This year, if you don’t want to be just another Snookie in the crowd, and are striving for something a little more high brow, try one of these literary costumes.
Scout from To Kill a Mockingbird: Scout’s ham outfit is arguably the greatest costume of all time. Walk a mile in her shoes by securing a combination of chicken wire and cloth. Don’t forget to leave two peeps for eye holes!
Gulliver from Gulliver’s Travels: This one will evoke true fright, since we all know how terrifying it is to be tied down by hundreds of miniature Lilliputians. Use a simple outfit for the base: oxford shirt and slacks pushed up to reveal your socks. Then add the finishing touch by attaching a bunch of little army men to string and pinning them all over your body so that they are hanging down at all levels, ready to tie you up.
Miss Havisham from Great Expectations: Even those who relied on the Cliff Notes version of this classic will be creeped out when they see this costume. Buy an old wedding dress from the thrift store then shred it. Wear a veil atop a serious case of bed head and paint your face a pasty white. Seal the deal by carrying around a mold-infested cake.
Nancy Drew: This one is super-simple and straightforward. Wear a smart, preppy outfit, like a plaid skirt, oxford shirt, and blazer. Add a cloche hat and a magnifying glass, and you’re ready to hit the streets. Just make sure to badger everyone at the party with lots of pesky questions.
Lisabeth Salander from The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo: You’ll need to channel your inner antisocial punk hacker for this one by donning a spiked dog collar, leather jacket, heavy mascara, pixie-length black wig, and combat boots. Use a laptop as your accessory and, for crying out loud, do not forget the tats. Bonus points for piercings.
Godot from Waiting for Godot: Show up extra late to the party wearing the following: green shirt, white tie, vest, coffee cup, and visor. Make sure to rant and rave sporadically throughout the night, about nothing and everything at the same time.
Lolita: Unfortunately, it’s way easier to go with Stanley Kubrick’s version of the seductress than Nabokov’s. But that doesn’t make it any less fun. Throw on some heart-shaped sunglasses, a short outfit with any kind of ruffle formation, and grab a sucker on your way out the door.
Hester Prynne from The Scarlet Letter: Sew a bright red ‘A’ to the bodice of your dress, top off with white bonnet and apron. Done and done, ya whore.
Dorian Gray from The Portrait of Dorian Gray: Not sure if you’ll meet many new friends at the party with this one, but wear a really sharp three piece suit and carry around a portrait of yourself all night. Then throw some acid on your face around 11pm for the ultimate party trick.
J.D. Salinger: Take extreme measures to part your hair with the utmost meticulousness. Then don’t leave the house at all.