Halloween costumes for dollar deficient lady-nerds

I know you. You’re sitting there wondering what you want to be this Halloween, yet you can’t spend a lot of money and don’t have awesome sewing skills. Never fear, fellow Misfits. While Ryan’s already given the guys some guidance, I’m here to give the ladies out there some options on how to work it out on the cheap this  31st while keeping your nerd cred.

Before embarking on putting these costumes together, here’s some tips to keep in mind: 1) Make sure you have a good reference picture to go by; 2) Feel free to take liberties, but only the right ones…; 3) Accessories make or break your outfit; 4) Thrift stores, fabric shops and KayBee Toy Stores are three of the best ways to find cheaper accessories and props.

Character: Zoe Washburn, Serenity/Firefly
Costume Basics: A buttondown or v-neck shirt in a muted color (blue, red, military green preferable), dark or khaki colored pants (corduroy would probably work best), boots, and a belt (one of those giant ones that go above your waist or a normal one with a big buckle).
Costume Necessity: Old West-type gun holster and lariat necklace made of leather string or thin, silken, twisted cord.
Average # of times you’ll have to explain who you are: Depending on where you’re partying, could be as little as once every other hour or as much as four or five times.
For the geek who…with a rebellious streak and refuses to let their sky be taken away from them.

Character: Dana Scully, The X-Files
Costume Basics: A sensible suit and borderline sensible heels.
Costume Necessity: Red hair and a FBI badge/id – use your photo manipulation program of choice. Or Google. Or both.
Average # of times you’ll have to explain who you are: The red hair should help take the number down so probably max it out to around 15 times the whole night.
For the geek who…rationalizes everything until they end up pregnant with an alien hybrid baby or is trying to attract David Duchovny before his sex addiction is cured.

Character: Number Six, Battlestar Galactica
Costume Basics: Slinky red dress, killer strappy heels. Curly blonde hair.
Costume Necessity: See above.
Average # of times you’ll have to explain who you are: You’ll look so hot, you won’t have to explain anything. Guys will be too busy drooling and fetching you things.
For the geek who…
Character: Ellen Ripley, The Alien series
Costume Basics: Dirty white tank top, dark cargo pants, and Doc Martin type boots.
Costume Necessity: A big honking gun.
Average # of times you’ll have to explain who you are: Ripley’s an icon so not many. And if they can’t figure it out, you may not want to talk to them.
For the geek who…wants to repeatedly say, "Get away from [her/me], you bitch!" or shout "Newt?!?" randomly while frantically looking under tables and in cubby holes.

Character: Civilian-attired female X-Men team member
Costume Basics: Any cute outfit.
Costume Necessity: Giant belt with an "X" buckle or other X-laden accessories. Wacky colored hair, colored contacts, prosthetic or something else "mutant-y" tailored to your specific X-gal (if you’re shooting for Rachel Summers or Psylocke it would be a face/eye tattoo; Megan of Excalibur needs elf ears; Blink requires both; carry a purple dragon if you’re Kitty Pryde, etc.)
Average # of times you’ll have to explain who you are: Would vary depending on how all out you go.
For the geek who…wants to be a superhero without wearing something made of lycra or spandex and/or is skin-tight.

Character: The Baroness, GI Joe
Costume Basics: Well-fitting black pants (leather or something similarly shiny preferred) and a long-sleave black shirt or a black one-piece, black boots.
Costume Necessity: Glasses, a large Cobra insignia to go on the shirt, a gun.
Average # of times you’ll have to explain who you are: Very low – max at 5 times the whole night.
For the geek who…who likes being a little dangerous and having men fall at their feet.

Character: River Tam, Serenity/Firefly
Costume Basics: Over-sized, plain long-sleeved shirt or sweater, long a-line skirt, slouchy boots.
Costume Necessity: A touch of that Little House on the Prairie vibe, slightly unkempt hair. Sword and small axe optional.
Average # of times you’ll have to explain who you are: It’s going to be pretty high since not everyone is as in love with The ‘Verse as we are. Sadly.
For the geek who…want to freak people out by going blank, whispering "Miranda," then beating up about 14 dudes.

Character: Lily Charles, Pushing Daisies
Costume Basics: A strong colored outfit with a hearty pattern and heels.
Costume Necessity: A patch, coordinated with the outfit, to go over your right eye.
Average # of times you’ll have to explain who you are: Even though not everyone watches it, PD gets a lot of publicity so it should be limited to a couple times an hour.
For the geek who…wants to wear an eye patch but thinks pirates are so last year.

Character: Anna Wu, Chuck
Costume Basics: Short-sleeved, button-down "worker shirt", a tie, plaid schoolgirl skirt, funky knee-high socks and cute shoes or sneakers.
Costume Necessity: "Buy More" patch, colored streaks in the hair, giant hoop earrings.
Average # of times you’ll have to explain who you are: Chuck is pretty popular but that doesn’t mean people will get it right away. I’d say around 12-15 times the whole night.
For the geek who…wants to recycle their "generic Anime school girl" costume.

Character: Death of The Endless, Sandman/Vertigo Comics
Costume Basics: Black tank top, black jeans/pants, black studded or otherwise adorned belt, black boots (preferably with buckles) or sneakers (with black laces and socks).
Costume Necessity: Ankh necklace, Eye of Horus drawn around right eye, black or super dark red lipstick. Black gloves optional.
Average # of times you’ll have to explain who you are: Not many because either they’ll know who you are or just assume you’re a Goth.
For the geek who…loves Neil Gaiman but doesn’t want to shave half her head to be Delirium.

So there’s some ideas to get you started. Do you have any pocket-friendly suggetions to add?

About Tamara Brooks

A few things I wondered about as a kid: Why didn't Wonder Woman punch more bad guys in the face on the tv show?; How does Superman flying around the Earth turn back time?; Could someone really catch bullets with their teeth?; Why didn't the liquid bits of the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man cause 3rd degree burns on whoever it landed on? Because melted marshmallow is up there with molten hot lava.