Tired of the usual spooky or, worse, “sexy” costume choices? We did the research for you to share some affordable new ideas! These costumes can be made from stuff around your house or things picked up at the thrift stores, and parts of them can be used once the holiday is over, as well for everyday or dress-up wear. Can’t beat that!
- Susan B. Anthony– Her favorite color to wear was black. Find a black long-sleeve dress or a black long skirt with a black long-sleeve blouse. Find some lace to put around the collar and put your hair in a bun and you’re done. (Want to add color? She also was known for wearing a red shawl.)
- Harriet Tubman– Like Suzy B., you’ll need a black dress or blouse and skirt as a base. Find a white scarf for her neck and a bandana for her hair. This look will need a lamp to complete it as she will need it to lead slaves to freedom!
- Amelia Earhart– Find yourself some khaki-colored pants, a short brown jacket, a white scarf, and boots. Figure out how to make or buy a flight helmet, and there you go. You or your little aviator can dress like the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic.
- Rosie the Riveter– All you need are some jeans, a denim button-up shirt, and a red bandana with polka dots — a simple costume to make a big splash with your message of girl power! Add some toy tools like a drill or protective goggles to complete the look.
- Florence Nightingale– Her costume would require a long-sleeve black dress with a high collar and a white apron. Look up how to make a nurse’s cap; there are multiple ways to make it depending on what materials you have and how difficult a project you can handle. Then, make an armband with a red cross using leftover materials.
- Suffragist– Let your imagination fly. Find yourself an old-timey looking dress. Make a sash in gold white and purple saying “Votes for Women.” Top it off with a protest sign. This costume is particularly appropriate as we are in the centennial year of women achieving the right to vote.
- Marie Curie– Start with a black dress with a fun collar of your choice and pin your hair up. What will really sell this costume is the accessories. Break out you kid’s chemistry set, or purchase some items that look like they could come from a chemistry set.
- Frederick Douglass– His costume will require a black vest, a black jacket, black pants, a white dress shirt, and a thick black ribbon to tie around your son’s neck. All of those things you may already have and/or can be used later for a dress-up event. Bonus if you can find a wig so that your guy can have that big, beautiful hair.
- George Francis Train– As a supporter of Susan B. Anthony, he may be the perfect costume for a brother of a girl dressed as Suzy B! (And look him up, he’s got a fantastic distinguished hair style, too.) Find an old-timey brown coat, white dress shirt, a thin black ribbon for a tie, and black or brown pants, and your little gentleman is ready to go.
- Chef– Find a white coat and a chef’s hat at your thrift store or make your own hat. You can also keep it simple with a cute outfit and an apron. What will really sell this costume is some accessories from around your kitchen.
- Judge– This time of year, your thrift store is full of graduation gowns that can be made into judge costumes. Make or buy a gavel and make a collar if you’d like, and you’ll have a simple costume that will be fun and comfortable to play in.
By Bethanie Ryan