A person in a pumpkin head costume in a Halloween parade.

10 Vintage Halloween Costumes I’d Love To See Make a Comeback

You can always find people cosplaying Wednesday Addams from The Addams Family or classic superheroes from any DC movies or Marvel movies. But Halloween is also about having fun, being silly, and uniqueness all at once, and these vintage Halloween costume ideas hit a perfect tone.

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It’s the only day of the year when you can dress as a double cheeseburger and then have somebody come up to you and ask if they can take you out. If you want something nostalgic and campy, here are a bunch of vintage fits that you should try to recreate. The best part is that they’re all easy to recreate.

10. Power Rangers

David Yost and Walter Emanuel Jones in 'Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: Once & Always'

Any ’90s kid and Y2K teenager was fighting over the Red Ranger, and this applies to costumes, as well. Every kid wanted to be the strongest Power Ranger, even if their hero suits were plain at best. Now that you’re in your twenty-somethings and many kids have moved on to newer heroes, it’s time to revisit Power Rangers for the sake of good old nostalgia.

There are many other colors to choose from, and this Halloween, you might be able to collaborate with some friends and form your own squadron.

9. All iterations of brides

A sickly Victorian man walks up the isle of a spooky church with his zombie bride to be in "Corpse Bride"
(Warner Bros. Pictures)

There are blooming brides, corpse brides, zombie brides—you name it, brides come in a broad range of costume ideas. They’re also notoriously intricate unless they come from Party City. Regardless, getting into a bride costume will help you show off your creativity in fashion and makeup.

Halloween is a great time to get into lace and be experimental about your dress. You could practically transform old dresses of yours and do some DIY. By some luck, you’ll end up either looking like a scorned Ophelia or a campy cupcake.

8. Trashcans

Roy Kent in a trashcan with Oscar the Grouch as it should be

Externalize all the self-deprecation by dressing up as a trashcan on the spookiest day of the year. You might feel like trash every day, but nobody would judge you for being a walking garbage disposal on the 31st. All jokes aside, trashcan costumes and all trash-related costumes are campy but also extremely environmentally friendly.

Some would even design avante-garde and poofy dresses out of trash bags. Others would stick with the classic waste bin among other things, but anything is possible when you see trash as treasure.

7. Food

Tim Robinson wears a hot dog costume in a clothing store in 'I Think You Should Leave.' Subtitles read, "We're all just trying to find the guy who did this."

What’s more relatable than food? If you’re looking for vegan options, you have a lot of fruity options that will make you look as sweet as can be. You can be a bunch of grapes by hanging some balloons all over yourself. Just make sure that you stay away from prickly things.

Food costumes are colorful and gimmicky without being controversial. They’re also timeless, and people have been dressing up as their favorite food even in the 19th century.

6. Pumpkins

A person in a pumpkin head costume in a Halloween parade.
(Leonardo Munoz/VIEWpress/Getty Images)

Yes, pumpkins are food, but they’re in a different league from all the other vegetables in the previous category, in this case, since they’re one of the primary symbols of the autumn season and Halloween. If you can’t get enough of the pumpkin spice drinks, you might as well dress as the gourd that gets gutted for the latte. Name something a step more morbid than drinking a pumpkin spice drink while dressed as a pumpkin.

Pumpkin carvings inspire the pumpkin costumes, and they often look adorable. The black and white, as well as the sepia photos of vintage pumpkin costumes are much creepier than the modern takes.

5. Classic sheet ghost

An animate young girl sits on a train surrounded by ghost people, one is wearing a mask in "Spirited Away"
(Studio Ghibli)

Your childhood wouldn’t be complete unless you’ve chased your siblings or friends in the hallways of your home dressed as a sheet ghost. Don’t let adulthood stop you from becoming a makeshift ghost. For this Halloween, you can take any old yards of cloth you have lying around and cut some holes out for your eyes.

This is a low-budget and nostalgic costume, and some iterations of this classic ghost incorporate modern shows. You can even be No Face (‘Kaonashi’/顔無し) during Halloween from the hit Studio Ghibli film Spirited Away.

4. Clowns

Screencap of Pennywise the Clown from IT
(New Line Cinema)

If you’ve been hearing about a creepy clown roaming around in Scotland, maybe this is a good sign to awaken your inner Joker or revisit IT for Pennywise. This isn’t to encourage you to scare your poor neighbors by standing at the side of the road with a helium balloon in one hand, but nothing is off-limits during the night of spookiness.

Clowns can be unnerving figures, but there’s a lot of makeup and artistry that can be done with it as a costume idea. The TikTok above shows that you can have your own take on the clown, and who knows? If you’ve been clowning yourself the whole year, this is a good opportunity to show your true colors.

3. Roman and Greek gods

Zeus in Thor Love and Thunder.
(Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)

I’m looking at you, theatre kid. This is a good time to dress up as the Greek god or goddess of your dreams. There are a lot of couples costumes to be worn and many more to get creative with if you just immerse yourself in Greek mythology. You can even be a marble statue of any of your favorite gods and goddesses.

By far, the most creative Greek myth-inspired costume idea is the Trojan Horse, but it’s not a one-person job. If you’re going to make it work, you might as well make a secret army of Greek soldiers out of you and your buddies.

2. Disney … but scary

Disney costumes are always around, but it’s usually just the princess costumes that get the spotlight. Other characters like Mickey and Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck, and even the Disney villains aren’t always given care or attention for costume options. Some vintage costumes of Mickey Mouse and friends were unsettling, as described in the above video.

But you also have villains you’d love to dress up as. Love her or hate her, Cruella de Vil was a popular costume choice in the early 2000s, and she’s undeniably fashionable. Other villains such as Ursula, Maleficent, and Gaston are all infamous but have unique designs befitting the scariest night of the year.

1. Futuristic

People have always loved daydreaming about what the future would look like. Some predictions have been hilarious, and it’s worth noting that among the innovations, these designers still didn’t think dresses would have functional pockets in the future. It’s up to you now to envision what the fashion of the future would look like.

Don’t hold back and be as experimental as these designers have been. They weren’t wrong with some predictions, even if they were over the top in terms of execution. Who knows? You might secretly be a Nostradamus for fashion trends.

(featured image: Leonardo Munoz/VIEWpress/Getty Images)

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Vanessa Esguerra
Vanessa Esguerra (She/They) has been a Contributing Writer for The Mary Sue since 2023. After graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Economy, she (happily) rejected law school in 2021 and has been a full-time content writer since. Vanessa is currently taking her Master's degree in Japanese Studies in hopes of deepening her understanding of the country's media culture in relation to pop culture, women, and queer people like herself. She speaks three languages but still manages to get lost in the subways of Tokyo with her clunky Japanese. Fueled by iced coffee brewed from local cafés in Metro Manila, she also regularly covers anime and video games while queuing for her next match in League of Legends.