Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Costumes for a Harry Potter Party

Costumes will add to the ambience of your Hogwarts party. My daughter already had a Hermione Halloween costume to wear.  For the adults and party helpers, you could go all out with full costumes or just some witch/wizard hats. There are lots of Harry Potter costumes available online for the various characters.

At our party, my husband dressed up as Hagrid. He just wore brown clothes and we bought a beard for him to wear. I made a brown tunic out of an old pillowcase. He's 6 feet 4, so his size greatly contributed to the Hagrid persona. (This picture is not my spouse!)

We didn't have a Dumbledore at our party, but believe it or not, we had a neighbor with long gray hair and beard who looks a lot like him! (We actually referred to him as "Gandalf" sometimes.) I considered asking him to dress up and make a guest appearance at the Sorting Hat ceremony, but decided against it, since my kids are kind of terrified of people they don't know well.  They didn't take too kindly to Santa pictures when they were toddlers, either.  Dumbledore's robes and hat are usually fancier -- think rich deep colors, velvet and satin texture.

Professor McGonagall
I played the part of Professor McGonagall throughout the party. I just wore a black witch's cape and hat, which I already had from previous Halloweens. It was easy for me to impersonate McGonagall's stern attitude - I was once a schoolteacher.

Professor Sprout
Professor Sprout can also be dressed in a black witch cape and hat. Add some patches to the hat and maybe even a smudge of dirt (some brown eyeshadow?) to the face since she appears to be somewhat bedraggled from digging in the dirt all the time.

Many of the kids may already have a Halloween costume of Harry Potter, including the robe, glasses and even a wand. They can wear their costume to the party. Muggle students without a robe will be outfitted with a black cape and a House badge when they get to the party.  No one will feel left out.

Professor Snape
His appearance is described as batlike, with black greasy hair and a hook nose. If you have someone playing Snape, just dress him in head to toe in black or with a black cape. It's the attitude that counts with Snape -- he's snide, sarcastic, mean, and critical of the students.

You can browse through some costumes here.

Quidditch Robes
There are even costumes for Quidditch players available online. Your Quidditch coach may want to dress up, or just wear wrist and shin guards and carry a broom to suggest an authentic Quidditch look.

Places to find Harry Potter costumes and accessories
I had some bad experience with some online vendors trying to return costumes that didn't fit. Costume sizing tends to be misleading, so always check sizing charts and return policies to make sure you can get a refund, and not just a store credit.

Next stop:  Indoor Party Activities