20 Most Popular Halloween Costumes for 2017 Revealed

Curious which Halloween costumes you’ll be seeing a lot of this year? AYTM surveyed 1,000 American adults to learn which will be the most popular Halloween costumes in 2017. If you don’t want to dress like everyone else, there is still time to switch your costume to something less on-trend.

halloween costume

Before AYTM wrote its most popular Halloween costumes for 2017 survey, we did some secondary research and found that based on search trends studied by Pinterest and Lyst, 10 costumes are expected to be everywhere this year. Some of these costumes also appear among the predictions made by USA Today.

20 Most Popular Halloween Costumes for Adults in 2017

According to 1,000 American adults, the most popular Halloween costumes of 2017 will be related to pop culture. In fact, 81% of respondents to the AYTM survey indicated that they’ll be dressing in a pop-culture inspired costume this year, such as a Disney character or a character from Game of Thrones, Stranger Things, Star Wars, and even the movie It. Marvel and DC heroes are also popular pop culture costumes as are video game characters, anime characters, and celebrity costumes.

Taking a closer look at the top 20 most popular Halloween costumes for adults who plan to dress up this year, more than half of respondents will be dressing in one of the following costumes:

  1. Pennywise the clown from It
  2. Witch
  3. Wonder Woman
  4. Game of Thrones character
  5. Zombie
  6. Batman character (Batman, Robin, Catwoman, etc.)
  7. Marvel superhero (Spider-Man, Captain America, etc.)
  8. Hippie
  9. Pirate
  10. Vampire
  11. Animal
  12. Star Wars character
  13. Stranger Things character
  14. Mermaid
  15. Belle from the movie Beauty and the Beast
  16. Slasher movie villain
  17. DC superhero (excluding Batman and Wonder Woman)
  18. Unicorn
  19. Baywatch character
  20. Other

Avoid These Costumes if You Don’t Want to Bore People

AYTM also asked respondents to tell us which classic Halloween costumes they’re tired of seeing each year. The results might surprise you. It appears Americans aren’t tired of vampires, pirates, and witches yet, but they feel quite differently about athletes and clowns.

The chart below shows that vampire, witch, pirate, skeleton, and zombie costumes are still viewed favorably. Pumpkins, ghosts, and cats aren’t quite as popular, but clowns and athletes are not well liked.

Halloween Costumes Chart 1

Click to view chart at full size

Halloween is Scary and Sexy

Overall, most 2017 Halloween costumes for adults will be scary (24%) followed by sexy (20%), cute (16%), funny (15%), weird or creative (12%), or classy or sophisticated (10%). Just 3% of the costumes people plan to wear this year don’t fit into one of these descriptions.

Women are more likely to dress in sexy or cute costumes than men, but men are much more likely to choose costumes that are scary or funny than women. Interestingly, men are also slightly more likely to dress in weird or creative costumes and classy or sophisticated costumes than women as the chart below shows.

Halloween Costumes Chart 2

Click to view chart at full size

Across all age groups below the age of 55, scary and sexy costumes were found to be the most common. For respondents between the ages of 55 and 64, scary and weird or creative costumes are most popular, and for respondents age 65 or older, funny and cute costumes are the most popular choices.

Halloween Costumes Cost Americans Time and Money

When asked how much time and money people plan to spend on their Halloween costumes this year, the majority of respondents said they’d spend fewer than three hours creating their costumes and between $11 and $50 as the charts below show.

Halloween Costumes Chart 3

Click to view chart at full size

Halloween Costumes Chart 4

Click to view chart at full size

Men will spend more time on their costumes than women (47% of men will spend more than three hours on their costumes versus 37% of women), and they will also spend slightly more money on their costumes (41% of men will spend $51 or more on their costumes versus just 26% of women).

The amount of time invested in creating a costume doesn’t vary much based on age. Across all age groups, people are most likely to spend fewer than three hours creating their Halloween costumes. The monetary investment that people make in their Halloween costumes doesn’t differ much based on age either. Most people across all age groups will spend $50 or less on their costumes this year, but younger people are slightly more likely to spend more than $50 than older people.

The Takeaway

This year, you can expect to see a lot of pop culture Halloween costumes as well as classics like witches, zombies, pirates, and vampires. Despite the fact that many people have tired of clown costumes, the popularity of the movie It and its Pennywise clown character means you’ll be seeing a lot of them this year.

If you haven’t picked your costume yet and want to be unique, choose something different from the top 20 most popular Halloween costumes of 2017 for adults, but if you really want to be trendy, pick your favorite television, movie, anime, or video game character. Just don’t feel like you have to spend a lot of time or money on your costume. Affordable costumes are “in” this year.

You can see the full survey results in the widget below.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Susan Gunelius
Susan Gunelius, MBA is a 25-year marketing and branding expert and President and CEO of KeySplash Creative, Inc., a marketing communications company. She is the author of 10 books about marketing, branding and social media, and her marketing-related articles appear on top media websites such as Entrepreneur.com and Forbes.com. She is also the Founder and Editor in Chief of WomenOnBusiness.com, an award-winning blog for business women.

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