Nine Classy and Creative Halloween Costumes for Nerd Girls


by Lucy Markham (@LucyMarkham88)

Sick of being the sixth of seven Harley Quinns in the room? I feel your pain. It can be tough to be nerdy on Halloween. On the one hand, we all want to be original and let our nerd flag fly, but nobody wants to be the one to have to say “I’m Lorelei as she appeared alongside Loki on the cover of Thor vol. 1 #337…duh!”

Here are 9 costumes to cure what party worries ail you:

The Hipster Disney Princesses

This meme is hilarious, and it’s a great way to go Disney for Halloween without dropping a bundle. You can either imitate your favorite meme with a spot-on cosplay plus glasses and joke, or go for a modern hipster-y, thrift-store look for your princess of choice. Bonus points if you take pictures imitating the Princess’ faces in the more famous memes!

Cliff Chiang’s DC Runaways

What’s the best part of going as artist Cliff Chiang’s crime-fighting rocker Joan Jett/Wonder Woman? Is it that this awesome superheroine’s costume—with a leotard traded in for separates that include seasonally appropriate skinny jeans and red converse—is finally sensible and pleasant to wear? Is it the red corset with Wonder Woman logo that looks just as fabulous underneath a denim jacket? Is it the gold lasso/guitar cord? Is it the fact that your friends can dress up alongside as Black Canary, Zatanna, and Batgirl as some pretty metal versions of The Runaways? It’s all of that, and more.

Literally Anything else Leia Wears in Star Wars

Too many cosplayers get stuck on the Slave Leia costume or her white dress from the opening of A New Hope. But let us not forget her costumes—and good gracious, her hairdos—from the other movies. These outfits are rarely done, possibly because of the difficulty of the hairdos, but if you or someone you know is decent with hair, you can do it. Even a salon-based hairdresser can replicate it; just be sure to bring in pictures or screenshots that capture the ‘do in question from multiple angles. Then it’s off the thrift shops and the internet, and with a little creativity and painting, you can literally wear any of her outfits from the other films.


Shirefolk love parties, so why not dress as them when you some up this Halloween? The clothing is a thrift store trip away. As for Hobbit Feet, they can be as simple as fake fur and flip-flops or as in-depth as this tutorial. And I’m not necessarily saying that if you have a significant other that you guys have to go as Samwise and Rosie, or that best bros should go as Sam and Frodo, but it is an excellent paired costume.



She wanted to fight evil, so that’s exactly what she did. Eowyn is a strong, fierce Princess who doesn’t need a man to complete her, and let’s all remember how she is one of the kindest, most tender women in The Lord of the Rings, oh and she killed the principal antagonist’s right-hand man. To be this fierce Wraith-killer, pair any old dress with some armor (perhaps a helmet perched atop your head?) and be ready tell the world—you are no man!


Anyone from Firefly

The ladies of this much-loved sci-fi western from Joss Whedon offer some awesome possibilities. Zoe Washburn’s sleek, fierce gunslinger look is as simple as getting a leather vest and some accessories with your boots, dark jeans, and denim shirt. Kaylee Fry’s sweet engineer look is as easy as pairing floral print with green khaki, and all you need for River Tam is a gray dress and two weapons—then let your hair hang down. To dress up as Inara Serra, look for dresses in rich colors, with Asiatic patterns and metallic accents. And let’s not forget Rule 63. The right clothes tailored to your frame—a long coat, Hawaiian shirt, a vest—is all you need for a perfect gender-bend costume of Mal, Wash, Simon, or Shepherd Book.


A Zombie Red Shirt

Well, “red shirts” have been called the literal walking dead. And what’s the only thing hotter than Star Trek in light of the newest movie? Zombies, that’s what. Imagine the splash you’ll make shuffling into the party in a red Federation uniform and zombie getup!!

Molly Hooper

For any nerd girls out there who have yet to join the BBC Sherlock fandom, a quick summary: Molly does autopsies in the St. Bart’s hospital morgue and frequently assists Sherlock & John on their cases. And, like many of us, she has a crush on Sherlock. Molly may be timid, but she’s a smart lab technician. Think of her as the sweet girl from school who you never would have guessed loved dead things. You have two options: You can either copy her fancy party dress look from “A Scandal in Belgravia”, or you can go for Classic Molly—ponytail, sweet sweater, and a lab coat.


Professor River Song

This sometime Doctor Who companion entered the scene with an enigmatic bang. She carries a sonic screwdriver, a sonic blaster, and hallucinogenic lipstick. And even before the Doctor knows who she is, she addresses him: “Hello, Sweetie.” I could tell you more, but, as River so mischievously says, “spoilers.” If you aren’t familiar with Doctor Who, first of all fix that, but in the meantime, all you need to know is that she’s like Indiana Jones, but fierce, female, and in space.

To go to your Halloween parties and events as Professor Song, there are a number of outfits you could do, but her most iconic, instantly recognizable look is from the season 5 finale. A white jacket, dark green pants, brown boots, and a brown gun belt/journal pouch will get you your basic River look—but no adventure with mysterious boxes beneath Stonehenge is complete without a brown leather bracelet resembling River’s Vortex Manipulator. However, the denim suit and white shirt, or taupe-green dress and brown boots, both from the Day of the Moon episodes are also excellent choices. Then again, Professor Song is always fabulous, so any of her many looks—art thief, clerical spy, library expedition leader—will more than do.

You could also go as something directly related to your work. For example, classy nerd girls working for a website design and development company could go as HTML coding, or as a character you teach about as part of your English Education career. If items in your closet need some detail for complete accuracy, many online wholesale companies like carry buttons, ribbons, and other embellishments to get your nerdy getup just right!

Let your Halloween costume be as unique as you are as you get out there and get you nerd on—now all you have to worry about is getting the attention of that cutie dressed up as the 10th Doctor or Spock!

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