Five Ingenious Halloween Costumes for Book Lovers

Alexandra Kowal ’14 / Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer

Some people dress to scare on Halloween. But if you’re a book lover and want to show it, we’ve got just the costume ideas for you. Halloween needed more books anyway.


1. Bookworm


If you’re reading this article, chances are you’ve been called a bookworm at least once in your life. There are a lot of bookworm costumes out there because it’s a great way to show off your love of books and look good while doing it.

For your bookworm costume, make sure to wear green. You can add a few darker green stripes somewhere on the clothes to look more segmented, or can try to actually create the segmented body of a worm if you’re up to it. Wearing glasses is advised, as it will add a scholarly vibe to your ensemble. For the head, use a graduation cap or antennas. If you’re extremely ambitious, you can create a stack of books to go around your body – the top half of the costume will be the bookworm, so it looks like it’s sitting on books. The beauty of the bookworm costume is that there is so much that can be done with it.

However, no bookworm costume is complete without at least one book to carry. Bring along your favorite, and if you get bored at some point in the night, you’ve already got reading material!

2. Zombie Jane Austen


It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single person in need of a good costume must be in want of zombies.

Zombies are popular. Jane Austen is classic. Put them together a la Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, and you’ve got a surefire hit.

Wear a long white dress with an empire waist. Put your hair in an updo. Then, splatter blood on yourself to your heart’s content. If you really want to sell it, add in some scars and peeling flesh. If you’re good at makeup, you could also try recreating the gruesome cover of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by transforming half of your face into a skeleton. This zombie Austen costume will also work for Elizabeth, Lydia, or any of the other female characters from Pride and Prejudice.

But the addition of zombie characteristics can really be applied to any character from Austen’s classic. For a zombie Darcy: wear trousers, a white shirt with cravat, a tailcoat, and black boots. Again, splatter blood and paint a few scars on your face and you’re good to go. Just don’t forget to bring your enormous sense of pride.

3. Middlemarch


This is a simple costume, for all you last-minute costume hunters. Just wear green (for a provincial feel) and hang a calendar around your neck, with the month of March on display. Circle March 15th.

Sure, some people might think you’re dressed as a calendar, but let them know that there’s more to it and see if they can figure it out. If not, feel free to let those people know you’re actually representing an extremely long, famous novel by George Eliot. Because, as anyone knows, the best way to make friends is by seeing how many literary references they understand.

4. Crime and Punishment


Dostoyevsky’s epic novel also makes for an epic costume.

For this, you basically need to take the halves of two costumes and put them together – it’s a mash-up of a prison uniform and a police uniform. This costume requires a little bit of skill because the best way to accomplish the look is to get the two costumes, cut them in half, and sew them back together. Using an orange jumpsuit and a cop outfit makes for a good contrast. Or, if orange isn’t your thing, you can have a black and white costume by going the jailhouse route with black and white stripes.

For a homemade Crime and Punishment costume, get a white shirt, white pants, and black fabric paint. Paint half the shirt black and paint black stripes on the other side. Wear a police badge on the side without stripes (you can buy one or print out a picture and pin it on). Paint half of the pants black. And voilà!

If you’re opposed to ripping apart two costumes or spending time altering clothes, you can grab a friend and dress as a cop and an inmate. But you’d have to stay together for it to still work as Crime and Punishment. Bonus points if you handcuff yourself to your partner to keep the costume together. Just remember not to murder anyone with an axe.

5. Penguin Random House


Every book lover knows that without the publishing industry, there would be way less books in the world. And that would be terrible.

So, in honor of the merger of two of the biggest publishing houses around, we give you… the Penguin Random House costume!

The idea is simple: Get a penguin outfit and put a random house on it. For a homemade penguin costume, you can wear black pants, a white shirt, and a black cardigan. Make a beak out of paper and string. Add a bowtie if you’re feeling adventurous.

Then, just add a random house to your costume. It can be a little toy house attached to your shoulder, a necklace with a little house, or a picture of a house on the white belly part of the penguin. Draw a house on your hand if you have to. The only requirement is for it to be random, so pretty much anything goes.

Happy Halloween, book lovers!


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