Halloween is fast approaching, which means you're probably frantically trying to figure out what you're going to be this year. If you're like me, you don't just want any old costume; you want something clever that captures your creative spirit... and that's why an awesome literary Halloween costume could be the perfect fit.
Having a Halloween costume that you love is 99 percent of the fun when it comes to October 31. In fact, I've often found that what people mean when they say they're "just not that into costumes" is that the pressure of finding a "good" one overwhelms them into ultimately doing nothing. But this doesn't have to be the case! Intelligent, creative costumes can be found everywhere — especially in our favorite books and works of literature, and they often don't even require that much leg work.
Plus, you'll have the added bonus of fellow book lovers totally appreciating your vibe. Some of the best party conversations I've ever had were when a like-minded person saw me across a crowded room in a particular costume and just had to come over and give me kudos (Madame DeFarge circa 2007, to be exact).
If you're stressing out about finding the perfect costume this year, or just want one that will have the right amount of clever for your liking, consider these 13 literary costume ideas.
1. Eloise from Eloise At The Plaza
Eloise makes for an incredibly cute costume, and bonus, you likely already have a lot of what you need to make it complete. Her outfit basically just consists of a pleated skirt, a white button up with suspenders, knee high socks and suspenders, and a red bow. And it always helps to carry an actual Eloise book around with you!
Asos Suspenders- Black, $14, ASOS | Lower East Side Mary Janes, $15, Payless | Satin Red Bow, $5, Etsy
2. Hester Prynne from The Scarlet Letter
The Scarlet Letter's Hester Prynne is great because you can make her as high or low maintenance as you want. You can go in full 17th century regalia or just slap a big red "A" on your shirt and call it a day.
Mega Satin Ribbon, $9, Michaels
3. Moaning Myrtle from Harry Potter
Myrtle is a great costume for the Harry Potter-lover who doesn't necessarily want to go as one of the more main obvious characters. Some wizard robes and pigtails, mascara running down your face, and a cheap plastic toilet seat will really complete the look.
4. Ramona Quimby from Ramona
Ramona was my all-time favorite book series as a child, and one of my greatest regrets in life is not going as her the Halloween I was actually sporting a bob. However, there's always bob wigs. A backpack, oversized sweater, and a tube of toothpaste will also totally help complete this look.
Rabbitgoo Halloween Coffee Brown Bob Wig, $20, Amazon | Beige Contrast Leather Long Sleeved Striped Sweater, $35, Shechic
5. Anne from Anne Of Green Gables
This is an awesome costume for those with red hair, and even if you don't, a wig with braids will work great. Also, if you want to be really ambitious, turn some of your hair green to replicate Anne's infamous hair dye disaster. Anne of Green Gables lovers will instantly get the reference.
Daphne Scoobie Doo Wig, $25, Amazon | Pioneer Costume, $52, Etsy
6. Elizabeth Bennet from Pride & Predjudice
Elizabeth Bennet makes for a classic and beautiful Halloween costume (not to mention, you'll basically be going as one of literature's first feminists, which is pretty rad in and of itself). A simple period-appropriate dress coupled with a middle-part and ringlets to frame your face is all you need to nail this look. And in true Eliza fashion, you should also probably always be carrying a book!
Pride and Prejudice Dress, $54, Etsy
7. Edgar Allan Poe And The Raven from The Raven
Grab a fake mustache and put a toy raven on your shoulder, and you can call it a day. Or, you can make it a duo costume, with one person being Poe and the other person going as the actual life-sized raven!
8. Alice from Alice's Adventures In Wonderland
Not only does Alice make a great costume all on her own, but this can make for a great group costume idea if you have enough people. And if you're feeling extra ambitious, try constructing a little house to wear around your middle for that scene where Alice grows really tall — it will look awesome!
9. Holden Caulfield from The Catcher In The Rye
A hunting cap, wool blazer or jacket, and a fake cigarette is the bulk of what you need to make a great Holden. Oh, and maybe an, "I Hate Phonies" sign.
10. Gulliver from Gulliver's Travels
Glue a bunch of little action figures to your shirt and get a friend to wrap a rope around your torso, and voila! You've got a first rate Gulliver costume.
11. Nancy from Nancy Drew
Our favorite teen detective is also an incredibly easy Halloween costume. Wear a pleated skirt and cardigan, a head band, and grab a magnifying glass, and you're set!
12. Fantine from Les Miserables
Fantine is a great getup for all you Les Mis fans out there. A shawl around your shoulders and head, some gauntly makeup, and a "bloody" handkerchief for good measure is a great start for this one.
Women's Renaissance Wench Makeup, $60, Halloween Costume
13. Madame Defarge from A Tale Of Two Cities
Get out those knitting needles and you're already halfway to being one of the most iconic female characters in literary history. And as I said before, A Tale Of Two Cities lovers will be thrilled to see you.
Tavern Lady Renaissance Costume, $35, Halloween Costume
If you're struggling with your costume this year and also love books, then the solution may be easier than you think. Any of these classic characters are sure to give you enough creative satisfaction to fuel an entire Halloween night's worth of fun.
Images: Courtesy Brands