The Best Cosplay Ideas For Women

Halloween isn’t the only time of year for people to dress up. Cosplay, or costume play, is a form of performance art where people wear costumes and accessories that resemble a fictional character or someone famous. Cosplay originated in Japan in 1984 and is seen all over the world, especially at conventions. About 64 percent of the people who participate in cosplay are female and it’s not uncommon for them to dress as someone of another gender. These are some of the greatest cosplay ideas for females.

Save The World As Elastigirl

a woman dressed in an elastigirl costume
Roy Rochlin/Getty Images
Roy Rochlin/Getty Images

It’s hard to go wrong cosplaying as a Disney character. Elastigirl is both a mother and a crime-fighting superhero from Disney’s The Incredibles. The sequel of the franchise proved she was more than a secondary character because she could go out and save the world, while her superhero husband stayed home and took care of the kids.

Her costume can easily be purchased online or at a costume shop or homemade and it would be nothing without her signature black gloves, mask, and the statement “i” on the front.

Volunteer As Tribute As Katniss Everdeen

a woman dressed as katniss holding a stick
Enji Night/Instagram
Enji Night/Instagram

The Hunger Games was one of the most popular franchises of the 2010s with best-selling books and blockbuster movies. Many fans fell in love with the protagonist Katniss Everdeen as the archery expert and brave warrior who chose to put others before herself.

In order to have the perfect Katniss cosplay outfit people need to do their hair in a long, single braid and wear dark clothing. This costume is more accessory-based because any Hunger Games fan would recognize her with a bow and arrow.

Cast Some Spells As Hermione Granger

a couple dressed as harry potter and hermoine granger
Daniel Zuchnik/Getty Images
Daniel Zuchnik/Getty Images

Many millennials grew up reading the novels and watching the movies based around the wizarding world of Harry Potter. There are numerous characters for female cosplayers to dress up as, but one of the top favorites is Harry’s best friend and confidant, Hermione Granger.

While Hermione wore many memorable costumes fans would most likely recognize her in a Hogwarts uniform. This costume wouldn’t be complete without her wand and other Gryffindor accessories. If the Gryffindor clothes seem too basic her Yule Ball dress is also a great contender.

Spend A Day In The Emerald City As Dorothy Gale

six girls dressed as dorothy from the wizard of oz
Scott Wintrow/Getty Images
Scott Wintrow/Getty Images

The Wizard of Oz remains one of the most classic films in cinematic history. It starred Judy Garland as Dorothy Gale, a farm girl who travels to a fantasy land to defeat a wicked witch.

Dorothy’s look is rather simple, but if it’s done right it can be quite memorable. In the movie, Garland wears a white blouse with a blue checkered dress, two pigtails with blue ribbons, blue socks, and most importantly the ruby red slippers.

Stranger Things Have Happened

two women dressed as mike and eleven from stranger things
Ollie Millington/Getty Images
Ollie Millington/Getty Images

Even though there are many characters for female cosplayers to choose from, there are instances where they would rather dress as another gender. This can happen for a multitude of reasons, but everyone’s favorite character isn’t necessarily within their gender.

The woman on the left decided to dress as wise-cracking boy Dustin, from Stranger Things. Her friend on the right chose to dress as Eleven in a pink dress, jean jacket, knee-high socks, and a blonde wig.

Predict The Future As Madame Leota

a woman dressed as a character from the haunted mansion
Mark Ralston/AFP via Getty Images
Mark Ralston/AFP via Getty Images

Madame Leota is one of the most memorable characters from the Haunted Mansion ride at the Disney parks. She appears in the séance room inside a crystal ball casting spells to the guests as they ride past on their “doom buggies.”

This costume is prop heavy and requires a lot of hair and makeup knowledge. The trickiest part is getting inside the crystal ball and table. The woman who made this costume for her daughter shared that an acrylic globe with air holes on the side works best for the ball – and to make sure to do exact measurements for the hole in the table.

Get Adventurous With This Game Of Thrones Look

a woman dressed as queen daenerys targaryen with a dragon figurine from game of thrones
Ollie Millington/Getty Images
Ollie Millington/Getty Images

One of the biggest television shows from the past decade was HBO’s Game of Thrones. It had everything from knights, dragons, scenic locations, and elaborate costumes. Fans had mixed feelings when the series ended in 2019, but in cosplay, the show will live on forever.

The woman pictured is dressed as Queen Daenerys Targaryen with a mini figurine of her pet dragon named Drogon. Daenerys always had platinum blonde hair with braids woven throughout and wore elegant capes that draped to the floor.

Cruella de Vil Will Make You See Spots

a woman dressed as cruella de vil from 101 dalmations
Ollie Millington/Getty Images
Ollie Millington/Getty Images

Cruella de Vil is one of the most notable Disney villains of all time. The plot of 101 Dalmations revolves around her desire to steal all the puppies to make a fur coat. When black, white, and red are paired together in fashion it’s difficult not to think about her character.

In order to pull off her signature look, all you’ll need are a wig that’s half white and half black, long red gloves, a simple black dress, and a black and white spotted coat.

Show Off Some Claws As Catwoman

a woman dressed in a catwoman costume
Tamara Swart/Pinterest
Tamara Swart/Pinterest

Catwoman was first introduced in the spring of 1940 as a supervillain and Batman’s love interest in the DC Comics universe. Over the years her character has been played by lots of famous actresses including Michelle Pfeiffer, Halle Berry, and Anne Hathaway.

It’s essential that she’s dressed in all black, which usually includes a mask, cat ears, and bullwhip. Since the character has evolved over the past 80 years cosplayers can put their own spin on her look.

What You Need To Do To Become Sally

a woman dressed as sally from the nightmare before christmas
Timothy A. Clary/AFP via Getty Images
Timothy A. Clary/AFP via Getty Images

The Nightmare Before Christmas is a film mixed with themes of Halloween and Christmas. It follows Jack Skellington, the beloved pumpkin king, as he decides to replace Santa Claus and bring Christmas to Halloween Town.

Sally is Jack’s love interest and is one of the creations made by mad scientist Doctor Finklestein. Her look requires a lot of makeup knowledge because her character is an immortal ragdoll/scarecrow. The dress and wig should be easy to find wherever costumes are sold.

Dressing As Mary Poppins Is “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious”

karla martinez dressed as mary poppins
Manny Hernandez/Getty Images
Manny Hernandez/Getty Images

Mary Poppins “is practically perfect in every way.” Her character first appeared in the novels by P.L. Travers, but she became known worldwide after Walt Disney adapted them into a feature film starring Julie Andrews.

Mary’s style is both elegant and polished. While not all of her outfits have stayed consistent from the novels, films, and Broadway show, some things that symbolize her character include a colorful boater hat, high-collared blouse, white gloves, and a bow tie.

The Origin Story Of Princess Leia’s Buns

a woman dressed as princess leia from star wars
John Lamparski/Getty Images
John Lamparski/Getty Images

When The Hollywood Reporter surveyed people about their top 50 female movie characters Princess Leia ranked at the number two spot. Carrie Fisher brought Princess Leia to life in the Star Wars franchise and she has become a fan-favorite cosplay outfit.

Her style is relatively simple with minimal makeup and a baggy white dress, but cosplayers need to remember to add her massive side buns. George Lucas based her hairstyle on turn-of-the-century Mexican female revolutionaries.

A New Twist On The Joker

a woman dressed as the joker from batman
Timothy A. Clary/AFP via Getty Images
Timothy A. Clary/AFP via Getty Images

Cosplay is a great way to gender-bend when it comes to costumes. Even though the Joker is known for being male that doesn’t mean women can’t put a feminine spin on it.

The woman pictured above switched the gender of the Joker by adding a green wig, plaid skirt, and a top hat headband. Even though the gender is switched the essence of the Joker remains the same with the makeup, jacket, and contrasting colors of purple, orange, and green.

Sailor Moon Is A Top Choice For Cosplayers

a woman dressed as sailor moon holding a stuffed animal cat
Mike Coppola/Getty Images
Mike Coppola/Getty Images

Since cosplay originated in Japan a huge portion of costumes feature iconic anime and manga characters. Sailor Moon started as a manga series written and illustrated by Naoko Takeuchi and was turned into a popular TV show.

It’s almost impossible to go to a cosplay or anime convention and not see at least one person dressed as Sailor Moon. Her costume wouldn’t be complete without a uniform with a big red bow and long, blonde hair.

Not Everyone Can Pull Off This Cats Cosplay Look

a woman dressed as a cat from the broadway musical cats
Leon Neal/AFP via Getty Images
Leon Neal/AFP via Getty Images

This may be one of the trickiest costumes to pull off, but if done right it can look very impressive. This costume is based on the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical, Cats, which was recently turned into a major motion picture.

The makeup for this is no easy feat because it requires incredible detail and precise contouring. The clothes need to look like cat fur, so heavy sweaters and fur-like hats with cat ears are essential.

The Many Options For Dressing As Princess Fiona From Shrek

a woman dressed as fiona with a shrek mascot on a soccer field
Andrew Bershaw/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
Andrew Bershaw/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

There are a couple ways to go about a Princess Fiona costume from Shrek. She starts out the film in her human self, but by the end, she chooses to remain as an ogre.

Those who prefer to be the human Fiona need a long, green medieval-style dress, a long braid, and a crown. Tackling the ogre Fiona requires a bit of knowledge in makeup and prosthetics because you’ll need to paint your skin green and add ogre-like ears.

Have A Night Full Of Fright As The Bride Of Frankenstein

a woman dressed as the bride of frankenstein
Cris Faga/NurPhoto via Getty Images
Cris Faga/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Cosplayers who enjoy old Hollywood should try a Bride of Frankenstein costume. The movie premiered in 1935 and starred Boris Karloff as The Monster and Elsa Lanchester as The Monster’s Bride.

It is a relatively easy costume to put together and it includes a white frock-like dress, a black and white wig, and dark makeup. The Bride of Frankenstein has since become a popular costume for Halloween and has appeared in pop culture in films such as Mean Girls.

This Isn’t The Real Post Malone

rita ora dressed as post malone while performing on stage
Jo Hale/Redferns/Getty Images
Jo Hale/Redferns/Getty Images

Cosplay isn’t necessarily just dressing up as a fictional character. People are free to adorn the looks of their favorite celebrity, historical figure, and more. This means cosplayers don’t have to stick to their own gender.

This photo has singer Rita Ora in a full Post Malone costume. She doesn’t stop at the clothes but includes tattoos, his haircut, facial hair, and jewelry. One of the reasons people cosplay is to express themselves through performance art, so dressing up as someone they admire can help them to do so.

Draw Some Attention In A Cleopatra Outfit

a couple women dressed as cleopatra
Adem Salvarcioglu/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images
Adem Salvarcioglu/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

Cleopatra was one of the most prolific rulers in Egypt and her legacy has lived on in many works of art including paintings, movies, sculptures, and poetry. In almost all of her visual representations, she is shown in elegant earth-toned clothing.

Many of those who dress up as her go for the Elizabeth Taylor version from the 1963 film Cleopatra. This look features heavy eyeshadow, a bejeweled headdress, and metallic dresses, which can usually be found at a costume shop.

Travel Back To The Roaring ’20s As A Flapper

a woman dressed as a flapper at an ice hockey game
Len Redkoles/NHLI via Getty Images
Len Redkoles/NHLI via Getty Images

Not only does cosplay allow people to become someone else, but it can be a way to travel through time. The woman in the photo is dressed as a flapper from the 1920s, which was one of the styles that defined the decade for women.

All someone needs to pull off the flapper look is a fringe dress, a headband with a feather, costume jewelry, gloves, and a pair of heels. Bold makeup such as red lipstick or heavy eyeliner can also give it a little something extra.

It Doesn’t Get More Classic Than Minnie Mouse

a woman dressed as minnie mouse
Chance Yeh/Getty Images
Chance Yeh/Getty Images

Minnie Mouse is best known for being Mickey Mouse’s bubbly love interest and a true Disney icon. Minnie has been around since the 1920s, which makes her one of the most classic characters in cartoon history.

Her most common outfit is decked out in red, white, and black and she’s best remembered for her polka-dot dress and a large bow in her ears. Those who want to make their Minnie Mouse costume look more realistic should consider drawing on a button nose and wearing yellow heels.

Do The “Time Warp” As Magenta

ana matronic of the scissor sisters dressed as magenta from the rocky horror picture show
Louise Wilson/Getty Images
Louise Wilson/Getty Images

The Rocky Horror Picture Show is now one of the most-watched cult classics of all time. It’s a mixture of comedy, drama, and suspense with many lively musical numbers spun throughout. Something that sets the film apart is the unique and elaborate costumes.

There are a few for women to choose when cosplaying, but Magenta seems to be a fan favorite. As the castle maid, her costume consists of a maid uniform, heavy eye makeup, and a perm-like hairstyle.

Become The Belle Of The Ball

a couple dressed as belle and the beast from beauty and the beast
Timothy A. Clary/AFP via Getty Images
Timothy A. Clary/AFP via Getty Images

It’s a tale as old as time when thinking about Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. The story follows a bookish girl who hopes to save her father and in turn becomes a prisoner of the beast. In the end, she falls in love with him and they live “happily ever after.”

One of the most iconic scenes from the movie is in the ballroom where Belle wears a floor-length yellow gown and dances with the beast. Cosplayers can also carry a rose, as it symbolizes the love between Belle and the Beast.

Steampunk Is A Mix Of The Past & Future

a woman dressed in steampunk clothing and a pair of goggles
MV Partsch/Imgur
MV Partsch/Imgur

There’s a whole side of cosplay that fits exclusively into the steampunk genre. Steampunk is based in science fiction as a fashion style that combines history with technology. It’s mainly a mixture of the Victorian era’s romantic view of science in literature with elements of the Industrial Revolution.

When dressing as steampunk cosplayers should be sure to get all the essentials. Some of these include top hats, pocket watches, walking sticks, goggles, tall riding boots, and bustle skirts.

Say “Bibbidi Bobbidi Boo” As Cinderella

a woman outside a subway station dressed as cinderella
Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images
Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images

Cinderella is one of the most timeless fictional characters who can be recognized worldwide. Dressing up as this Disney princess can make anyone feel like pure royalty.

To master the perfect Cinderella look you need to have a large blue ball gown, white gloves and have your hair in the roundest bun. Not everyone has a pair of glass slippers lying around, but a pair of either clear or white heels should do the trick.

The Underappreciated Costumes From Willy Wonka And The Chocolate Factory

two women dressed as veruca and violet from willy wonka and the chocolate factory
Daniel Knighton/FilmMagic/Getty Images
Daniel Knighton/FilmMagic/Getty Images

The costumes featured in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory were able to visually represent the characters’ essence. Even though Violet Beaureguarde and Veruca Salt were met with an unfortunate fate, they still had some of the best costumes in the film.

Veruca’s outfit is a bit more manageable for a novice cosplayer because it only requires a red dress, white tights, and black flats. Anyone who dresses as her should also carry the golden goose egg she pined for. Violet’s look is a bit more complex because she needs to look like a blueberry with heavy blue makeup and a suit that makes her seem round from head to toe.

It’s Just A Bunch Of Hocus Pocus

three women dressed as the sanderson sisters from hocus pocus
Leonard Ortiz/Digital First Media/Orange County Register via Getty Images
Leonard Ortiz/Digital First Media/Orange County Register via Getty Images

When it comes to Halloween movies Hocus Pocus is something that continues to be rewatched after almost three decades. One of the most memorable parts of the film are the three Sanderson sisters (Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Kathy Najimy) who come back to life after 300 years.

These characters are both comedic and villainous, but they have some very vibrant and bold costumes. In order to get them right, make sure to have medieval-type dresses, bright makeup, and have your hair done accordingly.

Wilma Flintstone Was More Than A Wife And Mother

a woman dressed as wilma from the flintstones
John Lamparski/Getty Images
John Lamparski/Getty Images

The Flintstones first appeared on television screens on September 30, 1960, and quickly became one of the most popular cartoons of all time. The episodes focused on the Flintstone and Rubble families as they lived in the “modern Stone Age.”

Wilma Flintstone was the matriarch of the Flintstone family known for her intelligence and level-head. In order to master the best Wilma Flintstone outfit, you’ll need an off the shoulder white dress, an exaggerated white necklace, and a red-haired top bun.

People Will Be Green With Envy Over This Gremlins Costume

a woman dressed as a gremlin holding a stuffed animal from gremlins
Ollie Millington/Getty Images
Ollie Millington/Getty Images

This costume proves that you can take the concept of a character and make it your own. The cosplayer in the photo chose to be her own version of a gremlin from the hit 80’s movie Gremlins.

In order to pull it off, she mainly focused on her special effects makeup and the wide gremlin ears. Just in case people didn’t recognize her unique take on the character she brought along a Gremlins stuffed animal.

They’ll Be Some Strings Attached If You’re A Puppet

a woman dressed as a puppet next to a guy in stilts
Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images
Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images

Cosplay allows for people to escape from everyday life and take on the persona of whoever they want. One costume that can set anyone apart from the crowd is a puppet.

The versatile part of this costume is the clothing because there isn’t a definite item that all puppets wear. Instead, cosplayers should focus on the makeup and accessories that highlight where they are attached by strings. Some puppets that can serve as inspiration include Pinocchio and vintage marionettes.