Best Halloween Costumes for Adults

Can you believe it’s almost time for Halloween once again? Every year, we tell ourselves we’re going to come up with the best costume idea for next year’s Halloween. But then every year, the holiday just creeps up on us, and before we know it, the time has come again. We’re left scrambling for inspiration for a costume with only weeks, days, or even hours to spare. Celebrating Halloween for adults is hard enough with our busy schedules. If you’re looking for a great Halloween costumes but running low on ideas, we’ve got all the inspirations you need right here. Put away that tired old costume from last year, because here are some fresh new Halloween costumes 2021, inspired by some of your favorite movies.

Pick up a copy of Must-See Musicals by Richard Barrios, and you’ll find plenty of ideas for Halloween costumes based on classic movie musicals. This book looks at nine decades of movie musicals to highlight the most show-stopping movies ever filmed. Take inspiration from the pages of this book to recreate classic halloween costumes from some of these unforgettable films.

Rocky Horror Picture Show: With all of the midnight screenings of this beloved cult classic, The Rocky Horror Picture Show is one of those movies where ready-made versions of the costumes are easily accessible, whether you’re looking to don a gold bikini like everyone’s favorite muscle man Rocky or dress in a maid’s costume with wild hair like Magenta. Or if you want to put together your own ensemble, here’s a list of really inspiring costume ideas to create your own DIY Rocky Horror Picture Show costume. The best thing about these costumes? Wear them on Halloween night, and then wear them again for your next Rocky Horror Picture Show screening.

The Wizard of Oz: If you want to go with the ultimate classic halloween costume inspired by a film, try something from The Wizard of Oz. This is one of those costumes that’s great if you have a group but is also super recognizable if you’re flying solo. See what we did there? Flying? There’s a whole website dedicated to Wizard of Oz costumes, or you can make your own if you are so inclined. Here are a bunch of homemade Wizard of Oz costumes, for both children and adults, to get your creative juices flowing.

A Hard Day’s Night: Wear a mop top wig and a suit, and everyone will immediately recognize you as on of the Fab Four from The Beatles film A Hard Day’s Night. The Beatles are so popular that it’s pretty easy to find a replica of the suits they wore. Same goes for their wigs. Bonus points if you can put on a convincing Liverpool accent.

West Side Story: Yes, there is a new version of West Side Story coming out, but why not get inspired by the original 1961 film for your Halloween costume this year? If Rita Moreno was your favorite character in the movie, you’re not alone! Here’s a breakdown of her iconic lavender dress that can help you think about how to recreate the look. Rather dress as a Shark or a Jet? Or Maria? Here are a few more ideas to get your costume together.


If you’re looking to move away from the classic Halloween costumes to find something truly unique, check out the movie characters highlighted in Summer Movies by John Malahy. This book features a lot of favorites that make for great (and not overdone) Halloween costume ideas for 2021.

Dirty Dancing: Dirty Dancing might be the ultimate summer movie, but it can cross over to fall easily enough when it becomes the inspiration for your Halloween costume. Especially if you’re looking for a couple’s costume, dressing up as Baby and Johnny is a great idea that’s pretty easy to execute. Or if you’re dancing on your own, you can dress up as Baby, and people will still get the reference.

Caddyshack: Okay, another couple’s costume idea: Bill Murray and the gopher from Caddyshack. Pretty brilliant right? And another one that you won’t see everyone else doing. Or if you’re more into going to Rodney Dangerfield route, there are great costume options for that as well.

Moonrise Kingdom: Wes Anderson movies are filled with stylized costuming that’s perfect for recreating for Halloween costumes. And Moonrise Kingdom has plenty to pick from. Perhaps the most iconic look from the film is Suzy’s pink dress with the Peter Pan collar and knee-high socks. But Sam’s scout ensemble is pretty memorable too. Here are some suggestions for how to put this costume together on your own. And if you want more advice, here’s another take on their outfits.


For even more Halloween costumes for 2021 inspired by movies, we looked to Danger on the Silver Screen by Scott McGee.

The Blues Brothers: The best thing about costumes from The Blues Brothers? Everyone will know exactly who you are, and it doesn’t take much to get the look. Just get the hat, the glasses, the suit, and the attitude, and you’re good to go. Looking for some help to DIY this? Check out these suggestions.

The Matrix: The Matrix is another movie with costumes that are easy to recreate while also being easily identifiable. Really, it just involves a lot of black shiny clothing and a cool pair of glasses. Here’s a breakdown of how to DIY this unforgettable look.

Need even more inspiration to find your best Halloween adult costumes for 2021? Check out Must-See Musicals, Summer Movies, and Danger on the Silver Screen to find the perfect movie for you to recreate this year.