There are plenty of great literary-inspired Halloween costumes out there, but here are some we’d like to see.
1)The Lady of Shallot, inspired by Tennyson’s 1832 poem and John William Waterhouse’s 1888 painting.
This costume is comprised of a medieval dress (or any other long dress) and a makeshift boat. We like the cardboard option posted below. Just write “The Lady of Shallot” on the side, and you’re set!
2) Mr. Collins, from Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice (1813)
Here, you’ll want to find a clergyman’s habit, or even a white shirt and black jacket, with the collar turned up. Check out Tom Hollander’s and David Bramber’s renditions below. For props, be sure to have a copy of Fordyce’s Sermons on hand. If you don’t regularly collect old religious texts, create a cover for another large tome. If you’re a fan of Hollander’s adaptation, bring a bowl of boiled potatoes, or simply declare food items “excellent” or “exemplary,” especially during awkward silences.
3) Malvolio, from Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night
We’re particularly fond of this minor character, especially regarding his attire and mannerisms in Act 3, scene 4. Dress formally, but be sure to roll up your pants, revealing yellow, cross-gartered knee socks. Also, spend the night grinning ridiculously at fellow party-goers.
4) Mrs. Dalloway, from Virginia Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway (1925)
For this costume, pair a dress and hat with a bouquet of flowers. When people mention your flowers, simply state, “These flowers? Bought ’em myself.”
Got a great literary costume suggestion? Post it in the comments or tweet it to @owntheboards. It’s never too early to start next year’s list!
Check out these other great sites for literary costumes: