I’m a W-O-M-A-N: Halloween Costumes for the 21st Century

Otherwise known as:  “Why Do You Need To See My Upper Thigh?”

First of all, I love Halloween. I love it because it’s during my favorite season, because it’s just a fun association in my mind from childhood (I’m from the time where kids went trick-or-treating alone once we weren’t kindergarteners anymore… the magical golden age of the 80s), because I love dressing up, and because – duh – candy.

However there is one particular aspect to Halloween which bothers me immensely as an adult woman. That aspect is the impossibly hard concept of variety in ladies’ Halloween costumes. I think you might be able to see where this is headed.

Why is this what I find when I do a search for “women’s Halloween costumes”?

Commercial Halloween Costume Choices

Everything is skintight, boob-exposing, and short short short. The point of this post is not “slut-shaming”, and I don’t even like the word ‘slut’ when it’s used for anything other than a term of endearment with my friends (we’re weird). I literally do not care how you dress, ever, ladies. You do what you want. However, I would like a little choice when it comes to Halloween costumes. Yes, I could make my own. Yes, I could go to a fancy costume shop and rent something very intricate. But if I just want a cheap-o one-use Halloween costume from the party store, why do I have no choice other than these?

It’s really not cool. There are all kinds of really great costume possibilities for women – in fact, believe it or not, there are at least as many as guys seem to have. But everything doesn’t need to be the boob-exposing version of it. Maybe I want to dress like an actual cop or pilot or pirate, not like a cop or pilot or pirate stripper. Maybe I am someone who doesn’t want to freeze me arse off on October 31, because most of the time around New England it’s pretty cold by then. It’s as ridiculous to offer ONLY skimpy outfits as it would be to be living in an age where showing my ankle was considered scandalous. It’s 2014, I think we can do a lot better.

As an example, I used to dress up every year at work with one of my coworkers. We used eras of time as our theme. We did the 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s, and when she moved on to another company I carried on with the 80s the next year. We made/styled our own costumes and they were a huge hit and a lot of fun. Oh, you want to see them? OK, here are a couple of examples:

50s and 70s Halloween Costume Ideas

I officially call for an end to the reign of thigh and boob-exposing costume standards for women, and request that we get some variety. I promise you that your sales will go up, makers of costumes. I mean really – this is your version of Olaf? Come on, get it together!

Olaf the Sexy Frozen Snowman

Of course, per the news story I pulled this from, this costume sold out so… please tell me in the comments if I am wrong on this one!

Categories: Costume Inspiration, Guest Writers

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8 replies

  1. I agree with you… ladies … celebrate Halloween ho(w)ever you please. This is what burns my candy corn every year: Costume Contest. My family and friends would treat costume contests like a sporting event. We planned months in advance, made costumes from scratch… and they were ROCKING costumes. Do you know who always wins … a nearly naked woman in a store bought dirty cop costume.

    Okay, my soapbox is over. Happy Halloween!

  2. I am so with you on this!!! Not just for ladies but the whole (I’ll say it) slutty concept for halloween costumes is now leaking over into little girls halloween costumes as well.
    I’m a bigger gal and most of the halloween costumes that I can buy in stores no nothing but show off my huge boobs and cellulite. Not an attractive thing! I am also from the north and last year it was literally 37 degrees on Halloween.
    I used to make my own costumes as a kid and I tried really hard to instill that quality in my kids. My oldest really did a great job with it and I’m hoping that my youngest will as well.

  3. 100% with you. Women are offered mini-skirts and guys are offered coveralls.

  4. Why not buy the skimpy costume and wear long johns under it? On an unrelated note, I sell long johns.

    • I remember a Halloween when I was about 7 or 8 and obsessed with being a genie for Halloween. Like I Dream of Jeannie with harem pants or whatevs. My parents were like um….. but they let me. I had PJs that somehow fit the bill. I don’t know how I remember this or why harem pants PJs existed for 7 year olds but… regardless I was entirely outraged that I had to wear my giant winter coat over my costume because it was too cold. All this is to say, your long johns suggestion reminded me of childhood trauma, Acadia.

  5. What makes it even worse is that they make slutty versions of costumes that should not under any circumstances be slutty:


    In god’s name, why?

  6. Reblogged this on eleuorganics and commented:
    Huge fan of this post! I am forever taking pieces of things to put together an entire costume. The costume industry is extremely skewed.

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