Ten Awesome Women to Dress Up as for Halloween


by Haylee Fisher (@haylee_fisher)

To my fellow lady nerds: how disheartening is it to go into a Halloween store this time of year to look for the perfect costume only to find they’re all some variation of “sexy”? More power to you if you want to be a Sexy Ghostbuster, a Sexy Cheshire Cat, or even a Sexy Hermione Granger, but I feel lady nerds need to be held to a higher standard. Because c’mon, how much sexier do you feel when you’ve done a good job on your cosplay than if you were to just wear little clothing and go the lazy route with a fully store-bought costume?

Because of this cultural decline in creativity, I’ve compiled a list of Ten Badass Women to be for Halloween. All of these costumes should be easy and cheap to re-create from stuff you have in your closet, from clothes you can buy secondhand, or from accessories you can buy at a costume shop. Let me know if you agree with my choices and feel free to add your own suggestions!

In no particular order:

1. Katniss Everdeen from The Hunger Games

This girl volunteered for the Hunger Games to save her sister and became the face of a rebellion against a corrupt government, all before the age of 18. Why would you not want to be her for Halloween? The keys for this costume are a leather jacket and bow and arrow. If you don’t already have a leather jacket, hit up a resale shop! You’ll be able to wear it again after Halloween, too, because they never go out of style. And a bow and arrow shouldn’t be too hard to find seeing as how they are having a pop culture moment.

2. Zoe Washburne from Firefly/Serenity

Zoe fought alongside Captain Mal Reynolds in the Unification War (where she rose to the rank of Corporal) and then decided to join him on his ship, the Serenity. She is loyal to those she loves, especially her late husband Hoban “Wash” Washburne, Mal, and those aboard the ship. She stays strong in the face of adversity, the most notable time being after Wash’s death. If these qualities can’t convince you why Zoe is a badass, I don’t know what will. And if you do decide to be her for Halloween, don’t forget to wear a leather jacket and grab a blaster gun like a big damn hero like Zoe would carry.

3. Sarah Walker from Chuck

Did you really think I could make a list of badass women and not include our beloved Sarah Walker? Sarah was always there for Chuck to get him out of sticky situations and now it’s Chuck’s turn to save Sarah. (Sniff, sniff.) Sarah had many notable outfits throughout the run of the show and while I’m most partial to the Wienerlicious uniform for nostalgia’s sake, I think the Orange Orange uniform is the most practical for Halloween. And if you’re pressed for time, you could always just order the jacket from the NBC Store online!

4. Buffy Summers from Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Buffy is Joss Whedon’s original badass. Yes, even before Zoe on Firefly and Echo on Dollhouse, Buffy was kicking butt and taking names as the girl we all aspired to be in the late 90s. If you want to be Buffy for Halloween, make sure your wardrobe reflects the terrible and tacky late 90s/early 2000s fashion and don’t forget a stake for any vampires you may encounter!

5. Donna Noble from Doctor Who

Donna never took any of the Doctor’s crap. As much of a fan of Ten as you may be, you have to admit what made him so great after the devastating departure of Rose Tyler was the no-nonsense Donna. She was funny and heroic and didn’t have as much of a romantic interest in The Doctor as his previous two companions. Though she may not have any iconic costumes (except maybe her wedding dress), she is the most important woman in the whole universe and that alone should be reason enough to dress as her for Halloween.

6. Janet Van Dyne AKA Wasp from The Avengers

I have a feeling there will be tons of girls going as Black Widow this year due to the popularity of the Avengers movie. But wouldn’t you much rather go as a founding member of The Avengers? Janet was brave and resourceful and though she had a rocky relationship with her ex-husband Hank Pym (Ant-Man), she will be remembered as an invaluable member of one of the greatest crime-fighting teams ever. She had an extensive wardrobe that evolved greatly from when she was introduced in the comics in 1963, but if you choose to go as Janet, I’d personally pick her original red outfit to wear because, well, I think it’s cute. Plus, it would set you apart from the all black Black Widows!

7. Gabby Douglas from the US Women’s Olympic Gymnastics Team

Gabby has overcome much adversity in her life to become the All-Around Olympic champion gymnast at just 16 years old. After facing bullying at a young age, she packed her bags and moved away from her family to train with the ultimate goal of competing at the Olympics. This summer, she did just that by becoming the first woman of color and the first African-American gymnast in Olympic history to become the individual all-around champion, and the first American gymnast to win gold in both the individual all-around and team competitions at the same Olympics. If your goal is to be Gabby for Halloween and you don’t feel like walking around in a leotard all night, find a red, white, and blue tracksuit, make gold medals out of yogurt lids a la The Office, and voila, you too are an Olympian!

8. Mulan from Mulan 

I knew I wanted to include a Disney princess on this list, and Mulan is undoubtedly the most badass. She took her father’s place in the army and gets down to business by defeating the Huns and then later saves the Emperor and the Imperial City. She believes in family first and is a strong, independent woman who don’t need no man. (Although if I had to pick a man, Shang is a pretty good one!) Though her armor may be hard to re-create, her geisha dress should be easy for anyone with access to a fabric store. Throw on a little makeup and you’re done!

9. Velma Dinkley from Scooby Doo

Velma is a nerd and proud of it. She should be celebrated by all girls who also consider themselves nerds because let’s be honest, there’s no way the Scooby gang could have solved any of those mysteries without her. Velma would be a good pick to be for Halloween in a chilly climate because I’ve always thought her oversize orange sweater looked especially cozy and her knee socks and flats especially comfortable.

10. Kara Thrace (Starbuck) from Battlestar Galactica

Can you believe that during the 2004 San Diego Comic-Con panel for the Battlestar Galactica reboot, Katee Sackhoff was booed because fans opposed the fact that Starbuck was now a woman? Now, can you see anyone else playing this complex character? Kara was the best pilot on the show and was a strong warrior, but whose vices included drinking, smoking cigars, and gambling. If that sounds up your alley, her uniform would be easy to construct for Halloween. Just wear some cargo pants and layered tank tops, but don’t forget a gun, a cigar, and her tattoos to complete your look!


  1. alanapaintsOctober 22nd, 2012 at 11:07 am

    American Maid or the Bee Girls from The Tick; Dana Sculley… unfortunately the only Firefly character I look like is Patience. sigh.

  2. IrielOctober 22nd, 2012 at 2:37 pm

    We don’t do Halloween in Argentina, but if we did I would totally rock a Wasp! I love her and I her yellow outfit (yellow is one of my colours, I can’t resist it… Which TNM tee do you think I own?).

    Also, a Rose Tyler would be fun: http://ic.pics.livejournal.com/rose_thebadwolf/43712172/55690/55690_640.jpg

    Someday I will my Halloween! You’ll see!

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