Do you feel a chill in the air? A sudden craving for mini chocolate bars with crispy rice fillings, which you forget exist the rest of the year? It must be Halloween creeping towards us, like a ski-masked murderer in the night, bearing a bloody knife and wide-open pillow case. And while there will always be classic costumes on the sidewalk prowl — witches, vampires, and bedsheet ghosts — it’s the costumes pulled from our very real life that are perhaps even scarier. What moments from the headlines will make it to the trick-or-treat circuit in 2023? We have a few predictions…
Absurdly huge, shaped like a jet pack, and destined for a life longer than this planet (probably), the Stanley Quencher thermos costume is easy to throw together if you have enough old cardboard boxes around, which you do. A pool noodle makes a good straw, just be cognizant of overhead lighting. You can even be a sexy thermos if you slap a Stanley sticker on your chest, skip pants, and show everyone how thirsty you are all night. Available in 17 pastels.
Generative AI Chatbots
Use a rigged-up tablet on a trucker hat or a whiteboard worn around the neck with dry erase marker in hand. When the house door opens and the candy distributor sees the words slowly unfurl on letter at a time, “trick or treat,” screams of terror are guaranteed. “Take it all, take all the candy!” they’ll shriek, while the costume wearer only grows stronger and stronger, with every query.
Admittedly a niche, extremely online costume, the Nepo Baby get-up is easy to throw together with a onesie, platinum pacifier, and forged birth certificate, all of which are available from your nearest gas station. Even though the Nepo Baby will ask for candy, don’t give it to them because their dad is the president of that one hedge fund; give it to them because they earned it in their own right.
An itchy black wig with pigtail braids and thick bangs will do most of the heavy lifting for this costume, but bonus points for whoever breaks into the viral dance at every doorstep. Inspired by the popular TV show character, this costume is really just an excuse for ex-goths to take the knee-high black socks out of retirement and wiggle in the moonlight. Like any other night of the week, really.
Pick up a fake gold olive leaf crown, plus a bedsheet as toga and a strappy pair of sandals for this ancient dude costume that shows how much time you spend on TikTok. Too much! But take it a step further by answering only in Latin whenever people inevitably ask, “How often do you think about the Roman Empire?” (“Cogito cotidie,” said solemnly.) Then invade their home and steal their spouse—or at least some candy.
Flirty Grocery Store Cashier
Borrow a Hawaiian shirt from Dad, slap on a name tag, and spend all night flirting under the disguise of this costume. Hold a bag of peanut-butter-filled pretzels in one hand and a paper grocery bag in the other and keep bagging and unbagging it all night as you make adorable conversation about the weather and your weekend plans. What’s brilliant about this costume is that if you play it right, you’ll get a stranger’s phone number and their credit card by the end of the night. Bonus: The shopping bag holds up to six gallons of candy.
Tin of Sardines
It was a big year for tinned fish. It was everywhere from cookbooks to boutique grocers to throw blankets, not to mention restaurant menus and chef tattoos. You can put this costume together with cardboard and aluminum foil, using glitter face paint to transform yourself into the gussied-up sardine inside. Make it a couples costume by dressing your partner as a baguette.
Longboarding Juice Guy
Spread joy and stay hydrated as the guy who went viral for simultaneously drinking cranberry juice and longboarding. The costume is cheap and easy, unless you need to take longboarding lessons: gray hoodie, carton of juice, portable speaker, good vibes.
PHOTO CREDIT: Illustration by Sibel Balac