16 Best World Book Day Character Costumes for Teachers

World Book Day costumes for grown-ups - Alice in Wonderland, Cinderella and Sherlock Holmes

Who said World Book Day was just for kids? It’s also a great chance for teachers like you to get involved in the fancy dress fun!

Of course, you need to choose your costume carefully. You want someone your class will have heard of, that’s for sure, but it’s nice if you can also find a character that will help the kids learn a little something, too.

These outfits should provide all the inspiration you need!

1. Gandalf

Gandalf World Book Day fancy dress costume for teachers

When you’re a teacher, it helps to look wise, and they don’t come much wiser than Gandalf! Tolkien’s hobbit-helping, Fellowship-forming, death-defying wizard is a sure-fire hit with your students. You could even copy Sir Ian McKellen and remind them what will happen if they don’t get their homework done!

2. Alice

Woman in Alice in Wonderland fancy dress costume

Everyone knows Alice in Wonderland, so dressing as the title character is a great way to go this World Book Day.

It’s such a fun book to read and study – you could even plan a whole day of games and activities themed around the Lewis Carroll classic!

3. The Mad Hatter

Man in Mad Hatter fancy dress costume

“Why is a raven like a writing desk?”

While the Mad Hatter’s riddle famously has no correct answer, this outfit certainly solves the puzzle of what to wear for World Book Day. Put your acting skills to the test and give your students a class they’re sure to remember!

4. The Queen of Hearts

Woman in Queen of Hearts fancy dress costume

Her punishments are a little too severe for the modern classroom, but there’s no denying the Queen of Hearts certainly commands the attention of everyone in the room.

She’s quite a flamboyant character as well, so if that’s a word that describes you, you might just have found your ideal World Book Day costume!

5. Mary Poppins

Mary Poppins World Book Day fancy dress costume for teachers

If Mary Poppins was a teacher, we think the first thing she’d do is use that magic flying umbrella to beat the morning traffic. We’re afraid you don’t have that luxury, but with this costume, you do have everything you need to take part in World Book Day!

If anyone can find a way to make work fun, Mary Poppins can!

6. Bert

Bert World Book Day fancy dress costume for teachers

Chim-chim-cheree, it’s Mary Poppins’ chirpy chimney sweep friend Bert! Did you know that the man with the questionable Cockney accent isn’t actually a chimney sweep in the original books? He’s actually a match-seller who sometimes draws pictures on the pavement with chalk, while the sweep is a totally separate character.

That won’t stop anyone enjoying this fun costume though – you even get your own sweeping brush!

7. Voldemort

Voldemort World Book Day fancy dress costume for teachers

We know you’re not really supposed to say his name, but given that the books finished over a decade ago and ended in Voldemort’s crushing defeat, you’re probably safe.

This is an instantly recognisable costume your students will love, and as the scariest wizard of all time, you should have no problem keeping the class in check!

8. Harry Potter

Harry Potter World Book Day fancy dress costume for teachers

On the other hand, if you prefer to stick with the good guys, Harry Potter is another World Book Day winner! These authentic Hogwarts robes will transport you back to your school days in an instant, and we’ve got all the accessories you need, from Harry’s signature glasses to your very own magic wand.

9. Snow White

Snow White World Book Day fancy dress costume for teachers

The original Disney princess, Snow White first appeared in print as one of the first Grimms’ Fairy Tales way back in 1812. Why not take World Book Day as an opportunity to introduce these classic stories to your class?

10. Little Red Riding Hood

Little Red Riding Hood World Book Day fancy dress costume for teachers

Fairy tales are an endless source of ideas for World Book Day. This time, it’s Red Riding Hood who provides the outfit, and thankfully there’s not a wolf in sight!

11. Cinderella

Woman in Cinderella fancy dress costume

Traditionally, Cinderella has to be home by midnight. School tends to finish around 3:30, so that shouldn’t be a problem for you!

With no need to rush home, you can relax and spend all day as this fairy tale princess, without worrying about your dress turning into rags. We can’t promise you a pumpkin carriage, though!

12. Miss Trunchbull

Miss Trunchbull World Book Day fancy dress costume for teachers

Okay, we admit it. The only actual teacher on our list is best known for being completely terrible. Honestly, it’s a wonder Miss Trunchbull was ever employed by the school at all. Someone needs to have a stern word with the Board of Governors.

Of course, The Trunchbull does give you a chance to have a bit of fun and play the pantomime villain with your classes. Just make sure no one tries to slip a newt into your drink!

13. Fantastic Mr Fox

Fantastic Mr Fox World Book Day fancy dress costume for teachers

Sticking with the Roald Dahl theme, Fantastic Mr Fox is a smart, easy-to-wear outfit that lets you maintain your usual air of authority even while wearing a bright orange fox mask!

14. Peter Pan

Man in Peter Pan fancy dress costume

He’s the boy who never grew up, so Peter Pan can’t exactly complain about being sent back to school! This comfy outfit is instantly recognisable and will be popular with readers and Disney fans alike. It won’t help you fly, though. We really can’t stress that enough.

15. Sherlock Holmes

Man in Sherlock Holmes fancy dress costume

Struggling to work out what to wear? Sherlock Holmes is on the case! Bring everyone’s favourite detective to life with this smart Victorian jacket and Sherlock’s famous deerstalker hat.

16. Willy Wonka

Man in Willy Wonka fancy dress costume

We’ll finish with a real fancy dress favourite – Willy Wonka! This costume is inspired by the classic Gene Wilder interpretation of Roald Dahl’s iconic character, so it’s a real classic.

Get ready for World Book Day

Now that your costume is sorted, it’s time to plan some fun activities to celebrate World Book Day with your class!

How about this printable Roald Dahl quiz, or our fun World Book Day game? These are just a few of the ideas we have to help you make the event a success.

Originally published: January 2016

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