Halloween is one of the few seasonal occasions where tshirt creators really don’t need to make any guesses about the moods and mindsets of Halloween fanatics.

Some of the biggest brands and companies in the Halloween industry spend a fortune researching and projecting what themes, niches, and styles will be hot this coming Halloween.

Although we must always be careful to avoid infringing on trademarks and copyrights in the Halloween niche, if you want to know what’s percolating on the costume scene at any point between now and Halloween, there are several places to look for prevailing themes (not merely copycat opportunities).

Here are four to kick start your research.

• Rubie’s: https://www.rubies.com/
• California Costumes: https://californiacostumes.com/
• Spirit Halloween: https://www.spirithalloween.com/
• Halloween Costumes: https://www.halloweencostumes.com/

Looking at a given year’s emerging Halloween themes and styles is a very effective and lucrative strategy. A few years ago, some of the country’s top costume companies were starting to focus heavily on generic horror sea creatures (scary mermaids, killer sharks, skeleton fish, etc.) and I quickly started to follow suit, scoring some tremendous Halloween season sales successes as a result of capitalizing on creative leads born of the data these companies indirectly share with us by previewing their research-driven Halloween costume and novelty item catalogs.

Despite seasonal shifts in Halloween tastes from year to year, there are many costume themes that will never go out of style. They include:

Obviously, we’re not in the costume business. But we are in the tshirt business. And “costume tshirts” are huge sellers on MBA.

Every single costume niche described above is capable of driving sales of costume tshirts. And if you think this effort requires elaborate, high-quality graphic designs, you are definitely mistaken.

The most important thing I’ve learned about the vast majority of Halloween aficionados is that they are remarkably uncomplicated in their apparel preferences. Put differently, some of Halloween’s most hardcore devotees are more inclined to pass on the beautifully designed haunted house tshirt and, instead, purchase a text-based tshirt with clip art of a fire hydrant that reads “This is My Fire Hydrant Costume.”

The key to selling costume tees? Focus on inanimate objects (clip art, especially) within niches that tend to have strong buying audiences. For example, the food niche is one of the biggest on Amazon. And it consistently drives sales of costume tees. Yet, remarkably, there are some very popular specific food niches that have little costume competition.

Remember, clip art rules the day in costume tees. Have clip art of a lamp? Traffic sign? A llama? All of these graphics can be used to sell costume tshirts. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that simplicity is ineffective with regard to Halloween, when in fact, it’s the most powerful element in the entire costume tee niche market.