So you don't feel like dressing up like a sexy sea monkey or scantily clad nun? Good for you! Halloween is a time to be whatever you want, and even though there are so many “sexy” costume options out there it’s kind of ridiculous, (sexy slice of pizza or sexy lobster, anyone?), they definitely aren’t your only options. Not even close. Why not embrace the beauty of powerful, game-changing women with one of these awesome feminist Halloween costumes instead?
Some of the most remarkable women of the past century weren't waltzing around in skintight dresses and skimpy bikinis. In fact, most of them can be found in timeless pieces that never go out of style (and are still totally sexy without being completely over-the-top). On top of all that, they're still the most bad ass women in the vicinity. Be a historical figure, be an activist, be a fictional character for heaven's sake. The possibilities are seriously endless.
Here are 10 suggestions for feminist Halloween costumes for those of us who just don’t feel like dressing up as a sexy kitten this year. They’re really fun, really inspiring, and really easy to make. Now go get it, girl.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg
Ruth Bader Ginsburg is a long-standing female member of The Supreme Court, as well as a strong pro-choice advocate for women. Basically, she’s getting stuff done. To pull off the Ginsburg look, dress in a black, judge-like gown, with the appropriate neck piece. Pull back your hair, and find some thin-framed glasses to finish off the ensemble. Or, do what Ruth Bader Ginsburg does herself, and pick up one of these Notorious R.B.G. t-shirts.
You can’t watch Mad Men and not root for Peggy Olson. Well, I guess you can, but you really shouldn’t. Peggy is just as good as the men in her business, and she knows it. Find a 1960s office outfit that’s bright, patterned and “well-fitting.” Add a colorful scarf, flip out your hair, and voila, you’re Pegs!
Coco Chanel began her life in poverty and worked hard throughout her youth to eventually become a leading lady in the fashion industry. She was also one of the first designers to embrace bringing menswear design into women’s clothing. Make like Coco, and find your best tweed blazer. Wear it on top of a cream silk dress with some layered pearls and a classic quilted bag, if you own one.
Hillary Clinton has been one of the most active First Ladies of the United States, and has gone above and beyond as both a United States Senator and Secretary of State. Though she might not have won the ticket at the 2008 election, she’s certainly one of the most notable and respected female politicians of our time. All hail Hillary. To achieve her business-minded look, wear a crisp, bright blazer with matching trousers. Top the look off with a short blonde wig and short-chained necklace.
Olivia Pope (from ABC’s Scandal) is a woman with power plays all the way up her sleeves. In addition to being a purposeful crisis manager in the political game, she’s also a style icon of sorts. There’s no one way to capture Pope’s fashion sense, but you certainly can’t go wrong with a wide-armed trench coat in a neutral shade with some long, creamy gloves. For your bottom half, throw on some wide-legged trousers and pumps.
Nothing says sophisticated like Anna Wintour, and when it comes to declaring the queen of women’s fashion (and subsequently, women’s consumerism), she’s your girl. To get the cool Wintour aesthetic, don’t skimp on finding that perfectly coiffed wig. Once you’ve got that, find a classy, patterned dress that goes about knee-length, a bold statement necklace, and of course, some giant black sunglasses.
Image: Boston Public Library/Flickr
What would women have done without Margaret Sanger? Sanger was one of the most outspoken women when it came to fighting for women’s right to birth control, and she also founded Planned Parenthood. Now that’s a smart lady. Dress like her in a light winter coat with a faux fur neckline, and a small lady’s hat. If you really want to go all out, hand out birth control to all party guests.
Red from OITNB
Red runs the jailhouse in the popular Netflix series Orange Is the New Black, and she’s not afraid to assert her authority. While she may be a tad self-indulgent at times, she’s got a heart underneath her tough disposition, and she’s in it to win it not just for herself, but for the women she cares about. A white chef’s coat will do just fine, as well as some reading glasses hanging around your neck with a purple lanyard. And don’t forget the brilliantly red hair and lips. After all, they call her “Red” for a reason.