30 DIY Halloween Costumes For Empowered Ladies

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Elizabeth Bennet (Keira Knightley) in the 2005 Pride and Prejudice, Screencap via Focus Features/Universal Pictures

Elizabeth Bennet – Pride and Prejudice

Why She’s Awesome: Elizabeth Bennet is a foremother of literary heroines. The classic character has been embodied in countless ways, from the Keira Knightley Pride and Prejudice to the hyper-popular modern webseries adaptation The Lizzie Bennet Diaries. What makes people continually turn to this character? She was one of the first female characters to actually have a genuinely complex personality. Elizabeth represents the fight against a patriarchal society that is, unfortunately, still alive and kicking. Her resistance to the marriage plot and her insistence on independence ring just as true today as it did when Pride and Prejudice came out in 1813.

What You’ll Need: Regency costumes seem very work-intensive, but it is possible to simulate them without going nuts with your budget and buying a replica. The key thing here is the silhouette. You’ll need a very long dress, ideally with a square or straight neckline, which you can find at any thrift store or Goodwill. Then, to mimic the Regency look, tie a thick ribbon just under your bust. Add some fancy jewelry and gloves, and go for comfy shoes, since they probably won’t be seen. You can even fashion an 1800s era bonnet out of a large-brimmed sun hat and some fancy ribbon and flowers!

Next Level Move: Pride and Prejudice and Zombies! As if we all needed another reason to love Elizabeth Bennet, her character is even more fun in this Walking Dead-esque adaptation of the classic novel. And since the movie version came out earlier this year, it’s the perfect time to immortalize zombie-warrior Lizzie Bennet! Keep the whole costume, but splatter it with blood and add a fake sword and dagger, possibly with a dagger holster on your hip for even further hilarity.