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The Fat Girl's Guide to Fresh Halloween Costumes
Posted by Tee in Fun Stuff,Plus-Size Fashion
French maids and fairies and nurses, oh my...errr... bleh. This Halloween we're waging a one-web-site war on omnipresent, stereotypical fat-girl costumes like voluptuous bar wenches and dark, broody Elviras. I'd love to see major retailers schooled on how to think outside the dull, tired box they've created for the plus-size community - because despite what their predictable line of "extended-size" Halloween gear suggests: we're good for a whole lot more than just filling out a latex bustier.

We're also a force to be reckoned with at pumpkin bowling, but that's another post.

So this week we've scoured our imaginations, and the collective imagination of the web, for some uncommonly smart, fun, snarky and even bizarro Halloween costume ideas for women with ample curves. Here are our top picks:

Start a conversation
Rubenesque Painting

Remind everyone that thin wasn't always in by placing yourself in the middle of a piece of 17th century art. You'll be the star of the show for at least three feet in every direction, and probably of every party you grace.

You'll need a nude-toned body suit, some drapey cloth, some paint (golds and reds work well), a piece of foam board that's bigger and taller than you are, and an ornate frame that is too, but not so big or heavy you can't carry it around with you comfortably.

Cut the foam to fit the frame, then lie down on the cut piece and extend your arms as if you're holding up both sides. Have someone draw your outline, and then cut it out so that when you're holding up the foam, your whole body is visible through it. Paint the remaining foam in abstract swirls, or, if you're artistically-inclined, a Rubenesque-scene like this one. Attach the foam to the frame with glue, string, duct tape (whatever you have available). Put on your bodysuit and drapey cloth, pick up your frame and go.

Get a little creepy
Coraline doll

If you haven't seen it, Coraline was a smart, funny and ghoulish animated film about a young girl who, annoyed and impatient with her life (complete with imperfect parents, a boring house and an annoying friend) chose to trade it in for a new, perfect one on the other side of reality. But as Coraline finds, things aren't always what they seem in that place, and she finds herself missing and appreciating her real life more and more.

At the center of the story is a rag doll that looked just like Coraline, but inside was an evil, all-seeing, manipulative soul that tempted her away into dark places with false promises of perfection and wonderfulness. Sound familiar?

An easy costume to pull off, you'll need blue hair dye (or create a wig of blue yarn), a yellow rain slicker, yellow rain boots, black and white striped knee-socks and some black, red and dark blue face makeup. Using the dark blue, draw circles around your eyes and fill them in to look like buttons. Take the red and draw hatch/sewing marks on both sides of your face, from mouth to ear. Using the black, draw freckles on both cheeks. Dye your hair blue, part it in the middle and comb it out straight, then rumple it (or use the wig). Here's a reference image for the finished look.

Go a lot crazy
Reality Mom

If you've ever wanted to know what a day in the life of Nadya Suleman (Octo-mom) or Kate Gosselin (Kate Plus 8 ) or Michelle Duggar (18 Kids and Counting) is like, you can get a taste this Halloween by going as a baby-juggling reality mom. OK, you're right: that's never going to come close to giving anyone a sense of what that's really like. But it makes a fun, attention-getting costume anyway. And it's an easy one to put together.

You'll need eight (or 10 or 20) small, generic baby dolls - often craft stores will have basic baby dolls cheap for doll-making - individual or matching outfits for each of them, thick, durable clothing for yourself, and enough safety pins so that each of your babies has one. With those safety pins, affix each of the babies to some part of your body... hanging off your arms, your chest, your hip, your belly, your shoulders, until all babies are attached. Alternatively, you can carry a diaper bag and put three or four of your babies in there to peek out as you bob along. Bonus points if you get the signature Kate Gosselin mom cut for the occasion.

Surprisingly coquettish
Amish Maiden

Didn't see that one coming, did ya? The rise in interest in Amish literature this year, even Amish erotica (which fueled some essays and articles dispelling myths about Amish women, like the misconception that they're cold and unfriendly - they're not - or that they don't enjoy flirting and sex - they do), makes this costume idea the perfect combination of current, unique and sexy. It's a warm option for spending Halloween in colder climates, too.

You'll need a plain, ankle-length black, blue or gray dress, a white or black bib-style apron, a traditional bonnet, knit tights (optional), black loafers and a large, woven basket filled with fruit, vegetables or bread (or all three). Part your hair in the middle and pull back into a tight bun before fitting the bonnet. No makeup or nail polish allowed, but for a sexy twist to give you an edge all night, go commando. Here's a reference image.

A class act
Michelle Obama

She's the cover girl for elegance, class, intelligence, grace and strength, and like her mid-century counterpart, Jackie O, First Lady Michelle Obama elevates basic wardrobe pieces to haute couture and garners respect and admiration everywhere she goes. We may not have her sculpted arms or her commanding stature, but Mrs. Obama's look is a great costume for elegant, high-society parties...not to mention a daring, tongue-in-cheek choice if you're planning on being in a room full of Republicans.

You'll need a solid-color sleeveless or cropped-sleeve, knee-length dress - preferably in green, red, plum, yellow or black - basic solid color, low-heel pumps to match, small pearl earrings, a pearl necklace and an appointment with a stylist: Michelle Obama's perfectly-coiffed hair is a job for professionals.

Cute and culty
Progressive Insurance Girl

You either love her or you hate her, but with more than 20,000 Facebook fans and growing, Stephanie Courtney - the sickeningly cute, annoyingly charming customer service girl, Flo, in Progressive commercials - has attained a cult following over the last year. Her distinctive retro style has created a larger-than-life, instantly recognizable character in Progressive's print and TV ads, and the girl is EVERYWHERE.

What you'll need for this one: a white, short-sleeved shirt, white pants, a white apron, blue tennis shoes, a purple headband, a FLO name tag, an "I love insurance" button and, if you don't already have brown, shoulder-length hair, a wig that does. Don't forget the heavy eyeliner and bright, red lipstick! Find your reference image here.

WOW 'em with character
World of Warcraft character

The mere depth and breadth of the choices in WOW characters leaves a lot of room for creative flexibility here. With the ornate amount of costume design and accoutrements required, this is an ambitious option, but few costume ideas are more attention-getting and fan-winning than this one.

We'd be here all day if we listed every possible character and how to replicate their costume, but we can offer a few tips nonetheless:

1. Make it simple. While beautiful, some WOW costumes are so intricate that you'll invest more in making them than you may ever get out of wearing them - and little pieces may be easily lost at parties. Plus, moving around in all that gear will get old after the first hour or so.

2. Make liberal use of makeup. Some parts of a costume, like jewelry, arm bands, even clothing, can be drawn on vs. trying to find the material (not to mention talent, of which I have none) to sew them. If you're really daring and have an artistic friend to help out, try doing most of the costume in body paint. Talk about WOW! Also: the pliable craft product, Sculpey, is great for appendages like elf ears.

3. If all else fails, find somebody else who's already made a WOW costume and beg, buy or borrow from them instead.

Popped culture
Future Hannah Montana

This idea felt wrong for about 30 seconds, and then we got over it. Hannah Montana's prolific presence in the lives of everyone who has a girl between 6 and 16 in their lives (and even for some who don't) is deserving of a little mockery. And who doesn't want to take every self-obsessed teenage girl with perky boobs aside and say, "just wait 'til you're my age, honey."

The image of a burned out, washed up, Hannah Montana tickles me more than it should. To achieve this, get yourself a long, gray wig and give it a few blonde highlights, some sparkly barrettes, a pink shirt, white pants and fake rhinestone-studded boots. Age the fresh-faced Hannah about 30 years by blotting under your eyes with some dark eyeshadow and think Tammy Faye Baker when you're applying the rest of your makeup. Give yourself some age spots on your neck and hands with light brown eyeliner. Sport a hunched, bow-legged walk, and let a small microphone dangle from your fingers (or mouth) like an old cigarette.

Cool and geeky
iPhone App

The icons on iPhone applications have rounded edges, and so do we...that's all the justification we need. Get your inner geek on this year and go as everybody's favorite thing: an iPhone accessory! While this might seem complicated, it really isn't.

First you'll need to decide what kind of app you're going to be. an eco-living directory? A calculator? A scrabble game? Pick a solid color that fits your app, and dress in only that color from head to toe - in the same shade whenever possible. Name your app, then outline the first letter of the name on a piece of white felt and cut it out. Sew or glue it to the front of your shirt. When you're at your party, slide from side to side on occasion, making a swoosh-and-click noise when you do. Spout off various facts and details relative to your app at random and inappropriate times.

What about you? Share your unique costume ideas in comments below, and be sure to post your own Halloween photo to the FGG Girls Flickr group for a chance to win next month's photo contest.