13 best pop culture inspired Halloween costumes

Posted by
Abi Jackson
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If an invite for a Halloween party has just rolled into your inbox, fear not. Dressing up is many people’s worst nightmare, but before you shell out on yet another onesie, wait a moment. We’ve found a way to make it a treat rather than a trick with a host of pop-culture based costumes, created with items that you won’t throw in the bin the minute you get home. 

As Halloween parties seem to be less strict on the scary elements than they used to be, our costumes feature characters from our favourite shows and films such as Girls, The Hunger Games, Gone Girl and Orange Is The New Black as well as some of our favourite figures like Caitlin Moran and Lady Gaga. Of course, if you wanted to give these costumes a Halloween edge, there’s nothing to stop you becoming a zombie version of any of these character, or adding a drop of fake blood here and there…

Amy Elliot Dunne

Who? The eponymous Gone Girl of the thriller novel turned film

What to wear? Wholesome clothes, a beautiful blonde wig and a perfect smile

What to create? Build a MISSING poster with a hole for your head to poke through as if you were really Gone, girl

What to buy? Treat yourself to a new Breton top, to match Amy's supposedly wifely attire, like this one from Petit Bateau


Mary Berry

Who? The heart and soul of the Great British Bake Off, Mary Berry is not just an inspiration for her numerous cookbooks, but her on-trend style

What to wear? Jeans, a colourful blazer and a snazzy blonde wig

What to create? A cake

What to buy? A new blazer, of course. Try this one from Oasis for size

Katniss Everdeen

Who? The main character in The Hunger Games who rebels against the vicious system of Hunger Games played each year in her universe

What to wear? Think practical - a lightweight back jacket, a red hoodie, cargo trousers. Plaited hair, a bow and a utility belt

What to create? A fearless attitude - you won't convince as Katniss just by wearing her clothes

What to buy? A stylish take on Katniss' cargo pants wouldn't go amiss at a party. These ASOS trousers are just what the hunger gamer ordered.

Caitlin Moran

Who? Feminist columnist and bestselling author of How to Be A Woman and How To Build A Girl

What to wear? A flannel shirt, ripped denim shorts, black tights and Doc Martens

What to create? Caitlin's signature grey streak in her dark hair was first created for a Halloween costume, but she decided it looked so good she would keep it in permanently. See if you're similarly convinced

What to buy? If you don't already own a pair, Doc Martens will last you a lifetime - whether you style them up or keep them for a rainy day (literally) 

Kate Middleton

Who? The Duchess of Cambridge, of COURSE. Kate has just announced her second pregnancy, offering strong potential for a 'haunted bump' costume

What to wear? An elegant dress, elegant shoes and a demure clutch bag

What to create? A faux bump - a jumper under a dress will usually serve the purpose

What to buy? When Kate was pregnant with Prince George, she wore a stylish polka dot dress, so why not recreate the look with this dress from Dorothy Perkins?

Fifty Shades of Grey

Who? EL James' record-breaking novel, centred around a sexual contract between student Anastasia Steele and entrepreneur Christian Grey, which is now being adapted into a long desired film starring Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan.

What to wear? Grey. Fifty shades, to be precise.

What to create? A trend for Fifty Shades of Grey costumes based around paint charts has sprung up recently. Pretend you're redecorating a room and grab a load of swatches then attach them to a skirt.

What to buy? A grey 'base' for your fifty shades that you can keep and wear again. Have a look at our selection of our favourite grey items here.

Piper Chapman

Who? The main character in Netflix's hit series, Orange Is The New Black, Piper is jailed in a women's prison

What to wear? Piper's orange prison scrubs, worn with a white t-shirt underneath will scream which character you're dressing as instantly

What to create? A prison ID badge to tag to your jumpsuit - customisable of course

What to buy? You probably don't already own a set of orange clothes, but take be bold and try this orange jumpsuit from River Island - you might find yourself wearing it again

Grumpy Cat

Who? The star of internet memes all around the world, and author of Grumpy Cat: A Grumpy Book for Grumpy Days

What to wear? 'Sexy cat' is probably the most tired Halloween costume out there, so why not add a sense of humour by dressing as Grumpy Cat rather than a slinky black cat in a tight all-in-one? Dress all in white, but make sure you avoid the fake blood

What to create? The famous Grumpy Cat face can be easily recreated with make up, just paint your face white and add brown eyes to give the effect of being a Siamese cat (see above) - and make sure your face is permanently in a grumpy pose

What to buy? Dressing as a white cat means new white clothes, and this furry jumper from Topshop should manage to play the role of both cat costume and warm wintry jumper when Halloween is over

The Crawley Sisters

Who? The daughters of Lord and Lady Grantham, whose fortunes make up a vast array of the plots at Downton Abbey

What to wear? Downton Abbey is currently passing through the 1920s, so glamourous flapper-style dresses are all the rage. Accessorize with a headband, long necklace and a pair of elegant silk gloves

What to create? A 1920s hairstyle is key to getting your look right, create a faux bob by pinning your hair back, or crimp it into elegant waves.

What to buy? Investing in a drop waisted, embellished flapper style dress will never be a bad idea - not only will they work perfectly for future costume parties, but they’re glamorous enough to wear out to a formal occasion. Try this one from Miss Selfridge.


Who? The love-them-or-hate-them characters that are dominating our text conversations

What to wear? Dressing as an emoji offers you hundreds of options - the easiest way to do it is to create an emoji board to wear over a simple black outfit, but you could go the whole hog and dress as one of the characters such as the flamenco dancer.

What to create? Your very own emoji, turning a tiny little character from your phone into a larger than life costume will take a lot of patience, and yellow paint.

What to buy? A lot of cardboard, and paint.

Lady Gaga

Who? The chart topping singer who constantly dazzles with her on-stage and red carpet wardrobe

What to wear? Well, almost anything. Dressing as Gaga could see you adorned in anything from meat to Kermit the Frog heads. But to take a slightly more easy to achieve look, her red lace dress, worn to the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards will strike a chord - although Gaga's matching red lace face mask could be optional

What to create? If you want to go for an authentic Gaga look, fashion a crown and mask out of some red lace material from a fabric shop such as and some cardboard

What to buy? A red lace dress, like this one from Next will fit the costume perfectly, but also be one to save for a later date.

A Weeping Angel

Who? A memorably scary Doctor Who villain - if you're dressing to scare, this is the costume to go for

What to wear? You need to look like a statue (that comes to life when the person looking at it blinks), so you'll need a long grey dress and some grey make up.

What to create? A statue effect will require some dabbling with a sponge on your arms and face, so give yourself a long time to get ready. You might also want to train yourself to be able to freeze when people look at you if you're really getting into character

What to buy? This ASOS grey dress will make for perfect statue-wear and will make a lovely autumnal look teamed with boots and a cable-knit jumper post-Halloween

The Girls girls

Who? The four main characters in Lena Dunham's groundbreaking show about twentysomething women

What to wear? New York twentysomething casual looks - think short skirts (Marnie), tea dresses (Hannah), floaty separates (Jessa) and preppy-chic (Shoshanna)

What to create? To get into character, create a blog, or write a song - to really feel like the characters in Girls, you need to have some dreams 

What to buy? Any of the items Hannah and co wear could be adapted into part of an everyday outfit, for instance, to recreate Hannah's look above, try this shirt from Uniqlo and skirt from Warehouse for size


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Abi Jackson

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