Halloween costume ideas and inspiration, from Barbie to Bollywood

Forget last year's Dracula teeth and pick something more of-the-moment with these fun options for adults and children

Barbie and Ken can provide endless inspiration for on-trend Halloween costumes this year. Photo: Warner Bros
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While Halloween costumes such as mummies, vampires and werewolves are classics that never go out of spooky style, sometimes it’s fun to delve into pop culture and dress up as something or someone that captures the zeitgeist.

With so much happening this year in television, film, music and social media, putting together a costume can be as convenient or complex as you like.

For the ultimate costume that’s already in your wardrobe, look to Gen-Z couple Kylie Jenner and Timothee Chalamet, whose joint off-duty look features black T-shirts, hoodies and baseball caps, which is incredibly easy to replicate.

For those who like to dress up, Barbie and Ken provide endless inspiration given there were so many different versions to choose from in this summer’s hit movie Barbie.

Plenty of bandages and a red camouflage jacket will have you looking like Shah Rukh Khan in Jawan in an instant, while those with a penchant for flamboyant colours and monogrammed attire can channel Ranveer Singh a la Rocky in Rocky Aur Rani Kii Prem Kahaani.

Here are 13 Halloween costumes ideas for adults, children and couples.

Rollerblading Barbie

The smash hit film of the year is a rich minefield of Halloween costume inspiration, meaning you probably won’t be the only Barbie at the party.

You can choose from Stereotypical Barbie as portrayed by Margot Robbie, Kate McKinnon’s Weird Barbie, Physicist Barbie, Judge Barbie, President Barbie … the list is endless.

While donning a pink dress and heels is classic Stereotypical Barbie, spice things up by heading out as Rollerblading Barbie. Skates optional.

Cowboy Ken

As with Barbie, there are plenty of Kens to choose from. Are you Cowboy Ken? Beach Ken? Dancing Ken?

Whichever iteration you go for, there are plenty of easy ways to nail the look so you can strut out of your mojo dojo casa house looking suitably Kenough. Swagger not optional.

Nepo baby

Less a costume and more an attitude, this one allows you to channel the likes of Hailey Bieber, Lily Rose Depp, Eve Hewson, Dakota Johnson, Ananya Panday and more.

The off-duty nepo baby look is dressed-down but still deceptively stylish. Accessorise your jeans and tee combo with perfectly styled hair, a great lipstick and a compact 1990s shoulder bag.

Shah Rukh Khan in Jawan

This Halloween, it’s time to stock up on bandages, but not for a mummy costume.

Turn yourself into Vikram Rathore, Shah Rukh Khan’s character in box-office smash hit Jawan. You’ll need plenty of bandages to wrap around your head and hands, as well as some well-worn combat trousers and a red camo jacket or hoodie.

M3gan doll

With the world’s focus on chatbots right now, there’s never been a better time to inject a little murderous AI action into the spookiest night of the year.

M3gan, a film about a seemingly friendly doll who goes on a killing spree, was an unexpected hit earlier this year; just remember to brush up on Megan’s viral dance skills.

Mabel Mora from Only Murders in the Building

Fans of cosy murder mystery show Only Murders in the Building will know that Selena Gomez’s Mabel has an enviable collection of jumpers and coats to ward off the New York chill.

Turn yourself into the Upper West Side podcaster by donning her signature oranges and mustards, and be ready to start reporting if something nefarious happens at your party.

Ranveer Singh in Rocky Aur Rani Kii Prem Kahaani

Given the rise of quiet luxury, a costume party offers the perfect opportunity to brazenly flaunt your designer logos and channel your inner Ranveer Singh. As the titular character in Bollywood hit Rocky Aur Rani Kii Prem Kahaani, Singh dons numerous designer jackets, blazers and shirts – mainly flaunting Gucci and LV tops and frequently open to the belly button.

Recreate the look with oversized, logo-spattered shirts unbuttoned over plain black or white tank tops, paired with chunky jewellery and tailored trousers or jeans.

Ted Lasso

The sports comedy, about a naive American football coach from Kansas who flies to England to manage ailing football team AFC Richmond, came to an end this year. Bring back the magic (and wisdom) of the inspirational coach by channelling your inner Ted.

Pick up an AFC Richmond top, and don’t forget the moustache. Sunglasses, a clipboard and a sign that says “Believe” are also good additions. And don’t forget your whistle, even though Roy Kent would not approve.

Couples: Kylie Jenner and Timothee Chalamet

If you’re heading to a party as a duo, going as Gen-Z’s current couple obsession, reality TV star-turned-beauty mogul Jenner and Hollywood darling Chalamet is by far the easiest way to go.

For last-minute costume inspiration, channel the couple during their visit to the US Open. Girls will simply need a black tee and stylish dark sunglasses.

Boys can opt for a grey T-shirt, black hoodie, black baseball cap and statement necklace – all pieces that will likely be in your wardrobe already.

Couples: Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce

Couples might want to capitalise on pop culture’s hottest new pairing lest they split.

In the most fun meeting of the music and sporting worlds since Spice Girl Victoria Beckham married footballer David Beckham, Kansas City Chief's tight end Travis Kelce and pop princess Taylor Swift have been trending for weeks with an are-they-aren’t-they romance.

Boys can grab a number 87 jersey and fake moustache to portray Kelce, while girls can opt for any look from Swift’s Eras tour, although her Not a Lot Going On At The Moment T-shirt remains an instantly identifiable Swifty fashion moment.

Couples: Priscilla and Elvis Presley

The Presleys have spent the year in the spotlight thanks to Austin Butler’s Oscar-nominated portrayal of The King in Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis, and the upcoming Priscilla – the Sofia Coppola-directed film starring Cailee Spaeny and Jacob Elordi as Priscilla and Elvis.

Elvis fans will enjoy finding just the right spangly costume, but don’t forget the details such as the sideburns and big jewellery for the men. Likewise, dressing up as Priscilla is all about the hair, winged eyeliner and swishy dress.

Children: Super Mario Bros

Bring one of the biggest films of the summer to life by dressing little ones up as Mario and Luigi.

From the overalls to the oversized hats, children will love portraying the video game characters, right down to the comedic moustaches.

Children: Glinda and Elphaba

The hugely anticipated film version of the hit stage show Wicked, starring Cynthia Erivo and Ariana Grande, is set to hit the big screen in November.

Get ahead of the curve by dressing your little ones up as the two stars, Glinda and Elphaba, and remember: There are no good witches on Halloween, only wicked ones!

Updated: October 11, 2023, 6:58 AM