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"Willy Wonka & the chocolate factory" dress up ideas

Updated July 20, 2017

"Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory" is a 1971 film based on the 1964 children's book "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory," written by Roald Dahl. Gene Wilder turned in a memorable performance as the morally ambiguous and titular Willy Wonka, an eccentric, reclusive candy-maker who opens the doors to his chocolate factory to a select few, lucky children. Wonka and the variety of interesting characters make for excellent fancy dress costumes.

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Willy Wonka

To get Gene Wilder's Willy Wonka look you need a lilac, ruffled or flowery shirt, and a purple overcoat. On top of that you need a mustard-colour bow tie and a light brown top hat with light tan trousers. If you really want to be an authentic Willy Wonka, top the whole look off with a curly blond wig à la Gene Wilder. You can also keep an optional penny whistle in your pocket to call upon the Oompa-Loompas.


Although Oompa-Loompas -- the workers in Willy Wonka's factory -- are only knee high, a lot of fun can be had for people of all sizes who decide to dress up as one of them. Oompa-Loompas wear white dungarees or overalls with a brown polo neck underneath with a white and brown neck. You'll also need white gloves, black and white stripe socks, and elf shoes with curly ends if possible. For the hair you need a green, samurai-style wig although many joke and costume stores will likely sell something suitable. Finally, you need to paint your face orange and draw on some white eyebrows.

Charlie Bucket

Charlie isn't the most visually stimulating character in the film but with the right props you'll have film buffs recognising you with no problems. The costume is simple All you need are a bright red jumper, blue jeans, sneakers and a blond wig in a slight side parting. Next you need to make a golden ticket to hold or to have hanging out of your pocket. You can use gold cellophane or colour a piece of paper.

Violet Beauregarde

Violet is a fun character to dress up as and there are a variety of possibilities for your outfit. You can either stuff an over-size, plain blue dress with pillows and cushions and secure them in place with a belt, or you can purchase a sumo-style inflatable body suit and wear the dress over that. You will also need some blue trousers with some padding there as well. All visible skin must be painted blue and style your hair with a fringe to copy the Violet look. Bubblegum is optional.

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About the Author

Based in Oxford, Tom Sterne has been writing music reviews and features since 2003. His articles have appeared in "The Oxford Mail," “Oxfordshire Music Scene” magazine and the Music In Oxford website. Sterne holds a Master of Arts in online journalism from The University of Sheffield.

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