Every Halloween, companies like to flood the market with "sexy" women's Halloween costumes that look cheap, are made cheap and might leave you feeling cheap. So we've scoured the internet for some DIY costume ideas for women that are cool, sexy and definitely won't be featured in an article like this one. Many of these were found on an amazing website called Carbon Costume. They specialize in Halloween and cosplay costume ideas, and they'll even throw in links to the items and prices so you know what you could be paying! It is one of my new favorite websites!
From fictional superheroes to real-life ones and everything in-between, here are some ideas to help you get creative this Halloween!
1. Amelia Earhart
Amelia Earhart was the first female aviator to fly solo across the Atlantic ocean. She did a lot in her life to advance women in aviation and even wrote best-selling books about her experiences. Before she mysteriously disappeared over the Pacific Ocean in 1937 while attempting to fly around the world, she was one of the most accomplished women of her time.
The Costume - You might be able to put together a decent Amelia Earhart costume from items you already have in your closet. Some brown trousers, a brown leather bomber jacket, a white scarf and goggles would do the trick! And even if you have to go out and buy a few items, most of this outfit can be worn again even when it isn't Halloween!
2. Agent Peggy Carter
Agent Peggy Carter, played by Haley Atwell in the Marvel Universe, made a splash in the original Captain America when she won Cap's heart -- and ours -- with her charm, brains and general ass-kickery. As an agent with the SSR (Strategic Scientific Reserve), Carter works to keep the world safe from all manner of nefarious villains. Set in 1940s New York, Peggy shatters expected gender roles and holds her own against her male counter-parts, frequently out-performing them in the field.
The Costume - A blue vintage-inspired skirt and blazer with a red fedora, red lips and pumps, and there is no mistaking you! For your hair, you could go for a wig or check out a few tutorials on YouTube for vintage hair styling tips.
3. Carol Peletier
Carol Peletier (The Walking Dead) has evolved over the seasons from abused wife to the-last-woman-you-want-to-screw-with-in-a-zombie-apocalypse. We have simultaneously ached for her and been terrified of her. Carol is a complicated woman but someone you always want on your side. She is a badass to the bone who can also bake a mean cookie.
The Costume - Like the Amelia Earhart costume above, some of these items (or similar enough) may already be laying around in your closet. And, if not, this outfit has a lot of rewear-ability to it ... with the exception of the big, scary knife. I don't recommend flaunting that about. The knife recommended in the image below is real. I would exercise caution when thinking about using real weapons in a costume (it could be dangerous and/or lead to legal problems). This harmless prop knife from Amazon is a much safer alternative.
4. Wolf Carol
(Spoilers!) In the second episode of Season 6 of The Walking Dead, we saw Alexandria come under brutal attack by a savage group known as "The Wolves." Carol led the counter-offensive, killing one of the attackers, stealing his clothes and painting a bloody "W" on her forehead. The disguise gave her the perfect cover to move freely around the compound, picking off the Wolves one-by-one and preventing Alexandria's arsenal of weapons from being taken and used against them. Carol did what had to be done and maintained her status as the baddest of badasses in The Walking Dead.
The Costume - Again, some of these items may be lingering in your closet. But, if not, they're easy enough to come by so that you can make an almost effortless, kick-ass costume!
Michonne (The Walking Dead) was introduced as the lone wolf -- a mysterious woman with a samurai sword and two armless, jawless walkers on leashes. Easily the most memorable debut of any Walking Dead character, Michonne has also become one of the most beloved. Her quiet strength, compassion and incredible skill with the sword make her a formidable foe and a natural leader.
The Costume - What's great about characters from The Walking Dead is that they are just people who exist in our timeline. The outfits don't need to be custom-made, and pieces can easily be found online or at your local Target or Wal-Mart. Michonne's outfit is no exception; it is made up of elements you can re-wear combined with pieces that will leave no doubt about who you are -- but don't forget to practice with your fake samurai sword!
Missy is terrifying as the regeneration of The Master, the villainous arch-nemesis of The Doctor on Doctor Who. Her look is that of an evil Mary Poppins; at first glance, maybe she's the perfect nanny for your kids! But look a little deeper, and Missy just might evaporate your children at the first sign of trouble.
The Costume - This costume might take a little more work; the period dress isn't something you can just run out and buy at Wal-Mart or Target. But, if you don't know how to sew, take a look on Etsy, and you'll find plenty of costumers who will make period costumes to order!
7. Kaylee Frye
Kaylee Frye is the cute-as-a-button, always looking on the bright-side, engineer from Firefly and Serenity. She knows that ship like the back of her hand and keeps her runnin' whether the crew is smugglin' somethin' or high-talin' it outta Reaver space. Kaylee has a style all her own with a mix of the practical (her jumpsuit) and the brightly-colored and light-hearted.
The Costume - Kaylee's style means that you probably have half of what you need already -- comfortable trousers and a fitted t-shirt make for a good start. Accessorize with sweet kiddie and sparkly bits you can pick up on the cheap.
8. Zoe Washburn
Zoe Washburn (Firefly, Serenity) was second-in-command on the firefly class ship, Serenity. She's a former Browncoat soldier and Captain Mal's moral compass. She's tough and headstrong; she knows when to stand up to the Captain but always has his back. And her marriage to Wash is one of the sweetest (and heartbreaking) in the 'Verse.
The Costume - Tan skinny jeans, knee-high boots, leather vest, green top and a cool replica pistol are all it takes. But you can't forget the motto of the crew of Serenity ... you gotta aim to misbehave!
9. Myrtle Snow
Myrtle Snow (American Horror Story: Coven) was the head of the Witch's Council and a haute couture fashion plate. She wore vintage, cats-eye glasses, lace gloves and was often seen smoking a cigarillo in a long-stemmed holder. Her dresses had an air of 60s sophistication, and she looked like she'd just walked out of an episode of Mad Men ... if Mad Men had been filmed in an acid-tinged nightmare realm. Her clothes, combined with her flaming red, crimped hair, made Myrtle one of the most memorable characters ever to come out of American Horror Story.
10. Coven Witch
A coven witch from American Horror Story: Coven is particularly fun if you're going out with a group of girls. A Coven Witch is a great, easy costume! A black dress, black shoes, black hat and a whole lot of attitude are all it takes to pull this one off.
11. The White Nun
Okay, let's get creepy. The White Nun (American Horror Story: Asylum) is easily one of the most disturbing images in television. The good news is: achieving that terrifying look isn't really all that difficult! Michelle Phan even offers a comprehensive video tutorial (below) on recreating that incredible makeup. Check out Michelle's other amazing video makeup tutorials on her YouTube channel!
12. Rosie The Riveter
She was a poster-woman in the 1940s when women were needed in the workforce during World War II. Since then, she has become an iconic image of feminine strength, determination and beauty. To achieve the look, just get some flared, vintage-inspired jeans, a button-down denim shirt, a bandana and some red lipstick!
Because the 90s were awesome and so was TLC, they are the perfect inspiration for a group costume! Just grab two girlfriends, some oversized, satin pajamas in blue, red and purple and get ready to pay homage! And if there happens to be a karaoke machine nearby, you're all set to do your best rendition of "Waterfalls".
14. Dana Scully
Dana Scully (The X-Files) was one-half of the FBI team that investigated all things paranormal in the 90s and early 00s. She was the reasonable, level-headed scientist always ready with a logical explanation for whatever mystery was being investigated. With the upcoming new season set to air on FOX this January, now is the perfect time to pay tribute! Wear it as a couples costume with your Fox Mulder or take it solo.
The Costume - Your favorite power suit, pumps, white button down suit, FBI badge and an auburn wig! If you want to go classic Scully, beef up those shoulders with some fabulous 90s shoulder pads!
15. YgritteYgritte (Game Of Thrones) said, "You know nothing, Jon Snow." Those words will live on in television infamy, even if the character didn't on the show. Ygritte was a "wildling" from beyond The Wall, a redheaded siren with a bow that tempted Jon Snow into breaking his vow of celibacy to the Night's Watch. She was a strong, capable woman and a fighter -- completely worthy of cosplay and Halloween dress-up.
The Costume - Like the Missy costume, this particular look is very specific. And, although you can recycle these items if you live in a colder climate like Alaska, they are definitely season-specific. Still, you'll find the items easier than having to worry about getting something custom-tailored.
16. Kimmy Schmidt
Sweetly naive and equally strong, Kimmy Schmidt (from the hit show on Netflix, The Unbreakable Kimmy Scmidt) escaped a cult that left her stunted at an emotional age of 15 and struck out on her own to live in New York City. Her attempts to become an adult in the 21st century are equally absurd and relatable, but her constant perseverance and optimism leave you wishing you could see the world through her eyes.
The Costume - If you like bright colors, you can wear these items over and over again. It's easy to put together and won't put a strain on your bank account.
Do I really need to talk this one up? Ripley from Alien was the OG, the heroine who never shied away from fighting the biggest, scariest aliens you could imagine. She paved the way for other female sci-fi/action heroes in film and remains a timeless example how women can be represented in the genre without being over-sexualized.
The Costume - Jumpsuit, patches and an 80s-style digital watch. Make sure you practice your lines in the mirror: "Get away from her, you BITCH!"
18. Fish Mooney
Fish Mooney ((Gotham)) is the beautiful and deadly nightclub owner/crime-ring boss in the new DC Comics series. She's sexy and cool and NOT one to be trifled with. Her style is flawless, with a series of dresses that perfectly show off her gorgeous figure, and she never has a hair out of place.
The Costume - Shiny gold dress, gold cuff, nail polish, pumps and that fabulous hair! And the attitude ... to pull off Fish Mooney, a badass attitude is a MUST!
Feeling a little nostalgic? How about a classic 80s cartoon rock star? Jem And The Holograms was an animated show that ran from 1985-1988, and every little girl alive wanted to be Jem during those years. Jem was the lead-singer of her band, The Holograms, and the owner of her own music label via her alter-ego Jerrica. She used holographic technology in her earrings to project the Jem persona onto herself to keep the identities separate. The show was produced by Hasbro, Marvel Productions and Sunbow Productions, the same team that brought us G.I. Joe and Transformers. Jem And The Holograms is being made into a live-action film and is in theaters October 23.
The Costume - Hot pink hair, dress, star earrings and some sweet 80s makeup is enough to head up your own rock band on Halloween night!
20. Imperator Furiosa
Who wasn't blown away by Charlize Theron in Mad Max: Fury Road? One of the fiercest warriors to hit the screen in years, Furiosa holds her own in the post apocalyptic world alongside Max. She's a demon behind the wheel of the war rig and shoots an SKS Rifle better than anyone ... even Max. Hailed as the heart and soul of Fury Road, she doesn't use brute force to survive, but her resourcefulness and brains make her a woman to be reckoned with.
The Costume - This one might be a bit more challenging to get together. But, if you can pull it off, you'll be a legend at any party. And, if you plan on going full Furiosa, shave your head. I'm not kidding. Back in 2012, I shaved my head for charity. It was the most liberating experience of my life, and I would do it again. I would recommend any woman try it once in her life. It's just hair, it grows back. And, frankly, if you don't have the balls to shave your head, you're not worthy of Furiosa anyway.
I hope these costumes help to inspire you this Halloween! If you decide to try any of them out, make sure you post a picture in the comments below! And have a happy and safe Halloween!