Halloween is a great time to reflect on cultural highlights for the year, and this year has seen some fantastic moments. Both new and returning characters took the spotlight. Celebrities have risen, and musicians have passed away. Memes rose to greatness.
Many of our favorite costumes embody 2016, but we also have a soft spot for some pervasive classics this year. Whatever you will decide on is up to you, though.
Check out our twenty favorite adult Halloween costumes below, which range from DIY affairs to easy last-minute costumes to wear out partying.
1. Bojack Horseman Costume
A costume of everyone’s favorite washed out alcoholic ’90s TV horse is the perfect guise to don for some Halloween debauchery. Dressing up as Bojack is as simple as matching his matching his casual Hollywoo[d] wear with the classic rubber horse mask from Amazon fame.
You can make the mask look even more authentic by following this DIY guide for repainting it.
The rest of his outfit can easily be recreated from clothes lying around the house. His normal apparel includes a blue crew neck sweater, a grey blazer, some blue jeans, and classic Red Chuck Taylor shoes.
2. Purple Rain Prince Costume
The music community still reels from the loss of Prince in April 2016, and artists and celebrities continue to celebrate his legacy of eclectic rock music. You can celebrate Prince as well, with cosplay quality costume of his iconic outfit from the film Purple Rain.
3. Zombie Donald Trump Costume
Donald Trump is the perfect combination of topical, scary, and hilarious that makes for a quality Halloween costume. But in an effort to mix things up, we’d suggest an easy variation on your Trump costume: zombify him.
You’ll want to go thrift shopping for a business suit that you can shred to tatters, and to throw in a red power tie for good measure.
Alternatively, if the above shirt design by Brian Allen inspires you more than any makeup would, you can buy a shirt with his original design on it.
4. Deadpool Costume
This year, Deadpool turned superhero movies upside down by tearing at their tropes in his own film. Antihero Wade Wilson gets to combine comedy with fighting prowess, making him an incredibly fun character to dress as. You can snap between badass and goofball in a second.
If you only want a simple costume, this classic Deadpool costume kit from Rubie’s is a decent option that comes with all the necessities.
If you want something that’s a little more wearable, however, you can combine a Deadpool mask with this classy red and black leather jacket, which turns Deadpool’s weathered red jumpsuit into more casual streetwear.
You can also browse the rest of Angel Jackets’ Halloween Collection for other costumes turned jackets.
Buy the Rubie’s Men’s Marvel Universe Classic Muscle Chest Deadpool Costume here.
5. Sans from Undertale Costume
If you played Undertale this year, you will remember Sans as a lighthearted hotdog salesman who likes to play trombone and make bad, skeleton-related puns. His role varies based on which route through the game you take, but no matter what he is always willing to hang out and play pranks.
If you really want to look the part, you can also add a skeleton morphsuit to transform your hands and legs, but the mask will definitely be the center of onlookers’ attention.
If you’re more of a spaghetti man than a hotdog head, you can instead go as Sans’ younger brother Papyrus.
6. Harambe Costume
Perhaps Harambe’s remembrance is a joke gone too far, but like it or not, the death of this lowland gorilla from the Cincinnati Zoo has sparked a conversation that many of us will truly never forget.
His story is one of an animal rights narrative that spun out of control, and now he is perceived as a Christ-like figure, having died for mankind’s sins.
If you are on a budget and want to scare the hell out of people, you can instead opt for this disturbing silverback gorilla morphsuit.
7. Chillary, Meme Queen Costume
Hillary Clinton’s presidential candidacy has been a little less exciting than that of Trump’s, but the Internet has found its niche for making Hillary hilarious. The apex of this is the Super Deluxe Video, Hillary Clinton: Meme Queen 2016.
As for what Internet reference to go with, you have a world of options. I won’t even mention any, as not to stifle your creativity. Don’t let your memes be dreams.
Want to dress up like Hillary for Halloween 2016? We've gathered together some funny, scary, and earnest Hillary Clinton Halloween costumes.Click here to read more
8. Eleven from Stranger Things Costume
Stranger Things embodies all things ’80s horror, but the mysterious young girl Eleven gets to steal the show with her psychokinetic powers. Dressing up as El for Halloween is an easy task, as her wardrobe is made up of old clothes you might have lying around the house.
9. Harley Quinn Costume
Harley Quinn is always one of the most popular costumes of the year, but this year in particular, given the release of this year’s Suicide Squad, HQ should be even more well recognized.
The Joker’s insane girlfriend certainly looks the part this time, with her multicolor outfit. This costume kit from Rubie’s includes the jacket and attached shirt, sequin shorts, fishnets, and the belt.
10. Jurassic World T-Rex Costume
Really stumped as to what you should dress as? Have all of your friends claimed your preferred pop culture references? My suggestion would be to go as a dinosaur and devour them whole.
This oversized inflatable T-rex costume is just the right vehicle to do so, as it stands tall and intimidating over all over costumes. This one piece costume inflates with a battery-powered fan, and is plenty breathable and comfortable.
11. Snapchat Puppy Filter Costume
Snapchat really stepped its filter game to the next level this year, introducing a rotating lineup of different transformation tools to use with your pictures.
The dog face filter is among the most iconic of these filters, and now you can recreate it with this headband and latex nose. Just don’t try taking a selfie over this, otherwise you risk starting a refractory filter loop.
12. Minions Costume
Minions. Either you love them or you hate them. Or maybe both. But no matter your thoughts on them, minions are on the rise as of late, and they even got their own film this year.
I am not here to tell you that a grown human being dressing up as a minion is wrong. In fact, I guess I am making it easy for you by letting you know that there is a simple an inexpensive costume for women and men. Just so you know, though, some people might find it so very wrong.
13. Alexander Hamilton Costume
History has its eye on you, and you want to look good. If you haven’t heard about Lin Manuel Miranda’s latest Broadway sensation Hamilton, you might be living under a rock.
Any sort of colonial getup works for this costume, as long as its revolutionary blue. This Hamilton costume kit includes a coat with white sleeve trim and a sewn in attached vest panel.
It also come with a cravat neck tie, and knickers-style pantaloons with a pair of black boot covers. You’ll need to supply your own tricorn hat.
14. Men’s Pokémon Go Trainer Costume
Despite the game having only been out for a short while, the costume designers at CG Costume have already created replica outfits for both the male and female character models. Their complete men’s costume kit includes a hoodie of one of the team colors, a pair of dark athletic shorts, a pair of fingerless trainer gloves with bracers, and a visor hat.
This fully handmade costume is not cheap, but it is definitely a great option for those who are inexperienced at making their own costume accessories. Fortunately, individual pieces of the outfit are available to accommodate more home made costumes.
15. Aladdin Sane David Bowie Costume
Another major loss to the musical world this year is David Bowie. The Thin White Duke caught us by surprise, passing shortly after the release of his final album, Black Star. But he will still best be remembered for his classics, including Aladdin Sane, whose titular character makes for a great costume.
With a decent wig, a little facepaint, and an appropriately outrageous suit, you can easily recreate Bowie’s Aladdin. Other notable personas include Ziggy Stardust, Major Tom, and Jareth the Goblin King from Labyrinth.
16. SpaceX Astronaut Costume
The last few years have seen great advances in space exploration, and this year, the first privatized space program saw its launch. SpaceX, a company owned by Elon Musk, has begun to take on more bold missions, including a mission to colonize Mars.
17. Willy Wonka Costume
Beloved actor Gene Wilder was yet another celebrity to leave us this year. His memory will live on in his many classic roles, the most iconic of which is probably Willy Wonka.
18. Cowboy Costume
With the new remake of the classic western The Magnificent Seven coming on the curtails of recent western revivals like Django Unchained, it is clear that westerns are seeing a comeback.
Cowboy costumes of all variety will be popular this year, but our favorite pick is this gunfighter costume. This costume comes with western duster, vest, dickey with cravat, hat and holsters. Bring your own jeans, boots, and revolvers.
19. Captain Phasma Deluxe Costume
Captain Phasma made her first appearance in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, but we don’t know yet for sure if she will return for the next installment. One thing we do know is that her chrome battle armor is probably the coolest variation on the classic stormtrooper to date.
This costume includes a unisex full body jumpsuit with foam armor details and a belt. It also includes a two piece helmet and cape. The prop blaster intended to come with this costume is sold separately, but is quite small. You’re probably better off without it, as even the best stormtrooper has some pretty lousy aim.
20. Ghostbusters Costume
With this year’s reboot of the Ghostbusters franchise with an all-female cast, now anyone can fit right into the famed tan jumsuit. Fans of this year’s film will be able to wear this women’s Ghostbusters deluxe costume, which comes with the full jumpsuit, an inflatable proton pack and proton gun, plus five nametags to match your favorite protagonist.
The men’s classic Ghostbusters costume also comes with a jumpsuit and inflatable proton pack, which means everyone gets to look equally awesome. Bonus points if you try to evaporate little kids in ghost costumes.