How to Dress Like a Witch
Essential Witch Items
Hair / Skin / Nails
Best Witch Costume Guide
The image of witches has changed throughout the past few centuries. Initially, witches were portrayed as mysterious sorceresses with eerie cackles and have now evolved into more benevolent individuals who have special powers to oppose evil. These enchanters initially encountered hardship during the Salem Witch Trials in colonial Massachusetts in the late 1600s, but their prominence rose several hundred years later to a favorable symbol of strength and appeal. Authors such as C.S. Lewis of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, Cliff McNish of The Doomspell Trilogy, and J.K. Rowling of the Harry Potter series have written fascinating narratives about witches, helping to raise the intrigue and positive fame of these magical characters.
Double, double, toil and trouble! Whether going to a costume event, attending a Halloween party, or whatever the occasion, you can transform yourself into a witch and ensure fun both for you and for those admiring your detailed outfit. The unique colorful apparel combined with vivid makeup and distinguishing props will make your witch unlike any other. And don’t forget to practice your witch-like snicker, rhyming phrases, and dramatic hand movements to enable your magic spells to come alive! Get all dressed up in witchly apparel with your gem in hand, pointy hat on top, and broom by your side to create smoldering potions and magic spells!
Whether you decide to transform into this character using an all-in-one costume package or prefer just a few additional costume items to complete your DIY witch costume, this complete, step-by-step witch costume guide will show you what essential pieces you need in order to look the perfect part. Come “witch” me to get the detailed accessories and distinguishing props so you can cast the best magical spells while hearing all the cheers for your remarkable witch-impression!
Tips for Witch Costume and Cosplay
Even if you have the basic attire for your witch [Halloween] costume, you will need some key costume pieces in order to complete your magical look. Since most witches have the stereotypical hat and broom, add a necklace with a pendulum on it and carry a black spellbook to recreate a more genuine witch-like appearance. Because witches are best known for their special potions and magic tricks, keep all of your concoctions and vials in some wooden boxes to display them on a nearby shelf or table.
- Add a bit of color to your hair. Add a streak of red, orange, purple, or white to your hair so people are more likely to believe that you’re a witch.
- Put on dark eye makeup. Draw attention to your face by darkening your eyes with a smokey look.
- Wear more colorful clothing. Witches typically wear colors that any other person would wear, so abandon the solid black cloak and add a little color to the mix!
- Ditch the long hooded cloak. Since modern-day witches are portrayed as being more kind, don’t use the typically known demonic and cruel-looking cloak.
- Layer your clothing. Incorporate layers into your outfit by adding additional pieces of colorful clothing.
Wardrobe Warning ⚠️
Feeling the need to grow out your nails to complete your witch look? While long nails can add to a dark, mysterious look, long nails are completely optional and sometimes add to a creepy appearance rather than a modern-day benevolent witch. You can "cross this little detail off the list" since it is not mandatory to get the look of a genuine witch's costume.
Other Witch Costumes
Do you want to dress up like the most recognizable witches from pop-culture? Follow these easy step-by-step guides in order to mimic the well-known witches you have seen from pop culture. Get the perfectly detailed looks of well-known witches appearing in movies or TV shows by following these easy-to-follow complete costume guides: (Again, this sentence here is redundant to the first two sentences. Almost identical).
Minerva McGonagall Costume Guide
Become the witch Minerva McGonagall, a professor at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry in Harry Potter.View Costume
Ursula Costume Guide
Dress up to go under the sea as Ursula, the evil sea witch from the Disney animated film, The Little Mermaid.View Costume
Elphaba from Wicked Costume Guide
Get the look of the Elphaba Thropp, better known as the Wicked Witch of the West from the broadway show Wicked.View Costume
Fiona Goode Costume Guide
Dress like the supreme witch herself, Fiona Goode, as seen in the FX series, American Horror Story: Coven.View Costume
Zoe Benson Costume Guide
Cosplay Zoe Benson, the teenage witch who appears in the FX television show, American Horror Story.View Costume
Hermione Granger Costume Guide
Put everyone in a spell by dressing up like Harry Potter's Hermione Granger this Halloween.View Costume
Vanessa Ives Costume Guide
Get the Victorian style of Vanessa Ives, the female lead character that is a daywalker on Showtime's Penny Dreadful.View Costume
Morticia Addams Costume Guide
Get the deathly look of Morticia Addams, the witchlike matriarch that appears on The Addams Family.View Costume
If you are struggling to recreate the perfect witch costume that you’ve always dreamed of, take a look at these frequently asked questions to get some helpful tips and tricks for dressing up like a witch. See how you can get the best witch cosplay look for any costume event!
Many believe that the witch's stereotypical pointed black hat originated in the year 1215 when Jews were told to identify themselves by wearing a similar headpiece. Since Jews were accused of practicing magic and other Satanic worship, many suppose that this image and the true meaning of this hat was gradually accredited to witches. More modern witches are now easily recognized by their wide-brimmed, conical-shaped black hats. These black hats have a definitive peak, and the crown often has a bent or scrunched appearance.
Many witches used an ointment, called henbane, in their potions when casting spells. Henbane could cause hallucinations if a person ingested a large enough portion. Oftentimes, witches used the wooden stick of their broom to apply the ointment to their receiver instead of touching others with it directly. If the person was far away, the broom then served two distinct purposes: 1) to carry the ointment and 2) as a flying device for transportation for the witch.
Cauldrons were first seen in many fictional literary works, such as folklore, plays, and mythology, when witches would use them to brew their potions for magical spells. This large black metal pot had a handle that would hang from a spit over a blazing fire. These sorcerers tossed the various herbs and ingredients into this heavy vessel, allowing the elements of the mixture to blend together and boil into a magical concoction.
While witches in the 17th and 18th centuries wore solid black from head to toe, modern-day witches often incorporate a bold striking color to their ensemble. This bold color is very bright and attention-grabbing, sometimes a shade of orange, green, red, or pink. These colors often represent a specific emotion or idea that describes the enchanter at a personal level. Witches also may incorporate the color into their costume by using a prop like a candle, flower, or even a specific color ink for their spells.
When witches vowed loyalty and obedience to the devil in the 16th century, people believed the devil permanently marked them. He made his mark by using his sharp nails to claw across their skin, or as some believed, by licking his faithful supporters. The usual marking of the scatch or lick would then result in a noticeable raised bump on the witches' skin which often gave the appearance of a wart. This symbolic branding ensured to all that this individual was, indeed, a witch.
Witches were commonly known to strut about performing their magical spells wearing a pair of black medium-heel (2-3 inch) shoes or booties. The block-heeled shoes were most often adorned with a silver buckle on the side. Some witches wear more of a boot style with black ribbon to "tie" the shoe rather than using a buckle. It is thought that witches commanded authority and attention by wearing both a pointy hat but also pointy shoes.
Witches use so much more than just their mouths to create the all-so-famous "witch laugh." Witches create a mysterious appearance by wearing a crooked half-smile, perhaps revealing a cracked or decayed tooth. When wanting to appear evil, witches use low-pitched sounds to create a full and robust laugh. However, when going for a more frenzied appearance, witches can use high-pitched sounds. Be sure to wave your hands wildly and furrow your eyebrows!
You'll be hard-pressed to find a witch that isn't wearing some type of special jewelry that controls their magical power! A ring may have special healing power, or a chain necklace with a large, heavy pendant may serve to symbolize a god or goddess. Probably the most famous pendant that witches are known to wear is the circled five-pointed star that represents witchcraft. Jewelry pieces are essential for the presentation of power, tradition, and magic.
Top Costumes 🔝
If you're running short on time in gathering the essential witch accessories for your costume, get one of these all-in-one witch costumes to look just like one of these magical enchanters. Take a look at our bundled packages that will help you look like a witch at good, better, and best prices:
Witch Costume Essentials 🔑
The following witch essentials are a “must have” in order to create the perfect magical character. Each listed witch accessory contains an explanation of why this item is necessary to a witch’s wardrobe.
- Necklace – worn with a large pendant used as a bold visible sign of magic
- Pointed hat – a wide-brimmed tall hat that was cone-shaped was often a sign of a historic witch
- Wand – medium length wands (about 12 inches) used to cast the magical spells
- Makeup – brightly-colored eye makeup against a paler foundation draws attention to your eyes
- Ring – a large gem flashing on the hand drew attention to the waving fingers as the witch casted spells
- Dress – a long dress that is a combination of a bright color and some black makes your attire distinct
- Shoes – black medium-heel pointy shoes
- Broom – the stick of the broom was used to apply ointment on a person or fly to the person if he was far away
All About Witches
The concept of witches first appeared in the laws of the Old Testament which prohibited witchcraft. The “evil” demonic enchanters swept throughout Europe during the 16th and 17th centuries, and this rise in witchcraft culminated in deaths and persecution for any who affiliated with these magicians. Witches were thought to bring physical harm to innocent people, and some even thought witches used their mental powers to kill others or make them sicker than they were originally. Despite the horrific persecution of these sorcerers, many still were fascinated with them since some had the power to heal sicknesses and diseases that doctors weren’t able to cure.
Perhaps the most common characteristic of a witch is his ability to cast spells. A spell could be a set of words or a ritual that the person had to copy. In other instances, the person may have had to have wax or clay attached to some part of his body to increase the magic, or witches could have had him perform some dance or physical ritual. Oftentimes, spices and herbs were used in these recitations and rituals or, in other cases, mixed in the magical potion that the witch had smoldering in his cauldron. Witches certainly had many means by which they cast their spells.
The modern image of a witch has drastically changed from the 16th and 17th centuries because of how pop culture has completely transformed the concept of witchery. The astounding success of both the ’90s show Sabrina the Teenage Witch followed by the heels of J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series has attracted those dressing up for Halloween to choose the witch. The universal acceptance of these works and films has resulted in amusement parks being built, all centered on witchcraft and witchery. Modern witches no longer have the demonic, harmful appearance but rather the complete opposite. People flock to dress up as these enchanters because they bring good omens to people and use their magic for kind-hearted purposes.