This Halloween, the trendiest costume is – literally – coming back from the dead. According to NRF’s 2011 Top Costumes survey, conducted by BIGresearch, more than 2.6 million men, women and children plan to dress as zombies this Halloween. Due to the popularity of the characters in recent books, television shows and video games, zombie costumes jumped from number 22 last year to number nine on children’s top costume list and from number seven to four on the adult list.

Americans are expected to spend $2.5 billion on Halloween costumes this year, according to an NRF survey, forking over $1 billion on children’s costumes, $1.2 billion on adult costumes, and $310 million on pet costumes. The average person will spend $72.31 on Halloween candy, costumes and décor, bringing total spending to $6.86 billion – the most in the survey’s nine-year history.

“Halloween isn’t just for kids anymore, as adults are just as likely to get in on the fun with clever, unique costumes,” said NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay. “With Halloween falling on a Monday, restaurants and retailers will benefit as many Americans celebrate all weekend long.”

As in previous years, traditional costumes still rank as consumer favorites. Witches (13.4%) will be the top choice for adults while pirates (3.9%) and vampires (3.7%) win out thanks to popular television, movie and pop-culture characters. Batman (2.2%), cats (2.2%) and vixens (2.1%) will also be popular with adults this year.

Even though Halloween is one month away, over 46 million children are already planning their specific costume. Pint-sized princesses (11%) continue their seven-year reign as the top children’s costume while other top choices for kids include Spiderman (3.1%), Batman (2.4%) and Superman (1.3%). Additionally, fairies (2.6%), Disney princesses (2.2%) and vampires (2.4%) made the top 10 for children.

Man’s best friend is also getting into the Halloween spirit this year. Like last year, the most popular pet costume will be a pumpkin (10.7%), with devils (8.1%) and hot dogs (6.0%) following closely behind. Ironically, some pet owners also plan to dress their pet up like a cat (3.7%) or a dog (2.0%).

Top Adult Costumes Top Children’s Costumes Top Pet Costumes
1. Witch 1. Princess 1. Pumpkin
2. Pirate 2. Witch 2. Devil
3. Vampire 3. Spiderman 3. Hot dog
4. Zombie 4. Pirate 4. Bee
5. Batman Character 5. Pumpkin 5. Cat
6. Cat 6. Fairy 6. Witch
7. Vixen 7. Action/Super hero 7. Bowties/Fancy Collars/Bandanas
8. Ghost 8(T). Batman 8. Pirate
9. Nurse 8(T). Vampire 9. Dog
10. Scary Costume/Mask 9(T). Disney Princess 10. Ghost
9(T). Zombies
10. Star Wars Characters

 

[Source:  “2011 Top Costumes survey.”  BIGresearch/National Retail Federation (NRF).  3 Oct. 2011.  Web.  3 Oct. 2011.]