I knew the whole sexy Halloween costumes for women thing had jumped the shark (the sexy shark?) when I saw a sexy Freddy Krueger costume in our local costume shop. Not even kidding; we talked about it on a recent episode of Spawned. So if you — or your girls — are  still trying to figure out a costume to wear on Halloween that doesn’t require a bustier, you may be as thrilled as I was to discover Take Back Halloween, a site to inspire women with costumes that honors their heroines or heritage. a very clever site with the subhead, for women with imagination.

Now that’s not to say that their suggestions are all, dress like a robot in a cardboard box! Dress like Fran Lebowitz! In fact, most of the costume ideas are still very feminine, because femininity, empowerment, and super coolness are definitely not mutually exclusive.

Categories include glamour grrls, goddesses and legends, notable women and queens, each with plenty of helpful style boards to browse through. There are a few DIYs (like how to make a one-shoulder chiton for an Artemis costume) even helpful links to find the clothes, accessories and other items you’ll need to pull off a Jane Austen, Bessie Coleman, Holly GoLightly, Ada Lovelace, Isis, Billie Holiday, or Byzantine Empress Theodora.

Ada Lovelace Costume: For girls and women who want ideas beyond

Empowering costume ideas for girls and women: Ching Shih, the most successful pirate in history

Empowering women's and girls costumes from Take Back Halloween: The female Pharaoh Hapshepsut

The suggestions are so culturally and historically diverse, I admit I had to look up a bunch of them myself. Like Chalchiuhtlicue, the Aztec goddess of water; the female Pharaoh Hapshepsut; or Ching Shih, a young mother in the 18th century who also happened to be the most successful pirate in history.

You might have a lot of Elsas and Ariels at your door this year, and there’s nothing wrong with that. But I admit I’m more likely to remember the one little girl who collects a handful of mini Kit-Kats while explaining to me proudly that she’s Sojourner Truth.

Visit Take Back Halloween, for some amazing costume suggestions for women and girls. Even if your kids already have their costumes together, spend some time on the site with your daughters — and your sons — and it may spark interest in learning more about some of these remarkable women.

Thanks, Leslie!

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