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Most Popular Halloween Costumes of 2016

These Are the Top 10 Halloween Costumes of 2016

The best Halloween costumes are inspired by the year’s most memorable moments, and 2016 has been nothing if not memorable. We've had the Summer Olympics and a US presidential election, which dominate headlines (and Facebook timelines!) every four years. Throw in a masterpiece visual album from Beyoncé, the hype surrounding Pokémon Go, and the candy-colored, quotable craziness of Suicide Squad, and 2016 is basically begging for a Halloween costume bonanza.

We have become experts on all things Halloween — producing over one billion pageviews’ worth of Halloween content.

That’s where we come in. At POPSUGAR, we have become experts on all things Halloween — producing one billion pageviews’ worth of Halloween content in 2015 alone — and we want to use our hard-earned Halloween expertise to define the season in 2016.

Our editors traveled far and wide for this year’s Halloween inspiration: Our Tech and Entertainment teams attended Comic-Con to see the latest in cosplay and “geek” culture. Our News reporters traveled to the Republican and Democratic National Conventions. A Fitness editor headed to Rio for the Summer Olympics, where she reported back about athletes’ training schedules and shirtless Tongan flag bearers.

Using a combination of our editors’ creative instincts and data analysis, we’ve created a master list of the top 10 costumes for 2016. You can expect to see this handful of costumes everywhere this October, but don’t worry: we’ve also got the scoop on how to execute them like nobody else.

Super Simone Biles

Major moments: 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!

How to create it at home:
In order to bring home the gold for cleverest costume, you'll need these things:

  • A red or blue leotard, like this one ($45)
  • A patriotic hair ribbon
  • Faux Olympic medals, like these ($9)
  • A superhero cape

Pose like you just stuck a perfect-10 landing or are flying like a comic-book hero, and you've got yourself the perfect costume. Get the full Super Simone Biles tutorial here.

Honorable mentions: Another costume-able moment from the Olympics is Michael Phelps's game face . . . better known as the viral #PhelpsFace. Ready to race his Olympic competition, Phelps emerged covered in purple bruises from Chinese cupping therapy and wearing an expression that lent him a somewhat villainous air. So if you see people looking angry on Halloween, look closer to check if they're wearing goggles underneath their hood!

Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography/ Arturo Torres

Bill Clinton and His Balloons

Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography/ Arturo Torres

Major moments:
Former President Bill Clinton became a kid again when celebratory balloons dropped at the DNC this year, and it was the lightheartedness the internet needed during this contentious election. Our editors who were in Philadelphia for the convention noted Clinton's hilarious reaction to the balloons, and Twitter couldn't stop buzzing about it afterward. The former president and his balloons became an instant meme, and they'll make a simple and hilarious Halloween couples costume this year.

How to create it at home:
To re-create Clinton's balloon-tastic DNC experience on Halloween, you'll need:

  • A suit and tie
  • Several red, white, and blue balloons
  • A gray wig
  • Bill Clinton's look of pure, unadulterated glee

One person should wear the suit and wig, while another covers themselves in balloons. Doing a solo costume? Simply wear that suit and carry a large balloon to your Halloween event! Get the full Bill Clinton and His Balloons tutorial here.

Honorable mentions: Donald Trump was a major source of Halloween inspiration this year, but it's impossible to decide which of his wackiest moments will be the most costumed. If we had to venture a guess, it would be The Donald eating one of his infamous taco bowls! And how could we not call out "Birdie Sanders" as a potential Halloween idea? The senator's moment with his feathered friend was something straight out of a Disney princess movie.

Pokémon Go Trainer

Major moments: This is the year that Pokémon Go took over the world, and as the most popular mobile game in US history, nearly 10 million Americans have tried to catch 'em all. While on the ground at Comic-Con International, POPSUGAR editors spotted numerous Pokémon-inspired cosplays and quickly called out Pokémon as a top costume trend for 2016. But here's the real question: which Pokémon Go team will have the most representation? (We've got our bets on the highly popular Team Mystic!)

Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography/ Arturo Torres Product Credit: Party City Wig

How to create it at home:
To make your own Pokémon trainer costume, this is what you'll need:

  • A baseball cap
  • Athletic leggings
  • Sneakers
  • A backpack
  • Fingerless gloves, like these ($38)
  • Pokéballs (or sports balls painted red and white)
  • Optional: A stuffed Pokémon toy

If you don't have a stuffed Pokémon toy or a Pokéball at your disposal, you can just look down and swipe at your phone all night. Get the full Pokémon Go Trainer tutorial here.

Honorable mentions: While we anticipate trainers topping the Pokémon costume charts this year, we'd also like to call out PokéStops and fan-favorite Pokémon as honorable mentions. We're sure to see some pink-tinted lures and a fair few Charizards while trick-or-treating.

Starbucks Rainbow Drinks

Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography/ Arturo Torres

Major moments:
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!

How to create it at home:
If your group of friends wants to re-create the rainbow drinks, you'll need:

  • Colorful dresses, like these ($16)
  • Headbands
  • Green cardstock, shaped into straws
  • Printed Starbucks logos
  • Safety pins to attach logos to dresses

Have each of your girlfriends select a dress in the rainbow drink color scheme (pink, purple, blue, yellow, orange, and green), then create "straws" using green paper and headbands. Get the full Starbucks Rainbow Drinks tutorial here.

Honorable mention: Rainbow bagels had their moment in 2016 and could make an appearance on the Halloween circuit this year. Rainbow drinks and rainbow bagels? Sounds like snack time to us!

Hodor From Game of Thrones

Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography/ Arturo Torres

Major moments: Deaths of beloved television characters are always tragic, but one such event on Game of Thrones this year took TV martyrdom to another level. The heartbreaking loss of gentle giant Hodor was one of the most memorable (and meme-able) plot developments of season six. POPSUGAR received over 39 million views to Game of Thrones content during season six, and #HoldTheDoor trended on Twitter for days after the traumatic Hodor-centric episode, so we're confident that the series-favorite character will be on everybody's mind (and costume list) when Halloween rolls around.

How to create it at home:

Want to honor Hodor this Halloween? Here's what you'll need:

  • A brown cloak or sheet
  • Leather belts
  • Aged-looking boots, like these ($100, originally $250)
  • A box of bran cereal

Hodor's outfit is a simple brown garment with boots and leather straps for carrying Bran on his back, so you can replicate the look with belts and your brown sheet fabric. Of course, Hodor is nothing without Bran; strapping the box of bran cereal to your back will ensure that people understand your costume and have a giggle about the witty substitution. Get the full Hodor tutorial here.

Honorable mentions: Game of Thrones girl squads (Daenerys, Cersei, Sansa, Arya, Yara, and Missandei) were a popular cosplay at Comic-Con this year and are a great idea for groups. Plus, with the insane revelation about Jon Snow's parentage in season six, we wouldn't be surprised if he proved popular with guys on Halloween.

Beyoncé's Lemonade

Major moments: Beyoncé's Lemonade visual album premiere on HBO drew an impressive 787,000 viewers when it debuted on April 23, and all 12 tracks from the album rested comfortably on the Billboard Hot 100 charts following its release. Lemonade quickly became a cultural phenomenon, sparking political controversy and inspiring fashion trends . . . which is exactly why it makes a great costume idea. The iconic look from "Hold Up" is a great way to channel Bey's flawless fierceness, especially considering that you only need a few key pieces to re-create the get-up for Halloween.

How to create it at home:

Here's what you'll need to rock Bey's look on Halloween:

  • A mustard-yellow maxi dress, like this one ($385)
  • A wooden baseball bat
  • Strappy heels

If you don't have a bat (which is inscribed with "Hot Sauce" in the Lemonade video), you can simply carry a purse stuffed with a bottle of Tabasco or Crystal hot sauce. Get the full Beyoncé's Lemonade tutorial here.

Honorable mentions: The yellow dress and baseball bat outfit from the Lemonade visual album is already iconic, but Bey rocked other memorable looks that could make great costumes. Keep your eyes peeled for long pigtail braids and wide-brimmed hats at Halloween parties. And who could forget "Becky with the good hair" from the song "Sorry," which caused so much drama in the Beyhive? Plus, girl squads are sure to create group costumes inspired by "Formation."

Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography/ Arturo Torres

Finn, Rey, and BB-8

Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography/ Arturo Torres

Major moments: Following the record-breaking box office run of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, sci-fi fans began experimenting with intricate cosplays inspired by the series's seventh installment. One particular group costume, a family dressed as Finn, Rey, and a baby BB-8, stole hearts when it swept the internet, and it is the perfect inspiration for a family-friendly Halloween get-up.

How to create it at home:

If your family wants to try this costume, pick up these things:

  • A distressed leather jacket, like this one ($90)
  • Layers of beige clothing
  • Brown boots
  • A futuristic-looking staff
  • White and orange kids' clothes
  • A toy lightsaber or ray gun

Finn's costume requires a brown leather jacket and a weapon, while Rey's is more dependent on layers of sand-colored fabric, three hair buns, and a staff. Little BB-8 can be dressed in white and orange to achieve the robot's adorable effect! Get the full Finn, Rey, and BB-8 tutorial here.

Honorable mentions: Another huge Star Wars trend this Halloween will be Kylo Ren, whose distinctive red lightsaber and all-black outfit are easy to replicate with typical wardrobe staples and household products.

Harley Quinn

Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography/ Arturo Torres Product Credits: Party City Gloves

Major moments: Eccentric Suicide Squad front runner Harley Quinn was the most talked-about part of the film, which was one of the most profitable movies of the Summer. After raking in $300 million at the box office, Suicide Squad became a bona fide part of 2016's pop culture; specifically, Harley Quinn's daring look and quirky attitude made her appealing to a broad group of women. We saw countless cosplayers emulate Harley’s look at Comic-Con International and other cosplay events, which usually indicates Halloween costume trends months in advance, and makeup tutorials inspired by the character are all over YouTube. We're anticipating Harley-ween being a popular movement come Oct. 31.

How to create it at home:

Are you hoping to celebrate Harley-ween? Here's what you'll need:

  • Blue and pink makeup
  • Hair ties for pigtails
  • Red and blue shorts
  • A tattered white t-shirt
  • Fishnet stockings
  • Boots
  • A choker necklace, like this one ($14)

You can buy replicas of Harley's clothes at stores like Hot Topic, but if you want to create your own version, you can. The key factors to a Harley Quinn costume are colorful pigtails, a baseball bat, pink and blue makeup, and tattered clothes over fishnet stockings. Get the full Harley Quinn tutorial here.

Honorable mentions: The solo Harley costume reigns supreme due to its ease, but creating group, couples, or even family costumes that incorporate other Suicide Squad characters (such as the Joker or Enchantress) will also prove popular this Halloween.

Snapchat Filters

Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography/ Arturo Torres

Major moments: Since Snapchat debuted face-altering filters in Fall 2015, they've quickly become a staple in millennials' daily lives. The Snapchat platform is hugely popular among the POPSUGAR audience — related stories have garnered over 120 million views since last Halloween! Prepare to see plenty of adorable puppy faces, flower crowns, and wide-eyed faces with "rainbow puke" during your 2016 celebrations.

How to create it at home:

If you want to bring your favorite Snapchat filter to life, you'll need:

  • Several colors of felt
  • Headbands
  • Scissors
  • Wooden kebab skewers or popsicle sticks
  • A hot glue gun

To achieve the puppy filter, simply create felt cutouts of puppy ears and features, add the ears to headbands, attach the nose to your own, then hold up a tongue using a small wooden stick. Get the full Snapchat Filter tutorial here.

Honorable mentions: Millennials will also gravitate toward emoji-inspired costumes this Halloween, proving yet again that it's way better to communicate with modern-day hieroglyphs than with real words. Emoji are a vital part of teens,' 20-somethings,' and 30-somethings' communication styles, and many tech-savvy folks have a "spirit emoji" to emulate. They're easy to replicate with everyday items like red dresses or sunglasses, so emoji will hop off your iPhone screen and into the real world on Oct. 31.


Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography/ Arturo Torres Product Credits: Party City Jumpsuits, Pottery Barn Kids Ghost Costume

Major moments: Who you gonna call for the perfect Halloween costume?

Ghostbusters! The female reboot provided images of strong women on the big screen and earned $46 million during its opening weekend. Ideal for group costumes, family get-ups, or even solo outfits, the iconic uniform is an easy, recognizable costume that will delight fans young and old.

How to create it at home: To emulate a Ghostbuster, you should grab these things:

  • A khaki jumpsuit, like this one ($308)
  • A backpack
  • Gloves
  • Boots
  • Toy guns (we spray-painted Super Soakers)
  • A Ghostbusters symbol cutout

Don your all-tan outfit, gloves, boots, and belt. Top it all off with a cutout of the Ghostbusters symbol, grab your "proton pack," and you're ready to kick some paranormal booty. Get the full Ghostbusters tutorial here.

Honorable mentions: It seems that the '80s is going to take Halloween by storm, because runaway Netflix hit Stranger Things will definitely inspire plenty of costumes this year. And other 2016 blockbuster films that work perfectly for group costumes include Zootopia and Finding Dory, so you can expect to see plenty of kids donning their Disney and Pixar best when they ring your doorbell for candy.

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