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!