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1. Badass Princesses
When the inevitable princess phase strikes, suggest that your girl dress up as a royal with backbone. My daughter Violet went as Princess Leia when she was about five, and it was insanely cute, even though the cinnamon bun wig kept sliding back. Current for this year is Princess Merida from Brave. This excellent horsewoman and archer refused an arranged marriage to a goofball, and then saved her mother from an untimely death by bear. She had all that flowing red hair, too, which will make your girl easy to spot in the Halloween parade.
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This tough Hunger Games character has a funky braid and, like Merida, a way with a bow and arrow. You'll need a toy archery set, pants and boots; smear on some fake blood and dirt for good measure.
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3. Female Athletes
Can you lay your hands on some tennis clothes and a racquet? You have a Serena Williams costume. A soccer ball and jersey? Your daughter can be Hope Solo. Another idea, a bit more current event oriented is to impersonate the cheerleaders in Texas who went to court to fight for the right to carry signs proclaiming their Christian faith. Cheerleader outfit plus poster with bible verse, and you are all set. It's probably not okay at a public school though, or you'll get yourselves in the same situation.
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4. Percy Jackson series characters
The popularity of Rick Riordan's Percy Jackson books and movies means that kids have an impressive familiarity with Greek mythology. Any number of gods and goddesses could work. You could do Medusa with a head full of rubber snakes, or hand make a Camp Half-Blood t-shirt and go as Annabeth Chase.
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With the Broadway show being revived in November, interest in the optimistic orphan is sure to be high. This one is pretty easy. All you need is a red wig, a classic little girl's red dress, and Maryjanes. A little dog (stuffed?) will complete the look.
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6. Taylor Swift
Whatever you think of her music, Taylor is, by all accounts, a decent person and her outfits are easy enough to copy. I am partial to her marching band look from the ''You Belong to Me Video.''
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7. Courageous American Girls
Yes, American Girl Dolls are expensive, but I'm all for the books and movies, because they really make American history comes to life. Why not have your girl dress up as Felicity, the spunky Revolutionary War character, or Kit, the Depression-era girl reporter (Like here, in the 2008 movie)? Samantha, whose aunt was a suffragette? Or even Julie, who lived way back in history, during the 1970s? Note: the website doesn't seem to sell girl-sized versions of all the dolls' outfits, so you will have to improvise.
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8. Luna Lovegood
By now, the people giving out candy may be weary of Hermione, admirable as she is. But there have been fewer Luna Lovegoods out trick or treating. The elements are blonde hair or a wig, a random assortment of outlandish clothes (a furry hat with ears would be nice). An innocent yet knowing air will help, too.
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9. A political player
Anyone who comes to my door as one of these women gets extra candy... or raisins. My preogative: Hillary Clinton (pants suit and a beleaguered expression), Michelle Obama (perfect sleeveless dress and biceps), Ann Romney (classic structured silhouettes) or ...
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10. Candy Crowley
A good dark suit and no-nonsense gaze could bring this one home because what's better than the old adage of the woman behind the powerful man? The woman reining in two powerful men.