Costume Ideas for Biography Day

Biography Day is an event put on by some schools. Students research a contemporary figure or a figure in history. On Biography Day, students usually dress up as their chosen figure and sometimes give an oral report. Usually, students research people who they find inspiring. When dressing up for Biography Day, choose a costume that is easily recognizable, without a great deal of expense or preparation.

Pablo Picasso

Pablo Picasso is among the most famous of all painters, but his face would be unrecognizable to most people. In fact, most photographs of Picasso show a strikingly normal-looking man in comfortable shirts and sweaters. For the costume, a sweater over a button-up shirt and jeans or slacks will suffice, with the appropriate accessories: a black beret (not necessarily a trademark symbol of Picasso but still a stereotypical symbol of an artist), a painter's palette and a few paintbrushes. For a more ambitious outfit, a costume may be constructed from an old, large picture frame. The frame may be worn draped over the shoulders so the head protrudes from it. Wear a nondescript outfit (all white or all black) underneath, and for the final touch, use face paint to produce a "cubist" image on your face (this may be done by painting eyes down the side of your cheek, a sideways nose over your real nose, etc.). The message here: The paintings are the true face of the man.

Walt Whitman

Walt Whitman, American poet, was striking in appearance, and his image isn't difficult to imitate. As an older man, he had a scraggly white, ZZ Top-esque beard--an easy purchase from any costume store. A simple open-neck white shirt under a sports jacket, with comfortable slacks and leather shoes will be a fair imitation of his clothing style. The final touch will be a wide-brimmed leather hat--similar to a cowboy hat, but rounded on top.

Sandra Day O'Connor

Like any Supreme Court Justice, Sandra Day O'Connor wears a black robe. Old graduation robes, or even the robes from a Harry Potter costume, should suffice. Pictures of Sandra Day O'Connor show her wearing a lace ruffle at the neck that hangs down her front (any white-lace kerchief, pinned down in a folded arrangement, will be sufficient). To add another dimension of realism to the outfit, try a short white wig.

Joni Mitchell

Songwriter and singer Joni Mitchell needs only two accessories to make the outfit: a wig of long and straight blondish-brown hair and a guitar. For clothing, a flowing skirt and feminine shirt, or a simple dress, will be appropriate.

Lance Armstrong

Pictures of athlete Lance Armstrong typically show him in a yellow or black T-shirt, black biking shorts, and a yellow and black bike helmet. All these items should be easy to acquire from a sporting goods store. A bike would be a great addition to this costume, but that may not be realistic.

Mother Teresa

Nobel Peace Prize winning humanitarian Mother Teresa wore simple white dresses and a white wimple with blue stripes along the front edge. Any plain white dress will suffice for this outfit--the wimple will be the telling part of the costume. This can be easily created out of an old white pillowcase. Cut the pillowcase open and glue blue ribbons along the edge (one thick blue ribbon and two thin blue ribbons behind it).

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About this Author

Leslie Rose has been a freelance writer publishing with Demand Studios since 2008. In addition to her work as a writer, she is an accomplished painter and experienced art teacher. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in art with a minor in English.

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