How to Create a Professor McGonagall Costume

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Having sold more than 400 million copies worldwide since its release, the Harry Potter books can easily be deemed one of the most popular children's series of all time. Within those pages are a multitude of iconic and lovable characters, such as Professor Minerva McGonagall. Strict, stern, and brave, with a dry sense of humor and amazing magical talent, the Hogwarts transfiguration teacher is the ultimate representation of the classic witch persona. She is a popular costume choice for any _Harry Potter-_themed party, Halloween celebration, or die-hard fan.

Things You'll Need

  • Dark green, floor-length robe with something to cinch at the waist, such as a belt
  • Black clothes for under the robe
  • Tall, black, pointed hat
  • Black ankle boots
  • Spectacles (square shape is best)
  • Brooch
  • Wig or temporary hair color (optional)
  • Wand
  • Old age makeup kit (optional)

Step 1

Prepare hair. If your hair is long and dark, simply style it into a tight, high bun. If not, consider using a temporary dye or spray to achieve a darker tone, or a wig that you can style accordingly. If desired, obtain an old age makeup kit and utilize it to resemble McGonagall's 70-to-80-year-old self.

Tip

  • Feel free to model yourself after Maggie Smith (the actress who played McGonagall in the film adaptations of the books) as much as you would like. Author J.K. Rowling actually stated that she always envisioned Smith playing the role, even before the books had been optioned as movies.

Step 2

Dress the part by wearing a base layer of all black. Don either a turtleneck with a long, black skirt, or a floor-length turtleneck dress. Rummage thrift shops or discount stores for a classic outfit, and to save yourself some money. To truly achieve the iconic McGonagall look, cover yourself with a floor-length emerald green robe -- velvet would be ideal. Cinching the waist with a belt will help hold the robe in place and give you some shape.

Step 3

Accessorizing really pulls the character together, starting with the most important item: the square-rimmed spectacles. Put your feet into some tall black, ankle boots, or something similar. As McGonagall was known for being tall, if you're on the shorter side, a larger heel can help you achieve a taller look. Cover your head with a witch's hat; ideally, it would be long, black, pointy, and a little crooked. McGonagall is often seen wearing a brooch, so adding one, perhaps with a cat for a touch of whimsy, would make the look much more authentic. And no witch is complete without her wand. McGonagall's exact specifications are 9.5 inches long, fir wood, with a brown handle and black shaft, but any stick-like prop will do.

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