And yet you inevitably wake up on November 1 more broke than you were a few weeks before, with only a tattered sexy lobster costume to show for it. Even at Goodwill, the temptation to dish out serious cash for the Halloween costume of your dreams is strong.
And look, we get it: The dream of being Barbara Maitland from Beetlejuice is a valid one. But to do it right, it’s going to cost you in terms of money and time, and for many of us, those aren’t often resources that can be dispensed willy nilly.
As such, we’ve compiled a list of fabulous feminist costumes you can pull off on the super cheap, with minimal effort.
Happy all-you-can-eat Snickers night, friends! And remember: Don’t be a dick. Ever.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg
This look is fairly easy to put together: a chic bun, black glasses, and a black robe, gown, or dress to match. Don’t forget to add a white collar, or to be a beacon of hope for the masses!
Jodie from Daria
Easily the best character on the show and even Daria knew it. You’ll need the right yellow shirt and matching hair clip, but this one’s really all about the attitude and awareness. WWJD?
Being Bad Girl RiRi is all we’ve ever wanted, even if it’s just for one night. There’s a wide range of options here: recreate her look in any music video, at any Met Ball—she always kills it. This look from “Wild Thoughts” is a solid option. Get ready to rock a red, flowy blouse with floral pants and a cute scarf. Bonus points if you’ve got any Fenty beauty on you; even better if you’re ready to drop some bars.
This is another one that’s all about the attitude. What is an unbuttoned flannel shirt over a crop top but a signifier to the masses that you are simply too cool to care? Get ready to read some fashion magazines and ignore your family and their antics.
My girl Kim can do no wrong. Rock a black crop top, green cargo pants, a utility belt, and long red hair. Get ready to kick some butt and have years-long romantic tension with your best friend.
This one’s a great opportunity to let the world you know think you’re the shit. Whether you’re wearing designer or a Fashion Nova fit, you can make your look fit for Cardi B with the right accessories (acrylic nails, fake lashes, glitter eyeshadow) and the right attitude. Please keep your shoes to yourself though, it’s what she’d want.
We can count on you to rock this dress-socks-jacket combo as much as we can count on you to equally rock the shaved head or blonde mane or slicked back look. Bitchin’.
One way to save is to create a look that uses what you already have: makeup! This badass Roy Lichtenstein-inspired costume just requires a blue dress and a bit of DIY-flair; peep this Lichtenstein makeup tutorial.
Bonus points for creating a sign out of the quote from the painting: “I don’t care! I’d rather sink—than call Brad for help!”
Dorothy Vaughan, Katherine Johnson and Mary Jackson
Grab two friends and go out as Dorothy Vaughan, Katherine G. Johnson, and Mary Jackson. Might be a good time to raid your vintage wardrobe, or borrow a few choice items from your stylish aunt.
Costumes inspired by the iconic drunk dancing scene in Hidden Figurescan include a purple or flower print shirt and black skirt for Dorothy, glasses and a black shirt and printed skirt for Katherine, and a headband, yellow shirt, and blue pants for Mary. Just remember to DIY some NASA ID badges for around your necks.
Abbi Abrams and Ilana Wexler
If you’ve found yourself saying “You’re the Abbi to my Ilana” (or vice-versa) to someone, then this easy DIY is perfect for you. There a tons of variations based on the Broad City girls’ creative ensembles, but the simplest is a beanie, tank top, and leggings for Abbi, and a jersey, bicycle short, black lipstick, and a backwards baseball cap for Ilana.
Or you can go crazy and invent your own Ilana ensemble, and Abbi can wear gym clothes with “Trainer” written onto her shirt. And if you wanna spring for this Bingo Bronson pin, well, we’re not going to stop you.
Angela Davis is the ultimate feminist icon—and one of the simplest to emulate. Follow the lead of this badass mother and child by donning a red turtleneck and black pants, and rocking your Davis-inspired natural hair.
A Frida costume isn’t a Friday costume without a unibrow, of course. Make yourself a sweet lil flower crown, and pair it with a loose maxi dress or skirt.
This might take the cake for easiest and quickest to throw together in a pinch. Take an old beanie and cut the eyes and mouth out, and ta-da!
An homage to the Russian renegades of punk and activism. Bright color-block clothing adds an authentic touch.
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
All you need is pink pants, yellow cardigan, floral button-down, backpack, and an unwavering sense of optimism, regardless of how terrible life treats you.
Beyoncé and Nicki
Grab your bestie and get ready to be feelin’ yourself. For Bey, rock an oversize black jersey, colored bracelets, black boots, black mid-calf socks.
For Nicki, you’ll need a black bodysuit, black and white bomber, black boots, black mid-calf socks.
The best part of this costume—aside from the fact that Patti Smith is an absolute QUEEN—is that the less you touch your hair after rolling out of bed, the better.
Grab a white button down, black pants and some thin black suspenders and there you go: Instant rock.
Rosie the Riveter
An all-time classic. Just grab a blue button-down or denim shirt, red bandana, and of course, the most important touch: A GTFO facial expression.
Editor’s Note: An additional look was previously included in this archival piece, and has now been removed.