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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
8. Kathleen Kelley AKA Meg Ryan – You’ve Got Mail
Rom-com QUEEN Meg Ryan, the leading lady behind absolute classics When Harry Met Sally, Sleepless 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?