Halloween 2020: A tale of mullets, Mulan and medicine

Halloween 2020: A Tale Of Mullets, Mulan And Medicine

Published: 07/10/2020

In a year when things seemingly couldn't get any stranger, it appears Halloween could be yet another celebration halted by the spread of the coronavirus. However, with spooky season just around the corner, we decided to find out just how the UK plans to celebrate, and which costumes are set to be the most popular come the 31st of October.

To do this, we delved into our internal onsite search and sales data, and discovered that 'sexy nurse' outfits are set to be this year's most popular Halloween costume, followed by Joe Exotic and Mulan-inspired get-ups.

Interestingly, Joe Exotic's arch-nemesis Carol Baskin didn't finish within the top ten, with less than 720 onsite searches (less than 5% of Joe's searches...)

In order to rank each outfit option, our Fancy Dress department used a blend of sales and search data, to ascertain which Halloween looks the public have either been buying or looking to buy.

Tiger King


The top twenty most popular costumes this Halloween, and how many times they've been searched on OnBuy, are:

  1. Sexy Nurse - 18,561
  2. Joe Exotic - 18,179
  3. Mulan - 17,330
  4. Doctor - 16,529
  5. Joker - 16,505
  6. Hazmat Suit - 14,891
  7. Zombie - 14,274
  8. Schoolgirl - 13,710
  9. Karen - 13,583
  10. Catwoman - 13,569
  11. Purge - 12,314
  12. Vampire - 12,112
  13. IT clown - 11,909
  14. Skeleton - 11,721
  15. Money Heist - 11,715
  16. Chucky - 11,410
  17. Harley Quinn - 9,018
  18. Sexy cheerleader - 8,207
  19. Devil - 6,349
  20. Batman - 3,977

Pexels / Wilson Vitorino

Joe Exotic became a global sensation earlier in the year following the release of Tiger King, a Netflix original docuseries outlining the tiger-trade-trend in the United States. Joe has become a fan favourite, despite being in prison for allegedly trying to get the show's other protagonist, Carole Baskin, murdered.

Inspired by the 1998 cartoon, Disney recently released the Mulan live action remake of the cartoon with early access to Disney+ Subscribers who made a one off payment of $30, with the film scheduled for general release in December. The film has been widely revered as powerful and cinematically breathtaking, with interest spanning generations.

When looking at onsite sale and search data from the last 12 months, our Fancy Dress Department also discovered that searches and sales for 'sexy nurse' outfits had increased by more than 243% in March and April, when the UK Coronavirus lockdown began. In the six months since then, 'sexy nurse' outfits have remained the most searched for costume, except for the first week of May, when searches for Joe Exotic costumes were highest.

On top of this, we also conducted a survey of 1,000 of our customers to see how people were planning to celebrate Halloween in light of the COVID-19 lockdown restrictions. When asked whether they were going to be able to celebrate in their usual fashion this year, nearly all (96%) said 'no'. However, more than three quarters (78%) said they still planned to celebrate virtually with friends and family.

Cas Paton, founder and CEO of OnBuy, said,

"In one of the most tumultuous years I can remember in my lifetime, it's no surprise that the majority of people's plans have been altered for this year's Halloween celebrations. However, we have actually seen a rise in the number of searches and sales for costumes this year, perhaps living with lockdown restrictions for six months has encouraged more people to celebrate in whatever way they can, come late October!

"When you look at the list of the top costumes in the UK, it's unsurprising to see Joe Exotic on the list, however it was interesting to see medical professionals feature highly - it seems as if the attention they received throughout the pandemic has resulted in a newfound interest in their attire! We have thousands of fancy dress products on the site, and it's always insightful to see how each one is performing!"

Modified on 2021-11-30

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