22 Literary Halloween Costumes For Duos
Sylvia Plath & Ted Hughes, poets
For Sylvia: All-American good looks, nylons, knee-length skirt
For Ted: Combed-down hair, British accent, sweater vest, brandy
Take it further: Replicate the night Sylvia and Ted met by biting into Ted's face until he bleeds, leaving a circle of red tooth-marks around his cheek.
Emily Dickinson & Death
For Emily: Long white dress, pale face, a low bun, zero social skills
For Death: Grim reaper costume
Take it further: Emily should be rushing away from Death, incapable of stopping. Every so often, Death should stop. For Emily.
F. Scott & Zelda Fitzgerald, power couple trainwreck
For Zelda: Bob, flapper dress, crazy eyes, gin. Must always be the life of the party.
For F. Scott: Goofy smile, terrible hair, suit and tie, gin
Take it further: Spend the entire evening alternating between uproarious laughter, swing dancing, and blood-curdling screams.
Persephone & Hades, classical mythology
For Persephone: Pomegranates, pomegranate seeds, pomegranate juice, despairing pout
For Hades: Flames, skulls, and strappy sandals
Take it further: Have Hades drag Persephone around the party.
Mr. Darcy & Elizabeth Bennett, Pride & Prejudice
For Darcy: Frilly white shirt, navy jacket, killer sideburns, British timidity
For Elizabeth: White gloves, pink lipstick, tight curls, super-virginal dress
Take it further: Bring a bucket of water and pour it on Darcy at the peak of the evening. Then he has to propose.
Simone de Beauvoir & Jean-Paul Sartre, existentialists
For Simone: Chic-as-hell lady suit, burgundy turban, cigarettes
For Jean-Paul: Ugly face, round glasses, three-piece suit, cigarettes
Take it further: With lots and lots of infidelity.
Jay Gatsby & Nick Carraway, The Great Gatsby
Jay: Signet ring, douchey cane, pale linen suit, inability to read social cues from women, money
Nick: Nice boy sweater, bowtie, slicked-back hair, sense of wonder and amazement at rich people
Take it further: Flirt with each other all night, because come on.
Nurse Barkley & Lieutenant Henry, A Farewell to Arms
For Barkley: Nurse costume, pregnancy (optional)
For Henry: Soldier costume, wounded arm, typewriter
Take it further: If it rains, stand at the window and discuss how dead you feel inside. Speak only in clipped sentences. Use no adjectives.
Charles & Sebastian, Brideshead Revisited
For Charles: Khakis, boat shoes, cigarettes, air of nostalgia and ennui, tartan scarf
For Sebastian: Khakis, boat shoes, cigarettes, air of nostalgia and ennui, sweater vest
Take it further: With champagne, a teddy bear, and profound sexual frustration.
Nick & Amy Dunne, Gone Girl
For Amy: Pretty blonde hair or wig, WASP-y attire, Cool Girl affect, YA fiction novel
For Nick: Salt-and-pepper hair, button-up shirt with top buttons undone, “Find Amy” button, shadiness
Take it further: With a supremely dysfunctional relationship dynamic.
Lancelot & Guinevere, Le Morte d'Arthur
For Lancelot: Knight costume, corrupt sense of honor
For Guinevere: Princess costume, aggressive sex drive
Take it further: Go as a threesome with King Arthur. Instead of wearing above costumes, have Lancelot and Guinevere wrapped naked in a bedsheet together. Leave King Arthur crying by the punch bowl.
Giving Tree & The Boy, The Giving Tree
For Giving Tree: An apple, some hearts carved into your trunk, total kindness to all
For The Boy: Red overalls
Take it further: Allow partygoers to carve their names into you. Dote on the Boy's every need.
Scarlett O'Hara & Rhett Butler, Gone With The Wind
For Scarlett: Big pouffy dress, a hat with a long piece of fabric trailing off of it to shield you from the Southern sun, something satin, ladylike coiffed hair, kinky side
For Rhett: Suit, mustache, mini-sideburns, rogue airs
Take it further: Hold the pose on the cover of the novel (Rhett's arms wrapped around Scarlett, Scarlett's neck thrown back) all night.
Virginia Woolf & Vita Sackville-West, writer & socialite
For Virginia: Frumpy dress, loosely-tied hair, wedding band, Roman nose
For Vita: Wide-brimmed hat, gender-bending outfit, lots of jewels, family money
Take it further: With societal condemnation of your sexual inclinations, causing you to stay in a sexless marriage instead of fulfilling your probable lesbian impulses.
Salome & John the Baptist, Salome
For Salome: Sexy dancer outfit of any sort will do
For John: Bloody neck due to severed head, pale face due to being dead. Extra points for weird facial hair growth pattern and long dark hair.
Take it further: Carry John on a golden plate the entire evening while laughing maniacally and winking at all older men.
Anaïs & June, Henry and June
For June: Long blonde hair, sexy dress
For Anaïs: Short dark hair, sexy dress, stack of notebooks, Mae West eyebrows
Take it further: With wild, unrestricted sexual attraction.
Franny & Zooey
For Franny: A fur coat that seems a part of your being, cigarettes, The Pilgrim's Way
For Zooey: Towel wrapped around waist, fresh razor blade, rich boy shaving cream, terrible movie script and a well-worn letter
Take it further: This isn't a romantic duo. They're siblings. Spend the whole night bitching about your dead brothers.
Tomas & Sabina, The Unbearable Lightness of Being
For Tomas: All-black outfit, serious eyebrows, doctor's stethoscope, promiscuous air
For Sabina: Black lace bra and panties, bowler hat, paint-splattered Oxford
Take it a further: Bring a mirror along. When people can't guess your costume, place it on the floor and bend over it provocatively, as though the answer to your existence depends upon it.
Reverend Dimsdale & Hester Prynne, The Scarlet Letter
For the Reverend: Clerical gowns, hypocrisy
For Hester: A scarlet letter A, literally all you need is a scarlet letter
Take it further: Actually conceive a child out of wedlock. Get an A tattooed on your chest.
Girl & Dragon Tattoo, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo
For Girl: Moody face, facial piercings, dark clothes, NO EYEBROWS
For Dragon Tattoo: Dragon costume!
Take It further: Keep the dragon on your arm all night to ensure others understand your clever play on this Swedish classic.
Estragon & Vladimir, Waiting for Godot
For Estragon: Bowler hat, ill-fitting suit
For Vladimir: Bowler hat, ill-fitting suit
Take it further: Never shut up about your perennially late friend, Godot.
Innocence & Experience
h/t: Sarah Weston
For Innocence: Baby costume
For Experience: Sexy costume of any sort will do, glasses are a bonus
Take it further: With hallucinatory drugs.