This is my best example of thrift-store, no-sew costuming as well as costuming on a budget! It’s also a fun, comfortable outfit to wear, and something that would make an ideal costume for anyone obsessed with Harry Potter.
The elements: white button-down shirt, black knee-length pleated skirt, black tie with tiny crests embroidered on it, black tights, black mary-jane shoes, black graduation robe (Master’s level, although any grad robe would do), a Hogwarts crest patch, and a wand made from a length of dowel (not pictured). I bought the shirt, tie, and grad robe at a local thrift store for $15. I already had the skirt, tights, and shoes in my closet. The dowel came from Orchard Supply Hardware for about 60 cents. And the big splurge was the Hogwarts patch off eBay for $15, including shipping.
For $30 and some change, this would make an awesome Halloween kid costume!
For me, I have to try and pass as an 18 year old, which I’ve had middling success at. None-the-less, I really enjoy this outfit. And, let’s be honest, it’s as close as I’m going to get to a Hogwarts scholarship in this lifetime.
For a Hogwarts Halloween party, this costume got revamped. I became Dorothea Chichester, a Hogwarts dropout from Ravenclaw. She was expelled halfway thru her sixth year for a multitude of offenses during her education including:
- smoking Fluxweed behind Hagrid’s hut
- using love potions on Muggles during summer break
- enchanting the boy’s room toilet seats to give males instant erections
- putting a hex on the hallway in front of Snape’s dungeon that caused every girl’s bra to snap
- spiking the butterbeer taps at the Three Broomsticks with leech juice
- writing obscene graffiti (in Latin) in the quidditch locker rooms
- filling the Sorting Hat with porcupine quills
- stealing leaping toadstools from Snape’s supply closet & eating them (talk about high 😉
Every school has a bad girl, including Hogwarts!
Basically, I did a naughty school-girl take on the original costume by adding knee-high PVC boots, tieing the blouse crop-top style and unbuttoned low with a black lacey bra underneath, wore bright makeup, ratted my hair, wore punky jewelry, and talked smack all night.
And then I did another revamp of the robes a few years later … the third incarnation became into teacher’s garb for the GBACG’s Hogwarts End-of-Term Celebration that Bridget and I put together in June 2007.
My first idea for this event was to make the Sharks Quidditch uniform, but Bridget and others said I should be a teacher since I’d be running around doing hostessy things at the event. That’d be more appropriate with a teacher costume. True ’nuff. So immediately I picked Madam Hooch. She’s my favorite teacher in the movies (even though she doesn’t figure much in the books), and hey, it’s still Quidditch. Also, I could use that obnoxious whistle in my role as mistress of ceremonies.
I bought a bolt of linen-blend fabric, plus a fantasy robe pattern and a modern jumper pattern that I had plans to turn into Hooch’s pleated flying dress. I could wear that over the white button-down shirt and tie I already had from my old student uniform. Then I’d just need to add a white-grey wig and probably buy the pre-made Hooch hat that’s readily available.
However, between going to other events that spring (like the Little Women Picnic and Convergence), being super-busy at work (especially helping launch Yahoo! Green), and then, oh, doing a ton of stuff for the actual Hogwarts event, I kept running out of time to sew my Hooch costume. I ordered the hat, wig, and whistle, but that was all. So I eventually said “screw it, I’ll use what I already have.”
The robe, shirt, and tie are the same as from my student outfit. The skirt is from my everyday closet, a short and flippy one instead of kilted, so it’s not quite so school-girly. And I added a black pinstriped vest (part of my CorpGoth work wardrobe, bought at Macy’s) to get the gist of Madam Hooch’s jumper. In fact, I got many compliments on the vest! The knee-high boots are another part of my usual wardrobe.
Not the most perfectly authentic recreation, but I got the idea across. Everybody who saw me at the event knew I was Madam Hooch, and that’s what counts.