We had over 200 entries to our costume contest this year, which was way more than we expected. That’s the kind of response big newspapers and magazines get when they run contests, though I daresay the level of quality of our entries was higher. But that just made the judging harder.
To make it manageable, the first we thing did was ruthlessly eliminate any entries that didn’t conform to our original stated categories. So that means no comic book characters, no Neil Gaiman characters, no fictional characters at all. (A lot of people seem to be unclear on the difference between mythology/folklore and fiction. Next year we’ll make a point of spelling it out. Short version: Athena is myth. Batgirl is fiction.)
Basically, we only considered costumes that might actually appear on our website: a specific historical person (queen, movie star, notable woman) or a figure from mythology or folklore.
But even after making that cut, we still had an overwhelming number of fantastic entries. Which then brings up the issue of judging and what, exactly, is being judged. The contestants ranged from 8-month-old babies to professional performers. How to compare them? Do adults stand a chance against adorable children? Does it make sense to judge a third-grader’s homemade outfit against the work of a professional costumer? Hmm.
So, we added more categories. We separated the women from the girls, putting the kids in their own division. Then we created a separate division for outstanding achievement in crafting, both in terms of homemade ingenuity and professional-level skill. We don’t have any extra money for prizes, so we scrounged up a couple of more gift certificates and will fill out the rest of the awards with our beautiful posters.
At this point I think I’m on the verge of a nervous breakdown from all this judging, so it’s time to punt. Here are the winners. Note that we’ll upload more costume pictures later, maybe as a linked album or something, after we’ve copied all of them to our server.
Category Awards, Regular Division
These are the original category awards we announced, though we’ve expanded by awarding second and third place in each category. This division is limited to adults.
All the blue ribbon winners will receive the original prizes we announced: $25 Amazon gift certificates for individual categories, and a $50 Amazon gift certificate in the Best Overall category. The red ribbon winners and yellow ribbon winners in the individual categories will receive 11×14 or 8×10 posters of their choice from our collection; we’ll email them with the details. In the Best Overall category, the red ribbon winner will receive a $35 Amazon gift certificate and the yellow ribbon winner will receive a $20 Amazon gift certificate.
Best Notable Woman Costume
Blue Ribbon: Caitlin Driscoll as Ada Lovelace. Caitlin looks almost exactly like our design original for the Ada Lovelace costume. Didn’t she do a beautiful job? And Caitlin is an elementary school technology teacher, so this costume was an especially apt choice for her. Perfect!
Red Ribbon: Monica Espinosa as Joan of Arc. It’s a whole freaking suit of armor! Way to go, Monica! Was it hard to walk around in that?
Yellow Ribbon: Diana Olivares as Adela Velarde. We plan to add a soldadera costume to our catalog at some point, but in the meantime, Diana shows us how it’s done. She modeled her outfit after the pop art version of La Adelita, replete with braids, gun, and Mexican flag. Good job, Diana!
Best Queen Costume
Blue Ribbon: Adrianne Curran as Cleopatra. The problem with dressing up as Cleopatra is that the real woman has been totally obscured by the Hollywood version. You can try to do a proper historical costume, which no one would recognize, or you can just go Hollywood. Adrianne chose the latter option, with stunning effect. She used gold Isis wings (Adrianne is a belly dancer), a storebought dress from Egypt, and an amazing homemade headdress that took hours of crafting. The result is absolutely spectacular. Outstanding!
Red Ribbon: Janice Strickland as Zenobia in Chains. What delights us about this costume is the exquisite details: the golden chains, the gold jewelry, the tapestry style over-chiton, the fine crown, and Janice’s noble expression as she stands next to a wall, contemplating her lost kingdom. (Look at our Zenobia page and you’ll see what we mean.) Beautiful job, Janice. Just beautiful.
Yellow Ribbon: Denise Goerisch as Boudicca. This is another beautifully rendered outfit, with great details and a fierce performance by Denise. We’ve seen a lot of Boudiccas, but Denise is easily the most Boudicca-ish of all. Excellent job!
Best Glamour Grrl Costume
Blue Ribbon: Amanda Leib as Audrey Hepburn. Isn’t she the spitting image of Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany’s? She could be a DVD cover! Way to go, Amanda.
Red Ribbon: Victoria Erica Espejo as Hedy Lamarr. We love the photo shoot for this costume, which really helps the ambiance. Victoria Erica looks so glamorous with her gloves and her hat. And notice the cellphone! Beautiful job.
Yellow Ribbon: Celeste Moye as Mae West. Doesn’t she look stunning? Celeste wore this outfit to a party, and writes, “It was so lovely to have an idea suitable for a curvaceous woman like me. I actually got hit on a couple of times last night. That hasn’t happened to me in quite awhile. THANK YOU!”
Best Goddess or Mythological Costume
Blue Ribbon: Claudia Laughter and daughter as Sea Siren and Sea Nymph. Claudia was inspired by the gorgeous art of Alphonse Mucha, and in fact her outfit was part of a whole group of Mucha-inspired costumes. The result is the most beautiful sea siren we could possibly imagine, and that headdress is to die for. Bonus points for the adorable baby nymph! (The father is reportedly a pirate.)
Red Ribbon: Ashley Hejmanowski and daughter as Demeter and Persephone. Needless to say, Demeter and Persephone make for a perfect mother/daughter costume, and Ashley did a phenomenal job with both outfits. There’s all the stuff from our costume pages, plus perfect details like a Greek key border at the bottom of each chiton. Wonderful!
Yellow Ribbon: Stephanie Decouvelaere as Inanna-Ishtar. We have an Inanna-Ishtar costume coming up in this next season, but in the meantime, Stephanie did a great version all by herself. A spiral-wrapped Mesopotamian robe (is that a sari?), homemade crown, perfect jewelry, appropriately symbolic accessories. Beautifully done!
Grand Prize for Best Costume Overall
Blue Ribbon: Stephanie Nichols as Frida Kahlo. Everyone who looked at Stephanie’s pictures in our contest album was amazed. Have you ever seen a better impersonation of Frida Kahlo? The clothes, the makeup, the monkey, the attitude, the photography…it’s all perfection. Flawless work, Stephanie.
Red Ribbon: Becky Murphy as Anne Bonny. In true pirate fashion, Becky made almost her entire costume from scratch. The pirate coat was fashioned from an old coat liner with an added collar, lapels, and cuffs. The scabbard, pouch, and baldric were all homemade. Look at the details! And not only that, but Becky did a great job of playing Anne in her photographs, looking all piratey and swag.
Yellow Ribbon: Lori Russell as Baba Yaga. Lori is 82 years old, and her daughter writes, “To the best of my knowledge, this is her first ever photo shoot and only the second time I have ever seen my mother dress up for Halloween. When she was growing up in rural Iowa during the 1930s-40s, there was no trick or treating…All of the poses and facial expressions are her idea, by the way.” Sounds to us like Lori missed a career as an actress. Outstanding job!
Category Awards, Junior Division
We separated the kids out into their own division, but the judging was still excruciatingly difficult. Picking the winners was hard enough; ranking them was impossible. So we said to heck with second and third place, and just called a three-way tie in the categories with multiple winners. All the winners will receive posters of their choice.
Best Notable Woman Costume, Junior (three-way tie)
Blue Ribbon: Allie Akers as Alice Paul. Allie’s mom Sarah tells us that Allie masterminded this costume herself: “She put together her own costume (with various thrift store trip findings, a sash she bought with her own money at the centennial suffrage march in DC, and a yard stick from Home Depot) so she could dress up like her favorite woman in history, Alice Paul.” Fantastic job, Allie!
Blue Ribbon: Fiona D’Andrea as Marie Curie. Fiona’s mom Keri says Fiona spent months planning this costume, replete with radioactive test tubes. It’s terrific!
Blue Ribbon: Jessica Sheldon as Eleanor Roosevelt. According to family friend Treanor Baring, “Jessica designed the costume from photos—ER loved blouses with frilly necklines, but simple suits, and almost always wore a string of pearls. Although she was a wealthy woman, she dressed simply, never wanting to intimidate the many diverse women she advocated for. The typewriter is vintage, and the photo of FDR is in a frame from the Sequoia, FDR’s presidential yacht.” Wow!
Best Queen Costume, Junior (three-way tie)
Blue Ribbon: Emma Udell as Cleopatra (with her cat Cleocatra). Proud mom Chrissy Udell tells us that Emma was inspired to be Cleopatra after reading a book about her in school. They made the costume together, with absolutely no sewing. It looks great!
Blue Ribbon: Amy Carrigan’s daughter as Grace O’Malley. This adorable little two-year-old is pretty much the best Grace O’Malley ever. The end.
Blue Ribbon: Kristen’s daughter Mira as Hatshepsut. Little Mira was determined to be Hatshepsut for Halloween, so her mom re-purposed a pretty Cleopatra costume for the occasion. The Nile photo shoot is a bonus.
Best Glamour Grrl Costume, Junior (one winner)
Blue Ribbon: Charlotte Eshelman as Liza Minnelli. There is only one winner in this category; in fact, there’s only one entry. But that’s okay, because this costume is hilarious. Liza with a Z!
Best Goddess or Mythological Costume, Junior (three-way tie)
Blue Ribbon: Alowi Sanchez as La Calavera Catrina. Mom Erica DeLaPaz dressed her daughter as La Catrina, and what a beautiful job she did! Notice how perfectly the makeup and flowers match the embroidered dress. The black lace mantilla is a gorgeous touch. Excellent!
Blue Ribbon: Mila DeSimone as Snow White. Baby Mila is as lucky as she is adorable: her grandmother’s hobby is sewing and her mom’s hobby is photography. The result is some of the cutest costume pictures we’ve ever seen. Perfect!
Blue Ribbon: Cecilia Braun as a mermaid. We love everything about this costume, and Cecilia is too precious for words. Squee!!!
Grand Prize for Best Costume Overall, Junior (one winner)
Blue Ribbon: Aria and Anavie Sapkota as Frida Kahlo with Self-Portrait. This entry has it all: it’s brilliant, clever, adorable, hilarious, and perfectly executed. Congratulations to mom Ann-Marie Conrado (clearly the design mastermind behind it all) and her two precious daughters.
Awards for Excellence in Crafting
There was so much inspired crafting on display in our contest entries that we decided to create a special category just to recognize it. Of course, almost all of our winning costumes involve crafting; what this category is about is recognizing those costumes where we really want to draw attention to the ingenuity or skill of the maker.
The Resourceful Ingenuity category recognizes ingenious homemade costumes. Outstanding Artistry is for superb professional-level costumes that are frankly far beyond the capabilities of most people. Maker Moms and Daughters is for particularly good examples of mom crafting (and daughter modeling). All the winners will receive posters of their choice.
Award of Excellence: Zavi Smith as Isis. Look at that headdress! Zavi was inspired by this
Egyptian Vulture Headdress Tutorial, but she really amped it up. She curved the wings more so they would frame her face, added a solar disk, and made a 3D vulture head. Instead of foam board and spray paint, she used poster board and acrylic paint. Fantastic job!
Award of Excellence: Tuesday Critz as the Egtved Girl. Archaeologists celebrate Halloween too, and if you’re an archaeo/anthro geek (or maybe just a Dane), you immediately recognize the Egtved Girl. Did Tuesday make the string skirt from scratch, weaving the band on a warp-weighted loom as an exercise in experimental archaeology? Nope. It’s just a mop head dyed brown. Awesome.
Award of Excellence: Theo Marston as Hera, styled by her sister Barbara Chitouras. This is a perfect example of the kind of can-do spirit we encourage at Take Back Halloween. Let Barbara tell it: “I dressed my sister as Hera, and we went with a peacock theme, as peacocks were Hera’s animal. She borrowed a teal maxi dress, put an iridescent curtain panel over one shoulder and tied it with a gold curtain tie and teal scarf. I bought a czarina-style crown on Ebay for about $10 and added a clip-on peacock Christmas ornament I’d bought at Target a few years ago. The dangly gold earrings and Greek key bracelet were already something I had in my jewelry box.” And the result is fabulous!
Award of Excellence: Jenn WinterRose as Alice Paul. This whole costume is exquisite testimony to Jenn’s skill as a costumer and seamstress. It’s absolutely flawless and surpassingly beautiful. Outstanding work, Jenn.
Award of Excellence: Lindsey Lecher as Elizabeth I. Lindsey writes, “I made Queen Elizabeth’s gown and headpiece for a reproduction of ‘Blackadder’ last summer. Every piece was made from last April to July; the pearling took nearly 40 hours including the handmade ruff and headpiece.” It’s gorgeous, Lindsey. You did an amazing job.
Award of Excellence: Robin Lynn as Tomoe Gozen. Robin says, “I dressed as Tomeo Gozen, a female samurai warrior. I made my brass crown and tassels, and rope sandals. I did extensive research on proper kimono wear (I’m also wearing a hakama & 65 pounds of samurai armor). She was known for her archery skills, her military planning and her bravery in battle—she refused to wear a helmet and instead wore a crown. She is often depicted wearing full-makeup of the period and there is a yearly festival honoring her. My boyfriend (who is Nisei and from a samurai family) is dressed as my guard.”
Maker Moms & Daughters
Award of Excellence: Wendy Lally with her daughter as Athena. Wendy detailed the making of this costume on her blog, particularly the amazing homemade breastplate. Wendy is clearly a Maker Mom to the max!
Award of Excellence: Sandy Langelier with her daughter Kayla as Mother Nature. Sandy created this whole costume for her daughter, from the floral headdress (which is actually a straw hat bedecked with flowers, leaves, and feathers) down to the moss-covered shoes. And Kayla wears it very well!
Award of Excellence: Karen Huse with her daughter Rose as Athena. Do you know what the helmet is made out of? Do you? It’s a foil roasting pan. A ROASTING PAN, PEOPLE. That right there is the spirit of Take Back Halloween. Yay, Karen and Rose!
In the final run-up to Halloween, we’re offering tips on how to do last-minute, stripped-down versions of some of our popular costumes.
Our Vestal Virgin outfit is the bedsheet costume to end all bedsheet costumes. It’s almost nothing but sheets. Plain white sheets. The only other thing you need is a scrap of something red to tie around your head: red yarn, a red scarf, a strip of red fabric.
Our full-blown Vestal Virgin costume is shown at right. Here’s the last-minute version:
- If you have two white flat sheets, you can pin them together as an Ionic chiton (tunic). If you have only one flat sheet, you can fold it around you as a Doric chiton. The instructions for both kinds of chiton are on our Hypatia page (which, by the way, is another bedsheet costume suitable for last-minute styling). If you can’t manage the chiton thing, just wear a long white dress—like a maxi dress, a lounger, even a plain nightgown.
- Take another white sheet and drape it around your shoulders as a big shawl.
- Tie a piece of red something around your head. A red scarf, some red yarn, anything red.
- Drape another piece of white material over your head as a veil. A white pashmina, a white curtain panel, even a white pillow case with the seams opened up.
And that’s it. You’re now a Vestal Virgin, one of the highest-ranking women in all of Rome. You can sit at the right hand of the emperor, travel in a litter accompanied by bodyguards, and even do something no other woman could ever dream of doing: vote.
In the final run-up to Halloween, we’re offering tips on how to do last-minute, stripped-down versions of some of our popular costumes.
If you have an evening gown—a prom dress, a bridesmaids dress, any kind of formal—you can go as one of our Glamour Grrls. The trick is just to match the gown you already have with a movie star from the right era. And you’re not limited to the celebrities in our Glamour Grrl category; you can pick any movie star or entertainer.
- If you have a dress that looks like it could be from the 60s (maybe a narrow sheath), go as Audrey Hepburn or Diana Ross.
- If you have a gown that looks like it could be from the 50s (full skirt, tight waist), go as Grace Kelly or Dorothy Dandridge.
- If you have a black strapless gown, go as Rita Hayworth in Gilda.
- If you have something slinky and cut on the bias, go as 30s stars Jean Harlow or Josephine Baker.
- If you’re a curvy woman and you have a form-fitting gown, go as Mae West.
Pick your star based on the dress you have, and then pile on the makeup and jewelry to bump up your look to red-carpet level.
Accessories are good too. You can get a feather boa at any craft store or party store; you can also probably get a cigarette holder. Opera gloves are always glamorous. And if you have a piece of faux fur you can use as a stole, go for it.
In the final run-up to Halloween, we’re offering tips on how to do last-minute, stripped-down versions of some of our popular costumes.
Here’s the thing about pirates: most of ‘em wore rags. Their clothes were a wild mishmash of stolen loot, cast-offs, stuff they’d sewn themselves, and old clothes they’d been wearing since junior high (if pirates had junior high).
So putting together a last minute pirate costume is just a matter of embracing your inner hobo and raiding your closet. Or possibly the closet of a convenient male relative or friend.
Our full-blown Mary Read costume is at right. Here’s what we suggest for a last-minute version:
- Skip the tricorner hat. You don’t need it. You know what pirates wore a lot of the time, maybe even most of the time? A knit hat. Yep. It’s true: pirates were the first hipsters. And if you don’t have a knit hat, just tie a bandana around your head and go full Depp.
- Wear a man’s shirt. Stripes, checks, and solids are all good. If it’s an old shirt and you can get away with it, cut the collar off for a more 18th century look.
- Optional: if you have an old jacket or blazer that you can destroy, cut the sleeves off. Instant waistcoat. Any other kind of old raggedy vest could also work. If you have a pea coat or a short jacket, you could also wear that. But it’s okay if you don’t have any of those things. Just a shirt is fine.
- Wrap some material around your waist as a sash. Any kind of material: a cut-up sheet, some rags, a scarf, anything.
- Sling a wide leather belt across your torso as a baldric. Fasten another wide leather belt around your waist. Neither one needs to actually have a hilt or holster for weapons; just the look of the leather belts is enough.
- Wear cropped pants or cut off an old pair of pants at the knee.
- Wear white knee socks with flat shoes. This is what most pirates wore all the time, not boots.
- Optional: stop by the drugstore or pharmacy aisle and get a plain black eyepatch. For some reason an eyepatch is the International Symbol for pirates, so this will help cement your identity.
And there you go. You’re a pirate.
Do you have any blue sheets? How about some blue curtain sheers, or maybe a blue shawl or scarf? If so, you can be Tin Hinan.
Tin Hinan was the semi-legendary matriarch and queen of the Tuareg people. She’s believed to have lived in the fourth century in Roman North Africa. Here’s what you need:
- Take a blue bedsheet (any shade of blue) and wrap it around you as a chiton (tunic). The chiton instructions are on the Tin Hinan page. It’s just a bedsheet and safety pins.
- Drape a blue curtain sheer (any shade of blue) over your head or just around your body in a dramatic fashion.
- Pile on all the metallic jewelry you can find. Bangles, bracelets, necklaces, everything.
- Rim your eyes in black eyeliner and wear blue-black lipstick.
And that’s it! You’re Tin Hinan.
More inspiration, courtesy of YouTube:
Do you have a sheet? Do you have food? Can you get some leaves (the kind that grow on trees)? If at least two of those things are true, then you can be Demeter, the goddess of the earth and the bountiful harvest.
Our full-blown Demeter costume is shown at right. Here’s the last-minute version:
- Take a bedsheet of any color and wrap it around you as a chiton. It doesn’t have to be green. (The chiton instructions are on the Demeter page. It’s just a bedsheet and safety pins.)
- Get some leaves (fake or real) and stick them on your head.
- Look in your refrigerator or stop by the grocery store and get some pretty produce—maybe a bunch of grapes, an eggplant, some leafy stuff, a pomegranate, an apple. Maybe get a nice looking baguette, too, for the wheat angle. Arrange this stuff in a basket (of any shape) and carry it with you.
Alternatively, you could pile up some Halloween candy in your basket and carry that.
Ta da! You’re Demeter.
You can add flowers to your outfit if you want (in your hair, in your basket, on your clothes), and pin additional leaves on yourself. It’s easy. Just think of yourself as an ancient Greek Mother Nature. And except for the bedsheet, you can get everything you need at the grocery store.
Can you believe it? This is stunning. Thanks to the incredible outpouring of support for this project, we zoomed past our first stretch goal—Operation Ishtar—in only three days. Ishtar and Esther are booked! Thank you!!!
Now we’re into our second stretch goal. In the continuing spirit of total nerddom, we’re calling it:
Operation Hecate. (Imagine dark, atmospheric music.)
Our goal with Operation Hecate is to hit $9,000. That will fund four more costumes, including of course the amazing Hecate:
We’re very excited about this goal, because these costumes will be flat-out fantastic:
- Hecate: the goddess of the crossroads, strongly associated with magic and sorcery. But she’s not evil: the ancients also revered her as a Great Goddess, and in some places she was worshipped as a protective household deity.
- Marie Laveau: one of the most mysterious figures in American history, Marie Laveau was a powerful Voodoo priestess whose legend still haunts New Orleans.
- Two more wild card costumes: backers will get to vote from our full list of possibilities, and we’ll also open the floor to more suggestions!
The outpouring of love for this project just goes to show how much pent-up demand there is for an alternative to Sexy Hamburger costumes. (Sexy Hamburger? Really?) Thanks to all of you for helping us bring diverse, creative, empowering costumes back to Halloween!
Thanks to our wonderful backers, we’re now into the stretch goal phase of our Kickstarter. And because we’re total nerds, we have a name for it: Operation Ishtar.
So, welcome to Operation Ishtar!
The outpouring of enthusiasm for our project (and btw, we were just linked by Amy Poehler’s Smart Girls, which is the coolest thing ever) means that we’ve blown past our initial goal and are now into stretch goal territory. And that means more amazing costumes!
Our goal with Operation Ishtar is to hit $7,000, which will unleash all kinds of awesome:
Think of it!
- Inanna-Ishtar: the Ur-Goddess, the amazing Sumerian Queen of Heaven who was worshipped for 4,000 years, and whose image lives on in countless ways.
- Queen Esther: the heroine of the Biblical Book of Esther, whose story is celebrated every year at Purim. People have been asking us for a Queen Esther costume since we started; now’s our chance!
- Two more wild card costumes: backers will get to vote from our full list of possibilities—from Nefertiti to Elizabeth I, from Guinevere to La Llorona, from Ida B. Wells to Isadora Duncan.
Thanks to all of you for helping to bring diverse, creative, empowering costumes to women and girls. Thank you for helping us Take Back Halloween!
What an incredible day this has been! Exactly two weeks ago we launched our Kickstarter to fund the next year of Take Back Halloween.
And today, less than halfway through our Kickstarter campaign, we reached 100% our initial goal!
We’re doing the happy dance of joy, because now we know we’ll be able to bring you another year of creative and empowering costumes. We’re thrilled and grateful and frankly just beside ourselves with relief and happiness.
You know what this means? This means that not only will we still be here, but we’ll be bringing you these awesome new costumes:
- Catherine the Great
- Bessie Coleman
- Eleanor of Aquitaine
- Empress Theodora
- Maria Makiling
- Wild card costume — backers get to vote!
And on top of that…
A very special and wonderful backer (you know who you are and we LURVE you) has stepped up to commission a seventh costume!
Thank you, all of you, for helping to make this happen. We are so honored and grateful.
And you know who else is grateful? The girls who rely on our site but can’t necessarily afford to support us. Just last night I got an email from a young girl who is only 15 and can’t afford to pledge, but has been hoping and praying we would get funded. She says our site means “so much” to her. I get emails like that a lot; we have many, many fans among the younger set.
What’s fantastic is that we still have more than two weeks to go in our Kickstarter (I can hardly believe it as I type it), which means that we can think seriously about those stretch goals. I’ll talk about those more tomorrow.
For now, we’re just going to say a huge THANK YOU to all of you who made this happen. Thank you for believing in us and supporting our vision.
October is off to a great start here in the land of Take Back Halloween. Our first week on Kickstarter has been fantastic, thanks to our wonderful community. We’re already 46% of the way towards our goal!
We’ve already gotten some very early media coverage:
- Halloween costume website announces new resource guides, contest and fundraising — a great roundup from the Examiner
- Racy, Sexy, and Culturally Appropriate-y: It’s Halloween Again, Folks! — don’t worry, we’re listed as one of the good guys
- Disappointed in the lack of variety/material in women’s Halloween costumes? — an amazing post from Chicken Noodle Love Box that’s tearing it up on Tumblr
We’ll be getting more press coverage as October rolls on. In the meantime, share these links with your friends, share our Kickstarter project on Twitter/Facebook/Tumblr, and help spread the word!
Thank you all so much for helping us Take Back Halloween.
Yesterday we launched our new Kickstarter campaign, timed to run through the witching season (aka the month of October). We’re raising funds for a new year of Take Back Halloween, so that we can continue to make the world safe for creative and empowering costumes:
The popularity of our site (did you know that we’re ranked #1 in Google for dozens of important women in history and mythology?) means that our costs have ballooned since last year. It is getting very expensive just to host the site. So we’ve divided our project into a basic funding goal, which is the minimum we need to guarantee a new season of costumes, and stretch goals to add more costumes.
Our basic funding goal will allow us to add six more costumes, with one of them to be voted on by our Kickstarter backers. We’ll get the Bessie Coleman costume ready in time for Black History Month in February, and then do the vote for the sixth costume following Women’s History Month in March. The rest of the costumes will debut at various points in the spring/summer of 2014.
We’re also going to add some new site features to help people sort through our 80+ costumes:
We will be thrilled just to raise enough money for the basic season. If we somehow raise more than that, we’ll add more costumes, with even more opportunities for backer input. Here’s a preview of the stretch goals we have in mind, just in case we get there:
It wouldn’t be a Kickstarter without rewards: the goodies that backers get for helping to fund a project.
All our backers will be enrolled in the Voting List, which means you get to vote on the new costumes. You’ll also receive our monthly newsletter with updates throughout the year.
For more tangible rewards, we’ve created a variety of small posters (8×10 and 11×14), available both as digital downloads and as professionally printed physical posters. These fit right into standard frames and mats, and make wonderful gifts. We’ll be shipping all of them in time for the holidays.
We have previews of the posters here on our website, since it’s not possible to upload really big images at Kickstarter: Poster Previews.
We also have a few commemorative pinback buttons left for those of you collecting them. They’re available at the Button Collector/Named Sponsor tier ($65) and above. The buttons are very limited, so for non-button collectors at the $65 level we’re offering an extra poster print.
At the Mojo Angel tier ($115), we’ll send you one of our larger 18×24 posters. We have two designs at that size: the Timeline of Women in World History and our new Goddess poster.
Once again we’re offering our super-generous backers the opportunity to commission a costume. If you’d rather commission a poster, we can do that too.
Here’s the whole scheme at a glance:
So head on over to our Kickstarter project page to read more, make a pledge, and help us take back Halloween!
Note: Winners have been posted here.
Our costume contest last year was such fun that we’re going to do it again this year. And this time with more prizes!
We’re thrilled to announce that five Amazon gift certificates have been donated for our costume contest this time. That means we can offer a prize in each of our costume categories, plus a Grand Prize for the best costume overall.
So whether you’re dressing up as Baba Yaga or Diana Ross or Grace O’Malley or Hypatia or any of the women in our costume categories, send us your pictures for a chance to win!
Best Notable Woman Costume = $25 Amazon gift certificate
Best Queen Costume = $25 Amazon gift certificate
Best Glamour Grrl Costume = $25 Amazon gift certificate
Best Goddess or Mythological Figure Costume = $25 Amazon gift certificate
Grand Prize for Best Costume Overall = $50 Amazon gift certificate
1. The photo(s) must be of you or a friend or family member in costume. If the photo is of a friend or family member, you must obtain their permission to submit it. You’ll need to tell us their name as well as yours, and note what your relationship is (sister, daughter, etc.).
2. The costume doesn’t have to be inspired by one of our Take Back Halloween designs, but we are more inclined to be impressed by one that is. The costume does need to fall into one of our four categories: a notable woman from history, a queen, a glamorous star, a goddess or mythological figure.
3. Please tell us what the costume is, in case we are too dense to figure it out.
4. The costume may be from this year or any previous Halloween.
5. You may enter more than once, if you have multiple costumes you want to share.
6. By submitting your photo, you are giving us permission to publish it on the Take Back Halloween website and on our Facebook page. You can send in multiple photos if you’re not sure what the best one is or if you need several angles to reveal the full glory of the costume.
7. Submissions should be emailed to email@example.com.
8. The deadline for submissions is 11:59 pm EST on Friday, November 8, 2013.
Check out our 2013 Costume Contest album on Facebook to see the entries we’ve uploaded so far. We expect to publish the winners the week of November 11, 2013.