Some Halloween costumes endure through the ages ― zombies, vampires, and slutty cats, to name a few. Others are only topical for a brief window of time ― one year, or perhaps only a matter of months.
In 2012, we've seen pop culture events such as the Olympics, a presidential campaign, a kooky South Korean music video that shook the world, a potential zombie apocalypse, and a lot of women suddenly curious about S&M. If you think these trends will fail to show themselves come October 31, then think again.
Here are the nine costumes we know we'll see on Halloween this year (and then, presumably, never again).
1. Mitt Romney's "Binders Full Of Women"
Who Will Wear It: The liberal-minded intellectual, who uses Halloween to make ironic political statements.
The Costume: Maybe you get some kind of cape-like garment, and attach many photos of women to the inside, so you can “open” your arms like a binder. Maybe two women can somehow go in tandem inside a giant binder, with a guy dressed as Mitt Romney escorting them. Granted, this outfit isn’t necessarily the easiest to throw together, but the “binders of women” meme is only a couple weeks old, and it’s a lot more clever than just dressing like Mitt. (Though we’re bound to see plenty of those, too.)
Downside: People who find a way to dress like Obama’s “horses and bayonets” meme from the final debate will be more topical than you.
Upside: Hey, at least you’ll be more current than all the Big Birds!
2. Honey Boo Boo & Family
Who Will Wear It: Men venturing into drag for the first time.
The Costume: Honey Boo Boo is perfect for Halloween, because subtlety is not your friend. (Also: she’s terrifying.) You can pick up any hideous plus-size dress from a thrift store, throw on a gaudy tiara, cake on enough makeup to sustain a clown school for a year, then you’re good to go! Plenty of ladies will get their Alana Thompson on this Halloween, no doubt, but be prepared for burly males dolled up as Honey Boo Boo and her mother, too. It's the kind of cross-dressing where a little masculinity might make you more recognizeable.
Downside: By the end of the night, you’ll have heard “Here comes Honey Boo Boo!” enough times to give you a migraine.
Upside: If done right, this is by far the scariest imaginable Halloween costume.
3. Lana Del Rey
Who Will Wear It: Women, or anybody who prefers to pout their way through a holiday.
The Costume: Lana Del Rey has several choice looks from throughout 2012, all with that 60’s thing going on. But most of 2012’s LDRs will be in long white gowns, a la her disastrous appearance on Saturday Night Live. You will obviously need a long wig (or your natural hair) covering the majority of your face, bee-stung lips, and it helps if you spend the entire evening twirling slowly in a circle looking like you’re about to cry.
Downside: If you play it well enough, you might just be mistaken for a zombie.
Upside: At least you’ll look hot.
Who Will Wear It: The same fanboys who dressed up as The Joker for the past three years.
The Costume: Batman fans have been itching for The Dark Knight Rises to come out, mainly to provide fresh Halloween costume ideas to the repertoire. Anne Hathaway’s Catwoman outfit isn’t quite iconic enough to inspire many imitators, but you can bet we’ll see more than a few of Tom Hardy's Bane out there, hissing in their best Sean Connery voice: "You have my permission to die!"
Downside: That mouthpiece is a serious hindrance to gobbling up candy.
Upside: Finding that mask and taking your shirt off is a lot less work than assembling five of your friends and putting together all those Avengers costumes.
5 & 6. Magic Mike / The Fab Five
Who Will Wear It: Groups of exhibitionistic guys/girls who want to all dress alike (and slutty!).
The Costume: Pretty easy, with little originality required. The girls don matching leotards and get fake gold medals to hang around their necks. Guys have plenty of options ― vest and necktie sans shirt, rip-away police uniform, or perhaps just a tiny gold thong. Either way, this technically fulfills the requirements of a “costume” while also furthering the real prerogative here ― to show off as much skin as possible on the one night doing so isn't frowned upon (or illegal).
Downside: The five-way costume won't work as well when members of your party gradually wander off to make out with strangers.
Upside: Lost your buddies and feeling kind of embarrassed now that you're standing around in your underwear all alone? Hook up with one of the Fab Five, ask to borrow her medal, and boom! You're Ryan Lochte.
7. Psy's "Gangnam Style"
Who Will Wear It: Guys who have a tux left over from a wedding, prom, bar mitzvah, or last year's James Bond costume.
The Costume: With 530 million views (and counting), Psy's "Gangnam Style" somehow became YouTube's third most-watched music video of all time, so there's no chance you won't be recognized. The look is simple: a tuxedo and some shades. Not necessarily cheap if you have to rent the tux, but worth every penny in terms of pop culture timeliness. Also a must: brush up on the moves from the video, because you know people will beg you to bust them out all night long.
Downside: You’ll be really tired of that dance by the end of the night.
Upside: A totally legit excuse to shout “Heyyy, sexy lady!” at any attractive female.
8. Zombies (bath salts edition)
Who Will Wear It: Those determined to put a fresh, relevant spin on a timeless classic.
The Costume: Remember a few months ago, when people were eating bath salts, then going all crazed and cannibalistic, and we thought the world was coming to an end? The 2012 zombie still comes complete with ripped clothing, the bloodier the better, and lots of lurching (watch The Walking Dead for tips). You'll just need a box that says "Bath Salts" in hand for topicality.
Downside: Just make sure you don't carry around actual bath salts, because if somebody decides to eat them, it won't be just a costume anymore.
Upside: Need to wash all that Halloween grime off at the end of the night? Hello, bath salts!
9. Anastasia & Christian from Fifty Shades Of Grey
Who Will Wear It: Couples who are curious, but too shy to experiment with BDSM for real.
The Costume: If you really want to be a smartass, you could get fifty grey paint samples and cover your body with them. But we’re more likely to see the more traditional version ― a guy in a grey business suit, a woman in designer pumps and lingerie. Maybe he has a riding crop, maybe she’s wearing handcuffs. Women will love it because they get to play a character from one of their favorite books, and guys will love it because they get to spank their girlfriend with a belt all night.
Downside: Make sure and have an actual safe word, or be prepared for someone to sleep on the couch when the role-playing goes just a little too far.
Upside: On the other hand, you might like it if the role-playing goes too far. Meaning, you might really like it. Then nobody's sleeping on the couch. In fact, nobody's sleeping at all.
Which of these Halloween costumes is the MOST predictable??