Not everyone wants to be a sexy witch or ab-sporting warlock for Halloween, so I've put together a list of 20 plus-size Halloween costumes that are trendy and fun without requiring you reveal tons of flesh or hide behind a cardboard costume. The same goes for Halloween costumes for pregnant women. You shouldn't have to hide your bounty behind a bushel just because you're expecting.
Some of our plus-size Halloween costumes are strictly DIY. Others you'll want to order early to take advantage of coupons. This year has been particularly filled with events and characters just ripe for costume recreations. I hope you find something in the following list to your liking. Enjoy!
1. Gabourey Sidibe
Playing the fabulously plus-sized star of "Precious" (and co-star of Showtime's new series "The Big C") is more about attitude than costume, although you could recreate her stunning, midnight blue gown from the Oscars. She's a positive woman, comfortable with who she is and delighted with her career. Like Betty White, the former college student has won a raft of awards in 2010, so troll second-hand stores for old trophies and paste "I'm Precious" stickers over the original plaques for a humorous yet positive statement.
If you'd like to double your pleasure, pair Gabourey with "Precious" Executive Producer Oprah; and we all know how to recreate the ubiquitous queen of media, don't we?
2. Pride and Prejudice and Zombies
In a year when vampires will rule, here's your opportunity to go the undead route with a touch of class. Recreate the ghoulish update of Jane Austen's classic with floor-length, thrift-shop dresses torn to shreds, white make-up and costume-shop blood. The empire-waisted gowns flatter all figures and capes made from old blankets will keep you winter warm in zombie style.
You can go single with this concept or recreate the entire Bennet family.
3. Eat, Pray, Love Goddess
You don't need to look like Julia Roberts to pull this one off. Cover any outfit with a selection of airplane boarding passes, pictures of food, yoga diagrams (downloaded from the Internet) and cut-out hearts. Javier Bardemalso makes a nice accessory but is optional.
4. Sue Sylvester
Even if you don't like "Glee," you gotta love snarky Sue Sylvester. The trash-talking, track-suit addicted cheerleader coach is the best part of the show. Ladies who want to avoid a half-clothed costume this year need only don a short blond wig with a name-brand track suit.
Don't forget to hurl insults at everyone in sight, particularly curly haired men. My favorite: "You have enough product in your hair to season a wok."
5. Arizona Governor Jan Brewer
Tan yourself like you're Snooki of Jersey Shore infamy; add a yellow suit, blond wig; and speak ungrammatical English. Finally, make sure to take long pauses and ask everyone at the party for proof of citizenship.
6. Betty White
Recreating America's last-remaining Golden Girl is simply your basic old-lady costume spiced up with a wickedly quick tongue. Pick up old bowling and soccer trophies at thrift stores and slap on labels like "Betty White -- MTV Best Kiss Award" and "Betty White -- Best Career Octogenarian Comeback."
7. The Ghost of Health Care Bills Past
Congress finally passed a health-care bill this year, but previous efforts could fill a graveyard. Chuck a white sheet over your head (with eyeholes or you'll need health care for yourself) and string a stethoscope around your neck.
If you're not all that interested in health care legislation, go for other congressional reforms that have bit the dust, including reform bills for immigration (print out immigration application forms from the Internet), election (campaign bumper stickers) and banking (voided checks, blow ups of bank logos and bank promotional brochures).
8. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor
Unearth that dusty old graduation robe and a wood meat tenderizer to portray the Supreme Court's justice. The distinguishing factors are a lace hankie dangling from the neck and Sotomayor's shoulder-length, curly hair. Make sure you keep pushing it out of your face.
Not a fan of the Supremes? The same gown can pull double duty as Judge Judy, with the addition of a little Peter Pan collared shirt in exquisite lace.
9. Twister With a Twist
This may sound a bit difficult but I created this costume several years ago despite incredible ineptitude with needle and thread.
To make your own, stitch, staple or safety-pin together two Twister mats on the horizontal, leaving holes for your head and arms. If you like, add extra material between the mats for a roomier fit. Attach the spinner to an old mortar board and dig out white boots for a Go Go look. Then twist the night away: Just don't lay down.
10. The Irreverend Terry Jones
Although Pastor Jones never actually burned a single Quran, the leader of the Dove World Outreach Center and his Civil War mustache rapidly become international celebrities prior to Sept. 11 this year, thanks to excessive media attention. To recreate this flash-in-the-pan, you'll need one ugly suit, one ugly tie and some white grease paint to recreate that ludicrous mustache. I wouldn't recommend carrying a Quran, however.
11. Patrick Tribett
Squirrely mug shots make it to the Internet these days even before the arrestee has been booked. Such was the case of spray-paint huffer Patrick Tribett and his infamous golden-mugged mug shot. I recommend you avoid the spray-paint can and use gold glitter. You could huff and puff, but you'd blow your whole night.
12. BP CEO Tony Hayward
The perfect costume for natural curly tops. Take your choice of a sailing outfit or dark suit with a hard hat. Make sure the BP logo appears somewhere. (Select your favorite redesign from Google images.) Carry a container of viscous liquid and spill it occasionally in biologically sensitive areas. Remember to moan at random, "I want my life back!"
COUPLES AND GROUP COSTUMES
13. The Real Housewives of Madison County
Enough with the slutty, bitchy housewives from New York, New Jersey, Atlanta, ad nauseum. Wouldn't you and your lady friends prefer to play honest, hardworking immigrant housewives with a yen for Clint Eastwood? Enter the Real Housewives of Madison County, a mash-up of the reality TV series and the hit movie featuring two of our favorite stars.
Ladies need only costume themselves in simple, washed-out housedresses. It's the Meryl Streep Italian accents that will make the difference. Of course, this will require watching the lyrically haunting movie once again. (Handsomely haggard photographer accessory is optional.)
14. Golden Girls
Three of these irreplaceable gals are no longer with us, but they're hardly forgotten and Betty White is more popular than ever. Consider dedicating this Halloween to their memory by reuniting the golden foursome.
The costumes are easy and comfortable, but the character's catchlines will truly make the Golden Girls come alive. Here are a few samples to get you going:
15. Team Coco
Are you with Coco? Everybody seemed to be a Conan O'Brien fan after NBC dumped the "Tonight Show" host for Jay Leno. The group costume requires little more than several cans of red hair spray and skill creating Conan's goofy, loopy hair style.
16. A Human Centipede
Perhaps the most-viewed trailer of 2010, "The Human Centipede" makes for a great costume and a terrible movie. In this B horror flick, a mad German scientist plans to perform a horrific operation to string together the bodies of three humans into a giant centipede. (Don't view the trailer if you're at all squeamish.)
Apparently the linking element between the three experimental humans is their digestive tracks. (I say apparently because no one admits to having seen the movie.) To recreate the human centipede is a simple matter of stuffing beige nylons, stringing them between your bodies and shuffling around as a threesome. Make sure the surgery is easily reversed so your triplet status needn't be an all-night affair.
17. Wall Street or Banking Shark
Wear a suit and tape a cardboard fin to your back.
Tape a cardboard cone to your forehead.
Tape a skinnier cardboard cone to your forehead.
20. Shot in the Dark
Dress all in black and tie a shot glass around your neck.