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Book Character Costumes: Go Literary for Halloween

Updated on September 8, 2015
Virginia Allain profile image

A librarian through and through, Virginia Allain writes about book topics and information for library users and librarians.

Glinda, a Munchkin and Little Bopeep.
Glinda, a Munchkin and Little Bopeep. | Source

What Literary Character Would You Like to be? Ideas for Adult Costumes!

Jane Eyre, Scarlett O'Hara, the Hunchback of Notre Dame, the Three Musketeers, Long John Silver? There are wonderful characters from books that could be turned into wonderful costumes for many occasions.

Dress up as your favorite literary character for Halloween or for a fancy dress ball or for a Friends of the Library fundraising event. Whatever the occasion, it's great fun to wear a costume.

Halloween used to be just for kids, but now grown-ups join in the fun with costume parties at Halloween. Costumes for adults can be funny or sophisticated. Dressing as a character from a book, puts you in the more sophisticated category.

Here are tips for assembling a costume for some great book characters or if you want a literary costume ready-to-wear, just order one. I've included a sampling of those as well.

Happy Literary Halloween

You Can Buy a Three Musketeers Costume - Click on the product to see various sizes and similar costumes

There's nothing as swashbuckling as a Three Musketeers costume. This one comes with the hat, the tunic and the boot spats. You'll feel ever so dashing in this hat.

You will need to add the sword, shirt, slacks, mustache, etc. When you check out this costume over at Amazon, browse around for the perfect sword.

Watch a few swashbucklers on YouTube like The Three Musketeers, Captain Blood or The Scarlett Pimpernel.

Check out the Costumes in the Three Musketeers Movie Clips

Sheik Costume and Accessories - Rudolph Valentino' Sheik

Who wouldn't want to be Rudolph Valentino, the great lover? Next year, get the costume out and become a oil sheik, then the next year, get the right beard and become Bin Laden, if you dare.

The Sheik was a book before it became a movie. It was written by Edith Maude Hull in 1919.

Forum Novelties Men's Arab Sheik Costume, Multi, Standard
Forum Novelties Men's Arab Sheik Costume, Multi, Standard

I searched through a number of sheik costumes and think this one is the best.


Watch the Old Silent Movie, The Sheik

Hold Your Literary Party in the Garden

Classic outfits for southern belles.
Classic outfits for southern belles. | Source

A Dress for a Gone with the Wind Costume

Other accessories that would enhance this costume are a fan, a lace parasol and long gloves. Of course, it would be good to reread Margaret Mitchell's GWTW to get ideas for your character for the fancy dress party or Halloween.

If you want a quick look at some things Scarlett O'Hara said, check out these quotes from the book.

There are other great characters like Melanie or Rhett Butler or even Prissy, Miss Scarlett's maid. These make for a great couples costume. She dresses as Scarlett or Melanie while he dresses as Rhett.

Scarlett O'Hara Southern Belle Adult Costume - Small
Scarlett O'Hara Southern Belle Adult Costume - Small

Classic Southern belle outfit. If you have long hair, check on YouTube for a video for styling it just like Scarlett O'Hara. There are wigs available too on Amazon.


Scene Showing Scarlett O'Hara Costume from the Movie

Roman Costumes for Men - Julius Caesar Costume

Practice up a few Latin phrases or some lines from Shakespeare's Julius Caeser, then dress the part in this Roman outfit.

Deluxe Julius Caesar Adult Costume - Mens Small
Deluxe Julius Caesar Adult Costume - Mens Small

This is great for a book-themed party. Hey, you never know when you'll get invited to a toga party too.


Here's a Good Opportunity to Wear a Top Hat

You don't get many chances to wear a classy hat like this. Check out the costume below.
You don't get many chances to wear a classy hat like this. Check out the costume below. | Source

Dress as a Charles Dickens Character for Halloween - Man's cape

This also works if you want to be Jack the Ripper or Dr. Jeckyl and Mr. Hyde

Add a Walking Stick to Your Dickens' Character Costume

Upper Deck, LTD Victorian Style Wood Walking Stick ~ Cane with a Brass Handle, Brown
Upper Deck, LTD Victorian Style Wood Walking Stick ~ Cane with a Brass Handle, Brown

I think this cane/walking stick is perfect for a Dickens character costume.

There are less fancy ones as well. Click on the picture to see other choices.


Prince Charming Costume for Men - Bring a fairy tale to life

I'm sure your wife would love to be Cinderella. She could even bring out that prom dress from the depths of the closet or use an old bridesmaid's dress for the costume.

Romeo - One of Shakespeare's Memorable Characters

Have your sweetie dress as Juliet. You'll make a memorable couple and will surely win the best costume awards.

Ladies Love an Opportunity to Wear a Renaissance Costume

My nieces make delightful Juliettes, don't you agree?
My nieces make delightful Juliettes, don't you agree? | Source

James Bond was a Book before It Was a Movie - James Bond 007 Tuxedo for a Costume

While you are over at Amazon looking at the gorgeous tuxedos, check out the 007 ring too. How about a replica pistol too and a martini glass to complete the costume. Get your spouse or a girlfriend to dress up as a Bond girl to go with your outfit.

Ideas for Bond Girls Costumes

King Arthur Costume - Choose from various sizes

This would work for Sir Lancelot too.

Queen Guinevere Costume - for your literary costume

California Costumes Queen Guinevere, Sage, Small Costume
California Costumes Queen Guinevere, Sage, Small Costume

Click on the picture to see other sizes for this costume. This one will get extra wear for a Renaissance festival or just for evening wear on special occasions.

This is a costume that I'd love to wear.


Costumes from Children's Books

for adults to wear

Dorothy Costume from the Wizard of Oz

Make Your Own Dorothy Costume and Even Put Red Glitter on Your Shoes - Video Tutorial

Scarecrow Costume for Adults - from The Wizard of Oz

Amazon also has Cowardly Lion outfits and Tinman costumes.

You Can Even Make Your Costume - Here's the Tinman

Alice in Wonderland Has Wonderful Characters Too - Make Your Own Mad Hatter Costume

© 2010 Virginia Allain

What's Your Favorite Costume to Wear? - Do you like a book character that isn't included here?

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    • OhMe profile image

      Nancy Tate Hellams 

      3 years ago from Pendleton, SC

      These are great Book Character Costumes. Our son and then our grandson had to dress as a book character in elementary school. That was always such a fun day!

    • tfsherman lm profile image

      tfsherman lm 

      6 years ago

      How beautifully you lay out your lenses, vallain. I was in Bath for the Jane Austen festival and all over town people were appearing in fancy Regency garb. So much fun!

    • hntrssthmpsn profile image


      6 years ago

      Characters from a well-loved book... what a great idea for Halloween! Love the Man in the Yellow Hat costume. And Max... with an entourage of Wild Things, that'd be a great group costume!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I love your idea of going literary by wearing a book character costume for Halloween. I think Zelda from The Great Gatsby would be an ideal costume since I always thought it would be fun to be a flapper girl and I loved the book!

    • scrapquilter profile image

      Myreda Johnson 

      6 years ago from Ohio USA

      Nice lens with soooo many ideas. Something for nearly everyone.

    • OhMe profile image

      Nancy Tate Hellams 

      6 years ago from Pendleton, SC

      I love these Book Character Costumes. Fun and educational

    • ChrissLJ profile image


      7 years ago

      My library has a rule that workers are allowed to dress up for Halloween... so long as that we're dressed as characters from children's books. Over the last few years, I've dressed as Rapunzel, Helen of Troy, Mme Poofapuff (from One of a Kind Hat), Isabelle Ashely Parker McBride (from A Style All Her Own) and Fancy Nancy. How many adults do you know that have their own adult sized Fancy Nancy outfit! =0)

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      I would totally rock a Captain Nemo costume. Not even lying.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      The 3 Muskteteers would be my favorite here

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Great stuff. Classic costumes.

    • KimGiancaterino profile image


      7 years ago

      I like these ideas, and am reminded that costume parties weren't always associated with Halloween. Remember Grace Kelly in "To Catch a Thief?" It would be fun to wear some of these to a themed costume party.

    • JoyfulReviewer profile image


      7 years ago

      Lots of neat ideas. Thanks for the fun costume lens.

    • travelbroad profile image


      7 years ago

      I would love to be Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz. I just have to click my heels to go home.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Great adult halloween costumes for Book Characters!

    • gottaloveit2 profile image


      7 years ago

      Very cute ideas. Adding this to my coming-soon Halloween lens.

    • Scarlettohairy profile image

      Peggy Hazelwood 

      7 years ago from Desert Southwest, U.S.A.

      Fun article! These are great ideas for costumes.

    • Darla Dixon profile image

      Darla Dixon 

      8 years ago

      One day at the bookstore, we had a customer come in and ask for The Scarlet O'Hara Letter. Is there a costume for that? :)

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      I would have loved to have gone as Scarlett O'Hara! ...thanks for's a great lens...and thanks for popping into my Steampunk Fashion / Costumes lens...I appreciate it!

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Boo! Happy Halloween! And what a fantastic lens! - Kathy

    • charder profile image


      8 years ago

      Awesome idea for a lens! Check out mine if you can for more costume ideas.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      These are so fun what a great idea for costumes. Love the man in the yellow hat and gone with the wind character.

    • WindyWintersHubs profile image


      8 years ago from Vancouver Island, BC

      I would love to be Maid Marion! Love her character! (^^..^^)

    • oztoo lm profile image

      oztoo lm 

      8 years ago

      What a wonderful idea. I bet there are lots of characters from books that you could adapt for this. I like the Scarlett O'Hara costume.

    • capriliz lm profile image

      capriliz lm 

      8 years ago

      Oh, I think I would like to pretend to be a Southern Belle!

    • JenOfChicago LM profile image

      JenOfChicago LM 

      8 years ago

      Hermione Granger would be a great costume too!

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Well done. Thank you.

    • Sylvestermouse profile image

      Cynthia Sylvestermouse 

      8 years ago from United States

      Oh, yes! A Jane Austen character would be lovely!

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Congratulations! You've been SquidBoo Blasted. Happy Halloween!

    • jptanabe profile image

      Jennifer P Tanabe 

      8 years ago from Red Hook, NY

      What a great idea to dress up as a literary character from a book. Not sure who I'd be, but maybe a Jane Austen character would be lovely.


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