Rosie the Riveter, vaginas and Hillary Clinton – feminist Halloween costumes to make a statement

For those of us who don't want to be sexy cats, dishevelled zombies or murdered brides this Halloween, here's a selection of brilliant costumes that not only practically guarantee you a unique outfit, but make a statement along the way.

Whether you're after something comedic (a giant contraceptive pill, anyone?), beautiful (Frieda Kahlo) or historical (Nobel prize-winning scientist Marie Curie), these particular examples of fancy dress are nothing to do with sultry vampires or playing the victim and everything to do with strong, independent women with ideas of worth to contribute to the world.

They're not traditional Halloween garb in the scary sense, but they sure do provide an alternative to the ten-a-penny provocative pirates. Happy Halloween!

  • Hillary Clinton

    Make like the first female senator of New York and presidential hopeful by finding some glass ceilings to smash in a fierce suit. In fact, Clinton has made it easy for you – she took ownership of all the jokes about her love of ‘pantsuits’ (as the Americans like to say) by bringing out her own Everyday Pantsuit Tee on her website.

    Sadly, though it can be delivered to the UK, only American citizens can order it. If you don't have a handy friend across the pond, get a suit, a necklace and some determination.

    Images: Rex Features,

  • Ghostbusters

    Because the 2016 Ghostbusters are women. And they ain't afraid of no patriarchy.


  • Contraceptive pill

    Introducing “Pillamina”, the costume created by Planned Parenthood to highlight Mitt Romney’s opposition to President Obama’s birth control coverage provision.

    Image credit: Planned Parenthood Action

  • Frieda Kahlo

    Be the Mexican artist and feminist icon by wearing large silk flowers, milkmaid braids and a full-length tiered black skirt.

    Image credit:

  • Amelia Earhart

    Get your leather jacket, jodphurs and lace-up boots out to dress as the first female aviator to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean.

    Image credit:

  • Hermione Granger

    Try to resist the sexy schoolgirl Hermione costumes littering fancy dress sites (sigh) and go for serious, ass-kicking Hermione in a Gryffindor robe instead.


  • Wendy Davis

    The filibustering Democratic Texas senator who campaigned to block the Texan anti-abortion legislation with an 11-hour speech. All you need is a pair of Mizuno Women's Wave Rider 16 Running Shoes, a white striped jacket and a 'Stand with Wendy' badge.

    Image credit: Getty and

  • Rosie the Riveter

    A cultural icon of the United States, representing the women who worked in factories during World War II. Wear a denim shirt and a red polka-dot bandana.

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  • Ada Lovelace

    The Victorian mother-of-three changed the world by essentially inventing the first ever computer program, long before the computer even existed.

    Image credit:

  • Vagina

    If you don't want to be this bold you could always go for a Vadge Badge.

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  • The Suffragettes

    Go traditional as a member of the group who fought for the right for women to vote.

    Image credit: Getty,

  • Pussy Riot

    Wear a vibrant dress, bright tights, a colourful balaclava and a disdain for authority to be the Russian feminist punk rock protest group.

    Image credit: Rex Features

  • Queen Elizabeth I

    As one of history's best known and most admired English monarchs, Queen Elizabeth I turned the tables on gender politics. 

    Pay tribute to one of the greatest women to exercise power in a man's world by grabbing yourself a crown, a ruff and a suitably regal velvet gown.

    Image credit: Getty Images, Female Fancy Dress

  • Marie Curie

    Pay homage to Polish-born physicist and chemist Marie Curie, the scientist who helped to discover radioactivity and the first woman to win a Nobel Prize (in fact, she won two) - despite massive opposition from her male colleagues in France. 

    Channel her Edwardian vibe with a long-sleeved navy or grey dress, old fashioned boots, hair pulled back in a bun and a smattering of lab equipment.

    Image credit:

  • Joan of Arc

    Make like one of the most celebrated women in history (and a saint, no less) with a sword and armour à la Joan of Arc. 

    The Maid of Orléans was famed for her prowess with the lance as - wearing men's clothing and riding astride her horse - she led the French army to the besieged city of Orléans. 

    Image credit: GwenStacy

  • Lisa Simpson

    Lisa is idealistic, intelligent and a relatively easy fancy dress option. Orange strapless dress, matching shoes, pearl necklace and liberal amounts of yellow hairspray or chalk.

    Image: Rex Features

  • Katharine Hepburn

    As far as feminist film icons go, you can't do better than Katharine Hepburn. The four-time Oscar winner blazed a path as an outspoken, independent women and insisted on wearing trousers in the 1930s - far before they were considered suitable attire for a woman.

    She once famously proclaimed, "Anytime I hear a man say he prefers a woman in a skirt, I say: 'Try one. Try a skirt.'" 

    Get the look with khaki trousers, a grey turtleneck, a neutral-coloured linen jacket and loafers, with minimal make-up and short, pinned-back hair.

    Image credit: Rex Features

  • Katniss Everdeen

    Bring one of the most kick-ass characters to hit our bookshelves (and cinema screens) to life with your very own Katniss Everdeen costume.

    All you really need is your own bow and arrow and some medieval-flavoured accessories and you're done. The cape is optional. 

    Image credit: Rex Features, eBay

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