Fancy Dress Filter - Theme: Cartoons
April 4, 2014 6:59 AM   Subscribe

HELP - I'm having a costume crisis. What easily-recognisable cartoon character can I, a mid-height slim lady dress as, that isn't a sleazy she-ra or a dull disney princess?

Feminine is cool, but I want to avoid the cliched short skirt/thigh boot combo that a lot of old cartoon women seem to favour (She-Ra, Penelope Pitstop etc).

I like the idea of an 80s/early 90s character due to that being my main cartoon-watching era. But I'm not ruling out later - I considered Ghibli characters but most of them aren't distinctive enough (the human ones) and there's no way I'll keep cool enough to have a dance dressed as a Totoro.

I'm drawing a blank. Please, throw your ideas at me, come one come all.
posted by greenish to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (33 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Lisa Simpson
Patti Mayonnaise
Helga Pataki
posted by phunniemee at 7:02 AM on April 4, 2014 [3 favorites]

Jem! Okay, she sometimes fails on the short skirt thing, but she wears an awful lot of flashy spandex.
posted by Think_Long at 7:04 AM on April 4, 2014 [2 favorites]

Slim? Olive Oyl.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:06 AM on April 4, 2014

Lisa or one of the other Gnomes from The World of David the Gnome would be so awesome and what's fancier than a big ol' hat.
posted by muddgirl at 7:09 AM on April 4, 2014

Ms. Frizzle?
Elmyra? (pro: skull bow, con: too young?)
Patti Mayonnaise?
Gadget Hackwrench?
posted by Wretch729 at 7:09 AM on April 4, 2014

I'm fairly sure the original Penelope Pitstop wore trousers.
posted by Jakey at 7:10 AM on April 4, 2014

Jessica Rabbit
posted by ChuraChura at 7:13 AM on April 4, 2014

Daria or Jane.

C'mon, you knew it had to be that.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 7:13 AM on April 4, 2014 [5 favorites]

Response by poster: Ah... forgot to mention the difficulty level: UK. Daria isn't as well known over here, so I'd just look to most people like I hadn't bothered with costume :)
posted by greenish at 7:22 AM on April 4, 2014

Marceline the Vampire from Adventure Time
Poison Ivy from Batman
Tula from the Pirates of Dark Water
Wendy from the Peter Pan tv series
April from a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
Jubilee from Xmen
posted by spunweb at 7:30 AM on April 4, 2014

Marge Simpson--lots of different dress alternatives depending on how short/body con you want to get.
posted by drlith at 7:31 AM on April 4, 2014 [1 favorite]

A Transformer? Obviously quite a bit of work but if you have a bunch of cardboard boxes and sellotape...
Eve from WALL-E.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 7:51 AM on April 4, 2014

Is Nausicaa distinctive enough in the UK?
posted by jbickers at 7:52 AM on April 4, 2014 [1 favorite]

Dot Warner? It is a short skirt, though. And I have no idea about recognition in the UK.
posted by Xalf at 8:06 AM on April 4, 2014

Yellow (or Pink) Power Ranger
posted by Mchelly at 8:14 AM on April 4, 2014

Or maybe Trixie from Speed Racer
posted by Mchelly at 8:16 AM on April 4, 2014

Kim Pine?
posted by Thorzdad at 8:17 AM on April 4, 2014

Velma from Scooby-Doo
posted by furiousthought at 8:18 AM on April 4, 2014 [3 favorites]

A female Jetson? "Daughter Judy or Jane, his wife?" (I had to sing the song to myself to remember their names. I loved that show . . .) Might be a little earlier a cartoon era than you specified, but surely the Jetsons have endured?

Bonus points: Costumes are probably mainly about the hairdos, and both are slim. Seems like Capri pants might be just the thing to avoid a short skirt and are absolutely right for the characters. Sounds like fun!
posted by citygirl at 8:18 AM on April 4, 2014

Wilma or Betty.
posted by Stu-Pendous at 8:22 AM on April 4, 2014 [1 favorite]

Pippi Longstocking.

There are adult "sexy" versions of the costume out there but just build something out of your closet or a second hand shop. Make a wig of yarn and wrap the braids around a length of aluminum wire.

Her skirts aren't crazy short, but are just above her knees to show off her knobby knees. If you look at the preview of this edition, it seems to be the same drawings I grew up with.
posted by tilde at 8:24 AM on April 4, 2014

Actually, depending on your creativity level, you could go with a longer dress than just above your knees; just roll and shape the hem with some more of that aluminum wire to curl it up a bit above one knee (like a skirted cowlick yes I know cowlick isn't the right word).
posted by tilde at 8:32 AM on April 4, 2014

Lucy from Peanuts. Here's a source for the Dress.

Lois from Family Guy

Leela from Futurama Here are some ideas for what to do about the cyclops aspect.

Amy Wong from Futurama, you can carry a Planet Express box if you like.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 8:34 AM on April 4, 2014 [2 favorites]

This is probably only on my mind because of last night's awesome Community episode, but what about someone from G.I. Joe, like Cover Girl or Lady Jaye?
posted by jbickers at 8:34 AM on April 4, 2014 [1 favorite]

Pippi was my first go-to but other options that could work:

Jem and the Holograms (dress with friends?)

Penny from Inspector Gadget

Wendy Darling

Turanga Leela
posted by tilde at 8:43 AM on April 4, 2014

Dora the Explorer? (Maybe a Dora-as-an-adult version).
posted by rjs at 8:46 AM on April 4, 2014

Is Kiki not that distinctive? I was Kiki for Halloween several years ago, and I was recognized. It's also an easy costume.
posted by Coatlicue at 8:47 AM on April 4, 2014 [1 favorite]

You have Bob's Burgers in the UK and can buy Louise Belcher ears instead of making them.

posted by Lesser Shrew at 9:08 AM on April 4, 2014 [1 favorite]

This is how I did Leela. In case it helps.
posted by Too-Ticky at 10:11 AM on April 4, 2014 [2 favorites]

To avoid the tall boots and/or short skirts (and I'm guessing leotards are out, too):

Kim Possible
Candace Flynn
Marge Simpson
Carmen Sandiego
Irma from TMNT
posted by Slap*Happy at 10:29 AM on April 4, 2014

How are you in orange? Of all things, dunno why the Lorax comes to mind but it could be fantastic! Find or fashion a great orange dress, make or buy a Lorax hat (or mask if the occasion calls for it). Could be super simple.

Whatever you do, don't do this. (But the hat is great).
posted by AnOrigamiLife at 3:31 PM on April 4, 2014

Oh! Also, for less well known, cult favorites -

Frankie (what is it with the aughts and inopportune midriff shirts?)
Lydia Deetz
Dr. Hutchinson
posted by Slap*Happy at 5:51 PM on April 4, 2014

I can't believe no one has suggested Princess Peach yet! Can't link to any cosplay at the moment, but you can easily find some pretty stupendous examples. Plus, umbrella! Plus, awesome!
posted by spelunkingplato at 11:36 PM on April 4, 2014

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