Halloween 2013 Costume 1: Belle
Update (2018) – there’s a newer, better version of this costume here!
Look. I know that Halloween is supposed to be about all things spooky. But the thing is: there are so few times we get to dress in costume, so when Halloween rolls around, I use it as an excuse to go all-out as one of my favorite fictional female characters. I guess that’s more cosplay than Halloween. *shrug*
Usually there are two opportunities per Halloween to dress up, so I reuse last year’s costume for one of them, and come up with a brand new costume for the other. Last year I went as Hermione Granger (a repeat from the year previous), and Belle, from Beauty and The Beast.
This year I did Belle (in her blue dress) and one other character. But you’ll find out about her in a few days. ;)
I’m not going to pretend to be blasé about Halloween. I freaking love it. I look forward to Halloween all year, and start thinking about who I’m going as and how to look like them as early as possible.
I don’t like to blow a ton of money buying a head-to-toe outfit, so ideally I try to mix pieces I already own with a few purchased costume accessories. This, combined with some fun makeup and hair are usually enough to make me look Halloween-ready.
Enough with the preamble. Let’s jump in.
Belle has always been my favorite Disney princess, and the one I identify most with. She was different, introverted, and loved books – and did I. She and Hermione both made big impressions on me when I was growing up. They made me feel proud to be good in school, hard working, and enjoy reading.
To recreate Belle’s iconic look, I combined a blue dress (borrowed from mum!) with a billowy white blouse and black ballet flats: both items I already owned. Belle wears very dark brown leather flats, but hey – close enough.
All I had to buy was a vintage-style half apron and blue bow. The apron was tricky to find, but I ended up finding this one on Etsy. (I actually did some slight alternations to it myself, but it was practically perfect already.) The blue bow barrette I scooped up from Forever 21 Canada online about a month ago, for only a few bucks!
This is why it’s good to have your Halloween character in mind early – you can pick up bits and pieces of your costume throughout the year, as you find them.
For my hair, I parted it in the middle like she has done, and twisted the front two sections outwards, keeping them in place with bobby pins on the sides of my head. Then I put my hair in ponytail with a hair elastic, and clipped in the bow barrette on top. Super easy!
To really sell the costume and character, I used a book as a prop. In Beauty and The Beast, Belle talks about one of her favorite books, so I brought alone one of mine: Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. (I took off the book jacket to make it look more old-fashioned.) Details, details!
Did I mention I wore this to work? We all dressed up and had a mountain of sushi delivered to the office for lunch. It was fantastic. My coworkers’ costumes included a pharaoh, a convict, a flapper girl, and a bottle of ketchup. It was so funny having to do work and take each other seriously when we all looked so silly.
For makeup, I wanted to keep it natural looking, since Belle presumably didn’t wear a lot while out in the village running errands, but still true to the animation – so a little more dramatic than my usual.
I went with cartoon-pink cheeks, black liquid eyeliner on my lids with big lashes, and rose lipstick. I hate wearing false lashes – they’re such a pain – but Halloween is one of the few occasions per year that I’ll suck it up and rock them. I chose a pair that were full and lush but still fairly natural looking.
“Where are you off to?”
“The bookshop! I just finished the most wonderful story.
About a beanstalk, and an ogre, and a–”
“That’s nice. Marie! The baguettes! Hurry up!”
I even got a shellac French manicure for the occasion.
Stay tuned for my other costume – one that’s brand new. The post should be up in a few days!
And if you celebrated Halloween, what or who did you go as this year? Leave a comment – and if you have photos, include a link. I’d love to see them! :) xx
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