How to Create an Edgar Allen Poe Costume

2009 marks the bicentennial death of Edgar Allen Poe, the ultimate horror fiction creator of all times. Poe was known for his irony and symbolism showing a macabre tale of haunting guilt. He was best known for his short stories like the Tell Tale Heart, The Pit and the Pendulum, and the Fall of the House of Usher. Perhaps his most notable work of all is The Raven, a tale of a bird who comes knocking in the evening hours, where a poor old man sits in fear. If you want a horror based costume you might just find Poe’s features to be perfect. Even his death is one shrouded in mystery!

##Materials Needed##


Black Coat

Black Pants

White Dress Shirt

White Neckcloth


Black Wig

Black Dress Shoes


Edgar Allen Poe lived during the 1800s. Your costume needs to date between the 1820’s and the 1840’s since this is when Poe was an adult, writing his tales.

Step 1: The pants should be tight at the waist, and slightly loose on the legs. They can be knit pants, with front and back pockets.

Step 2: The shirt needs to have long sleeves, with cuff links, and a high collar typical of the period.

Step 3: Over the shirt collar you should tie a neckcloth. This neckcloth will be high, with a stately knot in the front.

Step 4: The next item you need is the jacket. This should have simple with a low collar, long sleeves, and a length of mid thigh. It is an overcoat for a suit. The jacket should cover the neckcloth.

Step 5: The shoes you need a pretty self explanatory, though wing tips would serve best.

Step 6: To finish off the Poe costume you need black hair just above the collar, and a mustache.

Step 7: Since The Raven is the most well known work of Poe, you might want to have a fake raven sit on your shoulder. It will lend identity to the costume.

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