Halloween Costume Trends Look Back to the 1970s

Getting ready for Halloween? Are you and your children busily choosing easy-to-sew patterns for this year’s costumes? My mother was much more skilled at cleaning and cooking than she was at sewing. So, I recall many a Halloween night when my costume of choice (my only choice, really) was to be a ghost for Halloween.

My ghost costume required no sewing—just a nice and clean white bed sheet and a pair of scissors to cut out the eyes. Snip, snip, snip and that old sheet becomes a ghost costume! While this costume was not oh so fashionable compared to that of the other neighborhood kids, my ghost costume served its purpose.

Today, the interest in Halloween costumes has a lot more to do with our 21st Century highly fashion-conscious kids than it had back in the 1970s. In addition to this year’s wide range of costumes, we will encounter our fair share of fairy princesses, astronauts, and angels collecting candy on neighborhood streets, too. Angels with a flair for vintage television history may appear on our door steps wearing halos and wielding (toy) handguns. Again, pop culture icons from the 1970s like the late actress and advocate, Farrah Fawcett and her colleagues from the Charlie’s Angels TV series may appear in the form of neighborhood children wearing skimpy outfits from the Age of Aquarius.

Popular in 2012

So, vintage couture aside, those outfits often worn by celebrities or costumes featuring celebrities traditionally make for popular Halloween costumes.

I predict the trendy costumes for 2012 will be based on the many faces and fashions of our favorite pop stars like Taylor Swift and Justin Bieber as well as the CNN and FOX news regulars of this election year, America’s Presidential candidates.

Cartoon Candy Seekers

Also, Jimmy Carter-era comic strip characters and Saturday morning television figures are going to be big this year like the Scooby Doo gang and the first frog of the Green movement, Kermit from Sesame Street. Something tells me that Big Bird may make a big splash this season with all of the press attention he has been getting lately on the campaign trail too.

Of course, contemporary cartoon favorites will appear this Halloween as I expect to greet Sponge Bob, Dora the Explorer, Bart Simpson, and everyone’s favorite cartoon subcontractor and the miniature cultural icon of the early 2000s home remodeling movement, Bob the Builder at my front door.

On All Hallows Eve, these celebs will be accompanied historical figures like Betsy Ross, Uncle Sam, and Sheldon Cooper from the Big Bang Theory sit com. No matter if you are in search of chocolate as a scary ghost or as a silly animated deep-sea sponge this Halloween, dressing up is always a treat.


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