Get sophisticated this year with literary Halloween costumes you can make yourself. Whether you love Jane Austen, Agatha Christie or Ian Fleming, you can bring your favorite fictional character to life with a little imagination and love of literature. Just stir away from truly complicated characters, like flesh-eating android, and you’re likely to find everything you need to make your Halloween costume right at home. With a few small additions from a party store, your literary Halloween costume will be perfect. So here are a few stunning literary Halloween costume ideas to start you on the yellow brick road to success.
Heathcliff from Wuthering Heights
This is a literary Halloween costume ideal for young men with a romantic streak. Not only must you dress all in black, but your Halloween costume must look gothic and sinister. Heavy boots are a must, and drag them in mud to coat the soles and heels. Wear black pants, a black shirt and a dark vest, which you can rent from a Tux store if you don’t have one. Enhance the sinister appeal of this literary Halloween costume with a black, shoulder length wig. Comb hair-gel through the wig to make the hair seem oily and shiny. Use white makeup to give your complexion a sickly hue and highlight your lashes with black mascara. Carry a horse whip or club from a Halloween costume store, and if you can afford to buy a long-tailed black velvet coat, add it to complete this sinister literary Halloween costume. Then walk with drooping shoulders and a glazed stare, and mutter Cathy’s name to yourself from time to time.
Elizabeth Bennett from Pride and Prejudice
This is a literary Halloween costume ideal for young woman who prize wit above beauty. To create a dress in the empire style you’ll need a beautiful camisole top and a long, ankle-length skirt with an elastic top. Look for cheap clothing at outlet stores, then bleach the camisole and skirt together in your washing machine to create a matching set. To imitate the proper fashion for this literary Halloween costume wear the skirt directly below your breasts, then tie a thick ribbon over the elastic skirt band to create an elegant sash that connects the camisole with its flowing, high skirt. For the headdress of this stunning literary Halloween costume, visit your local party store and buy a long-haired wig. Using curlers from your local drug store (but not a curling iron), curl the ends of the wig hair after first wetting the wig, then leave the curls overnight to curl naturally. Use bobby pins to lift the hair around the head in beautiful curls. Be sure to wear a push-up bra to create a beautiful cleavage for this literary Halloween costume, and put on only mascara and lipstick, as well as a wry smile.
John Galt from Atlas Shrugged
This is a literary Halloween costume ideal for our times, when Atlas Shrugged seems to be coming to life here and now. For a man with a great soul, becoming John Galt is a matter as much of the mind as the body; it’s an attitude of rational pride, self assurance and wisdom. Dress with simple cotton, earth-toned slacks and a well ironed white buttoned shirt. Leave the collar buttons open and use tanning makeup to give your skin the glow of a healthy suntan. Wear a copper blond wig, letting the hair fall carelessly to one side. Walk with one hand in your front trouser pocket. Don’t walk to fast or too slow, but set your own pace as if the whole world is yours to fashion by the speed of your thoughts and the steadiness of your movements. This literary Halloween costume is breathtaking in being understated. There should be something about your manner that draws every eye without your looking at anyone first. Think you can do it?
Here’s a more daring version of the Lady Godiva literary Halloween costume than the one mentioned in my Fairytale Halloween Costumes article. For a beautiful woman with a stunning body, this literary Halloween costume will be the talk of the holiday probably for months to come. The secret? Wear nothing, just as Lady Godiva herself did. Or almost nothing. At your local Halloween costume store buy two identical wigs, one for wearing, one for crafting a body suit out of. Buy glue at a craft store and sharp scissors and a cheap two piece bathing suit. Cut up the first wig and glue the hair to completely cover the cheap bathing suit. When you put on this literary Halloween costume, first put on the bathing suit, then wear the second wig over your head and drooping all around your body. Thread the hairs from the wig through the bathing suit to blend the glued hairs with the flowing hair. This literary Halloween costume will leave you looking dressed and naked simultaneously.
Jean Valjean from Les Miserables
This literary Halloween costume brings to life one of the noblest tragic heroes of literature, a symbol of the misery and poverty of the people of France before the revolution. For a middle-aged man, this is a costume of great pathos. Buy cotton slacks and a white cotton shirt. Drag the pants through dust or mud to stain them, but leave the shirt pristine. At a costume store buy a body armor to enhance your muscles (unless you are naturally endowed with great strength). Wear the body armor underneath the white shirt, with an undershirt to hide it if necessary. Buy fake iron shackles at the costume store and wear them dangling from your hand or dragging behind your limping feet. Enhance this literary Halloween costume with a striped red, white and blue ribbon tied around a low-brimmed hat or as a scarf around your neck.
Cosette from Les Miserable
This literary Halloween costume makes a perfect matching female costume for the Jean Valjean costume, though it can be worn alone with just as much haunting beauty. At an outlet store look for a long cotton skirt to reach down to your ankles, as well as a tight cotton top (but not a knit or sweater). Fill your washing machine with hot water and 1 gallon of bleach and press the clothes inside for a few minutes only, then immediately wash the clothes. The bleach will have stained and faded the clothes in an ugly, worn fashion. Next, cut holes in the top around the elbows, above the breasts, anywhere that will enhance the frailty of this literary Halloween costume. At a costume store buy a long haired wig and comb it into knots to puff it up and make it seem neglected yet still beautiful. Drag a scarf through mud then tie it around your waist. Walk barefoot if you can and smear makeup on your feet to make them seem dirt covered. Add a final touch to this haunting literary Halloween costume with a piece of fabric from a fabric store. Cut holes in it and use it as a shawl.
The Phantom of the Opera
Perhaps the easiest literary Halloween costume in this collection to put together, the Phantom costume depends entirely on the mask. So begin by finding a mask that will cover your forehead, eyes, nose and half your cheeks, but leave your mouth free. If you can find such a mask, the rest of this literary Halloween costume will be easy. Wear a suit or rent a tux, and be sure to use a blood red tie. Sleek your hair back with hair gel, or buy a costume wig to give yourself silky dark hair that you can smooth back. Add a black cape and white kit gloves from a costume store.
If any of these literary Halloween costumes catch your fancy and you wish to turn the design into a couples Halloween costume, simply use your imagination to craft the appropriate appearance for the other sex. Christine Daaé for the Phantom of the Opera would be dressed all in white as a foil to his darkness. She would have long blond hair and a complexion painted white with makeup. Catherine from Wuthering Heights would be just as wild as Heathcliff, her dress black but her skin a pale white with red, passionate lips and stunning long hair. For a modern woman to match John Galt, create Dagny Taggart with a straight shoulder-length brown wig, no makeup except lipstick to outline the lips and mascara to highlight the eyes, and try to find a rough-linked metal bracelet as a stand-in for Rearden Metal. Whatever Dagny Taggart wears, she will exude femininity to the rational male.
And for all lover’s of fiction and poetry, close the lights and listen to this collection of dark audio poems, or these Halloween audio poems that will start your holiday off just right.