Five literary Halloween costumes to get your party (or work) conversations going!

Are you dressing up for Halloween to take your kids out or answer the door? Heading to a party? Does your workplace encourage costumes? Although there’s no pressure at my library job to dress up on Halloween, people do dress up. I will be working that weekend and I’m thinking of something low-key to wear. I’ve dug up this post from a few years ago to inspire me.

There is plenty of time to plan, so if you’re looking for costume ideas for work or play, consider these literary ones:


Ernest Hemingway

Since bushy beards are the rage right now, guys with facial hair, grab a big turtleneck and you’re almost there! A large personality and fishing pole as a prop would finish the look!


Ayn Rand

Even if you haven’t read The Fountainhead or Atlas Shrugged, you can always look like this controversial literary figure. Comb your hair to the side. No makeup required. I couldn’t find a better free image on the internet, but you can watch this YouTube video to get into characgter.


Holly Golightly from Breakfast at Tiffany’s by Truman Capote

Although Truman Capote wanted Marilyn Monroe, not Audrey Hepburn, to play Holly in the movie, Hepburn made that movie memorable. Pull out your classic black dress, put your hair up high under a fabulous hat and you’re on your way.


Atticus Finch from To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

Atticus is one of my favorite literary characters and I don’t believe Harper Lee meant him to be anything but great, despite the traits she sketched out in Go Set a Watchman. Put on a searsucker three-piece suit, add a tie and some horn-rimmed glasses, and look serious, like Gregory Peck.


Daisy Buchanan from The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Find a gauzy tea dress, some pearls and an elaborate floppy hat and you’re almost there. This picture of Mia Farrow as Daisy will help you practice your doe-eyed expression.

What are you wearing for trick or treat? Would you have the courage to dress up in a costume for work? Leave a comment!

Note – for those who are virtuosos with the block editor, I tried to have the image captions appear on the display, but you can only see them if you click on the individual image. Anyone know a way around this? Also, does anyone know how to change the way the dividers look? Am I stuck with the double line because of my page design? Thanks!

Thanks for visiting – come back soon!

22 thoughts on “Five literary Halloween costumes to get your party (or work) conversations going!

  1. I have a fabulous Jane Austen costume I often wear for Halloween. Most of the offices I worked in encouraged dressing up. These are all great ideas.

    1. I might be just talking the talk here ;). We’ll see if I have the courage to dress up. My work friend dressed up as the Queen of Hearts one year – OMG what a costume – I can’t even describe it. Thanks for the visit!

  2. I don’t dress up for Halloween, but these are great ideas. I see you dressed as a “Fifties” girl, Barbara. A poodle skirt, bobby socks, saddle shoes and a bouncy ponytail! Oh, and of course a letterman’s jacket.

    1. Hi Lynette – I agree, the interview was interesting. There are several others, one a later one with Phil Donohue – that one was a little strange. Thanks for stopping by 🙂

    1. Oh the parties – I live vicariously through your attendance! I actually don’t like dressing up much – but there may be some gentle pressure here. Interestingly, my kids, even when they were little, didn’t like Halloween costumes much and pretty much wore the same ones every year. We got a lot of miles out of a Lifesavers costume. Thanks for reading and commenting, Betsy!

  3. I love Hallowe’en. The festivities, the kids at the door, the whole thing. Although I no longer dress up much, I do have a simple black sweatshirt that reads ‘This IS My Costume.’ I pulled it out today. It makes me smile every single time!
    Thanks for the great literary icon ideas!

    1. Hi Donna – that’s funny – we have a t-shirt that says the same thing! I may have to wear that to work, if I can dress it up a little. Thanks for stopping by and I hope you enjoy the kids at the door – I do like that, although we had hardly anyone last year because of Covid. Usually the doorbell rings nonstop.

  4. Great ideas, Barbara. We used to dress up when the kids were little but not anymore. And our block has been eerily quiet for the last couple of years regarding trick-or-treaters. Even we wonder where all the kids have gone. It’s sad how things have changed. Anyway, have fun whatever you do. 🙂

    1. Hi Lauren – yes we hardly got trick or treaters last year because of Covid. Our neighborhood used to be mobbed with Halloweeners. Not so much anymore. Thanks for stopping by!

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