Whether it’s Trick or Treating, dooking for apples, or watching our favourite horror films, as October 31st approaches we will be starting to prepare for our Halloween traditions. One of the most important of these traditions is picking out a Halloween costume.

Choosing a Halloween Costume

Dressing up in our costumes is a vital aspect of our Halloween celebrations, and with so many to choose from picking out the perfect costume can prove to be difficult. So how do we choose who or what we would like to dress up as, and what can our choices of costume say about us?

Whether you prefer a frightening costume, a character from a fairy tale, or a superhero, our Halloween costumes allow us to be someone or something different. We can express ourselves in a way that we wouldn’t normally have the opportunity to. Halloween is celebrated by children and adults alike, and even our pets can get involved with their own specially-made costumes.

What do our chosen Halloween costumes say about us?

There are distinct categories of costumes, from scary characters such as witches and vampires, to pop culture figures, such as our favourite pop stars or characters from films. Some psychologists have suggested that our choice of costume can reflect our personalities.

For example, expressing our dark side is one of the factors that have been suggested as an explanation for our choice of Halloween costume. Wearing a mask, a cape, or covering our faces in fake blood and scars allow us to be more sinister characters, which could appeal to a side of our personalities that we cannot express under everyday circumstances.

Another explanation for our choice of costume may be found in our desire to be attractive to others. Halloween is an event in which we can show off our physical attributes in a way that is less likely to be viewed as “inappropriate”, as it becomes part of our chosen costumes.

dog with halloween background
trick or treating

Expressing our Creative Side

Halloween costumes also allow us to express our creative side. Making our costumes can appeal to our artistic selves, and the knowledge that we have made our costume can give us a sense of achievement.

Our costumes can also be a way of communicating and socialising with others. Costumes can be a great way to start a conversation, and there is much enjoyment to be had in comparing our costumes to those of our friends and families.

What do you think?

So whether you wish to express your dark or creative sides, or simply want your Halloween celebrations to act as a method of conversing and bonding with friends and family, your choice of costume can contribute to your enjoyment of Halloween.

Written by Jennifer McElroy, The Green Rooms Psychology Assistant