6 Smart Halloween Costume Ideas for Thoughtful Girls

Girl, I'm not saying you can't be a sexy cat for the third year in a row. As a contributing member of our shallow, image-obsessed society, it's your right and your privilege. I'm just saying that if you wanted to shake things up this year and go as something a little more thoughtful (I say "academic," you say "hipster")... well, here are some ideas to get you started.

PS: If you want to costume up as a classic smart-girl icon like Virginia Woolf or Janis Joplin, more power to ya, but these costumes were inspired by ladies who are making things happen today.

Anna Dello Russo

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Who? "Fashion maniac," according to Helmut Newton. Editor-at-large and creative consultant for Vogue Japan; reigning queen of street-style; once said she needed $50,000 a day for her Fashion Week outfits and maybe wasn't joking.

Perfect for girls who: ...have a deeper, more meaningful connection with fashion than with real people.

The ADR look: An insane hat. Statement heels. Straightened, side-parted hair. Tan. Outfit: something feathered and/or belted. Major accessories.

Zadie Smith

Who? The coolest female writer working today. First lady of hysterical realism.

Perfect for girls who: ...read in coffee shops. People-watch. Think brains are sexy, but not in a zombie-like way.

The Zadie Smith look: Turban. Glasses. Super-defined cheekbones. On Beauty, White Teeth, or NW tucked under one arm. ("Zombie Zadie Smith" would also be an amazing costume idea.)

Image: @eleanorefrances/Instagram

Tavi Gevinson

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Who? That 17-year-old who's so much more successful than you. Writer/blogger/style icon/founder of Rookie.

Perfect for girls who: ...kind of have a manic pixie dream girl vibe, but would be offended if you called them a manic pixie dream girl.

The Tavi look: Super-short bangs. Pastel hair (dry shampoo, hair chalk, or a wig). Ugly-chic shoes. Outfit: a mix of vintage, grunge, and Rodarte.

St. Vincent

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Who? The super-pretty, super artsy songbird who has yet to have a poorly-titled album.

Perfect for girls who: ...sing their feelings, but aren't cliché about it.

The St. Vincent look: Super-curly hair. Red lipstick. Extremely defined cheekbones, brows, and eyes. Slightly skeletal features. A guitar.


Who? Jessa from Girls, Spencer Hastings from Pretty Little Liars, Claire Underwood from House of Cards, Olivia Pope from Scandal, and so on and so forth.

Perfect for girls who: ...just get it. Or at least who secretly think they "get it" more than anyone else in their friend group.

The look: Jessa: sexy/boho European dress, major attitude. Spencer: sexy/preppy dress, major attitude. Claire: jaw-droppingly perfect black (or white, but not both) dress, major attitude. Olivia: super-tailored suit, major attitude.

Image: @liarsforeverandalways/Instagram

Christy Walton

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Who? The world's richest woman. Daughter-in-law of Sam Walton, who founded Walmart.

Perfect for girls who: ...love money or want to make an ironic commentary on the perils of money.

The Christy Walton look: Very, very curly blonde hair. (Use your smallest curling iron.) Smily-face Walmart pins. Outfit: mother-of-the-bride chic. Accessorize with a rant about the evils of Walmart, or just a huge bag of cash.

Iris Apfel

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Who? Um, the coolest woman of all time. 92 years and more fabulous than anyone else ever.

Perfect for girls who: ...love life, color, self-expression, ginormous accessories, and red lipstick.

The Iris look: Huge, round black glasses. Red lipstick. White hair (major dry shampoo or baby powder). Bracelets up to your elbows. Huge necklaces and huge rings, preferably in turquoise. Oversized, bohemian-printed tunics. A fur or two.