Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Halloween costumes: book inspiration

Halloween is upon us and while some people have chosen their outfits well in advance, a lot of us keep waiting till the very last moment (seriously, when will I learn?). If you really leave it all for the last minute (read: a couple of hours before the party starts), you will basically have two possibilities: to put on something tight and black, paint whiskers on your face and hope you look like a cat, or to cover yourself in red and black paint/make-up/whatever-is-near, and resemble a zombie/victim of a horrible murder/etc...
...You might want to try something different this year and you still have some time to prepare. So, why not opt for a literature character instead? (Especially if you are in a couple, most of these ideas look best in a two-person Halloween team!)

The Straight-Out-Of-A-Period-Drama One

This is a good choice for couples and now you have the chance to dress up as Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy/Jane Eyre and Rochester/Margaret Hale and Mr. Thornton/any of your favourite classic romance couples. However, I would only recommend this if both (and I mean both) of you enjoy this kind of books/films, if one of you hates period drama, do not make them wear this... seriously, they are never going to enjoy their night.

Anyway, to do that you can find some Victorian dresses in fancy dress shops, or you still have time to order online - there is even more choice there. For men - going around charity shops is helpful too, as chances are you would find appropriate pants, coats and waistcoats there for a fraction of the price. 

P.S If you are a Jane Austen fan, living in England, go to Bath, where you are going to find a solution to all your fancy dress problems.

The Great-Gatsby-Lover

The theme very popular last year due to the premiere of Baz Lurman's Great Gatsby, is a good Halloween choice if you want to keep it classy - to feel comfortable in your skin, yet, knowing you still have dressed up for the occasion. 

This one can easily be found in the fancy shop near you. However, instead of spending money on a dress that looks like a flapper's one, but feels like a costume, and you won't wear again, I suggest you visit some shops on the high street instead. You can find dresses, skirts and tops, inspired by the 20s easily enough if you check the likes of Top Shop, Miss Selfridge and even H&M. The good thing in this case is that you could wear this clothes again throughout the year. For lovers of the true classics you can find some proper jazz era pieces in vintage shops. Same goes for men+lots of gel and confidence.

The Stay-Classy One

You do not want to dress up as a zombie, a skeleton, a monster or a scary clown, because you prefer to keep it nice looking and stylish. Yet, you still want to dress up for Halloween. Enter your favourite stylish heroes - the characters that have outgrown their own books to become fashion icons.

Maybe you like Breakfast at Tiffany's? That's a good last minute option as you do not necessary need to buy anything new. Put on your little black dress, big black shades and a cat eye-liner (a massive hat is an option, too), tie your hair in a bun - and you have lovely Holly Golightly. 

Or, maybe you are a Fitzgerald fan? You have plenty of classy characters to choose from - it does not have to be the aforementioned Gatsby. Actually, why not dress up as Fitzgerald himself? A dapper 20s suit is a must and maybe a bottle of alcohol in hand....only if you want to address his alcoholism of course....

If you are a fan of Atonement, your costume is even easier to achieve. Girls, just go for a long green dress, style your hair in a nice 30s-40s style (plenty of tutorials on how to achieve that on youtube), and apply little make up. Furthermore, a lot of french novels can inspire you to dress up in 18th century aristocratic style - an excuse to wear a huge ball gown and a massive wig. Because, you know, it was all about excess in the French court during the reigns of Louis XIV, XV and XVI...

Sherlock Holmes? Probably the literary character with the most famous look in the world - and one easy to achieve this Halloween. Again, cheap and appropriate clothes could be find in vintage and charity shops, but if you are willing to spend more, you can find something Sherlockey in suit stores. Finish the look by adding a pipe. This look also allows you to wear some modern clothes - if you decide to go for Benedict Cumberbatch's Sherlock. In this case a slim fit suit is a must plus a long black coat.

The Scary One

It's Halloween and you want to keep it scary, we get it.

First off, there are characters like Bronte's Heathcliff, that might be considered a romantic hero, but still looks pretty scary on the outside. Or there are characters such as Moriarty - Sherlock's biggest enemy he is, but he brings the scary with his brain rather than his looks. Then again, a pair of Sherlock and Moriarty could spice up the traditional Sherlock and Dr. Watson Halloween combo.

Then, you could always dress up as Voldemort, who is scary both inside and out. To be honest, there a lot of Harry Potter characters that could be your inspiration here. Most of Game of Thrones characters would do, too, but keep in mind that with the popularity of the series, it is likely you won't be the only Khal Drogo and Daenerys on the party.

To sum up

If you don't find some of the suggestions appropriate enough,  after you choose your character, you can put some more paint on your face and say you are the dead version of him.

Basically, you can find some Halloween inspiration in any book you like. If you want, just put your most fashionable clothes and new boots and say you are Andy from the Devil wears Prada. No one on the party should mind.

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