It’s that time of year again. You know, where we collectively embark on the transition from summer to fall. Believe it or not, we’ll soon be mourning balmy temperatures and weekend trips to the shore. And as we trade in our bikinis for knit sweaters—and change our Starbucks orders from iced lattes to warmer beverages (you know the one)—the countdown to spooky season (and one worthy of the best Halloween costumes, at that) will soon begin.
For many of us, Halloween presents the ultimate opportunity to showcase our creative talents by piecing together showstopping ensembles. Of course, some of us tend to feel the pressure of devising the perfect look. And when the last day of October rolls around, we default to slipping on a pair of animal ears. I can’t deny it’s a solid option, but if you’re looking to spice things up this year, read on.
Ahead, I’ve curated a list of 50 cute Halloween costumes so you can approach the holiday calmly and confidently. These chic costume ideas are all inspired by pop culture icons— from beloved movie characters like Margot Robbie’s Barbie to prominent performers like Beyoncé—which means people will definitely know who or what you are. Prepare to have all eyes on you this year; we guarantee these outfits will turn heads.
Disco Dance Barbie
Dance the night away in this disco-themed outfit inspired by Margot Robbie’s iconic dance party look in Greta Gerwig’s Barbie.
If you’re trying to channel your inner It girl, I suggest Sandy Olsson’s unforgettable off-the-shoulder look from the movie musical Grease. Don’t forget to swipe on some red lipstick!
Ugh, as if this is all we could think about when I laid eyes on this Cady Cropped Jacket set. It simply screams Cher Horowitz, and yes, you’ll absolutely love it.
Beyoncé at the Renaissance Tour
“Look around everybody on mute,” has swiftly become one of Beyoncé’s most recognizable lyrics from her Renaissance tour. And I guarantee when people see you in this breathtaking confection of silver, they’ll be “on mute,” too.
Destiny’s Child 2000s Red Carpet Look
Grab two of your girlfriends and dress up as Destiny’s Child for the ultimate group costume for friends.
Kim Kardashian at the 2022 Met Gala
For the 2022 Met Gala, Kim Kardashian wore Marilyn Monroe’s bona fide “Happy Birthday, Mr. President Dress.” And although you might not have access to this treasured piece, this Revolve dress is quite the contender.
Breakfast at Tiffany’s Holly Golightly
Audrey Hepburn’s iconic outfit in the opening scene of Breakfast at Tiffany’s is just so chic and classic. Pair a black fitted dress with opera gloves (and a tiara, of course), and you’re good to go.
Paris Hilton on Her 21st Birthday
When Paris Hilton wore a shimmering Julian Macdonald dress to her 21st birthday party, she created the ultimate party look, and the fashion world took note. Years later, this dress is still timeless and can certainly be worn beyond Halloween.
Rihanna at the Super Bowl
Who can forget Rihanna’s Super Bowl Halftime performance? Her fiery red Loewe jumpsuit and Alaïa coat stole the show.
Selena Quintanilla (a.k.a. Selena) was widely known for her impeccable sense of style, defined by bold two-piece sets, glittery fabrics, and of course, bedazzled bralettes.
If you want to lean into the Disney princess vibe but don’t feel like wearing a gargantuan ballgown, we would suggest opting for a simple outfit that still gets the message across. We think this corset dress, velvet choker, and dainty headband will do just fine.
Taylor Swift at the Eras Tour
You may have already donned a chic Eras Tour outfit while you were a fan in the crowd, but when you walk into the Halloween party with this outfit on, you’ll make the whole place shimmer.
Carrie Bradshaw has countless looks that are absolutely fabulous; it’s hard to pick a favorite. But perhaps the one that stands out the most is her tank top and tutu combo, featured in the opening credits of Sex and the City.
Ariel from The Little Mermaid
Take an imaginary trip under the sea with this ensemble inspired by The Little Mermaid, comprised of a purple lace bra, a mermaid tail covered in sequins, and a pair of cute seashell earrings.
With so many fantastic Barbie costumes to choose from, one simply isn’t enough. So, here’s another fan favorite for you: Western Barbie.
Embrace Queen Charlotte’s gorgeous style with a floral embroidery gown and pearl accessories to match,
Last year, Julia Fox wore a bold denim outfit to the Kenzo men’s fashion show in Paris, and this image is forever imprinted in my mind. To replicate this look, you’ll need a dark wash denim set, chunky gold accessories, and a substantial amount of black eyeliner.
Marilyn Monroe in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes
Many have sported their own takes on Marilyn Monroe’s fuchsia pink gown and gloves from Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, but if we’re being honest, none quite compare to the original ensemble. Diamonds may be a girl’s best friend, but f you’re eager to embrace the luxe look this Halloween on a budget, statement jewelry from Amazon will do the trick.
Flo-Jo was not only a record-holding sprinter but also a fashion icon on the track. You’ll be a sporty style icon when you embrace this bold one-legged, fluorescent look (and, not to mention, comfortable as hell).
An Austin Powers Fembot
For those of you who would prefer to invest in a Halloween costume that can be worn beyond the holiday, this one is for you. You can easily transform this faux feather satin chemise into a nightgown or a festive party dress.
Year after year, Harley Quinn (as portrayed by Margot Robbie) seems to be one of the most popular Halloween costumes. If you’re looking to cosplay as the infamous Quinn, grab this piece from Amazon and accessorize it with a pair of scrunchies and a choker.
In 1963, Elizabeth Taylor starred in the film Cleopatra, a film that has remained relevant not only for its production but also for its fashion and beauty.
Euphoria’s Maddy Perez
If I could wish for any TV character’s wardrobe, it would be Maddy Perez’s from Euphoria. Her closet embodies a blend of bold ’90s fashion with a modern twist, and I want every item— including this black cutout set.
A Baywatch Lifeguard
We often forgo comfort for style in the name of looking our best for Halloween, but if you’re a strict sneakers gal who despises the thought of wearing heels all night, try this Baywatch costume. All you have to do is throw on a one-piece swimsuit, a comfy jacket, and sneakers, and you’re all set.
Dionne Davenport is a true fashionista—the way this chic plaid set pairs perfectly with her vibrant red vest is proof of that.
Jennifer Lopez at the 2000 Grammy Awards
J.Lo’s plunging Versace dress—which she paraded on the Grammy Awards carpet in 2000—is arguably one of her most famous outfits to exist. Recreate this look with Bronx and Banco’s jungle print cut-out maxi dress.
Natalie Portman’s Black Swan
Love the balletcore trend? Give an ordinary ballerina costume a dark twist by dressing as Natalie Portman’s character from Black Swan.
Batwoman is often portrayed wearing a full-body suit from head to toe. But if you want to show some skin while still playing the part, try this fun cut-out bodysuit.
A Classic (and Cute) Witch
Dressing up as a witch might be one of the most practical options out there, seeing as though you probably already own a little black dress and knee-high boots. For a nice touch, add a sheer cape like Cardi B.
Studio 54 Partygoers
Mother-daughter duo Kaia Gerber and Cindy Crawford dressed as Studio 54 partygoers one Halloween, and they showed us how disco dressing is done right.
Britney Spears’ “I’m a Slave 4 U” Costume
In 2001, Britney Spears performed her hit, “I’m A Slave 4 U,” at the Video Music Awards, wearing a green bra, a pair of embellished shorts, and of course, a Burmese python around her neck. We’ve provided the ensemble below, but we’ll leave it up to you to find the snake.
Before Barbie gave everyone a new lease on pink, there was Elle Woods. Channel the Legally Blonde lawyer in this head-to-toe pink ensemble this season.
Beetlejuice’s Lydia Deetz
Throughout the movie Beetlejuice, Lydia Deetz’s wardrobe mainly consists of goth-esque pieces, with the exception of this radiant red gown—which Bella Hadid wore for Halloween in 2018. And if the Halloween costume idea is good enough for the supermodel, it’s good enough for me.
To dress the part of Poison Ivy, one of DC Comics’ beloved villains, you’ll simply need an emerald green dress and gold accessories.
Nicki Minaj’s 2017 VMA Outfit
If you’re a fashion fanatic looking for Halloween costume inspiration, look no further than the red carpet. We love this throwback of Nicki Minaj wearing a pink latex outfit to the 2017 Video Music Awards.
There are so many ways to interpret the style of Egypt’s Queen Nefertiti. We’re taking Winnie Harlow’s lead, pairing a white maxi dress with bold gold accessories.
Like many a Batman, there are various versions of Catwoman from the silver screen worth channeling this Halloween. Choose your fighter—I’m opting for Michelle Pfeiffer’s Selina Kyle from Batman Returns.
Ready to save the day? You’ll need an embellished romper and sky-high red boots.
We hear hues of red are dominating the fashion industry for the best fall 2023 fashion trends, so why not play into the theme with a look inspired by Betty Boop’s iconic mini dress?
The Cheetah Girls
In 2003, Disney released one of its greatest musical films, which would soon become a defining pop culture moment of the Y2K era. That’s right, I’m talking about Cheetah Girls. Gather a group of your closest gals and dress as Galleria, Chanel, Aqua, and Dorinda.
Madonna at the 1991 Academy Awards
Madonna has made several references to Marilyn Monroe through her fashion choices. One of our favorites is this opulent white gown, which she wore to the Academy Awards in 1991.
Princess Diana’s Revenge Dress
Whether you’re looking to reclaim your independence from an ex or you simply want to channel the extraordinary essence of Princess Diana, we suggest wearing this off-the-shoulder dress paired with an extravagant choker.
In the hit 1970s show Charlie’s Angels, Farrah Fawcett’s character Jill Munroe was known for her casual style, which featured a bohemian flair. And if you need an easy last-minute costume, this option will make great use of your go-to jeans and hoodie.
Make a simple Minnie Mouse costume stand out with red kitten heels and a crossbody bag to match.
Cruella de Vil
Arguably one of the most fashionable Disney villains, Cruella de Vil knows how to put together a look for the books.
Mean Girls’ The Plastics
For those of us who are die-hard Mean Girls fans, the winter performance scene will forever live rent-free in our minds.
13 Going on 30’s Jenna Rink
Honestly speaking, any fashion girl will appreciate Jenna Rink’s iconic Versace dress from 13 Going on 30. And it’s so recognizable to those who watched the rom-com that any fan will instantly know who you are.
Janet Jackson in Poetic Justice
Aside from the fisherman cap, we guarantee you already have these pieces in your wardrobe. So, dressing as Janet Jackson’s Justice in Poetic Justice will, without a doubt, be effortless.
Pretty Woman’s Vivian Ward
“Big mistake. Huge.” That’s what I’ll be telling you if you don’t take inspiration from this stunning Vivian Ward ensemble from Pretty Woman.
Scooby Doo’s Daphne Blake
A purple dress alone won’t signify much, but combined with a green scarf and a pair of pumps? We think people will be able to solve the mystery that you’re dressed as Daphne.