge which costumes may break out.
Holly Rawlinson, Spirit Halloween’s VP of licensing and business development, told the Journal that choice often comes down to how the costumes look on wearers, the character’s fan base and nostalgia.
- The most popular Halloween costumes over the past 150 years — and the fascinating history behind how costume trends have changed – Business Insider
- Here are the top 10 Halloween costumes for 2022, according to Pinterest – Pinterest
- Expect to see zombie Kim K’s populate Britain’s streets this Halloween – Hinton Magazine
- Frightgeist – Google
- How Do You Make a Hit Halloween Costume? A Lot of Data and a Little Bit of Luck – The Wall Street Journal
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: What do you think have been the most important factors driving the choice of Halloween costumes in 2022? Is the forecasting process for costumes the same or different from those used by merchants to make everyday fashion merchandise decisions?