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Prisoners or pirates: Halloween 2023's top 5 most basic costumes

Next time you go to Spirit Halloween, try not to get the first thing you see off the rack. – Photo by PeteStacman24 / Wikimedia

October 31 only comes once a year and is a prime opportunity to showcase some creativity and dress up as something outlandish, comical or genuinely scary.

But it usually turns out that people opt for the same costumes year after year or just wear whatever is in stock at Party City.

If you want to stand out on Halloween, avoid these five costume options that everyone is sick of seeing on their social media feed or out on the town.


While "Barbie" was arguably one of the most popular movies of the year, too many people jumped on the trend. It is hard to stand out when everyone is wearing the same blonde wig (if applicable) and pink outfit.

It is kind of ironic how some of the film's main themes center around feminism and being yourself, and yet every person ends up looking the same when they dress in stereotypical Barbie's cowboy or roller-skating getup.

Although this costume can be quick and easy, the spirit of Halloween is about being creative and standing out. In reality, dressing up as stereotypical Barbie can reaffirm unrealistic and problematic beauty standards for women like being blonde and skinny. If we want to move away from dangerous stereotypes, it is time to move away from Barbie, once and for all.


This choice of costume is one of the most confusing. Dressing up as someone who is in prison reads as a bit insensitive, especially considering that you get to take the "costume" off at the end of the day.

One can argue that this costume is an easy option. All you need is an orange jumpsuit and perhaps some accessories but the overall concept may feed into dangerous stereotypes, especially given the U.S.'s history of mass incarceration.

The prisoner costume can be made into a partner costume with a friend dressing up as a police officer, but this treads on being even more problematic. Partner costumes have the potential to be super fun and creative, and they shouldn't be wasted on something like this.

Disney Princess

While walking down College Avenue, you are bound to see a group of friends wearing some version of a Disney princess costume. Similar to the partner costume, a group costume has the potential to be fun, creative and comedic.

Although a Disney princess costume might have been endearing in elementary school, it is a bit odd to see a bunch of adults dressed as characters marketed toward children.

If you want to go with the Disney Princess theme, maybe consider a group costume that encompasses all characters from a movie instead of just princesses across several films. For example, a "Tangled"-themed group costume is a great opportunity to have someone dress as Rapunzel, Flynn Rider, Rapunzel's evil mother Gothel and Pascal.

Sports Player

While it is understandable to want a quick and easy costume, especially as an adult, wearing a jersey should not count. People wear jerseys all the time, even if they aren't watching the game, so there is no way that should actually count as impersonating a specific player.

If you really want to be a specific athlete for Halloween, at least throw on the full uniform, with a helmet, cleats or a bat. Sound like too much effort? That's the point.

There needs to at least be some form of minimal effort into making your costume. That's what makes it a costume. Throwing a jersey over your head is far too similar to any other day.


To be fair, the pirate costume does have the potential to be fun and creative especially if someone throws on a funny mustache or uses a cool prop, like a parrot or monocular (the telescope thing pirates look through).

But, unfortunately, one too many pirates have been seen on College Avenue this year. At the end of the day, it is okay to wear basic costumes on Halloween, especially if you are not a fan of Halloween or in a rush.

On the other hand, if you like to go all out on Halloween, avoid these five choices or risk looking like everyone else.

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