How to Dress Like Edgar Allan Poe

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Best Edgar Allan Poe Costume Guide

Edgar Allan Poe is a world-renown American writer and literary critic, mainly known for the somber and grim tone of his poetry and short stories. One of the earliest short story writers, he is regarded as an essential figure in American literature. Some of his most well-received work like The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket is noted to have influenced many different writers and artists that came after him. Such notables include Henry James, Arthur Conan Doyle, and Alfred Hitchcock. Who wouldn’t want to dress up as this iconic gothic writer? Get the look of the dark intellectual with this Edgar Allan Poe costume guide.

Write your way into Edgar Allan Poe’s look. To get in costume, wear a White Button-Down Shirt, Chiffon Scarf, Victorian Frock Coat, Black Pants, Black Dress Shoes, Black Hair Wig, and a Fake Moustache. Don’t forget a Feather Pen and a Black Raven Prop to complete the look.

Edgar Allan Poe Cosplay Costumes

Poe was orphaned at a young age. This fact of his life, many believe, underscored the tone by which he wrote much of his work. He focuses much of his writing on death and the philosophy of it. Popular culture depicts Poe as either a “tormented artist” or a “mad genius.” Many of his depictions also merge the personalities of characters from his stories. Similar personalities often suggest that his fictional characters share identifying traits with him. Edgar Allan Poe’s death, itself, was distressful. He was found wandering the streets, in clothes that weren’t his, delirious, and calling out the name “Reynolds” repeatedly. While most of his records are gone, some sources have said that his last words were “Lord, help my poor soul.”

Take on the character of the tortured artist, Edgar Allan Poe, with the items found in this costume guide. You can also invite friends to come as other famous authors such as Ernest Hemingway, Mark Twain, and F. Scott Fitzgerald.

Edgar Allan Poe Costume Tips & FAQs

Step into the mysterious and intriguing world of the 19th century with our Edgar Allan Poe costume guide FAQ. Perfect for literary enthusiasts, Halloween events, or any occasion where you want to embody the essence of one of the most celebrated figures in American literature. This guide will assist you in capturing the distinctive style and brooding presence of Poe.

To replicate Edgar Allan Poe's classic look, focus on 19th-century gentleman's attire. Essential elements include a black frock coat or tailcoat, a white dress shirt with a high collar, a black cravat or ascot tie, and black dress trousers. A waistcoat (vest) can also be added for authenticity. Poe often had a disheveled, yet sophisticated appearance.

Edgar Allan Poe had a distinctive hairstyle and facial hair. He sported a receding hairline with slightly tousled, medium-length hair. His most recognizable feature was his mustache, which was prominent and often slightly unkempt. A wig and a fake mustache can help achieve this look if you don't have similar hair or facial hair.

For footwear, opt for black dress shoes typical of the mid-19th century. These can be simple lace-up shoes or boots. The style should be formal and in keeping with the rest of the period attire.

To enhance your Edgar Allan Poe costume, consider carrying a period-appropriate book or quill pen and paper, symbolizing his vocation as a writer. A raven prop could also be a clever nod to one of his most famous poems, "The Raven."

Including quotes from Poe’s works can bring depth to your portrayal. Here are some memorable lines: "Quoth the Raven, ‘Nevermore.," "All that we see or seem is but a dream within a dream.," "I became insane, with long intervals of horrible sanity.," "Those who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night." and "We loved with a love that was more than love." These quotes capture the poetic and sometimes chilling nature of Poe's writing, adding an authentic literary touch to your costume.


About Edgar Allan Poe

Following Edgar Allan Poe’s death, his contemporary rival Rufus Griswold wrote a scathing obituary full of falsehoods that depicted him as a lunatic. The lengthy, slanted obituary appeared on the New York Tribune on the day Poe was buried. But, Griswold didn’t stop. His grudge for Poe led him to write a biographical article entitled, “Memoir of the Author.” Once again, he depicted Poe here as a depraved, drunken, and even drug-addicted madman. He included Poe’s letters as evidence and somehow convinced Poe’s mother to sign off on the publishing rights despite many of the claims being untruthful.

Those who knew Edgar Allan Poe well denounced Griswold’s article. However, it still became a popularly accepted biographical source around the world. Its acceptance was in part due to it being the only biographical source and partly because readers’ interests were piqued by the idea of the famous author’s immortality. The letters Griswold presented as evidence, however, were later found to be forged.

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