Halloween is just around the corner, and while some people prefer to save money and make their costumes at home, the run up to October 31 is now one of the biggest for UK retail.
Retail analysts at Mintel predict that Brits will spend around £310 million on costumes and accessories this year, up 5% from £295 million in 2015.
Angels Fancy Dress, the UK’s longest-established costume company founded in London in 1840, said that sales have steadily increased with each Halloween.
In 2015, the company took £90,000 in sales at their Shaftesbury Avenue store on October 30, right before the big night.
Emma Angel, the fancy dress company’s director, told Business Insider that people have become more inventive with their costumes in a bid to stand out from the crowds.
She said that while children tend to stick with classic superhero costumes, “adults are definitely more creative.”
While costume trends for 2016 have been shaped by a variety of things, from US politics and current affairs to popular memes, the most in-demand costumes this Halloween (according to Angel) may surprise you.
From political humour to modern takes on classic fairy tales, see what people are planning to wear this year below.
1. Donald Trump and Boris Johnson
Whether its the EU referendum or the US election, politics has dominated conversations in the UK, and Angels has seen a surge in people asking for Donald Trump and Boris Johnson wigs in their central London stores.
2. Leon Trotsky
It’s not just right-wing politicians who are inspiring costumes. “One person wanted to put together a Trotsky outfit with an ice-pick through their head,” Angel said, “which might be a reflection of the Russian Communist’s return to the news agenda over recent months.”
A film called “The Chosen,” based on Trotsky’s final years in Mexico, was released in September 2016.
Emojis are more popular ever, according to Angel, “which shows the way in which tech has crossed over into the real world.”
4. Harambe the Gorilla
It wouldn’t be Halloween without some people pushing the boundaries. Angel said that Harambe the Gorilla has become 2016’s Cecil the Lion when it comes to costumes highlighting animal rights.
She said that bananas are also very popular at this time of year. “We’re not really sure why, though.”
6. Characters from Stranger Things
Stranger Things, which was released on Netflix in July 2016, has developed a huge following, and Angel predicts that a lot of people will want to dress like the characters. Angel said the sci-fi show has inspired “an 80s revival.”
Astronauts are a popular choice for children this year, according to Angel, who said this has a lot to do with Tim Peake becoming the first British astronaut to walk in space. “When someone becomes the first ever UK astronaut, that sort of event can have a big impact on sales,” Angel said.
8. Fictitious villains
As far as fictitious characters, Angel said: “If it’s a fairy tale character, there’s often a modern twist or the villains are more popular.”
Fashionable fictitious villains like Maleficent are set to be a hit with adults preparing for a Halloween party.