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Thursday, October 3, 2013

The Schmantastic List of Fantasy: Fantastic-Schmantastic Halloween Costumes

Happy First Thursday! Believe it or not, we've already hit October, which means it's the Halloween month. Halloween is my favorite holiday -- I love any excuse to get in costume.

So, in the spirit of Halloween and Schmantasticness, I present to you:

The Schmantastic List of 8 Literary Halloween Costumes

There were some important qualifications to make this list. The costume needed to be easy to put together, recognizable (at least to the well-read) and salvageable. No pre-packaged costumes here -- time to head to the thrift store and break out the needle and thread. So let's check it out!

Green Arrow
So right of the bat, let's acknowledge that my definition of literary may be different than yours. I have great respect and love for comic books and superheroes. If you considering going the superhero route, I encourage you to go for a less common hero -- and one who forgoes the spandex suit. Green arrow is a great option because his look is iconic without being specific. This is a costume you have a lot of freedom to redesign. Just choose green, get a costume bow and quiver and arrows, and don't forget the facial hair.

Arthur Dent
Arthur is a classic, much like The Hitchhiker's Guide itself. All you need for this is a dressing gown or robe, a towel and a general aura of dishevelment . Don't forget the towel, and remember: don't panic.

Calvin and Hobbes
Comic strips aren't literature, you say? Calvin and Hobbes certainly proves you wrong. For a solid Calvin costume, all you need is a red shirt striped shirt, dark pants, spiked up hair and a stuffed tiger. Hearts everywhere will melt.
BONUS: The Smartass Alternate of Calvin and Hobbes
Want to be a total smartass this Halloween? Have a buddy who's just as much of a smartass as you? Then go as Calvin and Hobbes: the philosophical version.

John Calvin and Thomas Hobbes
To pull this off, find a friend and dress up in some generic "long-time ago" man clothes. Really, this is open to interpretation. Nobody's going to be looking for authenticity or accuracy. Calvin, consider carrying the stuffed tiger still. For funsies. Hobbes, grab a copy of the Leviathan. And both of you be prepared to tell everyone who you are, because you will be asked a lot. And the revelation may be met with groans.

Piggy, Lord of the Flies
Really, you can go as any of the Lord of the Flies boys. But I like Piggy for being the most recognizable. What you need: glasses, dirty shirt, ripped pants and an inhaler if you have one. Bonus points on this one, find clothes that look like they could be part of a school uniform and rough them up, deserted island style. If you choose one of the other boys, do the same thing but use the glasses as a prop and consider a pointy stick to complete the ensemble.

Ah, Ophelia. A tragic figure, and properly morose for Halloween. For Ophelia, go for a long, flowy white dress,  make your hair wild. Add some details to suggest her demise -- wet looking hair, messy/dirty clothing and add some makeup for pallor. Again, there's no wrong way to do this one. Shoot for a look that's a cross between ethereal and just plain eerie.

Professor Sprout
When it comes to costumes, this Hogwarts professor simply does not get her due. We've all seen our share of McGonagalls and perhaps Trewlawneys, but Sprouts are left behind. And why? She's a badass Hogwarts professor who tangles with Devil's Snare and petrifying baby mandrakes. Besides, this one is easy. Some brown robes, a witch's hat, a wand and adorn yourself with dirt and leaves. Have a general air of dishevelment and dirt, and you'll have this one down.

This is one I've personally done, so I can attest to how much fun it is. Delirium's all about looking as trippy as possible. Think neon. Lots of neon. For a good Delirium, get a red wig and tease the crap out of it. Put on a your brightest colored clothing, mismatched of course, and throw some fishnet in there (stocking, shirt, gloves, whatever). Top it off with a black leather jacket if available, and add some over the top makeup. Bonus points for mismatched color contacts.

Hester Prynne
Confession: I did not like The Scarlet Letter. Not my cup of tea. To me, it's one of those canon pieces that I just find booooooring. Give me The Awakening over this snorefest any day. But that doesn't change the fact that Hester Prynne is a whole lot more recognizable than Edna Pontellier. And a pretty easy costume to put together. If you have some insanely awesome period dress at hand, go for it. Otherwise, this is sewing 101. Basically, find a frumpy long white nightgown/nightshirt. This is your underlayer. Then, go get some really heavy red fabric. It should be long enough to go past your knees in the front and back (basically two bodylengths). Cut a whole in the middle for your head. Add some ties of the side. If this is confusing, just remember one word: smock. You're just making a smock. Where your red smock over the white nightgown. Add a red A on the smock. Bonnet if you want, or wear your hair loose (you tramp). And for the extra touch, carry around a baby doll and call it Pearl.

1 comment:

  1. Arthur Dent! Awesome costume idea. I just may use that for work this year.