- Ease of putting the costume together. The day before Halloween, I wasn't even sure that I would dress up -- and then I realized that I had all of the components of the "Rosie" costume already in my closet.
- Applicability to women of all ages, races, and sizes. Unlike many costumes, you don't have to have a certain body type or hair color to be recognizable as Rosie the Riveter -- all you need is the red bandana and blue work shirt.
- It's an explicitly feminist costume that enables you to demonstrate how you're not into the whole "Halloween as an excuse to wear lingerie in public" thing, but it still allows you to look attractive -- wear red lipstick, show off your muscle.
- Millennial-generation nostalgia for the "Greatest Generation" 1940s. Think about it: we fetishize handicrafts and the artisanal; we name our Etsy stores after our grandparents; we put up "Keep Calm and Carry On" posters. I also saw a lot of A League of Their Own "Rockford Peaches" this Halloween -- a costume that occupies a comparable place in our cultural iconography to Rosie the Riveter.
- Amy Poehler's character on Parks and Recreation dressed up as Rosie the Riveter in 2012. I don't watch Parks and Rec, but you can't underestimate the influence of pop culture.
- Dressing up as Frida Kahlo does require you to possess certain physical characteristics: you've pretty much got to have long, dark hair. And, if you are brunette but not Hispanic, you may also worry that dressing up as this iconic Mexican artist constitutes cultural appropriation. At least when you live in a city that is so consumed with debates over gentrification.
- There was a big Frida Kahlo exhibit at SFMOMA in 2008, which might have contributed to all of the Fridas I saw that Halloween.
- Frida and Rosie are both feminist icons, but they represent two different kinds of feminism. Kahlo's art often depicts the female experience as one of pain and suffering. (My most-read post of all time is called "Must a Female Artist Suffer?", written in response to the 2008 Kahlo exhibition.) Rosie the Riveter is about rolling up your sleeves and getting shit done. Which seems in tune with the forcefulness that feminism has attained in the last half-decade.
- Six years ago, fashion was much more in tune with Frida's boho style than with Rosie's utilitarian workwear. But now, the tide has shifted. Clothes have gotten more minimalist, more tomboy. Call it a shift from Anthropologie to J. Crew. I didn't own a "Rosie the Riveter" blue button-down six years ago, but now it's one of my favorite shirts.
Photo of me as Rosie at my office Halloween party taken by my colleague, Abdul Bassa.