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Women's Halloween costumes throughout the decades

Just like everyday fashion, Halloween costumes have evolved over the years, too. The following is a timeline covering the last 10 decades of popular women's Halloween costumes.

Keep reading to find out how women's Halloween costumes have changed over the last century!


Most women, if not all, made their own costumes during this era. A witch costume was one of the easier costumes to make from scratch, which is a reason why many women chose this as their costume.

People only began to buy manufactured costumes toward the end of the 20th century, when stores began selling them.

Another popular women's Halloween costume in the 1910s was a dress accompanied by a creepy homemade papier-mâché mask.


In the era of the flapper girl, Halloweens during the 1920s often had women incorporating the trends of everyday fashion into their costumes.

Flappers were known for their unconventional style and behavior, and because of this, had their own way of dressing.

On the left is a picture of a young woman dressed as a ballerina. But by the looks of her headdress and jewelry, she was obviously influenced by the flapper lifestyle.


Because of new licensing deals with Walt Disney, Halloween costumes featuring Disney characters were being mass-produced.

Couples costumes were just now beginning to become popular, and many couples dressed up as the beloved Micky and Minnie Mouse.

This couples costume is still commonly seen today.

But thankfully, with the absence of the creepy masks and oversized gloves.


The 40s marked the first decade where Halloween costumes for women didn't have to be so formal.

Women began wearing tighter and shorter dresses, stockings or fishnets and began pinning their hair in what would soon be known as the iconic 'pin- up hairstyle' we associate with the 40s and 50s.

However, many women still chose the traditional costumes over these newer ones. Ghosts, ghouls and witches all still remained popular costume choices.


During the 50s, Western films and television shows dominated pop culture, and many women dressed as cowgirls for Halloween.

This image is from the acclaimed "Lone Ranger," which was a popular Western TV show during the 50s.


Actress Lee Meriwether was the first celebrity to add a mask to her Catwoman costume.

The 1960s was a time filled with "sexual and political upheaval and fashion," and women's Halloween costumes during this time reflected this.

Julie Newmar made her debut as Catwoman in the television series "Batman" in 1966. This caused a rise in women wearing catsuit costumes, since they were now beginning to express their sexuality more openly and freely.

It was also during this era that people started buying costumes and masks from stores rather than making them at home.


Since comic books were becoming more popular, it was common to see women dressed up as their favorite female superheroes on Halloween.

Wonder Woman was a very popular costume in the 70s. She symbolized female strength and power in a time when women were fighting for equality.

The demand for superhero costumes was sky-high in the 70s, and today, it is just as popular.

It was also during this decade that people began to wear costumes that were more politically inspired, thus creating presidential masks that we see every year in stores.


Unlike in the 30s, Minnie Mouse costumes featured skintight leotards, tights and spandex.

Women were embracing their bodies by showing them off by wearing tighter clothing.


The 90s was a decade full of punk rock and rebellion. People used their Halloween costumes as a way to rep their favorite singers, groups and bands.

Since the Spice Girls were at the peak of their fame in the late 90s, a lot of women dressed up as them for a group Halloween costume.


The trend of dressing up as famous people you admired continued into the early 2000s. Britney Spears was one of top rising pop stars, and many women (and men) dressed up as her for Halloween.

Even today, there's always that one person at the Halloween party dressed as Britney from her iconic "Baby One More Time" music video.

As long as pop culture and Hollywood continue to evolve, so will Halloween costumes.

Whatever you decide to be this Halloween, wear it with confidence!

Happy Halloween!



Editorial editor

Featured photos from Pinterest, Pamela Layton Mcmurty, Transcendental Graphics/Archive, Youtube and

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