Halloween 2012 is just around the corner, so here at Stylitics we wanted to take a look at the most popular costumes over the past decade to see if we could decode some trends.


From cartoons to pirates to politics to pop culture, Halloween has certainly evolved from its early days of ghouls and goblins.  The decade started out dominated by popular cartoon characters.  With the release of the Scooby Doo movie in 2002,Daphne found her way to the top of the list. Other Scooby Doo characters such asShaggy and Scooby Doo also made the cut, but Daphne was in the lead by far.

Traditional Halloween costumes such as witches, vampires and zombies proved to be a staple throughout the past decade, but in 2003, the traditional witch was in high demand.  However, movies were the driving force for Halloween costumes in 2004; everything from Spiderman to Cinderella to Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz landed a spot in the top 10.

As an evolution of the “movies” theme, 2005 was a year dominated by super heroes, with Batman, the Fantastic Four, and Wonder Woman securing spots in the top 10. Ultimately, though, they were beat out by Jack Sparrow from Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean for the #1 spot.

Starting in 2006 and continuing throughout the remainder of the decade, pop culture emerged as a huge trend in Halloween costumes. Dressing up as a celebrity quickly became the new norm, with the most popular costumes in 2007 including Hannah Montana and jailed Paris Hilton.

Due to the presidential election in 2008, costumes took a turn toward the topical, with political figures including Sarah Palin, Barack Obama and John McCain topping the list. According to Jennifer Gracia, a product brand manager for Poway-based Disguise Inc., “sales easily quadruple [for political masks] in an election year.”

Celebrity deaths were at an all-time high in 2009. Halloween costumes in memory of Michael Jackson, Farrah Fawcett and Billy Mays made their way into the top 10 most popular costumes that year. And pop culture seemed to completely take over in 2010 with Lady Gaga and Snooki taking the lead, which continued throughout 2011 with movies, reality television, and current events taking center stage. We predict pop culture will still be a huge trend in 2012 and for many more years to come.

Our Predictions for the Top 10 Most Popular Costumes for 2012?

1.   Big Bird

2.   Nicki Minaj

3.   50 Shades of Grey

4.   Katniss Everdeen (The Hunger Games)

5.   Snooki (again!)

6.   Honey Boo Boo Child

7.   Characters from Sh*t Girls Say

8.   Magic Mike

9.   The Fierce Five

10. Sophia Grace and Rosie

Based on past trends, this year’s most popular Halloween costumes will likely be a combination of political and pop culture. As opposed to 2008, this year it looks likely that people will use political commentary as a source of inspiration rather than the actual political figures themselves, with phrases like “binder full of women” and “big bird” gaining traction, especially via social media

So, what are you going as for Halloween this year? Did you ever dress up as one of these popular options from the past decade?

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