Fun as it may be to head to the office dressed as a Targaryen, Halloween is still mostly about the kids. And if you want to pick out the best costume for the trick-or-treater in your life but aren’t sure where to start, we’re here to help.
We talked to retail experts about the biggest trends and best Halloween costumes for 2019. The main takeaway? While you’re sure to see plenty of witches and pirates, the most in-demand Halloween costumes this year are tied to recent entertainment.
“With pop culture having such a large impact on kids, especially today, we tend to see them sway towards picking out pop culture-related costumes versus traditional costumes,” says Ross Hewett-Smith of HalloweenCostumes.com. (This is a trend for grown-ups too: the best Halloween costumes for adults this year are heavily influenced by entertainment.)
Party City’s Bill Furtkevic, agrees: “Pop culture and top-performing entertainment” are what drive Halloween costume trends for kids and adults alike, he says.
Since you may not spend all your time glued to the Disney Channel, we’ve done the research. Shop 2019’s top trends and best Halloween costumes for kids below!
With the Disney Channel trilogy’s third installment dropping in August, Mal and friends have become some of the most sought-after costumes of the year. Both Hewett-Smith and Furtkevic have seen interest in “Descendants 3” costumes soar, and while leading lady Mal is the most popular pick, Furtkevic says that Audrey has proven to be a breakout character as well.
Child’s Mal costume ($44.99; partycity.com)
Child’s Celia costume ($44.99; partycity.com)
Audrey deluxe costume ($39.99; hallweencostumes.com)
Audrey classic costume ($29.99; fun.com)
Evie classic costume ($29.99; halloweencostumes.com)
Uma classic costume ($29.99; halloweencostumes.com)
Astronauts, aliens and outer space
According to Hewett-Smith, space is on people’s minds this Halloween for two reasons: the 50th anniversary of the moon landing, and all the talk of a raid on Area 51. He says he’s seen a spike in astronaut costumes in particular and has seen “the interest in alien costumes nearly double.” The trend is also reflected by Pinterest’s 2019 Halloween Report, which shows a whopping 659% increase in searches for “alien.”
White astronaut jumpsuit ($34.99; halloweencostumes.com)
Orange astronaut jumpsuit ($34.99; halloweencostumes.com)
Astronaut NASA pilot with visor helmet ($39.99; amazon.com)
Rocket ship ($24.99; halloweencostumes.com)
Inflatable jet pack ($44.99; halloweencostumes.com)
Kid’s oversized alien costume ($39.99; halloweencostumes.com)
’Toy Story 4’
“Toy Story” has been a popular Halloween category ever since the first film came out over two decades ago. Now, with the hotly anticipated “Toy Story 4” on the horizon, expect to see a surge in interest for costumes of the beloved characters — including from kids who weren’t even born when the last installment premiered! It’s not all Woody, Jessie, and Buzz either, says Furtkevic: “Forky has proven to be a breakout character.”
Child’s Forky costume ($29.99; partycity.com)
Child’s Jessie costume ($36.99, originally $44.39; halloweenexpress.com)
Child’s Woody costume ($29.99; partycity.com)
Boy’s Buzz Lightyear costume ($43.99, originally $52.79; halloweenexpress.com)
Child’s Bo Peep costume ($34.99; partycity.com)
Superheroes will probably never lose their status as a Halloween trend, according to the experts. “If they’re a superhero, they’re most likely going to be a hot costume,” says Hewett-Smith. And as with so many other costumes, the buzziest picks are tied to recent entertainment releases. Spider-Man is particularly popular, given “Spider-Man: Homecoming,” with multiple Spidey outfits dotting Amazon’s list of best-seling costumes for boys. Captain Marvel is another big Halloween hit. On that note, female superheroes — and supervillains! — have grown more popular than ever in recent years due to the slew of woman-helmed blockbusters. Both Wonder Woman and Harley Quinn are predicted by HalloweenCostumes.com to remain top-sellers in 2019.
Captain Marvel girl’s classic costume ($29.99; fun.com)
Child’s ‘Spider-Man: Far from Home’ costume ($39.99; partycity.com)
Rubie’s Wonder Woman child’s costume ($17.48, originally $39.99; amazon.com)
Rubie’s Harley Quinn costume ($24.06, originally $36.99; amazon.com)
Rubie’s ‘Avengers: Endgame’ child’s Captain America costume ($34.99; amazon.com)
“Toy Story” isn’t the only Disney classic trending in 2019. With this year’s live-action reboots of “The Lion King” and “Aladdin,” plus the forthcoming “The Little Mermaid,” it’s not surprising that many kids’ costumes look a lot like they did in the early ‘90s. (Probably not coincidentally, “mermaids” was the sixth most-searched female costume in Pinterest’s report.) Also expect plenty of Annas and Elsas, given the steadily building anticipation for “Frozen 2.”
Aladdin live action boy’s Genie costume ($29.99 to $49.99; fun.com)
Aladdin live-action girl’s Jasmine classic costume ($29.99; halloweencostumes.com)
Kids’ deluxe lion costume ($39.99; fun.com)
Girl’s Anna costume ($24.99, originally 34.99; partycity.com)
Girl’s Elsa costume ($19.99, originally $24.99; partycity.com)
ReliBeauty fancy dress Elsa costume ($17.99; amazon.com)
Girl’s Ariel costume ($19.99; partycity.com)
Blue Seas Mermaid deluxe costume ($44.99; fun.com)
Furtkevic says that, like superheroes, “Star Wars” is one of those Halloween trends that never seems to go out of style. (Almost 2 million kids dressed as characters from the franchise in 2018.) The release of a new movie nearly every year certainly helps, as does the impending release of “The Rise of Skywalker,” set to hit theaters on December 20. Halloween Express says we can expect to see lots of Reys, stormtroopers, and Kylo Rens.
’Star Wars: The Last Jedi’ classic Rey costume ($19.99 to $29.99; halloweencostumes.com)
Rubie’s stormtrooper costume ($42.99, originally $51.59; halloweenexpress.com)
Boy’s Kylo Ren classic costume ($29.99; partycity.com)
Little kids’ cartoons
When it comes to little kids and toddlers, the experts predict this year’s costume trends to hold steady with 2018’s. That means you’ll once again be seeing characters from super popular kids’ cartoons like “Peppa Pig,” “Paw Patrol,” Vampirina” and “PJ Masks.”
’Peppa Pig’ ballerina costume ($24.99; fun.com)
Rubie’s ‘Paw Patrol’ Marshall costume ($29.99; fun.com)
Rubie’s ‘Paw Patrol’ Chase costume ($40.99, originally $49.19; halloweenexpress.com)
’PJ Masks’ Catboy costume ($29.99; fun.com)
’PJ Masks’ Gekko costume ($20.94, originally $29.99; amazon.com)
Girls’ ‘Vampirina’ Vee costume ($34.99; partycity.com)
Our sincerest apologies if you’d finally gotten 2019’s ultra-viral earworm out of your head. We regret to inform you that you will likely be seeing many small sharks asking for candy on Halloween.
Toddler’s ‘Baby Shark’ costume with sound ($34.99; fun.com)
Shark onesie for kids ($39.99 to $59.99; halloweencostumes.com)
’Baby Shark’ unisex kid’s costume ($44.99; halloweencostumes.com)
Note: The prices above reflect the retailers’ listed prices at the time of publication.