Take Back Halloween Has the Coolest Costume Ideas

"A costume guide for women with imagination." That's how Take Back Halloween bills itself — and it totally delivers. It was created in 2011 by writer/feminist Suzanne Scoggins, who also happens to have a background in theater and women's history — and the costumes definitely reflect that.

The site is divided into four categories: Glamour Grrls, Goddesses and Legends, Notable Women, and Queens (about which the site jokes, "to heck with princesses"), and you'll find everyone from old Halloween standby Audrey Hepburn to more creative ensembles inspired by Eleanor of Aquitane.

And if all that weren't enough? Each costume idea comes with a detailed guide on how to create the costume at a low cost (my personal favorite tip is spray painting a longline strapless bra bronze to act as a Viking warrior breastplate).

Another cool feature of Take Back Halloween is its attention to inclusivity: there are costumes aimed at all nationalities and backgrounds — and as someone who thoroughly baffled her sophomore class by dressing as Asian American Elizabeth Bennet, I really appreciate that. I'm not saying that I should feel obligated to dress as Anna May Wong as opposed to Grace Kelly, or as Japanese sun goddess Amaterasu as opposed to Viking warrior queen Freya — but it sure is nice to have the option.

Are you stumped for this Halloween? Here are some of my favorite ideas from the site!


I'd never heard of Kiyohime before, but now I want nothing more than to dress as a dragon in a kimono.

Josephine Baker

You can try, but I don't think you can beat Josephine Baker when it comes to fabulousness factor.

Hedy Lamarr

Okay, I'm already eating my words, because genius inventor/movie star Hedy Lamarr can definitely give Josephine Baker a run for her money!

Rosalind Franklin

Pay homage to Rosalind Franklin this Halloween — she certainly deserves it, after getting jilted from the Nobel Peace Prize as a major contributor to the discovery of DNA's now-famous double helix structure (I'll never forgive Watson and Crick!!!).

Marie Curie

Ooh, if you like scientists, why not take Marie Curie for a whirl? Add some phosphorescent glow to your costume to really drive the whole radiation point home.

Murasaki Shikibu

I've been a huge fan of hers ever since I had to read The Tale of Genji (as 1200+ pages, it was the summer reading to end all summer reading), and this costume is just plain cool.

Images: Take Back Halloween (7)