Fiercest females in Literature: Halloween Costume Edition

A Floridian October means falling leaves palm fronds, backyard pools officially being too cold to swim in and terrifying commercials on every channel for Halloween-themed nights at Orlando theme parks.

Halloween is one of my favorites, and I’d be lying if I didn’t tell you I’m still waiting for the Halloween Town bus to pick me up. But in the meantime, we can get down to business with the very best part of the season, and that’s obviously the outfit you’re wearing Oct. 31.

So kick back and relax because I’ve sifted through the most butt-kicking females to grace the pages of literature, from Stephen King’s Carrie to Roald Dahl’s Matilda. Let’s get started.

carrie white-01

If you don’t know who Carrie is, you should just start buying pumpkin spice candles and wearing exercise clothes to class because, well, you know how that goes. Go educate yourself.

If you’re already familiar with the super creepy ways of an outcast teenager who uses telekinesis to kick some bully butt, as envisioned by the disturbingly twisted mind of the King of Horror Stephen King, then obviously we’re on the right track. Why not channel the prom queen with some easy store grabs?
You’ll need:

  1.  A tiara, which you can find at Claire’s for $7.50. Place it atop your lightly tousled, ’70s-chic ‘do.
  2. White spaghetti-strap maxi dress. Here’s one from ASOS. (and don’t forget the red paint splashed down the front!).
  3. Feel like looking regal? Grab a bouquet, and be sure to bring along a copy of Carrie.

Simple, yet seriously disturbing. Exactly what an A+ Halloween costume needs to be.


Elizabeth Bennet is every well-read lady’s ultimate girl crush. If she’s not at least a top five on your list of literary heroes, then you need to reevaluate your life. Sassy, sarcastic and utterly unconcerned with winning the social game or landing a hubby, she’s pretty much a one girl revolution.

(Lizzie’s creator, Jane Austen, certainly knows how to satirize society when it needs a swift punch in the gut. Thanks, Pride and Prejudice!)

You’ll need:

  1. An unfussy top bun. Let some hair fall in the front because you don’t care what Caroline Bingley thinks.
  2. Grab a plain white collared button down (at Old Navy for $24.94), and layer underneath a sleeveless tan sundress (Forever 21 for $14.80). Get some dirt on that hem! Remember: Lizzie walked all the way to Bingley’s house like the sensible commuter she is.
  3. Don’t forget your copy of Pride and Prejudice tucked under an arm!

Elizabeth Bennet: Did I just agree to dance with Mr. Darcy?
Charlotte Lucas: I dare say you will find him amiable.
Elizabeth Bennet: It would be most inconvenient since I have sworn to loathe him for all eternity.



If you’re a Broadway nerd like me, “Wicked” has probably lent its harmonious soundtrack to more than one car-bound singalong. (Here’s looking at you, “Defying Gravity.”)

Elphaba, AKA The Wicked Witch of the West, is another fierce female heroine with a heart of gold. And some serious singing chops. She met her arch enemy with grace, promptly decided to turn her back on materialistic “popularity,” and decided to go her own way, even if it meant going it alone. And it all started with Gregory Maguire’s Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West.
You’ll need:

  1. In lieu of all-over green body paint, let’s take some creative liberties. Accessorize with some green eyeshadow and eyeliner, a $7.99 find at Walgreens.
  2. Straighten your hair and pull it back into a ponytail at the nape of the neck.
  3. Get your all-black, long sleeve black dress ready ($29.90 at Forever 21!).
  4. Finally, you werk that witch hat, which you can grab for $9.98 on Amazon.


In an old house in Paris that was covered in vines, lived twelve little girls in two straight lines. The smallest one was a fantastically courageous and authority-avoiding rebel named Madeline.

We watched her spring forth in rhyme from the pen of Ludwig Bemelmans– to the delight of children and parents everywhere. And we lived through her appendix removal, her befriending of Fred the chicken (and refusal to eat him at mealtime), as well as the daring pup Geneviève’s rescue of Madeline when she fell in the Seine.

She taught us to love animals, stand up for what we believe and most importantly, that wide-brimmed hats make an excellent fashion statement.
You’ll Need:

    1. A straw hat. Pick up one for $24.95 at Village Hat Shop.
    2. The updated version of Madeline’s school uniform! Seriously a great steal at $26.99 from ModCloth.
    3. A guide to your hoodlum antics for the evening– conveniently packaged in the form of one of Madeline’s many adventure books, now $6 in paperback on Amazon.

“Hello, Lord Cucuface!”


Matilda is the straight-shootin’ book-loving gal created by Roald Dahl who needs no introduction. But she freakin’ deserves it, so she’s getting one.

The beloved fixture in the hearts and souls of all children who felt left out or unsatisfied with life at one point or another, she showed that with a little imagination (and college-level math and reading skills), you can pretty much make anything happen. Plus, it’ll keep you out of the chokey.

Breakfast lovers also have a special place in their heart for her. Somewhere, Ron Swanson is smiling.


You’ll need:

  1. A silky smooth red bow hairband for keeping fly-aways out of your face while burying your head in a book (at Claire’s for $6.50!).
  2. A schoolgirl style sundress. Sleeves are definitely preferred, and let’s get a girly pattern on, too! Check out H&M’s option for $24.95.
  3. Matilda would probably love to read her biography. Tuck it under your arm ($6 paperback at Amazon).

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