Fashion

The best and most iconic feminist Halloween costume ideas, from Lisa Simpson to the suffragettes

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Megan Murray
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Step away from the devil horns, because we’ve got a much more powerful fancy dress proposition for you. Behold, the best and most iconic feminist-inspired Halloween costume ideas.  

The beginning of October annually marks a new opportunity to let our imaginations run wild, as we plot and plan how this year’s Halloween costume will outdo the last. Armed with sequins, face paints and anything in our wardrobes that could pass as macabre, we’ll seek out Halloween make-up looks, re-watch the scariest horror films and look to pop culture icons for Halloween costume inspiration. 

However, if you’re thinking about making a bigger statement than ever this Halloween, put down the cat ears and draw on your feminist credentials instead. That’s right: these women may not be typically scary (although one of them is ‘nasty’), but all of the women in our feminist Halloween costume ideas round-up are forces to be reckoned with, having each done something to smash the patriarchy in her own way.

So, check out our selection of feminist-inspired Halloween costumes below. You may notice that everything we’ve picked is from the high street (with a few luxury items thrown in there too). This means that, once All Hallows Eve is over, you can wear it again and again. 

Hillary Clinton 

Hillary Clinton in known for her block colour ‘pantsuits’, so make like the first female senator of New York and smash some glass ceilings in a fiercely unapologetic red suit of your own this Halloween. 

Ghostbusters 

When dream team Melissa McCarthy and Kristen Wiig came together to rework cult-classic Ghostbusters with an all-female cast, we knew it would be something special. From focusing on their character’s intellect and not their appearances, to inverting the secretary stereotype and casting Chris Hemsworth as the women’s assistant, this truly is a feminist cinematic triumph. 

Fashion your own ghoul-fighting gear with this on-trend jumpsuit and statement Off-White belt, and we reckon you’ll be donning your costume long past the 31 October (maybe not the cap, though). 

Frida Kahlo 

Not only is Frida Kahlo one of the most influential and outstanding artists of the 20th century, but her outspokenness, defiance, survivor spirit and determination to talk about women’s rights and sexual freedom make her a feminist icon. Over the years Kahlo’s image has been appropriated by many different groups, but currently she’s been brought back into the spotlight because of the V&A’s exhibition which looks at the clothes and accessories she wore, as well as her art. 

Kahlo’s iconic dress sense, which is known for boasting colour, textures, fabrics and flowers, makes her a visually exhilarating choice for fancy dress. We’ve selected some of our edit straight from the V&A’s shop, including a traditional Mexican rebozo.

Amelia Earhart

Amelia Earhart, the first female aviator to fly across the Atlantic Ocean, has a get-up that wouldn’t look too out of place on today’s catwalks. For our edit we’ve picked a luxe Chloé flying jacket and on-trend straight leg cords. All that’s missing is your very own pilot’s license.  

Hermione Granger

JK Rowling (a staunch feminist herself) gave children and adults alike a gift when she created the character of Hermione Granger, a brilliantly intelligent (and emotionally strong) young witch. 

For seven books, Hermione walks side by side her male peers, and not once does she shrink back or become a sidekick. In fact, she regularly shows Harry and Ron how it’s done, beats them at potions class and, you know, saves their lives. She also punches Draco Malfoy in the face when he dares utter a discriminatory slur in her presence, because (as mentioned) she is awesome.

Rosie the Riveter

A cultural icon of the United States, representing the women who worked in factories during World War II, Rosie the Riveter is a costume that makes maximum impact with minimum effort. 

The Suffragettes

Surely there’s no costume more feminist than the suffragettes, the group of women who tirelessly campaigned for votes from women just over 100 years ago? Their 20th century dress is easily recognisable, with full skirts, frilly blouses and boater hats. However, no suffragette is ready to fight the patriarchy without her trusty sash, so make sure you bagsy one from the Museum of London… or, you know, fashion one of your own from purple, white and green paper. 

Lisa Simpson 

Lisa is idealistic, intelligent and a relatively easy fancy-dress option. Think red strapless dress, matching shoes, pearl necklace and liberal amounts of yellow hairspray. and you’re all ready to hit Springfield!

Katniss Everdeen 

Bring one of the most kick-ass literary characters to life with your very own Katniss Everdeen costume. There are a few ways you could go with this one, opting for greens and browns to mimic her time in the Hunger Games, or this all black ensemble, which we think looks particularly menacing. 

Images: Getty / Courtesy of brands

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Megan Murray

Megan Murray is a digital journalist for stylist.co.uk, who enjoys writing about London happenings, beautiful places, delicious morsels and generally spreading sparkle wherever she can.

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