Halloween is just around the corner, book nerds, and although I hope you have already planned out your costumes well in advance of the festive event, I know that many of you, like me, have procrastinated until the very last minute. Fear not! I have 10 bookish BFF costume ideas for you and your bestie, so grab that one friend who is just as much of a hot mess as you are and get to shopping.
Note that I said "one friend." There are plenty of group costume ideas on Bustle, if that's more your style, but these costume ideas are for two people: BFFs, couples, siblings, or whatever other relationship you can think of. Each of the ideas below has the potential to be expanded to fit a group of any size — because most books have more than two characters, FYI — but you'll be on your own for that. I'm just here to inspire your creative costume sensitivities.
I love bookish Halloween costumes. There's nothing like dressing up as someone whom only a select few will recognize — and you should definitely be weeding out your potential romantic partners this fall by seeing how they fare when it comes to identifying your literature-inspired costume — and it's even better when you find the people at the party who know exactly who you are on sight. If you don't know what I'm talking about, just ask your friend who always wears the obscure costumes that require lengthy explanations in order to understand.
One thing no one tells you about doing a bookish Halloween costume, though, is just how difficult it is to pull off if your source material isn't illustrated and/or hasn't been made into a movie. For that reason, I've tried to pick picture books and novels that have been adapted for the screen in the past.
Clearly, this isn't a perfect method of book-selection, and I'm sure you may disagree with my costume ideas for some of the characters below. That's OK! With only 10 entries, this list is obviously not an exhaustive source of book-related costumes, so I encourage you to share your favorite literary Halloween ideas with me and others on Twitter. Check out what other folks have shared too, and spread the best ideas around the Internet!
Here are 10 bookish BFF costume ideas for you and your bestie to try out this Halloween.
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Milo and Tock, from "The Phantom Tollbooth" by Norton Juster
In Norman Juster's The Phantom Tollbooth, young adventurer Milo is joined on his journey through the Doldrums by Tock, a talking "watchdog" — so called because he has a literal clock built into his body. My idea for a Milo and Tock joint costume takes its inspiration from the 1970 Chuck Jones film adaptation, not the book's famous cover.
What You'll Need for Milo:
What You'll Need for Tock:
Ginny Weasley and Luna Lovegood, from the Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling
Don't get me wrong, Hermione's a badass, but Ginny and Luna don't get nearly enough credit for their awesomeness. Spend Halloween this year as Gryffindor-Seeker Ginny and a Yule Ball-inspired Luna, then try to tell me you don't feel spectacularly ~magical~.
What You'll Need for Ginny:
What You'll Need for Luna:
Thing 1 and Thing 2, from "The Cat in the Hat" by Dr. Seuss
Princess Pinecone and Princess Elizabeth, from "The Princess and the Pony" by Kate Beaton and "The Paper-Bag Princess" by Robert Munsch
Your bookish BFF costumes don't have to come from the same book, you know. Go as two feminist princesses this Halloween, ponies and dragons optional.
What You'll Need for Princess Pinecone:
What You'll Need for Princess Elizabeth:
Merricat and Constance Blackwood, from "We Have Always Lived in the Castle" by Shirley Jackson
The We Have Always Lived in the Castle movie is still on its way to market, but you don't have to wait to dress up as the infamous Blackwood sisters. The costumes below are inspired by the way the sisters dress in the climax of the Shirley Jackson novella: Merricat in brown, Constance in pink.
What You'll Need for Merricat:
What You'll Need for Constance:
Marla Singer and Tyler Durden, from "Fight Club" by Chuck Palahniuk
Go as dynamic duo Marla and Tyler from Chuck Palahniuk's Fight Club, and stir up a little mischief while you're at it.
What You'll Need for Marla:
What You'll Need for Tyler:
Coraline and the Cat, from "Coraline" by Neil Gaiman
Need some Neil Gaiman fun this Halloween? Try out this pair of heroes with your best friend.
What You'll Need for Coraline:
What You'll Need for the Cat:
Ada Twist and Rosie Revere, from "Ada Twist, Scientist" and "Rosie Revere, Engineer" by Andrea Beaty and David Roberts
Pint-sized heroes Ada Twist and Rosie Revere have signature outfits and fantastic storybooks that make them the perfect choice for you and your best feminist friend.