Joan of Arc (1412-1431) was one of the most brilliant generals in history. She was probably the only brilliant general in history to be burned at the stake for, essentially, refusing to wear women’s clothes. And she is definitely the only brilliant general in history whose military genius has been dismissed by generations of scholars as the ravings of a lunatic.

A Joan of Arc costume is easy, albeit rather expensive: just buy a suit of armor. Joan had a suit of plate armor custom made for her, and as you can see from the above illustrations, that’s how she’s invariably depicted. (That’s Ingrid Bergman in the middle, by the way.) We give you a link below to a store that has a plate armor costume in stock and can ship for Halloween. The pieces we suggest, from left to right:

1. Costume suit of armor. This is one-size-fits-all, but the dimensions look fairly generous. (They seem to think it’s for men. Hah.) The costume includes everything in the picture except the sword. Also available here; their prices are higher, but their description is worth reading since it’s more detailed.
2. Optional gauntlets. The costume suit of armor includes coverage all the way down to your wrists, so this is only if you really want your hands to be covered.
3. Sword. This one is 41 inches long, so it’s big enough not to look like a kid’s toy.

One other thing: The white banner Joan is carrying in all those illustrations is her battle standard, which she had made to her own specifications. If you want a replica, you’ll have to make it yourself: this page has details on the banner’s design. You could make it out of a white sheet or even a roll of white paper, and attach it to a wooden pole (even just a painter’s extension pole). But this is entirely optional, of course.


Other costumes in this category: Notable Women