No Cleavage Required: Last-Minute Costume Ideas You Need This Halloween

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We’re huge fans of Suzanne Scoggins and her feminist Halloween website, Take Back Halloween. In a world of rapidly shrinking female-costumes, with names like “Sexy French Fries,” we welcome a website where the focus is on creating smart, historical, fully clothed costumes for women. Take Back Halloween’s mission is to put “creativity and variety back into Halloween” — and we couldn’t be more on board.

Suzanne teamed up with BookTrib this year to give you a few tips on some last-minute, kickass costumes. So if you’re a procrastinator like us, here are five easy outfit options brought to you by Take Back Halloween:

Last-minute Demeter


What you need: A bed sheet (any color), some leaves, and a basket of pretty produce from the grocery store.

Last-minute Vestal Virgin


What you need: Two or three white bed sheets, a shorter piece of white material for a veil (pashmina, short curtain panel, cut-up pillow case) and red ribbon or cord to tie around your hair.

Last-minute Mary Read (the pirate!)



What you need: Pants cut off at the knee, knee socks, a man’s shirt, a leather belt, a knit cap, and a scarf to wrap around you as a sash. Vest or jacket optional.

Last-minute Dorothy Dandridge


What you need: A red skirt and a black top you can pull off the shoulders a little bit. Original costume here.

Last-minute Rosalind Franklin

What you need: A dress or skirt-and-blouse, a lab coat, and Photo 51, which you can print right off the original costume page here.

If your final costume really rocks, Take Back Halloween has an annual costume contest. And be sure to take a look at past winners for inspiration.

Recommended reading:

1,000 Incredible Costume and Cosplay Ideas: A Showcase of Creative Characters from Anime, Manga, Video Games, Movies, Comics, and More by Yaya Han, Allison DeBlasio and Joey Marsocci (Quarry Books, 2013)

1000-costume-and-cosplay-ideasLooking for something a little different this Halloween? Get wrapped up in the cosplay world with this in-depth book straight from one of the biggest cosplayers around, Yaya Han. You can find the best-of-the-best cosplay costumes in these pages where your favorite characters came to life thanks to the fans.

Rachel Carter grew up surrounded by trees and snow and mountains. She graduated from the University of Vermont and Columbia University, where she received her MFA in nonfiction writing. She is the author of the So Close to You series with Harperteen. These days you can find her working on her next novel in the woods of Vermont.

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