Ah, Halloween. The time of year when a girl's inner kitty-cat prostitute can run free.
It isn't so much that I'm against sexy bees/nurses/Eskimos/fire hydrants/whatever, it's more that they're so uninspired. A shortened hem and a pair of fishnets does not a costume make. A woman who follows the list below may not get the catcalls, but she's guaranteed to have a blast all her own.
1) Lisa Simpson
One of the most underappreciated female role models out there. She's smart, stands up for what's right and can wail on a sax. Rock a strapless red dress and some peals, then add some yellow triangles to a headband for her trademark hair-do. Those feeling up for a bigger challenge can tackle Marge, thought it will most likely involve chicken wire and copious amounts of blue paint. (And don't say she isn't sexy – she's Playboy's cover girl this month.)
2) Annie Hall
The title character of 1977's Best Picture Oscar winner covers two of my costume requirements: comfortable shoes and temperature-appropriate gear. Stilletos can get you to Rosemary and back once tops. And the party's over when the temperature drops and you have to beg a fleece off someone. Annie wears the pants without sacrificing her wily female ways.
3) The Supremes
Not Diana Ross and Co. (unless you've got three matching sequined dresses and some advanced hairstyling ability, then go for it). Find your high school graduation robe, add a toilet paper collar and wah-la! You're Ruth Bader Ginsberg! Or go the Wise Latina route as Justice Sotomayor.
4) Nancy Drew
Speaking of Sonia, Nancy Drew was her favorite book growing up. Break in that sweater set you bought for internship interviews and go as a sleuth. The Case of Where-the-Hell-Did-My-Friend-Just-Go-I-Swear-She-was-Just-Here may be a tough one to crack, but far easier than understanding the plans of the non-costumed weirdoes videotaping leering from the sidewalk.
5) Babysitters Club
Great for a group of friends. You can go as the original four-some, or expand as needed. You can still be Dawn even if you're not from California and diabetes isn't a requirement to be Stacy, but whoever regularly wears a retainer to bed has to be Mallory –- sorry!
6) Rosie the Riveter
Find some comfy coveralls (jeans and a tucked-in fitted flannel shirt will do in a pinch), wrap your hair up and show off the guns you've earned, whether while pumping iron or doing pilates. An awesome Halloween night filled with more brawn than blisters — We can do it!
Can't break out of the sexy rut? Put on some fish nets and leather boots, provoke your mane into fabulous blonde curls and write "SLUT" on a red tank top. The genius part –- you're not! You're just Lindsey Bluth Funke from Arrested Development!
Still have an itch to rock that corseted get-up? Fine, put on the bunny ears, the bow-tie and start serving cocktails. But you've got more than an uncomfortable push-up bra underneath that Playboy Bunny get-up. Channel Gloria Steinem on assignment for her undercover reporting on Playboy Clubs, and plan on using the inspired quotes you're sure to collect to write your own revolutionary essay.
Remember as a girl when you planned your costume for weeks? When you couldn't wait to show it off at school? When the best part of the night was sorting your loot into piles and pigging out on your favorites? Try and bring a little bit of that magic back this year. The whistles and stares are a lot like the candy we feast on: full of sugar but little substance. This Halloween, try dressing for yourself, not for the crowds.