Top Ten Halloween Costumes Inspired By Books I’ve Read

I already shared with you some books that were great to read during Halloween and I’m not a huge cover person so I decided to mix it up this week and do Top Ten Halloween Costumes Inspired By Books I’ve Read. Most of these are made from pieces you could already have in your closet and are easy costumes to put together at the last minute.



WW2 Pilot Costume Inspiration


Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein: This book is one of my all time favorites. Despite the amazing story itself, I loved learning about how important female pilots were in the war. It was really inspiring and these woman were kickass. This look would be easy to put together with a bomber jacket, aviator inspired hat, scarf and some sort of goggles. Totally wearable pieces on a normal day!

Vixen by Jillian Larkin flapper costume

Flapper Costume Inspiration


Vixen by Jillian Larkin: I love this series and it totally satiated my obsession with the 1920’s and flappers. The flapper fashion is so fun and there are SO many different options you could do with dresses, head pieces, necklaces, etc. Just please don’t wear stilettos — they weren’t invented yet and you had best be doing some Gatsby inspired dancing in this outfit. Go the distance and get a bob wig too!

Ballerina costume inspiration


Bunheads by Sophie Flack: I really liked this book — a look into the world of highly competitive ballet. I’ve always been jealous of graceful ballerinas and the close I’ll ever come to being one is at Halloween. Easy peasy costume to put together. Perfect time to do that sock bun you’ve always wanted to try!

Cyborg Mechanic costume inspiration


Cinder by Marissa Meyer: So this one is the more literal inspired costume based on the book. Cinder is a cyborg and she’s a mechanic. I went the already made costume route with this one and would wear the cyborg jumpsuit underneath the mechanic outfit. I went with a sexy mechanic outfit because I wanted to show off the cyborg oufit. Went with badass boots because Cinder is a badass. This would be so fun to wear and would definitely put you in a position to make people read Cinder when they ask about your costume.

fractured fairytale Cinderella costume

Cyborg Cinderella costume inspiration


This is my second interpretation because I just couldn’t stop thinking about the idea of the Disney Cinderella, the one we think of, and a cyborg. I couldn’t decide if I’d like the whole cyborg jumpsuit under this dress or if those really cute cyborg leggings from Etsy would look better. The daintiness of Cinderella vs. the cyborg would be such a cool concept — especially if you could do facial makeup to let some of the cyborg peek out.


Ringmaster Costume inspiration


Water For Elephants by Sara Gruen: I actually think I might do this one next year because I love it so much! There are pre-made cute ringmaster costumes if you don’t want to find the pieces yourself (which I like to do because I can wear most of them again).
Equestrian halloween costume

Equestrian Costume Inspiration


 The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater: Puck is a badass equestrian to ride these killer horses and to be the only girl to do it. I loved the setting and the concept for this book (plus the writing is amazing) and I thought it would be fun to honor Puck with an equestrian costume. If you want to go even further, add some blood to your costume since you ARE riding killer horses and it’s not uncommon to get bitten if not killed.


** Number 8 was deleted as a good friend let me know she thought it was borderline cultural appropriation. So sorry for not thinking through that one & I will definitely be more careful in the future**


Punk Rock Ballerina DJ costume inspiration


This Song Will Save Your Life by Leila Sales: Now this is 100% inspire by Elise herself from the book rather than a more general costume idea. I’m sure there are many ways to put together a DJ costume but I went specifically from two favorite parts from this book — when Elise and Vicky went shopping and when Elise first puts her outfit on for the night and realizes how badass she looks for her first real night of DJing. My inspiration: the rhinestone pumps Vicky finds and the dress she wears the first night (“After Vicky approved a pair of lace leggings, I tried on a fluffy pleated pink dress that looked like it belonged to Madonna circa 1987….”It was short, with a tight bodice and a tutu-like skirt. I put on my new bangles, too.” And then my favorite line: “Tonight I didn’t want to look like everyone else. Tonight I wanted to look like how I felt on the inside: Elise Dembowski, DJ.” Then the line when she sees a picture of herself from that night solidified the look — “The dress that Vicky helped me buy makes me look like a punk rock ballerina.”

Vintage look 60's costume inspiration

Mixed print dress / Charlotte Russe high heel stiletto / House of Harlow 1960 earrings / House of Harlow 1960 wide ring / House of Harlow 1960 sunglasses / Going Vintage: Lindsey Leavitt: 9781599907871: Books


Going Vintage by Lindsey Leavitt: Really I could have done anything with this one! The main character draws inspiration from the early 1960’s so I did, too. There are SO many trends from the 60’s I could have looked at but I just decided to go with a patterned shift dress and of course some Jackie O sunglasses.

So tell me…which of these costumes would you rock? How would you tweak any of these costumes? Which books can you think of that would inspire an awesome costume? Have you read any of these books? ALSO, what are you being for Halloween this year??

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About Jamie

Jamie is a 32 year old married lady (with a new baby!!) who is in denial that she's actually that old to be a married lady and a mom. When she's not reading you can find her doing Pilates followed by eating ice cream, belting out Hamilton (loud and offkey) and having adventures with her husband, daughter and rescue dog.


  1. Jamie!! This is an amazing top ten Tuesday! Absolutely loved Code Name Verity and Scorpio Races ideas!! PERFECT! Thanks for sharing!!

  2. This is adorable! I especially love the This Song Will Save Your Life and Going Vintage looks, though I have to say, that robot girl costume alone seems horrifying to wear! Could you imagine walking around in a metallic bodysuit like that? No way. But paired with that mechanic’s dress and OMG it’s perfect for Cinder!

    I’m loving all these costume posts I’ve been seeing. I have one of my own posting later this week 🙂

  3. Haha I love the cyborg mechanic! So creative. I just finished Cinder, but I wasn’t expecting a cliffhanger!! 🙁 Now I need to get the sequel….

  4. Very very very cute!! I love it all!!! The Cinder idea is AWESOME!

  5. Forget Halloween–I want to wear some of these every day! You put a lot of effort into this and it totally shows. I love it!

    Rachel @ Beauty and the Bookshelf

  6. What amazing ideas! Well done Jamie. Love this!

  7. Oooh, I love what you did with this list! I’m trying to ignore most TTT lists today because freaky covers scare me, haha. I would definitely want to be a punk rock ballerina! Or a flapper. Or a ringmaster. Also, apparently I dress like a WWII pilot in real life, lol. I kind of wish we celebrated Halloween right now 😉

  8. I love these!! There all such great ideas, but I have yet to read any of the books, I think. There are so many of these costumes I would want to wear…it’s so hard to choose!! I’m going as a Shadowhunter this year, but we’ll see what happens next year! I may take some inspiration from these looks! 😀

  9. Really creative! I’d be a flapper for sure but I’d probably team it with “The Great Gatsby” and have a really long chain of pearls like Daisy 🙂

  10. Well those are awesome. I really like the Water for Elephants costume and the one for Code Name Verity (so easy this one!) and it brought back aaaaall the feels for that book. I’m dying a little everytime I think of it. Too bad I’m not doing Halloween this year 🙁 I have most of the clothes for the Code Name Verity costume. Booooooo.

  11. Love it! Very Creative 🙂

  12. Oo, this goes so perfectly with my spin of top-ten halloween costume inspiring books, since I didn’t actually think through how to put the costumes together! *links*

  13. Love your take on this Jamie! So creative and fun. And Polyvore may be the best website ever. Paperdolls for grownups. 🙂

    Thanks for stopping by my blog.

    My TTT List

  14. What a great idea. These costumes are perfect for their book counterpart. I might have to try one of these out next year.

  15. How fun is this post?! Love all your inspiration ideas. I’ve actually gone as 1920s flapper girl for Halloween before. Such a fun costume!

  16. I love how creative this is! Such a great twist on the topic 🙂 I’m really digging the Water For Elephants and The Scorpio Races costumes! Thinking about throwing one of them together for some last minute Halloween fun!

  17. Love this post!! So fun!

  18. This is amazing.. I am in awe. I am so keeping this in mind for next halloween (since I’m too lazy to go looking for anything now) haha

  19. LOVE THIS! Also, I am totally buying the tutu from Bunheads, the boots from Cinder (version 1) and the tights from This Song Will Save Your Life and wearing them all together and it will be glorious. Not sure what kind of a costume that would be, also I will probably rock that outside of Halloween.

  20. HOW FUN!!! I especially love the Cinder, Going Vintage, and Scorpio Races costumes! LOVE!

  21. Oh wow, best TTT post ever! I love these ideas! I’d most like dress as Going Vintage (I’d totally rock that dress any day of the year!), This Song Will Save Your Life, and Vixen! 😀

  22. What a great idea! All these costumes are simple to make as well 🙂 Did you ever dress up as any of them or a different cover?

  23. Wow, i love what you’ve done with the question, your looks are incredible as well! If i didn’t already have my costume sorted i would definitely come have a look for inspiration 🙂 Thanks for stopping by my blog earlier! 🙂

  24. I LOVVVVVVE THIS! I don’t know which costume I love more.!

    Awesome post <33333

    Here's Our List

    Doris @ Owl Always Be Reading

  25. This was such a cute idea!!

    Thanks for stopping by my Top Ten Tuesday 🙂

  26. So much fun, Jamie! I love those pants for Scorpio Races. I don’t think they would look good on me, but I love them! I actually picture those pants with and tall boots, with a real big Irish looking sweater. I always felt like Thisby was very Irish.

    I LOVE the Bunheads look, especially with the Hair Donut! Oh and the Code Name Verity costume! Love it!

  27. This list totally made my day!!!

  28. Amazing top ten Tuesday. I love your posts. I think that you are so kerativt with them. ! 😀

  29. OMG This is the best post ever! Such a great idea.
    I love all the costumes!
    Happy Reading!
    My TTT

  30. I love this! So many cool ideas! I especially love the Cinder interpretations. I think I like the Cinderella one better with those leggings. That would be awesome and definitely a good way to push Cinder on new people. 🙂 I also love the punk ballerina one. I haven’t read This Song Will Save Your Life yet, but I’ve heard great things about it. Unfortunately I don’t get to dress up this year. My husband and I are moving to Virginia this week. We leave on Friday morning so no Halloween parties for me. 🙁 I might do the Cinder one next year though because I really love that idea!

  31. OMG I LOVE the Cinder ones!!!! Need to be that next year, even through none of my friends will get it, because they are lame and don’t read!

  32. This is such a good idea! I’m honestly not sure which costume idea I love the most. They’re all so creative and well put together. What a wonderful Top Ten Tuesday post, Jamie! 🙂

  33. I LOVE LOVE LOVE Elise’s outfit <33 Punk rock ballerina? This is what every little girl should want to dress like! And I really like the outfits for Cinder, especially the first one!!

  34. What a great idea for a list and some totally amazing costumes – OK, hands up now, I am probably going to use this for inspiration next time I have a costume party to go to! To my mind, a Halloween costume has to be scary, but it’s fun to mix it up with cute, so I might go as Zombie Alice from Through the Zombie Glass and accessorize with a cracked hand mirror…

  35. I LOVE the costumes for Vixen and Bunheads. If I were to tress up for Halloween, I’d love to be a ballerina. I own most of that costume anyways haha. You are seriously so creative and I love it.

  36. Melissa @ Writer Grrl Reads says:

    Your geisha comment/disclaimer made me giggle — Halloween is one of the worst holidays for cultural stereotypes ;). Just yesterday, I was walking at the park and overheard a couple of teens discussing costumes. One teen said that she hated gypsies because they are too sparkly. My husband’s half gypsy, so it just made me laugh. She’s probably Team Edward anyways, who is the SPARKLIEST. 😉

  37. Wow! I just fell in love with this post. I could save it on my phone and head out in search of a costume with this in hand. Just lovely!

    Please do stop by for a look see at some fun Steampunkery costumes.  Bookish and Comic.
    Mad Scientist @ For The Love of Reading
    Mad Scientist @ Steampunkery & Book Reviews

  38. What an adorable spin on the top 10 list this week! I love the costumes — Code Name Verity is terrific! (But really, so are they all). Fun!


  39. Love these!! I especially love the Cinder costumes!

  40. I am OBSESSED with this post! You did such an amazing job putting together all these book-themed costumer Jamie, and I could not be more excited about a lot of them. I would definitely wear most of these (or all of them if I could manage it). Bonus story: my sister went as a ringmaster for Halloween — and it looked almost exactly like your costume for Water for Elephants!


  1. […] totally figured out how to make a Cinder (and others!) costume and I’m envious […]

  2. […] will still be some of that but I’d like to really include anything I want or, after doing my book inspired Halloween costumes post, maybe more things based off of of books — like getting into the style of a character or […]