5 trendy Halloween costumes for 2016, plus tips

by Andrew Lang, Seattle Goodwill
October 23, 2016

We all know Goodwill is Halloween headquarters—the go-to spot to construct the perfect costume. Between used goods, our new goods, vintage clothing and accessories, creative limits are obsolete at our 24 Seattle Goodwill store locations.

Since Halloween is always on our mind, we enlisted the help of Salvage Ecommerce Coordinator and resident Halloween costume expert Gary Foy for design tips and ideas of what costumes will be trending this October holiday season.

Here are a few of Gary’s top costume picks and some ideas on how to bring them to life:

  1. Anything political: It’s an election year. The 45th President of the United States will be ushered into office Nov. 8. That means more than a week before on Oct. 31 Hillary Clintons and Donald Trumps will be out in full force Halloween night—and even some Bernie Sanders supporters.

Costume tip: For Hillary, match her mask with a nice pants suit and a costume jewelry necklace with large earrings. For Donald, match his mask with a navy blue suit with a crisp, white T-shirt and that token red Donald tie.

  1. Pokémon: Dressing up as your favorite Pokémon or Pokémon trainer will never be so popular, thanks in large part to the Pokémon Go craze.

Costume tip: Head over to our Tupperware section, buy two small bowls and fasten them together for the base of your Poké ball.

  1. Surreal animal: Looking to go outside-the-box? Surreal animal looks could be a popular choice this Halloween. Think the movie Zootopia, but instead of going full animal in clothes, incorporate an animal-human mashup.

Costume tip: Find some horns or antlers or make some yourself. To completely contradict the animal feel, dress up in a three-piece suit or a nice dress.

  1. Realistic superhero: There’s been no short of superhero movies this year: Batman v Superman, Captain America Civil War, Deadpool, Suicide Squad, etc. While Margot Robbie’s portrayal of Harley Quinn will surely inspire Halloween costumes, there’s nothing better than going completely original.

Costume tip: Take what’s unique about your region and implement that into a superhero. Seattle, for example, could lend itself to creating Super Seattle Cyclist or a gardening-fish thrower mashup. Have fun with it and be creative.

  1. Apocalyptic Steampunk: There’s nothing new about dressing up in steampunk garb for Halloween, but mixing in an apocalyptic theme adds a new twist.

Costume tip: Look up images from Mad Max Fury Road for some good ideas. The movie won an Academy Award for Best Costume Design for a reason. Mix apocalyptic and steampunk. Think black, shredded with late 1800s technology. Wear a monocle and fasten some gears to it. Add a top heat, or use some antennas for accessories.

Picking the right costume is half the battle. Once you’ve decided, then it’s time to unleash your creativity, and Gary offered several tips he always follows when assembling costumes at Seattle Goodwill.

  1. Dress from head to toe: Don’t focus only on the middle, top or bottom. Start with the top and work your way all the way down to your feet. Think of headwear, face paint, torso to chest and shoulders, pants down to ankles and finally footwear. And don’t forget to accessorize all the way through.
  2. Used and new: Seattle Goodwill stores provide the ultimate playground for dressing up, but Halloween-purchased new goods afford customers the ability to 100 percent complete their look. It’s all about hitting the entire store and using everything Goodwill offers.
  3. Have fun: Halloween is about getting creative and having fun. If you relax and have fun with creating your costume, the better it will turn out. Go with a group of friends to Goodwill and help each other find the right items to design your costumes.


Andrew is a Content Specialist for Seattle Goodwill and has a wealth of writing, communication and digital media experience. He loves all things sports related and owns a treasure trove of memorabilia. He also enjoys storytelling, the outdoors and sugar is his kryptonite.

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