Easy ideas for dressing up like book characters

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Book characters that are memorable stick in the reader's mind, offering inspiration for easy costume ideas. Choose from amongst the "Top Selling 100 Books of All Time" as published by the Guardian's online newspaper (guardian.co.uk) for inspiration.

You can create simple costume renditions of the character you choose by combing your closet and adding a few carefully chosen accessories.

"Harry Potter"

Harry Potter might be the most iconic book character of all time. His round glasses and scruffy dark hair are instantly recognisable. You can create your own Harry Potter costume with a pair of round eyeglasses and a lightning-shaped scar painted on your forehead with a dark eyebrow pencil. Add a wand and an old graduation gown or bathrobe as Harry's school robe and you'll be instantly recognisable. Muss your short hair or add a cropped black wig to complete the look.


Stephanie Meyer's "Twilight" series spawned interest not only in the main character, Bella, but in the two supernatural characters who fight for her attention, Jacob and Edward. Ms. Meyer describes Bella as "average-looking," with "long, straight, dark brown hair." Bella dresses in casual "teen" clothes. Pull a pair of jeans, a flannel shirt and vest from your closet, and comb your long locks to fall straight alongside your face. Guys can impersonate Jacob by wearing a pair of tight-fitting jeans and no shirt, if built for it. For Edward, lighten your skin by brushing on baby powder, slick your hair back off your face and go for a sombre, dark-coloured button-up shirt and jeans.

"To Kill a Mockingbird"

This classic novel about life in 1930s Alabama boasts iconic characters. Dress up as Scout, the main character, by styling your hair in a chin-length bob and adding a T-shirt and scruffy overalls. Scout is the classic tomboy, so some strategically placed "dirt" on your face can add to the look. Dress up as Dill, Scout's childhood friend, by wearing shorts held up by suspenders, slicked-back hair and wire-rimmed glasses. Dill was based upon real-life author Truman Capote when he was a boy, so use images of him to spark your imagination. To costume yourself as Atticus, Scout's lawyer father, put on a three-piece suit, complete with watch fob, and add some horn-rimmed glasses.

"The Catcher in the Rye"

Published in 1951, "The Catcher in the Rye" still remains an oft-read story of one teenage boy's struggle with the demands of growing up in a confusing modern world. To dress up as Holden Caulfield, consider the conservative world which he felt trapped in, enrolled in a prestigious prep school and living in a high society New York family in 1950. A pair of khaki trousers and a button down shirt plus a red hat to stand in for Holden's distinctive red hunting hat will give the sense of his look. For adults dressing as Holden, don't forget to add a pack of cigarettes, even if you don't smoke, as Holden was always smoking in this book.