30 DIY Halloween Costumes For Empowered Ladies

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Joan (Christina Hendricks) in Mad Men, Screencap via AMC

Joan Holloway Harris – Mad Men

Why She’s Awesome: Does everyone miss the women of Mad Men as much as I do? Because I miss them a lot. And Joan especially has my heart. This woman started as an office manager, became a partner at an extremely powerful company, and eventually started her own business, exclusively run by her. Joan rose up against a male-dominated business in a way that is extremely impressive, especially given the time period. And while Peggy struggled a bit initially with trying to be one of the guys, Joan was aware of her femininity and the ways that it could work to her advantage. Not all of her methods were morally sound, but all in all Joan is a smart, cunning, highly resourceful woman who never gave up on herself. And that is admirable in itself.

What You’ll Need: Joan’s retro ‘60s dresses are incredible and look amazing on almost any body type, so if you don’t have something like it already, it’s totally worth it to get one. Look in thrift stores or on Modcloth.com for an array of Joan-esque choices. She loves bright colors, so keep that in mind. And while you’re at it, take a look at the time-appropriate jewelry. A classic-looking pin or necklace and large gold earrings will go a long way in this costume. Top it off with heels and a pretty red up-do, like a French twist, for the full glamor of Joan.

Next Level Move: Make it a trio! For a truly stellar group costume, recruit some friends to be Peggy and Betty. They’ll have similar costumes, but the character’s personal styles are very different. Where Joan is provocative, Peggy is more mod. A schoolgirl-ish tie-top or Peter Pan collar would work great for her. And Betty is definitely more classic and ‘50s. Joan would always opt for a slinky, body-hugging dress, while Betty prefers the button-up fit-and-flare type of silhouette. You may even want to include a petticoat for her!