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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
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Buying guide for Best Halloween costumes for men

If you’ve been invited to a themed Halloween party or want a goofy costume to wear while greeting trick-or-treaters at the door, there is a huge selection of men’s Halloween costumes to choose from.

Characters from recent and classic TV shows and movies are always a safe choice, though you run the risk of becoming just one among many of the same characters at the party. Novelty costumes are unique and entertaining. And then there are the classic costumes like pirates, Bigfoot, or cowboys that never go out of style. Finding the right costume depends on your personal taste and how complex (or cumbersome) a costume you want to wear.

There are many Halloween costumes for men to choose from for every budget. It might take a bit of research to find a costume that’s memorable, comfortable, and affordable, but a good buying guide and some recommendations can get you started.

three men in Halloween costumes singing
Dressing up as a character you already look a bit like can be fun, and it might mean you don’t have to buy makeup or a wig.

How to buy the best Halloween costume for men

The best place to start is to decide what character you want to be and how elaborate of a costume you want, which has a big impact on price.

Costume theme

If you’re going to a Halloween party with a specific theme, your options might be more limited. Otherwise, you should pick a theme or character that appeals to you and that people will recognize (unless you’re going for a deep cut or obscure reference, of course).

Couples costumes are a classic choice if you’re going with a date, and there are countless iconic duos from film and TV to choose from. You can also pair literary characters like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde or Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy.

Pop culture references are easily recognizable, which saves you the trouble of explaining your costume to everyone. Movie and TV characters are entertaining, but you run the risk of being one of many if you choose a character that’s currently trending. Iconic celebrity costumes like David Bowie and Elvis work well too.

Novelty costumes usually center around a gag or familiar character and are often inexpensive. Many are inflatable costumes that create an illusion, such as a person riding a T-rex. Try the costume on before the party so you know how comfortable and maneuverable it is.

Simple vs. complex

The design of the costume can determine how comfortable you’ll be over the course of the evening.

Simple costumes that feature a few key items like a hat, shirt, and prop are often inexpensive and don’t require much effort to get right. Some options are quite clever in their minimalism and allow you to get into character easily. However, your effort runs the risk of appearing half-hearted! But if you just want to enjoy yourself while getting into the Halloween spirit, a basic option might suit you well.

Complex costumes that require face paint or include gigantic props can be challenging to get into and maneuver in, but they have a bigger impact. In some cases, people might not even recognize you. For the diehard Halloween enthusiast, this is a great way to go if you’re comfortable spending a bit more for your impressive getup.

If you’re up for it, getting into character lends even more verisimilitude to your costume.

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Features to look for in Halloween costumes for men

Think about the individual parts of the costume as well as the overall design before you buy. Holding a prop like a fake sword all night can be tiresome, as can navigating in a massive dinosaur suit. Or these things might be part of the fun for you.

Inflatable vs. traditional

Inflatable costumes have increased in popularity because of their simplicity and generally low price, but traditional costumes are usually easier to get into and wear for long periods.

Inflatable: These costumes can be a lot of fun. They’re silly and hard to miss, and the polyester material is usually quite durable. They cover your whole body and are usually made of a single piece. Inflated by a fan that you’ll have to keep running the whole time, these costumes require batteries. Also, there’s no ventilation, so you can get very hot.

Traditional: These costumes come in a wide range of styles and may include hats, masks, props, shirts, pants, shoes, and even onesies. Most of the time, these costumes aren’t as bulky as inflatables and tend to have less of a “novelty” look.

Masks

A mask can quickly render you unrecognizable as you and easily identifiable as your character.

Full masks cover your whole head. They’re usually made of latex. A high-quality full mask can be startling and effective. Sometimes it’s all you need for a costume. Helmets also fall into this category if your character usually wears one, such as many favorites from Star Wars. They’re also a good choice if you’ll be wearing an N95 mask since it will be covered. Full masks are a classic choice, but they are by far the least comfortable. They can get quite hot when worn for extended periods.

Partial masks cover only the upper or lower half of your face or your whole face but leave the rest of your head exposed. Most of them can be easily removed to eat or drink. While these masks are usually fairly comfortable, take a look at the strap. Opt for a thicker elastic strap because it will fit more comfortably around the back of your head.

Props

Not all costumes come with props, but those that do can make your outfit look more realistic. Props include swords (pirates, samurai, knights), guns (cowboys, spies, action heroes), sunglasses (hippies, secret service agents), microphones (rock stars), or a variety of other amusing items.

If you opt for a costume with a prop, note what it’s made of and how durable it is. If it’s something you’ll have to hold, choose something small that can be tucked in a corner when you get tired of holding it or need both hands for food and drinks.

two males in Halloween costumes
DID YOU KNOW?
One of the most important costume parts to try on ahead of time is the footwear. You want shoes that go with the costume, but only if they’re comfortable.
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How much do Halloween costumes for men cost?

Inexpensive

Novelty costumes cost about $15 to $30 and include simple masks, onesies, and inflatable suits. If you’re just looking to participate without making a statement, one of these is a great choice and can look surprisingly good.

Mid-range

Spend $30 to $80 and you’ll find more elaborate costumes, many depicting popular characters. These often include a shirt or jacket, pants, and a few props for a convincing costume.

Expensive

Elaborate, realistic, high-end costumes that approach cosplay quality cost from $80 to $600 and more. Some of these look like the real deal, but the high price can be difficult to justify unless you plan to wear the costume often.

Wear something thin and light under an inflatable costume. Since the costume has no ventilation, it can be quite hot, although this can be an advantage if the weather is cold.

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Tips

  • Do your research. If you’ve decided to buy a costume, it’s possible someone else (or several people) is going as the same character. But you can minimize the duplication by doing some online research to determine how popular a certain character is during this particular Halloween season.
  • Try the costume on before Halloween. Just because you opted for a simple costume of a mask and spandex shirt doesn’t mean they’ll fit. Try everything on before Halloween to make sure the pieces are comfortable. And wear them for an extended period. You could find that the mask becomes uncomfortably hot or that it has an unappealing smell. Or the inflated design is too cumbersome. It’s better to learn these things when you still have time to find a new costume.
  • Bring a change of clothes. Even if your costume is comfortable, you might grow tired of it as the night goes on. Bring a spare outfit you can change into.
a group in Halloween costumes
If you know you’ll be outside, choose a costume based on the weather. Shorts and a vest won’t work in the cold, and a onesie or inflatable might be suffocating in the heat.

FAQ

Q. If a costume doesn’t fit, can I return it?

A. That depends on the retailer and the brand. If you’re worried about fit or comfort, read the return policy before you buy.

Q. Can Halloween costumes be culturally inappropriate?

A. Yes. You should avoid costumes that portray real-world cultures that are not your own. Even though Halloween costumes are just for fun, playing “dress up” as another culture can be offensive.

Q. When is the best time to buy a Halloween costume?

A. The earlier the better. You will have far more choices and you might even find what you’re looking for on sale. If you really like to plan ahead, you can shop in the days after the holiday for the chance to find next year’s Halloween costume for men at a huge discount.

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