13 DIY Halloween costumes for channeling your favorite ’90s leading ladies

The ’90s were a great time for badass leading ladies. Buffy, Matilda, Kat Stratford from 10 Things I Hate About You. We could go on (and on, and on…but we won’t for the sake of time). So when it comes to choosing a costume, why not channel one of these ’90s queens this Halloween?

The best thing about a DIY costume is that you can use things you probably already have in your closet AND if you have to buy something to complete the look, it’s probably something you’ll use again in the future. Now, let’s get to it – here’s how to pull together 13 different badass female Halloween costumes

1. Buffy – Buffy the Vampire Slayer


Buffy is the ultimate ’90s badass. Her outfits are pretty utilitarian (she’s gotta be able to literally slay at any point in the day and all that) so you can rock some black basics (tank, pants, boots) and pretty much call it a costume. Just don’t forget to carve (or buy) a wooden stake!


Buy the tank top here for $3.90, buy the pants here for $12.00, buy the boots here for $29.90, buy the stake here for $18.95.

2. Matilda – Matilda


The key to channeling Matilda is a strong sense of confidence, and floral. Definitely floral. Grab your floral dress with a peter pan collar from your closet, or something with spaghetti straps and pair it with a white tee underneath. Socks with t-strap shoes and of course the red hair ribbon are must-haves. Mind-control is optional. A wagon filled with books = bonus points.


Buy the dress here for $12.99, buy the shoes here for $16.00, buy the socks here for $2.90, buy the ribbon here for $3.99.

3. Mia Wallace – Pulp Fiction


For a bit more of a risqué option, deep and troubled Mia Wallace is a good choice. Pair a structured white blouse with black trousers or pants and a simple heel and throw on a shiny, blunt black wig with bangs and you’re good to boogey. Add an aloof demeanor and a minor bloody nose for extra dedication to the role.


Buy the shirt here for $49.90, buy the pants here for $19.99, buy the shoes here for $24.99, buy the wig here for $9.95.

4. Selena (in her iconic purple jumpsuit)


Selena is a legend that we lost far too soon. If you want to honor her and do the washing machine all night long, find yourself a purple jumpsuit and sparkly heels, and don’t forget the glitter! Spray glitter made for cloth will do the trick.


Buy the jumpsuit here for $41.00, buy the shoes here for $20.99, buy the earrings here for $2.99, buy the glitter here for $1.99.

5. Cher – Clueless


If you love matching sets AND scoffing “Ugh, as IF!” at people, then Cher is your girl. If you don’t already have a blazer/skirt set, why not invest in one for this costume and rock it whenever you want to once Hallow’s Eve has come and gone? Complete the outfit with tall socks and a valley girl accent.


Buy the blazer here for $99.90, buy the skirt here for $49.90, buy the tank here for $1.90, buy the shoes here for $29.90, buy the socks here for $5.90.

6. Daria – Daria


If you have low esteem for yourself and everyone else in the world, channel your inner Daria and walk around eating pizza at whatever Halloween function you’re forced to go to. Her round glasses and black combat boots are a must, and we suggest rocking a green jacket with an orange tank underneath paired with a black skirt to complete the look.


Buy the jacket here for $29.99, buy the skirt here for $12.99, buy the tank here for $1.90, buy the shoes here for $34.99, buy the glasses here for $9.99.

7.  TLC (from the No Scrubs video)


With TLC back in action, what better way to spend Halloween than singing hits like “No Scrubs” and “Creep” while rocking a KILLER outfit inspired by their iconic “No Scrubs” video? You can definitely get creative with this however you want to, but be sure to look like you’re from the future but also like you could murder if you needed to. Platform boots/sneakers are also a must. Leather gloves are optional, but recommended.


Buy the bra here for $24.00, buy the pants here for $150, buy the shoes here for $29.99, buy the gloves here for $1.99.

8. Kathleen Kelley AKA Meg Ryan – You’ve Got Mail


Rom-com QUEEN Meg Ryan, the leading lady behind absolute classics When Harry Met SallySleepless in Seattle, and You’ve Got Mail, is the perfect ’90s queen to dress up as if you want to stay low-key but totally lovable. In You’ve Got Mail, she mainly rocks turtlenecks and oversize shift dresses. Throw on a pair of tights and oxfords or loafers, give speeches about the importance of saving local bookstores, and convince Tom Hanks to come out with you if you can.


Buy the sweater here for $9.99, buy the dress here for $27.90, buy the tights here for $9.99, buy the shoes here for $105.00.

9. Tia or Tamera Mowry – Sister Sister


This is the perfect costume idea for you and your sister and/or bestie! Tia and Tamera Mowry’s ’90s style is, like, the ULTIMATE ’90s style. Jean on jean on jean, funky patterns, and the bucket hat were all staples in their wardrobes, and totally ’90s kid classics. Be sure to shout “ROGER!” whenever you can, too.


Buy the jacket here for $29.99, buy the hat here for $11.50, buy the shirt here for $8.90, buy the tights here for $14.99, buy the shoes here for $39.99, buy the shorts here for $16.00.

10. Topanga – Boy Meets World


Admit it: You wanted to be Topanga when you were growing up too. Confident, stylish, and super smart, Topanga was the coolest ’90s girl. Be sure to rock a denim vest with whatever you wear, crimp your hair, and keep a scrunchie on your wrist.


Buy the vest here for $29.99, buy the skirt here for $10.58, buy the tee here for $9.99, buy the sandals here for $38.00.

11. Alex Mack – The Secret World of Alex Mack


If you remember this totally wacky Nickelodeon show AND still dress like you did as a kid, Alex Mack is the girl to be. The outfit is basic and you probably (definitely) have everything you need in your closet already. Must haves: a backwards baseball cap, a striped tee, overalls, a flannel for tying around your waist, and sneakers.


Buy the hat here for $24.00, buy the shirt here for $10.90, buy the flannel here for $39.00, buy the overalls here for $29.90, buy the shoes here for $50.00.

12. Nebula – Zenon: Girl of the 21st Century


Zetus lapetus! There was no cooler friend duo than Zenon and Nebula. While we loved Zenon, we truly adored Raven Symone as Nebula, the sassy girl with the coolest pigtails. While you probably don’t have brightly colored spandex or metal hair accessories already, you can hit up the nearby dance supply store and dig around for your ’90s sunglasses and be one of the coolest, futuristic chicks to grace the Disney Channel.


Buy the bodysuit here for $31.19, buy the vest here for $59.97, buy the hair ties here for $9.25, buy the skirt here for $4.90, buy the sunglasses here for $22.00, buy the shoes here for $39.95.

13. Kat Stratford – 10 Things I Hate About You


Before we knew what feminism even was, Kat Stratford was prepping us for battle. Independent, strong-willed, and smart as hell, Kat Stratford knew what was UP. For this look, we definitely recommend a crimper, and channeling her laid back vibe by wearing paint-splattered pants and walking around barefoot with the magnum opus, The Bell Jar.


Buy the jeans here for $98.00, buy the tank here for $9.90, buy the crimper here for $18.99, buy the book here for $15.00.

So, if you’re debating whether or not to spend money on a costume you’ll wear once and then throw away, tell yourself as if and stop buggin’. Take a chill pill, craft a costume from your closet, and honor a queen from the ’90s. Word?

Filed Under
 •  •  •  •