News & Politics

Here’s What Washingtonians Are Dressing Up as This Halloween

Judge robes and gavels are "in" this year. But it's not all about Brett Kavanaugh.

Photograph via iStock.

What might you see as you walk about this Halloween night, or when you open your door to trick-or-treaters?

Here’s one hint: Judge robes and gavels have been flying off the shelves at Total Party, one of the Washington area’s largest costume purveyors. Owner Lorenzo Caltagirone credits the interest to the contentious confirmation process of Justice Brett Kavanaugh. But don’t expect an army of mini-Bretts to roam the streets. According to Caltagirone, the Supreme Court justice that many of his customers want to dress up as is Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

Caltagirone took a few minutes during the Halloween-day rush to tell us about the other big costume trends of 2018.

On the pop culture front, the word on every costume-seeker’s mouth is, apparently, Fortnite. Furor over the online-video-game-turned-cultural-phenomenon swept through Total Party (according to Vogue, Fortnite—which came out last year—is the most searched-for costume this year on Google). Caltagirone is all out of Fortnite fashion.

Black Panther costumes are also in demand, as are costumes from Pixar and Disney’s The Incredibles franchise. “It’s great for families because everyone can dress up,” he says.

More random: Bears and mice ears have been a huge hit this year. “I’ve no idea why,” says Caltagirone. But, he adds, “It’s Halloween. We’ve heard it all.”

Over at Gene’s Costumes in Kensington, things have been more predictable. Leading the pack there are such classics as superhero costumes and eerie clowns. Have political costumes been in demand this year? “Not at all,” says manager Ginger Ager.

Probably for the best.

Lautaro Grinspan
Editorial Fellow