11 Halloween Costumes Inspired By '60s Pop Culture

The 1960s are remembered as a time of political and cultural change. Anti-war protests rocked the nation, and Civil Rights activists made major political headway. Though 1965 ushered in The Voting Rights Act and 1968 saw The Fair Housing Act, the nation suffered, mourning leaders like Malcolm X, JFK, and Martin Luther King (via History). The 1960s also marked a period of technological advancement — Neil Armstrong became the first man to walk on the moon in 1969 (via Royal Museums Greenwich). Author Joan Didion wrote about it all in "The White Album."

The 1960s also saw the mass success of boy bands like The Beatles — these chart-topping groups stirred-up skepticism amongst older generations, per Rolling Stone. According to 1960s music reporter Aaron Aronowitz, The Beatles were "regarded by parents as nothing more than noise," music disregarded due to its mass appeal to the teenage crowd (via The Saturday Evening Post). This long-gone decade is still the subject of much fascination — many consider the 1960s to be the last years of Hollywood's Golden Age, per Harper's Bazaar. If you're hoping to pay your respects to 1960s pop culture moments this Halloween, here are our picks for top decade-defining costumes.  

Moon landing

In 1969, Apollo 11 safely landed Neil Armstrong and, shortly thereafter, Buzz Aldrin on the moon. The words, "That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind" were heard by millions tuning in to the live TV broadcast (via History). To recreate the historic moon landing this Halloween, gear up in a not-quite NASA approved astronaut gear. Though the costume won't protect you outside of our atmosphere, it'll certainly help you pay homage to an unforgettable 1960s moment.

The Beatles

There are few groups more famous than The Beatles. With 1960s hits like "I Want to Hold Your Hand" and "Yesterday," John, Paul, Ringo, and George even made five films throughout their storied careers (via NME). Though The Beatles split up in 1970 amid much controversy, they'll always be remembered for their experimental hits and shaggy hair, per History. To get the band back together this Halloween, you'll need three friends, a bright overcoat, pinstripes, and maybe some sideburns — check out some of The Beatles' best looks for inspiration.

Girl group trio

Bands like The Supremes, The Ronettes, and The Shirelles (among plenty others) revolutionized the music industry with powerful harmonies and unforgettable style throughout the 1960s, per The Guardian. Hits like "Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow," initially recorded by The Shirelles, are still popular half a century later, covered over the years by the likes of Carol King and Amy Winehouse. If you're part of an inseparable friendship trio, consider emulating a 1960s girl group this Halloween — no singing talent necessary. To achieve the look, you'll want bold colors, bold hair, and maybe some matching choreography.

The Flintstones

The Flintstones were TV's favorite modern Stone Age family. First airing in 1960, the show followed Fred and Wilma Flintstone as well as their neighbors, Barney and Betty Rubble, as they navigated prehistoric times with all the wit and witticisms of a modern day suburban sitcom (via USA Today). To bring it back to the Stone Ages this Halloween, you'll need something akin to Fred's famous orange tunic, Wilma's white dress, and a classic 1960s bouffant (if you want to take it to the next level). Happy hunting, watch out for stray dinosaurs!

Star Trek

Neil Armstrong may have walked on the moon, but Captain Kirk and his crew went further than that. The USS Enterprise crew adventured with a specific goal: "to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no man has gone before," per Britannica. On the ship, fans were introduced to characters like Mr. Spock, Lieutenant Uhura, and Mr. Sulu (among others). The Star Trek crew is perfect for an out-of-this-world group costume, but any of the characters will work as an individual Halloween look, too. Just remember: "Live long and prosper."

Flower Power

The 1960s Flower Power movement centered around pacifism and "loving your neighbor," according to How Stuff Works. Amid plenty of psychedelics, fringe, and tie dye, baby boomers (labeled "hippies") rebelled against rigid norms that dominated the 1950s. To embody this countercultural movement 60 years later, you probably won't have to look much further than your own closet. Bell bottom jeans (which are back in style), a bright tee, and long headband should complete the look. You also can't go wrong with a flower-patterned dress or even a jumpsuit.

Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds

Tippi Hedren stars in Alfred Hitchcock's 1963 horror classic, "The Birds" (via IMDb). Based on a story by "Rebecca" author Daphne du Maurier, "The Birds" is a slow-building horror flick that follows what would happen if birds suddenly started attacking humans, per The Hollywood Reporter. To dress up like Hedren (who happens to be Dakota Johnson's legendary grandmother) this year, you'll need a vintage pale green suit, a string of pearls, and maybe a malicious crow at your back. 

Sonny and Cher

With hits like "I Got you, Babe" and "The Beat Goes On," Sonny and Cher were a 1960s power couple. Though the pair eventually divorced in 1975, they'll forever be remembered as an iconic musical duo, per History. Cher went on to have an uber-successful solo recording and acting career, even winning an Oscar for her 1988 performance in "Moonstruck," per IMDb. For a Sonny and Cher-themed couple's costume, take inspiration from the pair's most iconic fashion moments. A hint: It's all about bell bottoms, faux fur, and bangs.

Muhammad Ali

Muhammad Ali, born Cassius Clay, is perhaps the most influential athlete of the 20th century, per The New York Times. Not only was he a heavyweight boxing champion — the best in the world, no less — but he's also remembered for his years of political activism (via NPR). To pay your respects to the icon that is Muhammad Ali this season, you'll want boxing gloves, shorts, a robe, and an air of victory. As the famous Muhammad Ali quote reads, "Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee." 

Andy Warhol pop art

Andy Warhol made soup cool. The artist is known for his trademark pop art style, creating iconic works like "Campbell's Soup Cans" and "Marilyn Diptych" in 1962 (via Tate). Warhol was also the founder of Interview Magazine, which is still alive and well today. To reference the famous artist this Halloween, dawn a white wig and clear-framed glasses. Complete the look with a black, Steve Jobs-esque turtle neck. Or, if you're feeling adventurous, bring Warhol's pop art to life — for example, use makeup to recreate one of the many bright faces of the "Marilyn Diptych."

Simon and Garfunkel

Simon and Garfunkel took the 1960s music scene by storm with, quite simply, "The Sound of Silence." The duo wrote hits like "I Am a Rock" and "Mrs. Robinson," the latter of which was composed specifically for 1967's "The Graduate," per Simon & Garfunkel. To dress up like the musical pair this Halloween, try recreating one of their iconic album covers, turtlenecks and all. Or, honor "The Graduate" by dressing up like one of the film's famous characters. Whatever the case, make sure to bring along parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme — per "Scarborough Fair."