16 Whimsical Halloween Costume Ideas Courtesy of Roald Dahl
Halloween is a holiday that serves up just as much whimsy as it does scares, which is exactly why Roald Dahl is the perfect person to turn to for costume inspiration this year. The iconic author was a master at giving us heroes to root for against antagonists that were more than a little frightening for any childhood bookworm. Whether you want to head out on Oct. 31 dressed as the innocent Matilda or you'd rather terrify your pals as Miss Trunchbull, we have a costume idea for each and every human bean (no matter how old).
Matilda Wormwood From Matilda
- What to wear: First, figure out your hair: a brown, shoulder-length wig (with bangs!) underneath a blue headband (with a bow!). Next, layer a white t-shirt under a blue floral dress or pair of blue overalls, with white socks and red Mary Janes. Make sure you carry around Matilda's signature accessory: a stack of books.
Miss Trunchbull From Matilda
- What to wear: Put a big belt over a long brown coat and collared white shirt, and wear knee-high socks with brown shoes. Leave your face makeup-free, but pull your hair back into a slick, tight bun and give yourself a unibrow.
- What to wear: A pair of cropped green pants, a white long-sleeved shirt, and a brown vest, with a gray wig and some big fake ears. Bring a butterfly net out with you just in case you need to scoop up any little kids.
Sophie From The BFG
- What to wear: A light-pink nightgown, a short brown wig, and big glasses.
Baron and Baroness Bomburst From Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
- What to wear: A standard king and queen costume from any party store will do. You could also just buy a giant, jeweled crown and wear it with a regal fur wrap and a fancy silver dress.
The Child Catcher From Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
- What to wear: Head-to-toe black (a silk vest, pants, boots) and a top hat with red and yellow flowers sticking out of one side. Wear a greasy black wig and bring a fistful of colorful lollipops out with you to go the extra mile.
The Grand High Witch of All The World From The Witches
- What to wear: The Grand High Witch was really into black and purple, so wear a long dress, a cape or coat, and frilly hat in varying shades of those colors. Anjelica Huston's movie version of the character also rocked a black bob with bangs and elbow-length gloves.
James From James and the Giant Peach
- What to wear: A red wig, a striped shirt, a black sweater, and some khaki shorts. Throw in some argyle knee-socks, and an expression that says, "My parents were killed by a stampeding rhinoceros." Bring a bag of peaches to hand out to your friends.!
Miss Spider From James and the Giant Peach
- What to wear: For your face, wear white face paint, heavy eyeliner, and black lipstick. For your outfit, put on a black beret with a black and white striped shirt and either black pants or a black skirt with tall black boots.
The Rest of the Bugs From James and the Giant Peach
- What to wear: Various pieces of old-timey clothes (think: high-waisted linen pants, polka-dot dresses, and newsboy caps), with antennas glued onto a headband or sticking out of your hat. Paint your face according to which bug you prefer (green for the grasshopper, blue for the ladybug, etc.).
Mr. Fox From Fantastic Mr. Fox
- What to wear: A white or yellow button-down shirt with a maroon and yellow striped tie and corduroy pants. Put a red or orange corduroy jacket over top, and carry a felt fox mask with you so people have no questions about who you are.
Mrs. Fox From The Fantastic Mr. Fox
- What to wear: A yellow dress with a fruit print and an apron filled with scissors, pens, and paintbrushes. Put on a felt fox maskand you'll be good to go.
Violet Beauregarde From Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory
- What to wear: A blond wig cut in a short bob and a light blue jumpsuit. Feel free to stuff the jacket and pants to make it look like you're turning into a giant blueberry.
An Oompa Loompa From Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory
- What to wear: Go all out and get an Oompa Loompa costume.
Augustus Gloop From Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory
- What to wear: A red wig, a red and white striped shirt, black pants, and a face smeared in chocolate.
Willy Wonka From Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory
- What to wear: Khaki pants with a floral shirt underneath a purple velvet jacket, white gloves, a big bow tied around your neck, and an orange hat.