- Belle, from Beauty and the Beast
Before the new live action remake comes out and Emma Watson raises the bar for all of us, enjoy Belle in her cartoon state. Although originally a fairy tale, Belle is more commonly known for the classic Disney adaptation. The film is instantly recognisable, and if the chance for karaoke comes along you’re a shoe-in. This costume requires a stack of books, a blue dress, white apron, and a beast for a boyfriend. Good luck with that last part.
- Harry Potter, from . . . well duh
After all, who doesn’t have a white shirt, black trousers and a tie in their wardrobe? True, you’ll lose points for originality, but at least you won’t spend your evening explaining your costume choice. Plus the Harry Potter fandom have spawned a lot of good chat up lines in the nine years since their last book. If you do feel like going out of your way to be creative, dress up as Dobby. You’ll need a bald cap, flappy ears and funny socks. You’ll look really cute.
- Daisy and Gatsby from The Great Gatsby,
Ah, the classic couples costume. Short skirts, tall heels and plenty of liquor. Flappers never go out of style, and neither does Jay Gatsby. You’ll dance, you’ll drink, you’ll have a lot more fun than anyone in the book actually did. Fair warning, your Daisy probably won’t go home with you. And stay away from swimming pools that night.
- Frodo Baggins from The Lord of the Rings
If you’re seeking to cast out your “sexy Halloween” persona, embrace the long skirts and woollen knits of the Shire. Revel in your curly hair and flat shoes. Remember to rock your tiny waistcoat and cape as well! While this doesn’t exactly work as a couple’s costume, Frodo and Sam did have a very serious bromance. Grab your best blonde friend and pretend they’re your servant all night.
- Hester Prynne from The Scarlet Letter
Looking for inspiration? Look to the modern remake ‘Easy A’ starring Emma Stone as Olive, yet another teenager who pretends to have sex before they actually have. Coping with the intense slut-shaming that follows this, she decides to embrace her decision and sews a red ‘A’ onto all of her clothes to brand herself, rather than be branded. This calls for minor sewing skills and the knowledge that, as Mean Girls said, Halloween is an excuse to wear the sluttiest clothes you like.
We all know that this year’s costumes are going to be dominated by an eclectic collection of David Bowies and scantily clad Harley Quinns. But if you do feel like standing out, these costumes offer a fun and creative excuse to revisit your favourite stories. If you’re feeling ambitious you can channel some of your college readings – just know you’ll lose the costume competition to a dead celebrity or even (gasp!) a political pun.