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These 5 costumes are expected to be the most popular this Halloween

By Molly McVety, Delaware News Journal,


Like it or not, the time for Halloween costume planning is among us.

Retail experts are predicting a record amount of spending on Halloween costumes and decorations this year, which means everyone will be expected to show out this year, even the low-effort participants.

Luckily, we have compiled a list with plenty of costume options that can be made as simple or all-out as you prefer without breaking the bank.

Record spending expected this Halloween

The National Retail Federation published its annual Halloween retail projections that consumer spending is expected to reach a record high of $12.2 billion this year.

Per person spending also is reaching a record high of $108.24 each for the season, a near $6 increase from the previous record set in 2021.

According to the study, younger consumers between the ages of 25 and 44 are main drivers in these sales, with most inspiration coming from online searches and social media outlets.

Analyzing over 8,800 consumers, the research team also put together a list of the predicted top costumes for the 2023 season for adults, pets and children.

However, despite most of the ideas for costumes coming from online, discount stores remain the leading destination for Halloween costumes and decorations, followed by specialty costume and décor stores like Spirit Halloween.

Where to shop in Delaware

While inflation continues to impact retail prices, some of the best places to shop for costume ideas may be your local consignment store.

Most thrift stores have a dedicated section specifically for Halloween costumes and decorations, but the racks of clothes are also the perfect starting point for a DIY costume.

New Castle County thrift stores

Prime Thrift Wilmington, Wilmington: 2004 W. Newport Pike, Wilmington, (302) 999-1416;

Goodwill Outlet, New Castle: 400 Centerpoint Blvd., New Castle, DE 19720; (302) 322-4716;

Goodwill, Newark: 311 Newark Shopping Center, Newark, (302) 453-1430;

Kent County thrift stores

Goodwill, Smyrna: 100A E. Glenwood Ave., Smyrna, (302) 659-3523;

God’s Way Thrift Store, Dover: 5321 N. Dupont Hwy., Dover, (302) 674-1801;

Granny’s Attic, Felton: 7385 S. Dupont Hwy., Felton, (302) 452-4386;

Sussex County thrift stores

Robin Hood Thrift Shop, Georgetown: Cedar St. & Kinney St., Georgetown, (302) 856-2858.

All Saint's Parish Thrift Shop, Rehoboth: 20673 Coastal Hwy, (302) 226-3123,

Atlantic Community Thrift Shop, Ocean View: 34634 Atlantic Ave., Ocean View, (302) 539-3513;

Hidden Treasures, Selbyville: 38475 Dupont Blvd, Selbyville, (302) 841-1190.

Spirit Halloween will also have five locations in Delaware this season in Christiana, Newark, Wilmington, Dover and Rehoboth. Check out its website for more details.

More Halloween stores:Where to find the perfect costume in Delaware this Halloween

What costumes are trending?

This year has provided plenty of material for a trendy Halloween costume, and social media is all over them already.

Here’s what we think we will see trick-or-treating Halloween night:

Barbie / Ken / Robert J. Oppenheimer

There was a time when those three names in the same list would have made no sense to the average person. How times have changed!

The Barbie vs. Oppenheimer box office showdown was probably the most talked about social media phenomenon of the year, so it would be no surprise to see plenty of Barbies and Oppenheimers walking together for this Halloween season.

The best thing about the Barbie costume is that, in keeping with the theme of the movie, anybody can pull it off. Blonde wigs are no longer required, but wearing pink definitely is. Any pink ensemble paired with neon rollerblades or Birkenstocks will do the trick.

Kens can go full denim, fur jacket, completely Grease lightning. For anyone who exists outside the Barbie-Ken paradigm, the Allan costume is the perfect compromise with a striped shirt and blue swim trunks.

For low-maintenance suit wearers, the Oppenheimer costume may be the easiest and safest bet for a guaranteed costume hit. Just make sure you work on perfecting the look of existential guilt and dread behind your eyes.

The Little Mermaid

The much-anticipated reboot of the Disney classic this year not only received much audience acclaim for Halle Bailey’s role as Ariel, but it also was the subject of many social media trends (see: Part of your world pool trend on TikTok).

Here’s another costume idea that can be executed in many ways. If you don’t have a mermaid tail readily available, green pants or skirts will do the trick. The costume is also the perfect excuse to get the whole family involved in dressing like Ariel, Eric, Ursula, Sebastian and Flounder.

Pop Stars on Tour

The year 2023 saw more than just the box office making a comeback, it also marked the rise of the three-hour world tour. With two of the most prolific performers of this generation touring the country simultaneously, a Beyonce or Taylor Swift costume can’t go wrong.

Beyonce’s Renaissance Tour has been known for its many custom-made designer outfits that the star has rotated through. However, the best way to channel the all-time Grammy record holder may be to emulate her signature “Alien Superstar” chrome colors.

Long live the Taylor Swift pandemonium! With her tour already grossing billions of dollars before it’s finished, there may never be a better time to dress in your best Taylor style.

We know all too well how treacherous it can be to choose just one of her iconic outfits to emulate, but luckily there are 10 albums with different aesthetics to choose from. (Plus, if you have a football loving friend, a Kelce jersey may pair well with this!)

Superhero Season

The nice thing about superhero costumes is they never go out of style and there are countless ways to wear them, depending on how much effort you’re willing to put in. There are endless T-shirts with the superhero logos and just as many head-to-toe bodysuits for those willing to go the extra mile.

Spiderman is constantly one of the most popular superhero costumes, and with the release of "Spider-Man: Across the Spider-verse'' this summer, there’s never been a better time to tap into your Spidey senses.

Another great option for a group costume would be the Super Mario Bros. franchise, which received added fanfare with the spring release of "The Super Mario Bros. Movie''. There are plenty of characters to choose from for any pair or family that wants to dress up together.

Roman Empire

A relatively new trend has broken through social media, where (predominantly) men are asked how often they think about the Roman Empire. The general answer is shockingly often.

For those interested in reliving the glory days, a Julius Caesar outfit would be equally simple as it would be well-received. Just fashion a bed sheet as a toga and throw on some flip flops and you have mastered the cliché!

Jimmy Buffett

A perfect homage to the fallen warrior of chill vibes and tequila cocktails. Grab your nearest Hawaiian shirt, lei and cargo shorts and you’re good to go.

Happy Halloween!

Contact Molly McVety at Follow her on Twitter @mollymcvety.

More Halloween fun

Wild holiday:Check out 5 Halloween events at regional zoos in, around Delaware this year

Fun not frightening:Delaware Halloween events for the family & kids offers fun without the jump scares

Get creeped out:Creepy Halloween events in Delaware to scratch your itch for horror

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