Step away from your TV screen and delve into your favourite novel this World Book Day! It's one of the most creative and educational events of the entire year, and the best part? It’s fun for adults too. Whether you’re a parent, a teacher, or simply love books, keep reading, as we're about to share our top 30 World Book Day costume ideas for adults. From all-time classics such as Willy Wonka and Alice in Wonderland, to modern-day remakes such of The Little Mermaid and Harry Potter, you're sure to find something that catches your eye.
Need more inspiration? Shop out our full collection of adult World Book Day costumes here.
Read on for 30 of the best adult World Book Day costume ideas for 2024.
Wouldn’t it be great if we could stay forever young? There’s a certain little Disney character who just doesn’t want to grow up – and how can we blame him? Peter Pan is a classic character to dress up as for World Book Day. Add a fun and unique spin on the original costume and team up with your partner or friend. They can dress as his shadow with this quirky couple's costume.
Enter a world of pure imagination this World Book Day. The master chocolatier, Willy Wonka is the king of the creamy, silky sweet treat that we can’t get enough of. Replicate the classic look from the 70's movie with Gene Wilder, become a younger and modern Willy Wonka as Jonny Depp, or get the Timothée Chalamet from the latest Wonka movie.
The next suggestion on our list of adult World Book Day costume ideas is one for the fairytale princesses out there. Little Red Riding Hood is known for her kind heart and her signature look of a red cloak, petticoat, and wicker basket. See how far you can get before being caught out by the big bad wolf, deep within the forest...
Have you ever wondered what life would be like away from land? If you’re a fan of sea life, the ocean, and a very trustworthy crab, why not become the princess of the underwater world, Ariel? The Little Mermaid is a classic Disney character that every child recognises. Whether you’re a fan of the original animated film from the 80s, or the modern-day remake, it’s a great look for World Book Day. Just watch out for the evil queen Ursula... It's an excellent adult World Book Day outfit idea for all the ladies out there.
Feeling a little eccentric and energetic? Dress as the slightly bonkers Mad Hatter, the star of Alice in Wonderland. Recognised for his wacky clothes, big hair and tall hat, he makes the best tea and cakes in Wonderland. Let’s see your crazy side!
Not everything is sunshine and rainbows for Willy Wonka, as he deals with the cheeky Oompa Loompas every single day. They simply adore Willy’s chocolate and will sneakily ‘borrow’ a glass or two when he’s not looking. Paint yourself orange and sing the classic, ‘Oompa Loompa’ song this World Book Day. It's a World Book Day costume idea for adults that want to be right on trend.
Appear from the sky with an umbrella, slide down the banister and escape to an underwater world straight from the bathtub. Sound familiar? Mary Poppins is known for her magic medicine and friendly nature. She's loved by all! Become Julie Andrew’s double from the classic movie from the 60s, or as Emily Blunt from the modern-day Mary Poppins Returns.
Step into a land of adventure as you fall down the rabbit hole to meet the Queen of Hearts. Alice in Wonderland is very intrigued about the world around her, and she sure loves to stop by to see the Mad Hatter for afternoon tea. Just don’t challenge the Queen of Hearts to a game of croquet – as she wins every time. This adult World Book Day costume idea is for teachers and parents that want something sophisticated and charming.
Hogwarts wouldn’t be the school it is without the towering, friendly professor and game keeper, Hagrid. He helps Harry, Ron and Hermione on their journey to defeat the Dark Lord, all whilst remaining loyal, kind and helpful. Become Hagrid’s double this World Book Day and get your dog, Fang, to scare away the Slytherins.
The next costume on our list of 30 of the best World Book Day costumes for adults is yet another professor at Hogwarts. Professor McGonagall is known for her skills at the Patronus charm, tricking pupils into thinking she’s a cat. You might not be able to cast her signature spell just yet, but you’ll certainly look the part this World Book Day.
One of the most iconic characters to dress up as for World Book Day is the headache-causing Where’s Wally. People spend hours upon hours trying to search for the man in the red and striped top. Go alone as Wally himself, or team up with your friend or partner as the ultimate Wally and Wenda storybook duo.
Princess Fiona from the Disney family favourite movie, Shrek, is committed to the green ogre who lives in the swamp. She sacrifices her beauty, family and life for him, and will do anything to avoid marrying the evil Lord Farquaad. Grab some green paint and splatter it all over your face and arms this World Book Day. It's a unique adult World Book Day outfit idea that'll bring back memories of everyone's favourite fairytale comedy.
Mary Poppins’ best friend, Bert, always has a big smile on his face, especially when he’s with Mary. He loves to sing, dance and make others smile. Slap on some black paint, grab a brush and get sweeping this World Book Day!
Next up on our list of adult World Book Day costume ideas is the strong-willed Queen of Hearts from Disney’s Alice in Wonderland. Leader of the pack of cards and winner of all games of croquet, she’s fierce and feared by all. Who will you have ‘off with their heads’ this World Book Day? We wonder…
Unleash your dark and evil side this March and give Dorothy and the gang a scare as they approach the land of Oz. The Wicked Witch of the West is desperate to get her hands on Dorothy’s ruby slippers, so she can rule the Oz and turn it upside down. It’s a great adult World Book Day costume idea for those who have a dark side to them.
Are you ready to steal from the rich and give to the poor? Become the courageous and noble Robin Hood this World Book Day. Teach your children or your pupils the power of gift-giving and kindness and spend some time perfecting your archery skills. This adult World Book Day outfit is one for those that want to look super cool for a day of storytelling.
Put on your glitzy red ruby slippers and be transported to the magical land of Oz. You’ll embark on an adventure of a lifetime with your newfound friends, the Cowardly Lion, the Tin Man, and Scarecrow. Remember, with just a click of your heels you’ll be right back in Kansas. Dorothy is a classic book character that makes an appearance every single year.
Our next adult World Book Day costume idea is one for the Disney lovers out there. Princess Jasmine is bored of her mundane, day-to-day life and she is desperate to break free from her duties. Start a new life with your new-found love, Aladdin, and fly high in the sky on the magic carpet. This outfit idea is perfectly suited to a book-themed party or night out.
One of the fairest and purest Disney princesses has to be Snow White. Recognised for her perfect skin, plump red lips and dark hair, she deserves the title of being, ‘the fairest of them all.’ Watch out for the evil queen, who’ll certainly try to poison you with a shiny red apple…
We all know the tale of the slightly oversized egg, who sits on the wall and has a great fall. It’s a classic kids nursery rhyme that never grows old. It's also a popular storybook! Become the cracked egg this World Book Day, but this time, try to avoid having such a great fall.
Become one of the darkest characters of all time this World Book Day, the Dark Lord, aka Lord Voldemort. Murderer of Harry’s Parents, he’s out to seek the boy the lived and won’t stop until he’s fulfilled the evil deed. The question is, will Harry and friends be able to stop him before he rules the entire witch and wizarding world? It's an adult World Book Day costume idea for those that want some a little darker and more devious.
Join sneaky Slytherin house and get up to mischief, alongside Draco Malfoy and his two accomplices, Crabb and Goyle. Known for their snake-like abilities, Slytherin is known as the most feared house, so Gryffindor better watch out. Become Draco Malfoy, Millicent Bulstrode, or even Professor Snape.
Things are about to go snap underwater this World Book Day. Spend your days in swamps and lakes, making your way through the different areas of your natural habitat. Crocodiles are known for their scaly, tough skin and sharp teeth, and now you can look just like one! Become a cuter version of a croc this March and stay snug whilst doing so.
Next up on our list of World Book Day costume ideas for adults is Pinocchio. The classic storybook tells the heartfelt tale of a puppet who wishes that he can become a real boy someday. Be on your best behaviour, otherwise your nose will start to grow longer and longer. It's a fun outfit idea for those that want to make the classroom laugh.
You’re never safe when you venture out in the woods to see grandma. The Big Bad Wolf hasn’t been able to source his own food for over a week, and he’s ready for a big meal! Transform into Little Red Riding Hood’s grandma and get cosy in her bed, in preparation for the big finale…
Grant people the gift of a very special wish this World Book Day as the one and only, Genie. The bright, blue, friendly Genie has three wishes to give to the beholder of the lamp, but they must choose wisely. Just make sure evil Jafar doesn’t get his hands on the lamp, otherwise it’s game over…
One Disney princess who we can’t forget about is the beautiful, Cinderella. Desperate to escape her evil stepmother and equally as awful stepsisters, she makes her way to the ball and meets Prince Charming. Let down your long locks and take in every moment, as your life is about to change forever.
Be there for the kind-hearted Disney princesses who deserve happiness, and to live happily ever after. Afterall, couldn’t everyone do with their very own Fairy Godmother? Be there on hand, just in-case you’re needed as a mentor... She makes an endearing adult World Book Day costume idea for ladies that have a magical alter-ego.
The final costume on our list of 30 of the best adult World Book Day costumes is an all-round classic. If you’re a fan of porridge, bears and being slightly mischievous, you’d make a great Goldilocks this World Book Day. Try to be as discreet as possible when stealing those scrumptious bowl of oats.
We’ve come to the end of our list of World Book Day costume ideas for adults. We hope you gained some inspiration for a day of dressing up and book reading! We can’t wait to see some epic recreations of some of the best book characters, so be sure to send us your photos.
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