How to Dress Up as Willy Wonka

Willy Wonka

Today we’re going to show you how to dress up as the world’s most famous chocolatier – Willy Wonka!

The perfect costume for World Book Day or Dahlicious Dress Up Day, he’s instantly recognisable, eccentric and the creative genius behind everlasting gobstoppers. But putting a Willy Wonka costume together isn’t particularly difficult.

All you need is a couple of key pieces to transform you into this famous character from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. It’s a fairly easy costume to put together yourself but if you’d prefer to pick up a costume that’s ready to go, you’ll find one in our shop. Let’s get started!

Don a purple jacket

Whether you’re a fan of the original film or the 2005 re-make featuring Johnny Depp, Willy Wonka is always wearing his famous purple coat.

It’s important for it to have long tails (about knee-length) and wide lapels – particularly if you’re dressing up as 1970s Willy Wonka!

It might be quite hard to get your hands on one that’s quite right unless you scour a vintage market or an older relative’s 70s wardrobe so we’d recommend picking up a costume like this to make sure you have the essential jacket.

Colourful trousers and a waistcoat

Next up, it’s time to sort out your trousers and waistcoat. The more flamboyant the better where Willy Wonka is concerned so don’t be afraid to stand out with bright colours!


We love the idea of using clashing colours in a costume like this. With a bright yellow waistcoat and green trousers you definitely won’t go unnoticed!

However, feel free to mix and match as much as you like. If you’re making your own Willy Wonka costume, why not raid a charity shop or the back of your wardrobe for the most colourful shirt you can find?

Oversized bow tie

The first Willy Wonka we saw on the big screen is a product of the 70s so don’t forget a large oversized bow tie like the one included in this costume to complete your outfit.

Don’t be afraid to go large and if you can find one with a bold pattern like polka dots, even better!

Pick a top hat

Next up, you’ll need a top hat – the perfect symbol to cement your status as head of the chocolate factory. A black one is ideal (and handily included in our Willy Wonka fancy dress) but if you’d rather have something a little more flamboyant, go for it!

Grab a cane

Finally, Willy Wonka always carries a cane, and if you don’t get one included in your costume, one like this will be perfect. It’ll be the perfect finishing touch to your Willy Wonka costume which is now complete!

Why not make it a group costume?

If your child has decided to go as Willy Wonka for Roald Dahl Day, why not grab a friend to go as Charlie Bucket? They’re the ultimate Roald Dahl duo and our Charlie Bucket costume even includes a golden ticket! We also have loads of other ideas for Roald Dahl costumes for kids and for adults!

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Costumes

Have you been inspired by any of the costumes featured in this post? Pick them up in our shop, and for even more World Book Day costumes check out our bumper inspiration blog.