The most popular Halloween costumes of the past 150 years – and the fascinating history of how fashion trends change
Since the end of the 19th century, Americans have been dressing up to celebrate Halloween. The clothes people choose to wear are always changing, influenced by popular culture and current events.
For example, bloody, bloody Halloween costumes became popular in the 1980s after the release of the horror movie “Halloween,” and the sale of presidential masks almost successfully predicted every US election.
INSIDER spoke with Halloween expert Lesley Bannatyne, who wrote several books on folklore and pop culture to track the popular Halloween costumes.
From the 1870s to the 1890s, most people produced their own witches and ghost costumes.
In the late 19th century, there were no shops to buy clothing, so people dressed up as classic symbols of the Halloween holiday, they look like themselves.
“The thing that attracts people is that they like Halloween, so you see a lot of handmade witch costumes and ghost costumes,” says Bannatyne.
Anything that people call “Oriental” or “exotic”, such as the Egyptian princess, is a popular choice in the late 19th century.
“Any exotic thing, whether on the planet or on another side, is very interesting,” she said.
Mass-produced paper garments and Baccarat masks entered the store between the 1920s and the 1920s.
Halloween became more popular at the turn of the century and was celebrated in civic institutions such as schools and parades. Almost everyone wears mass-produced clothing made by Dennison Paper Company.
“Everyone looks the same, those are aprons with cats or little witches, or hats or paper masks. They are just worn once and thrown away, like a crepe paper,” explains Bannatyne. “This is the first standard color scheme for paper products in Halloween – yellow, black, orange, purple.