How to Dress Like Harry Potter
Forget bulky, sticky costumes made from cardboard and face paint. Dressing like Harry Potter will keep you in comfort, and still be instantly recognizable. Just keep an eye out for someone dressed as Lord Volde– I mean, He Who Must Not Be Named.
Dressing Like Harry Potter
Put on black trousers and a white shirt. If you can, use slacks and a collared, button-up shirt. The Hogwarts dress code requires everyone to look smashing.
- Wear a burgundy cardigan (red sweater) in cold weather.
Wear an old black robe. Harry Potter doesn't wear this all the time in the films, but it's required for all Hogwarts students in the books. Besides, a shirt and trousers aren't too wizardly by themselves. There are several ways to track one of these down:
- Look in graduation stores that sell academic gowns. Ask whether they have old ones they will sell cheaply for costume purposes.
- Thrift stores, charity stores, and costume shops might stock these.
- If you know any professors, judges, or lawyers, ask to borrow their robes. (Note – lawyers in the United States don't wear robes.)
- Wear a long, black coat back-to-front, or a long black skirt over your shoulders.
Hide long hair under a hat. A pointy black hat isn't necessary for Harry Potter, but it is easily recognized as a wizarding hat. The main use for a hat like this is to hide long hair, if you have it.
Make a pair of "broken" glasses. Find a pair of round glasses with black frames at a used clothing store or drugstore. Put a piece of clear sellotape (scotch tape) over the middle of the glasses, like Harry does when his glasses break.
- Toy stores sell fake glasses along with a nose and mustache. Cut off the extra bits, and they're the perfect shape.
- If you have your own glasses, you can make the rims black with puffy paint. For a quicker costume, cut out empty circles from black construction paper and tape them over the rims.
Make a red and gold scarf. If you're lucky, you can find a scarf with red and gold stripes at a clothing sore, or have someone knit or sew it for you. Otherwise, you'll need to start with a plain red scarf. There are a couple ways you can add the golden or yellow stripes:
- Wrap a yellow ribbon around the scarf in a spiral. Staple or sew it in place.
- Cut yellow felt or construction paper into rectangles. Lay these out on the scarf. Staple or sew them on.
Paint the fabric with fabric paint.
Make a red and gold tie. Find a red tie from a thrift shop – you probably don't want to paint on your own or your family's. You can make this the same way you did the scarf, but fabric paint will look best.
- In the films, the Gryffindor ties are red with diagonal gold stripes. Draw a thin gold line. Skip 3 cm (1.2 in), then draw two thick lines with a thin gap in between. Skip another 3 cm (1.2 in), and repeat with a new thin line.
Draw the lightning bolt scar. Draw the famous lightning bolt running down your forehead. Use red lip liner, lipstick, or a nontoxic, washable marker.
- The scar is sometimes shown and described as running down the middle of his forehead, or running down the right side.
Turn a stick into a wand. Find a strong stick from any tree, about 11 inches (28 cm) long. Decorate it however you like with paint, or make spiral patterns with puffy paint or a hot glue gun. Harry Potter's wand looks pretty simple in the films, but your version doesn't have to be.
- You can use a thick wooden dowel from a hardware shop instead.
- For a quick and easy wand, tape together a few pencils, twigs, or chopsticks. Tape brown or black construction paper over them.
Carry a stuffed white owl. Carry around your own Hedwig perched on your arm or shoulder. (Tie her on with a bit of string if you need to.) Look in the toy section of department or charity stores.
Make a quill. Any feather with a stiff base can be made into a quill. For an easier version, tape a feather from a craft shop onto a pen or pencil. Craft shops might also have fake parchment or scrolls to write on with your quill.
Get a broom. Harry the Quidditch player has to have a broom to fly around on. Choose a wooden one with real bristles for the best look.
- To complete the look, carry the Golden Snitch as well. Paint a table tennis ball gold and glue on wings from yellow construction paper.
- Try convincing your friends to play Quidditch with you.
- If you are playing the character for Halloween or a fancy dress party, point at people and say, "Expelliarmus!", "Wingardium Leviosa!", or another similar Harry Potter phrase.
- There's no such thing as a "Gryffindor uniform" in the books. All students wear a plain black robe, underwear, and nothing else... but good luck convincing people you're Harry Potter if you try that!
- Make sure you use washable marker or makeup for the scar. Permanent marker can take a long time to wear off.
Things You'll Need
- Black slacks
- White collared shirt
- Clear tape
- Black robe, coat, or long skirt
- Red scarf
- Red tie
- Golden or yellow fabric paint, ribbon, felt, or construction paper.
- Lip liner, lipstick, or washable marker (for the lightning scar)
- Stuffed owl
- Stick (for a wand)
- Feather (for a quill)