7 Book-Inspired Halloween Outfits That Will Give You Goosebumps

by Eva Rodericks.

The question looms of what you’re going to wear on Halloween. What could be more perfect for the best dress up night of the year than a literary cosplay? Here is a break down of 7 book characters you could use to impress your group of 6 this 31st of October. 

  1. Sexy Sherlock – Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle 

One of the most famous literary characters of all time, this one is bound to go down a treat. Pair a flat cap with lots of tartan and a fake pipe to recreate the look. The look doesn’t have to be frumpy – buying a beige tartan skirt and crop top could really add something cute and girly to the outfit. Men – simply pairing tartan trousers with a white shirt could prove a great base for this look.

2. Penny Wise the Clown – IT by Steven King

As well as being a haunting book, IT has been made into a film twice, most recently in 2017, bringing the book back into popularity. Clown makeup is a lot of fun to play about with – focus on red vertical lines through the eyes as this is a distinctive feature of Pennywise, shown in the image above. This can be easily done using a red lipstick and a thin brush. If you’re really feeling adventurous, red noses can be found online for jut a couple of pounds. To make it obvious that you’re Pennywise, and not just any clown, a couple of helium balloons to tied to a hairband around your wrist will look brilliant. Clothes with ruffles on, especially around the neck, will show resemblance to the outfit worn by Pennywise in the film. 

3. Julius Caesar – Julius Caesar by Shakespeare

This is such a cheap and easy look to create and is sure to wow. Many of us have already done a similar look for a night at the SU, so you’ll be in your element. Start by using an old duvet cover to create a toga; on YouTube, you can find brilliant tutorials on how to create the perfect toga. Team the toga up with a sash, this will add a pop of colour to your outfit – this can also be made out of old bedding. Complete the look with a gold belt and crown to give a truly majestic roman aura.

4. The Cheshire Cat – Alice Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll 

Putting a literary spin on the classic cat costume, the Cheshire Cats iconic smile cannot be missed. Start by wearing your most garish stripey clothes, preferably purple to capture the colours described in the original book and used in the film. For the face it is important to paint on a huge smile – use white facepaint, don’t be afraid to extend the mouth up to your cheeks – the bigger the smile the better. The Cheshire Cat is also known for his googly yellow eyes, which you can recreate using yellow contact lenses. Finish the look with whiskers and a tail – you could stuff an old stripey sock and pin it to the back of your trousers. 

5. Offred – The Handmaid’s Tale by Margret Attwood 

One of my favourite books, this creepy dystopian outfit will be sure to turn heads. The handmaids, the remaining fertile women in the story, are adorned in long-sleeved ankle-length red dresses, which can be found usually very cheaply online. Second most importantly, you’re going to need a white veil to act as your ‘wings’, this will make you look mysterious, and noticeably a handmaid. This is a pretty simple, but effective, costume. 

6. Harry Potter – Harry Potter series by J.K Rowling 

A magical British classic, dressing up as this wizard will set a spell on the crowd! Starting this look is easy, all you’ll need is a white shirt and black jeans and preferably some black shoes. Then, to make it obvious who you are, grab a cape – which you could make out of a bin bag, and draw the lightning bolt mark on your forehead, which can be done using a black eyeliner. Complete the look with circular glasses and Gryffindor scarf (brilliant for the chilly October weather). 

7. Frankenstein – Frankenstein by Mary Shelley 

This outfit will be a tonne of fun to attempt. From the classic book, Frankenstein is a monster made out of body parts and strange chemicals. Makeup is key to this look – use green and grey face paint to create the dark, wrinkly look, including super heavy bags under the eyes – remember you were dead before! Nothing says Frankenstein more than bolts through the head, headbands with screws on can be purchased online at a reasonable price. A worn black blazer will bring this look to life (pardon the pun).