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Roald Dahl Themed Costumes For Adults and Kids
By guest author – David Hayler
I have a confession to make. With it being Roald Dahl week a few weeks ago, I thought it would be quite appropriate to look at the best fancy dress costumes to wear based on characters from his books. I started to write this at the start of the week commencing 29th April but enjoyed rewatching all of the movies that were created based on Dahl’s novels so much that I watched them all over again. So my apologies that this is very late in coming.
As a child, I was addicted to reading British author Roald Dahl’s classics including Matilda, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and my personal favourite the BFG, though I never dressed as any of the characters. Thankfully most of the books written by Dahl include some wonderful child and adult characters, which means there are plenty of options for you to get involved with the dressing up fun as well.
Please don’t let your kids make the same mistake I did. Leave their Harry Potter or Dora the Explorer costume in the cupboard and change it up with one of these classics.
Charlie and Willy Wonka – Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Some will remember the Tim Burton adaptation with Johnny Depp in 2010, many will remember the 1971 classic starring Gene Wilder and most of you should be able to pluck the characters from your imagination with help from the wonderful book illustrated by Quentin Blake. Whichever version you use as inspiration for your costume, most will instantly recognise your chosen character.
The original Willy Wonka costume comprises of a long purple velvet jacket, white ruffled shirt, beige trousers, a large green bow tie and top hat. Charlie wore a long sleeved navy jump, dark trousers and shoes.
The more recent costume worn by Johnny Depp consists of a gorgeous red velvet long coat, black vest, black trousers, a pocket watch on a chain, white goggles (optional) and purple gloves. Finish off the look with a black top hat and a cane. Cheaper alternatives can be purchased by they don’t match the one worn on screen.
Fantastic Mr Fox
With so many options coming from this book it’s a tough one to identify who would be best to dress up as. Dressing for the role of a fox could be a lot of fun but quite challenging.
For kids I’ve seen some wonderful Ash costumes including this one.
For the grown-ups, a brown or mustard colour cord jacket and 3/4 length trousers, a fuzzy yellow shirt and a furry tail would look fantastic for Mr Fox while a red apple print yellow dress would make a great Mrs Fox outfit.
Props & Frocks stocks a great kids Fox costume that would work for this book character
Sophie and the BFG – BFG
Easy peasy! This is probably the easiest choice to dress up as the costume designs are simple and recognisable.
If you’re going to base your costume off the outfits worn in the animated movie you’ll only need a plain white long sleeve top, green waistcoat and 3/4 length light green trousers. You could also use a pair of Spock ears and some white faux fur or cotton balls to fashion some side burns and eyebrows.
To dress as Sophia a plain yellow knee length dress and a pair of wire framed glasses will do the job.
I also found this brilliant BFG effort, which was a little different and creative.
Luke and the Grand High Witch – The Witches
Does anyone else still have nightmares about this book? Only me?
This book is a true inspiration around Halloween but if you just can’t wait for October to roll around then this is the perfect excuse to blow the dust off your black wig and dress.
Costumes are easy if you’re going for a witches theme. For children wanting to dress as Luke (before his transformation) a simple yellow hooded top, blue jeans, white trainers and wire framed eye glasses similar to those worn by Harry Potter.
A grand high witch costume would comprise of a black V neck knee length dress, a black shoulder length wig (if you don’t already have black shoulder length hair), black opera gloves, some chunky costume rings and necklace, a pair of low black court shoes and tights. For your make up you’ll need some vibrant red lip stick and blue eye shadow.
Check out this fantastic effort by Ava:
Matilda and Miss Honey or Miss Trunchbull (The Head teacher) – Matilda
Sweet or scary? That’s the question you need to ask yourself as a parent. Do you go with the loveable Miss Honey or the terrifying Head teacher Miss Trunchbull? You could even dress as Matilda’s parents Harry and Zinnia Wormwood.
For Matilda a blue patterned dress and a headband with a red bow on it will do nicely.
If you’re going to dress as Miss Trunchbull, we strongly recommend powdering your face with some red blusher as she’s a rage filled lady! Add in a thick, dark jacket, buckle belt over the top with a white shirt and tie underneath. A pair of dark shorts, knee socks and black walking boots would finish the costume off perfectly.
Miss Honey is quite simply as she is usually seen wearing a full length floral pattern dress with a plain cardigan if you want to add something in to keep you warm. She wears a number of different outfits you could try out but this is the option I’d go for.
David Hayler is a blogger and the owner of costume website Otley Run Fancy Dress.