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Halloween 2015: Best and worst ideas for topical costumes

Beau Yarbrough (@LBY3) shared this Minecraft-themed costume. If you take a closer look, this axe was not pixelated in post-production.
Photo by Beau Yarbrough
Beau Yarbrough (@LBY3) shared this Minecraft-themed costume. If you take a closer look, this axe was not pixelated in post-production.

Halloween costumes based on cultural phenomena or current events are almost always a hit...assuming they're done tastefully.We'll talk about the best and worst ideas for topical Halloween costumes in 2015.

Halloween is the time of year when everything is pumpkin spice-flavored, parents let their kids knock on complete strangers' doors requesting  candy, and full-grown adults find new, creative, and sometimes offensive ways to turn news events and cultural phenomena from the previous nine months into costumes bound to get hundreds of Instagram likes.

In terms of providing the news events and cultural phenomena upon which to base said costumes, 2015 did a pretty bang-up job. ‘The Dress’ invaded our social media worlds in early 2015, dividing the Internet into two sides at odds over the color of a dress (it’s blue and black, by the way), Pizza Ratcaptured our hearts in his dogged pursuit of reaching the bottom of the subway stairs with a full slice of pie in tow, and Spokane, Washington NAACP president Rachel Dolezal touched off an Internet-wide conversation about identity after she said she considers herself to be African-American, despite her Caucasian parents claiming she’s white too.

And this is just a sampling of some of the things that are ripe for costuming this year. Other potentially popular get-ups this year could be Caitlyn Jenner, the Minnesota dentist who killed Cecil the Lion, and even (yes, still) ‘Left Shark’ from Katy Perry’s Super Bowl halftime performance.

What do you think are the best topical Halloween costumes for 2015? Are you going out as something topical from 2015? Which cultural phenomena or important events are acceptable to embody in a costume and which ones aren’t? How does one make that distinction?

Vote for your favorites on the list below (created by Ranker user Jacob Shelton) and share your ideas in the comments!

In need of a last-minute costume idea? Check out KPCC's list of costumes you can pull together the day of Halloween and will be sure to impress your news-junkie friends.

The Most Creative & Topical Halloween Costumes for 2015


Todd VanDerWerff, culture editor for He tweets

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