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Hot for 2018 Halloween: Unique Costumes & Thrift Store Shopping

Oct 19, 2018

ROCHESTER, NY - Americans of all ages are most excited to wear unique, one-of-a-kind costumes this Halloween season, and thrift stores are the number one place where shoppers plan to find materials for their do-it-yourself ensembles, according to the 2018 Goodwill® Halloween Poll.

Participants in this year’s survey responded to a series of online questions about Halloween costumes and decorating habits. More than half (56 percent) of respondents said at least one person or pet in their family/household will be wearing a costume this Halloween, while 53 percent said they will decorate their home this Halloween.

Among other survey results:

  • The most popular costume style among respondents who plan to dress up this Halloween is a unique, one-of-a-kind costume (25 percent), followed by costumes that are funny (19 percent), scary or gory (17 percent), cute (15 percent) and sexy (14 percent).
  • Costumes based on pop culture trends and characters from movies, TV shows and books (40 percent) are more popular among those who will dress up than classic costumes such as witches and werewolves (29 percent), animals (14 percent) and professions (8 percent). Political or historical costumes are the least popular type, at just 5 percent.
  • Couples and group costumes are in this year. More than half of respondents who plan to dress up (57 percent) say they’ll coordinate their costume with one or more people.
  • Ten percent of respondents say they will dress up their pet for Halloween, a trend that’s particularly popular among millennials, with 15 percent in that demographic group saying their pet will wear a costume.
  • Online networks are driving how people dress up, with a majority of people (69 percent) who prefer DIY costumes naming social media or other websites as the place they look for ideas and inspiration. Pinterest (40 percent) is the most popular platform for DIY costume inspiration, followed by YouTube (27 percent) and Facebook (23 percent).
  • Among those who prefer DIY costumes, the most popular places to shop for materials are thrift stores, at 52 percent.

“Every year we love seeing shoppers stream into our Goodwill stores to find creative ways to put together their own Halloween costumes,” said Mary Boland, Vice President of Communications. “Whether you’re shopping for a superhero costume or assembling your own innovative outfit from scratch, Goodwill is the place to come for all of your Halloween costumes and decorating needs.”

Ready to get started? Head over to to explore creative costume ideas, DIY decorations, makeup tutorials and more. Then find everything you need at your nearest Goodwill retail location. Don’t forget to share your creations on social media using #GOODWILLFLX and #GOODWILLHALLOWEEN. 



About the Goodwill National Halloween Poll
The 2018 Goodwill National Halloween Poll was conducted by Engine, an independent research organization, for Goodwill Industries International. The online poll took place from September 4–9, 2018, and included a sample size of 2,005 self-selected adults. Responses were weighted by age, gender, geographic region, race, and education.