Literary Costume Ideas for Halloween

Not sure what to be for Halloween this year? Instead of riding pop culture trends, try representing your favorite literary character! See if any of the following suggestions inspire you to create a costume from your wardrobe.

Tweet us your costumes with the hashtag #literarycostumes

1. A Reveur from The Night Circus

A “reveur” in The Night Circus is someone who is dedicated to following the magical traveling circus, and always reveals his or herself by wearing something red amongst the deluge of black and white. Simply outfit yourself in black and white, including black and white circus makeup, and add a dash of red (preferably a red scarf).

The Night Circus

2. Daenarys or Cersei from A Song of Ice and Fire

The famous leading ladies from the Song of Ice and Fire series both require long blonde wigs (or your natural hair), and deep red garments for the Lannister house or rugged and torn leather for the wandering khaleesi. Or, try wearing a long red wig and be the mysterious Melisandre.

Game of Thrones

3.  Lisbeth Salander from The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

To pull off the badass look of Lisbeth Salander, you will definitely need an artistic friend to draw a black dragon across your back. The more black leather the better, as well as spiked hair and jewelry, combat boots, and a black backpack for carrying your hacker tools.

Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

4. Somni-451 from Cloud Atlas

Dress up as this character before the movie makes her famous – a Korean clone who waitresses at the future version of McDonald’s called Papa Song’s. A short cropped black wig (or your natural hair), along with a retro waitressing uniform and maybe even a to-go bag of fast food will make this outfit distinctive. Here is a screen shot from the movie for inspiration:

Perfect for a group costume (since she is a clone after all), and carrying around a giant egg as your orison will complete the look. Read our post on Cloud Atlas here.

Somni-451 from Cloud Atlas

5. Daisy Buchanan from The Great Gatsby

Even though the “flapper look” for Halloween might be overdone, it is still worth adding your own spin to the original 1920’s fashion icon. The more pearls and lace, the more convincing your costume.

Daisy Buchanan from Great Gatsby

6. Hester Prynne from The Scarlet Letter

The original “slutty costume,” Hawthorne’s scandalous heroine  is easy to assemble for Halloween. With a peasant skirt and shirt, a cape, a bonnet, and a scarlet “A”, Hester Prynne can be born from your closet. It might be amusing to carry around a baby doll wrapped in a blanket to complete the look.

Hester Prynne from The Scarlet Letter

7. Katniss Everdeen from The Hunger Games

Katniss might be too trendy this Halloween for those seeking something more “unique,” but who wouldn’t want to throw on a raincoat and some cargo pants and call it a day? You will need to buy a cheap toy bow and arrows, and of course her signature Mockingjay pin, but that will be the extent of your creativity.

Katniss Everdeen from The Hunger Games

8. Chiyo Sakamoto from Memoirs of a Geisha

Dressing as a World War II’s famous geisha Chiyo is easier than it seems. Find a flowy kimono and a decorative paper umbrella, and paint your face white and your lips deep red.

Chiyo Sakamoto from Memoirs of Geisha

What are some other literary costume ideas? Be sure to tweet #literarycostumes this Halloween

*All style sets created by Joanna Buffum on Polyvore

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