- Holidays and Celebrations
Best Halloween Costumes for Curvy Women
Great Costumes from the Past - When Women Looked Like Real (Curvy) Women
Don't get me started on the curvy woman's pain of finding a good Halloween costume! If you're a femme with a womanly full figure, you know all too well that "plus size" Halloween costumes in the stores too often seem to be made for Barbie dolls with water bloat - not plus-sized at all. So you're stuck with draping yourself in a muumuu...
Surely there are flattering, attractive, even sexy Halloween costumes for a larger woman out there? Yes, indeed!
I've tiptoed through history here to do the leg work for you, looking back to past eras when women with voluptuous curves were properly appreciated. Check out the feminine costume ideas here to find the best fit for your own size and style - whether you're looking for a sexy Halloween costume or one with a bit more coverage for any masquerade.
1950s Blond Bombshell
(By which we mean a Marilyn costume, of course)
Any curvy girl worth her Spanx has heard that Marilyn Monroe, perhaps the greatest American sex symbol ever to grace the big screen, was no Skinny Minnie. It turns out that chubby Marilyn is an urban myth - a bit of a disappointment for some of us, eh?
But still, our Norma Jean had padding in all the right places (unlike the hipless nymphets of today's Hollywood), and her super-feminine image is a wonderful costume for the more zaftig figure.
If you're lucky enough to have your curves arranged in an hourglass shape, then Marilyn and her pin-up girl sisters of WW2 and the post-war years are among the most sexy and flattering Halloween costumes you can choose.
Oh, yes, don't forget to practice your breathless delivery of "Happy Birthday, Mr President" - just in case.
The Famous White Dress
The floaty skirt is flattering to a pair of gorgeous gams and the halter style puts the eyes up top, great for girls with a pretty face, shoulders and cleavage - all of which tend to be strong points for the curvy woman. White heels or strappy sandals, the iconic platinum blond Marilyn wig, and 1950s style make-up are just about all you need to knock off this hot costume.
1940s PinUp Girl Costume
The Sweethearts of World War Two
These days, with the recent resurgence of fashion interest in the 1950 pinup icons like Bettie Paige, you'll find a fair amount of crossover between wartime and post-war honeys. For true-life inspiration, however, check out the WW2 era issues of Yank, The Army Weekly magazine, 1940s vintage calendar girls, and the fabulous aircraft nose art of the period.
1940s pinup costumes will generally favor the larger lady with an athletic build and great legs - this look is all about the just-so hair and the endless legs, with a sweetheart neckline and belted high waist in between.
Pin curls and Victory rolls, brave red lipstick, and a coy over-the-shoulder glance - that's the wartime pinup girl, the pretty morale-boosters for the boys "over there" and missing their sweethearts back home.
A sweetheart neckline, Victory hairstyle, and a short-short skirt over black stockings (with a seam up the back, vintage style!) to flash those garters - the French pinup girl is simply ooh la la.
Curvy girls who'd prefer to show a little less skin can go English pinup, with a retro frock inspired by the 1940s, or American pinup, with high-waisted shorts and a brief cashmere sweater. Key to this costume is choosing the makeup and hairstyle to match the era.
Inspired by Mae West, of course, the 's costume includes a long sequin gown, faux-fur stole, long gloves, and a faux award statuette to hold up for the cameras while you thank all the little people for such a wonderful honor... Hollywood sex symbol
Enormous eyelashes and bouffant blond wig (not included with this gown shown here) are de rigeur, if your Halloween persona will be the Mae West vamp.
There's no age limit on wearing a Mae West costume, by the way. The ultimate Hollywood vamp was still hip-swaying her way across the big screen well into her late 70s (ahem, Myra Breckenridge) and putting some pretty convincing moves on a handsome young Tom Selleck. As long as you can deliver her patented one-liners in style and sashay around in that fancy gown, you've got your Mae West impersonation down.
Here's a treat for you - a quick montage of some of Mae's best moments on film:
Channel Your Inner Zelda
(An ideal costume for those without a Mae West "hourglass" figure!)
For those of us who don't have a real waist we'd like to show off - for larger women with more of a straight up-and-down plus size figure - consider the 1920s Bright Young Thing in her sacque style flapper dress, all layers and sequins and fringe and "all that jazz"...
Accessorize with the longest leanest faux-cigarette holder you can find (jet black or mother-of-pearl if you can swing it) - you'll wave it for dramatic emphasis as you banter with the boys. Elbow-length gloves, a sumptuous feather boa or drift of silk chiffon scarf, and a long string of beads to dangle and twirl. Cropped hair or cloche and kiss curls, please. Big eyes!
Then roll those stocking tops, take to the dance floor and daringly show off your knees in a hot Charleston that will rock the Halloween party like it's 1924 - you Jazz Baby you!
1890s La Belle Epoque Costume
Gay 'Nineties New Orleans meets Hollywood Vamp
For a flamboyantly fun costume idea, take a look at Belle of the Nineties, a 1934 flick set in 1892. Our favorite bawdy bombshell stars as nightclub entertainer Ruby Carter, caught up in a plot of prize fights and diamonds as she is ardently pursued from St. Louis to New Orleans. Even the music of Duke Ellington and His Orchestra in this classic film can't outshine the curvaceous comedienne ... and it's no doubt that the lady's robust charms are set off to perfection by the ultra-feminine costumes of the (Hollywood version) 1890s nightclub world.
Big beautiful women of 2013 can most certainly bring down the house with a costume inspired by the Gay Nineties - after-hours edition! Hollywood style, this belle of the ball is all about the huge cartwheel hat, lashings of marabou, sweeping gown with mermaid hem or demi-train and ostrich trim, maybe even a swishy feather boa - and of course your enviable curves.
Of course it's not historically accurate, but for a Halloween costume? Stunning, and a whole lot of fun!
1860s Gold Rush Klondyke Kitty - Saloon Madame with a Heart of Gold
Sashay right out of the Gold Rush days in this fancy dress Saloon Madam costume. If you'd prefer to play the role of a slightly more law-abiding lady of the wild west, or simply show a little less leg on Halloween, you can always just slide a satin or lace petitcoat under the existing high-slit skirt.
Gypsies, Tramps and... Pirate Wenches
Speaking of curves, keep reading for more colorful female characters you'd have a blast dressing up as for a Halloween party or any fancy dress affair. It takes a bold and curvy girl to really pull off the look of any of these "lawless ladies" from the more colorful pages of history.
Halloween is all about throwing the rules out the window and donning a fun new character with the colorful costume, so why not make the most of your fabulous curves with the garb of a bodacious beauty just a bit on the wild side?
Off-the-shoulder outfits make the most of upper-body attractions, not the least of which is your decolletage and rounded shoulders, and you've got several centuries of inspiration to choose from for costume ideas there. Not to mention, there are a host of character roles where you can find an excuse to wear a figure-flattering corset to nip in the waist and emphasize those feminine charms!
Reveal as much or as little skin as your comfort level and best attributes allow, leaning toward the most opulent fabrics and interesting details, then let your imagination have free reign when it comes to the accessories.
Make way for the Pirate Queen! This luxurious-looking pirate costume is a one-piece dress made of satin and panne velvet, trimmed in lace, worn with a lace-up red corset with gold trim and bold striped sash and bandana, all included.
Elegant Plus-Sized Women's Costumes with More Coverage - Well-Bred Historical Ladies of Fashion
Pre-Revolution France (the era of the elegant Marie Antoinette) and England from the Renaissance through to the Georgian period are are a fine source of modest costumes for the larger lady, as are the costumes of the American Colonial era.
For the more modest or more mature among us, or for those of us who live in a cold climate and like to cover up when the October winds begin to howl, the pages of History give us even more lovely options for Halloween costumes for the curvy woman.
But a little more modest costume does not mean any less attractive - or, dare we say, sexy!
Off-the-shoulder gowns, or one-shoulder styles, are costumes with a lot of visual interest around the face and neckline, drawing the eye upward and away from any areas of your figure you might want to downplay, to focus attention on your lovely face. Similarly, a costume with an asymmetrical design element in the skirt will break the visual line on the horizontal across hips and draw the eye upward, again lengthening the overall effect. Flowing skirts on ankle-length gowns lend grace to your movement as they give the illusion of lengthening the figure, while empire waists or bodices with cross lacing are generally flattering to the curvy woman.
Women have known these fool-the-eye tricks of fashion for centuries, so every era offers a design that will suit the rubenesque beauty.
Statue-sque Woman - Are you a real woman, or a lovely work of art?
Such a clever costume! The marble-patterned gown comes with a fitted cap, gloves, and shoe covers to match. All you need to add is a bit of makeup on your face and neck - and voila! You're a work of art.
Such a clever costume! The marble-patterned gown comes with a fitted cap, gloves, and shoe covers to match. All you need to add is a bit of makeup on your face and neck - and voila! You're a work of art. Some women find the headpiece to be too tight, so depending on your head size and thickness of hair, you might want to substitute a hairdo of close pincurls and a spray can of temporary hair color to whiten it.