Should you (or your child) need a straightforward outfit in time for Oct 31, or get invited to a fancy dress party, fear not! Beyond Harry Potter, Thing 1 and Thing 2, and Max from Where the Wild Things Are, behold Reads for Keeps’ list of easily assembled yet unique kidlit costume suggestions.
While the long blue coat with the red cuffs and lining is his most iconic look, the Petit Prince spends most of his time wearing a matching celadon button down shirt and flared trousers (blue hospital scrubs should do in a pinch). These he accessorizes with a red bow tie and red belt, or a yellow scarf and yellow belt. While it is helpful to have a shock of blond hair, to really convey who you are, either carry around a fox stuffed animal or a rose, and be sure to ask every grownup in sight to draw you a sheep. Let’s practice: Dessine-moi un mouton!
Bonus: if you’re going as a father/son or father/daughter team, have dad dress like an aviator, and you’ve got yourself an Antoine de Saint-Exupery!
This outfit requires a navy blue short-sleeved dress and a straw hat with a ribbon around the brim. Add the finishing touches by making a peter pan collar out of white felt and tying a red bow/cravat around your neck. The rest is all attitude. Or find eleven other girls and a schoolmarm dressed like a nun with whom to practice walking in two straight lines.
This one is self explanatory. Also, suited for warmer climates.
Stanley Yelnats (from Holes)
Requires an orange jumpsuit with a patch that reads Camp Green Lake. Go the extra mile by spraying peach scented body mist on your clothes. Ditch the shovel and yellow spotted lizards, though.
Charlie Bucket (from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory)
Put on a too small wool sweater and too short trousers, and carry around a large bar of chocolate wrapped in gold foil. And if you should eat said chocolate bar, you can always trick-or-treat for a replacement. For those who enjoy recreating costumes, you’ve got two film versions of Charlie, plus the West End musical edition.
Minli (from Where the Mountain Meets the Moon)
Scrounge through your closet for a flow-y purple floral top, baggy blue pajama pants, and a yellow sash. Then tie your hair into two buns. If you happen to have a dragon stuffed animal lying around, great. Otherwise, carry a cardboard cutout of a goldfish in a goldfish bowl to clue us in on your identity.
Doug Swieteck (from Okay For Now)
First, dress like you’re from the Sixties or Seventies. In black permanent marker, draw two eyes and a half-moon smile onto a brown paper bag which you’ll then wear over your head, just like in the original cover. (You may want to cut out eye holes, instead.) Carry around a baseball glove, chug a retro glass bottle of coke, and liberally use Doug’s catchphrase in conversation. Got that? Terrific.
Maddie Brodatt (from Code Name Verity)
It might be best to look up actual pictures of Women’s Auxiliary Air Force and Air Transport Auxiliary uniforms, but remember that at the start of the war, things in England were so disorganized that Maddie was once scolded for not being in proper dress. That said, you could probably get away with a crisp white collared shirt, a navy blazer and skirt that hits mid-calf, and/or an oversized navy blue trench coat. Don’t forget the combat boots and Maddie’s mittens. And if you want to make people cry, have a friend dress up as Julie by sporting a sunset colored sweater, a scarf with the coordinates for the Chateau de Bordeaux, and a picture perfect chignon.