So it’s almost Halloween, and you’re still trying to decide on the perfect outfit. You’re looking for something to feel good in, and you have an allergy to the “sexy” whatever costume outlets are pushing this year. You want to take a turn as a recognizable character, but one who’s multidimensional, badass, and a woman of consequence.
You’ve come to the right place! We’ve got 5 choices for your consideration, along with notes for how best to do your makeup and hair. These characters are all classic, whether they hit our screens in 1996 or 2016. (Or comic book pages in 1941.) Let’s get to it:
Wonder Woman is a figure synonymous with justice and equality. This classic character is back in the mainstream again, thanks to the DCU movies - even if Snyder likes to suck all the color out of his films. Lucky for you and your Halloween aspirations, you’re not limited to such a drab color palette: you have over 70 years of comic book art and television to draw from for a colorful Wonder Woman look. And remember, Wonder Woman is a costume that suits any skin tone.
This is also a costume that suits all levels of Halloween commitment - if you’re short on time or just super lazy, you can order shirts that look like Wonder Woman’s costume and pair them with jeans. Or those blue lame pants you never have a chance to wear. Some of the snazzier versions of the costume shirt even come with capes attached! With more time and investment, you can sew and fabricate your own costume - Simplicity has some great patterns - or you can source components from Etsy. There are also many prefab choices at various Halloween outlets this year, ranging from $40-75.
For Wonder Woman’s hair, you generally want natural, tousled, and wild. To be accurate, you’ll need black hair. You can work this at pretty much any hair length, or pick up a wig if you’d like the long locks look. As for makeup, keep it subtle overall and then go big with a bold red lip.
Lieutenant Uhura is an amazingly competent Starfleet Officer, and an important symbol of progress. She also has to wear an excessively short skirt that is simply not job-appropriate, but what else can you expect from the 60’s? (If you’re not a fan of showing off your legs, you can always choose to rock one of her later uniforms from the Star Trek films.)
Uhura is another one of those costumes that scales well depending on time and cost. At its most basic, you can go with any red A-line dress and tall black boots. The Starfleet insignia can either be purchased or made at home from cardstock or tinfoil. You can find a few prefab costumes at Party City and Amazon, or a serious budget can get you a very nice dress from ANOVOS.
Your hair and makeup choices all depend on which Uhura you’d like to be. For Original Series Uhura, be prepared for 60’s style updos, lots of eye makeup, serious eyelashes, and a subtle lip. POPSUGAR has a great tutorial. Uhura from the recent films demands a long, straight ponytail and seriously toned-down makeup - be sure to keep the winged eyeliner, though.
Leia’s been inspiring us for a long time, and all from a galaxy far, far away. She’s a tough survivor and a passionate leader; she’s also a great costume for people of any age, whether you want to be the untested rebel or the timeworn general. And, thanks to Disney’s merchandising savvy and Star Wars’ huge popularity, Leia costumes are very easy to come by.
The most common Leia costume you’ll find are versions of the white dress from A New Hope, which you can find from various retailers for roughly $36-75. With a bigger budget, you can find versions of the Hoth-costume on Ebay. The cheapest option is probably General Leia, which you can achieve with a taupe button-up shirt, taupe slacks, a sleeveless eggplant jacket, and combat boots.
If you’re going for Princess Leia from the A New Hope era, you’ll need to put your hair up in her classic and most recognizable style: the ear buns. About Style actually has a great resource for this hair style, collecting several methods to help you. The Hoth crown of braids is covered by that article as well. Princess Leia’s makeup generally includes a darkly lined eye, dusky rose or coral lips, and blush high on the cheekbones. You can find several good tutorials on YouTube.
If Princess Leia isn’t your favorite, other great ideas include intrepid Rey from The Force Awakens or you getting ahead of the curve as resolute Jyn Erso from Rogue One. Great deep cuts include Rae Sloane or Doctor Aphra from the comics.
I know it’s been a hot minute since Furiosa exploded into our pop culture consciousness in Mad Max: Fury Road, but she’s still a perfect and dramatic choice for Halloween. Especially if you’ve just shaved your head or have a pixie cut. Furiosa is intense and complicated, and one of the best action heroines to date.
Furiosa’s base costume isn’t that difficult - old scoop-necked tee, fatigued if you have the time, and canvas pants. Throw on a pair of Doc Martens or combat boots, the dustier the better. Multiple brown belts cinched across your torso can complete the look. Please remember that Furiosa is a person with disabilities, and treat the mechanical arm with respect; you can Google search to see how cosplayers have handled this part of the character. They’ll also give you idea for Furiosa’s chrome loincloth.
Furiosa’s makeup is probably the most fun look to play with - lots of eyeliner, messy black eyeshadow, and optional argan oil. Xovain has a great tutorial on how to pull it off.
You knew this one was going to be on here, didn’t you? It doesn’t matter who you are - if you grew up in the 80’s in America, at some point you probably wanted to be a Ghostbuster. Even if it was just for a second. Even if it took Janine Melnitz suiting up before you realized it was possible, and a controversial remake for all little girls to see the truth: we can be women and smart and funny and bust ghosts at the same time.
Also thanks to that remake, it’s easier than ever to get your hands on a Ghostbusters costume. Most major retailers seem to have Ghostbuster jumpsuits in both original and remake styles, ranging from $30-265. The price point depends on how much accuracy and quality you want in your jumpsuit. It’s probably easier to buy a premade costume in this place, but you can do your own using a plain khaki jumpsuit and attaching Ghostbusters logo patches.
Your hair and makeup choices all depend on which Ghostbuster you want to look like: Janine calls for poufy 80’s hair, extreme cat eye glasses, with loud eye makeup and bright lips. For the new crew of Ghostbusters - Gilbert, Yates, Holtzmann, and Tolan - just pull up some images of them in costume and style yourself accordingly. Just remember: anyone can be a Ghostbuster. If you want, you can just go as yourself in the suit - ready to chew bubblegum and bust ghosts.
And you’re all out of bubblegum.
Which amazing woman will you be going as this year? Hit the comments with your costume ideas and tips!