9 Timeless Halloween Costumes You See Every Year

by Lauren Schumacker

Though plenty of Halloween costumes are trendy and timely, from characters currently on TV or in recently-released movies, to puns on pop culture or current events, there are also tons that are definitely timeless. And those timeless Halloween costumes you see every year are timeless for a reason, they'll never (apparently) go out of style and they'll never let you down. They're always relevant and always a good choice. The comfort, of course, is that you can choose to wear a timeless Halloween costume at the last minute, when you're at a loss for what else you should choose, or for costume parties that aren't even Halloween-related (yes, that's right).

Timeless Halloween costumes (think Ron Swanson's Halloween costume on Parks and Recreation that he wore every single year because it's his Halloween costume) can take some of the pressure off when it comes to choosing something to wear for Halloween parties or on the day of. And though, sure, you'd love to think of something original and clever ever year, it's sort of nice to have a back-up plan. But even if you do come up with something great to wear this year, never fear, someone else will pick up the slack because when it comes to these costumes, there's rarely a Halloween that goes by without them.


Some Sort Of Medical Professional

If you love quick, easy, and comfortable Halloween costumes, chances are you've been a doctor or nurse a time or two. And whether it's handing out candy to mini medical professionals or chatting them up at adults-only Halloween parties, this low-effort, yet very effective option is clearly a perennial favorite.


A Ghost

At its core, Halloween is sort of a creepy, crawly holiday. It's all witches and ghosts and vampires, so it's probably not all that surprising to hand out candy to approximately 25 mini ghosts that seem to be haunting the neighborhood for the night. Plus, this is another costume that really couldn't be easier, which is probably part of its long-lasting appeal.


A Ballerina

I have a theory that one of the reasons that ballerinas, fairies, and the like are such popular Halloween costumes year after year is because you can sometimes repurpose a dance recital costume or class leotards for Halloween. And since you already purchased the outfit and know it fits your kid, it's one of the simplest — yet still cute and festive — costumes you can pull off at a moment's notice.


A Creepy Figure — Like A Zombie Or Vampire

Halloween's intended to be a spooky holiday, as everyone knows, so it's not all that surprising that a lot of people — kids and adults alike — take the opportunity to dress up as something a bit spookier, like a zombie or vampire. I even asked a kid dressed as some sort of unknown spooky figure what they were one year and they told me they just wanted to be something spooky, so that's like a real thing. They're regular favorites because though they're not necessarily a great fit for run-of-the-mill costume parties, they fit well with the theme of the holiday.


A Princess

Not every little kid loves princesses, of course, but many do. And you know that, on any given Halloween, you'll see tons of tiny princesses and queens walking the streets of your neighborhood. Whether they're a specific princess (like of the Disney variety) or a more nondescript royal, you're sure to see many of them this Halloween — and every Halloween forever.


Harry Potter Characters Or General Witches & Wizards

Ever since Harry Potter was released, costumes straight out of Hogwarts have been frequent favorites. But part of the reason for that (beyond, of course, the popularity of the books and movies themselves) might be that witches and wizards have always been favorites when it comes to Halloween costumes. Don't expect that to end anytime soon. The costumes are timeless.



The athletes themselves might change over time, but the popularity of the costume sure doesn't. Many kids look up to athletes, which might be one of the reasons why the costume is so popular. Again, these costumes are typically pretty easy to put together, which means if you can't come up with anything or need a costume at the last-minute, your favorite athlete (or you kid's favorite) could be a good option. But be prepared to have to tell everyone who you are.


Clever Costumes

Clever costumes can be somewhat risky if people don't understand what you're doing (poor Ross), but they're a consistent favorite as well. The costumes themselves might change based on current events or everyone's favorite memes, but being a bit crafty and creative when designing costumes happens every single year.



Animal costumes are another that just never seem to go away. Throw cat ears on your head and you're a cat. What's not appealing about the ease and simplicity of that? But they're popular among babies (or, rather, parents who like to dress their babies like cute animals), kids, and more. They're easy and they're a costume that people will nearly always understand, which can't always be said for some of the trendier costumes out there.

Timeless Halloween costumes often aren't exactly unique or original, which means that they can get a little old after the twentieth time you say, 'oh aren't you a pretty princess,' but they can also be pretty great. After all, Halloween is supposed to be fun, not stressful, so just come to terms with the fact that you're going to see 12 princesses and 17 witches, vampires, or zombies show up to trick-or-treat at your house this year. They're timeless classics for a reason.