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Halloween Girl Power: Non-Princess Costumes for Girls

Let me say up front, we have nothing against princesses. My daughter rocked her Rapunzel costume for Halloween last year. Princesses rule. But it’s easy to get into a princessy rut. The gown and crown becomes the default costume, to the point that many girls don’t consider any other costume options for Halloween time. So when I asked my child what she wanted to be for Halloween this year, I have to say I was pleased that she chose a non-royal alternative.

Disney Junior’s Doc McStuffins is a little girl with a knack for healing. But she’s no ordinary doctor: her patients are broken toys. Doc is a role model for both girls and boys to pursue a career in medicine. The character has even inspired real life female physicians of color to form their own organization, the Artemis Society. We got our Doc costume from the Disney Store. Though Disney-licensed costumes can be found in many outlets, the Disney Store versions are usually more durable and comfy. When my daughter put the costume on, she immediately set to work diagnosing and treating all manner of ills in her toys.

Looking for other princess-free costumes for your little girl? Here’s a trick: don’t think of it as a girl’s costume; just think of it as a costume. That firefighter or dinosaur may have a boy’s picture on the package, but there’s no reason your girl can’t wear it!

Here are a few ideas to get you started:

PIRATE
In addition to potentially scoring you a dozen donuts once a year, a pirate costume is a versatile addition to any make-believe wardrobe.  Chances are you can assemble one with minimal effort from things you already have on hand: red and white striped shirt, black pants, bandana, and a convincing “arrrrh!” The Disney Store has a great girls' option as well, in Jake and the Neverland Pirate’s Izzy.

ANIMAL KINGDOM
Think of the first words your kid learned. It's a fair bet that dog, cat, and elephant were among them. Kids find it easy to identify, and identify with, different kinds of beasties. Whether they’re wild like a leopard or giraffe, cuddly like a puppy or bunny, spooky like a spider or bat, or exotic like a wooly mammoth or peacock, there is a creature hiding inside every child, boy or girl. Time to set them free!

MONSTER
Why can’t a girl be the scariest thing on the block? Halloween is a holiday of chills and thrills, and little girls can be every bit as terror-inducing as little boys. (Trust me on this one). Let her explore her wild side, as a vampire, mummy, or zombie.  Monster High characters give 'tweens a chance to be spooky and trendy at the same time.

SUPERHERO
The beauty of a superhero costume is that it can be customized to your child’s specifications. The basics are a cape and possibly a mask. But the details? That’s all your kid. A purple cape with a lighting bolt? (Violet Thunder!) Black cape with stars? (Astro Girl!) Red cape with a tic tac toe board? (The Puzzler!)  Ask her what her super power is and watch her imagination run wild. A cape is relatively simple to make, even for non-crafty types. There are numerous options for purchasing capes online (or check a local costume swap). A favorite of mine, Superfly Kids, gives you the option to customize the color and detailing on your cape.

ASTRONAUT
Does your daughter have the Right Stuff? Girls should know that they can reach for the stars.  What better costume to illustrate that her potential has no bounds than an astronaut flight suit?  Budding Sally Rides can get the genuine article (more or less!) from NASA itself, or any number of other retailers.

COSPLAY FANGIRLThe Force is Strong in this One
I eagerly await the day my daughter begs me to take her to Comic Con. Until that time, I am slowly indoctrinating her in the ways of scifi fandom. To wit: her first few costumes were Yoda, Spock, and a Smurf. Admittedly, they represent my interests, not hers, but she can now spot a Federation uniform from a mile away and knows her Vaders from her Skywalkers.

As a sidenote, many girl versions of otherwise unisex costumes have a distinctly frilly edge. A girl superhero costume might pair its cape and mask with a tutu; a girl's firefighter costume may be in a pastel color scheme. If that's the style your daughter prefers, go for it.

Do you have any other suggestions for non-princessy costumes? Let us know in the comments below!

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