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  • Writer's pictureKatherine Woodfine

Quick World Book Day dressing-up : The Sinclair's Mysteries

World Book Day is just around the corner! If you’re looking for a book-themed fancy dress outfit, why not dress as Sophie, Lil or one of the characters from the Sinclair’s Mysteries?

I’ve seen some amazing costumes inspired by the books over the years - if you fancy having a go at creating one of your own, here are a few quick and easy ideas, using things you can probably find in your wardrobe (or maybe in your dressing-up box!)

For Sophie

As she approached, her heart began to thump, and she put up a hand to check that her hat, with its blue ribbon bow, was at exactly the right angle, and that her hair was not coming down - The Clockwork Sparrow

To dress as Sophie, wear a long, dark-coloured skirt, a light-coloured blouse (perhaps with a lacy collar) and a straw hat with a ribbon round it. Sophie usually wears her long hair pinned up. You could add a necklace of green beads, like the one Sophie often wears. Or what about a magnifying glass, for hunting for clues?

For Lil

She was wearing a hat wreathed in poppies and she had a crimson scarf at her neck - The Clockwork Sparrow

Lil might wear glamorous clothes when she's performing at the theatre, but for her usual day-to-day life she'd wear an outfit very similar to Sophie's, above. Lil usually wears her long hair loose. She loves bright colours, so try adding a colourful scarf, or put some brightly-coloured flowers around your hat.

For Billy

He was wearing the Sinclair’s porters’ uniform – trim, dark blue trousers, a matching jacket with a double row of brass buttons and a peaked hat – but the jacket looked a bit too big for him, the trousers a bit short, and the hat was askew - The Clockwork Sparrow

Create your own version of Billy’s Sinclair’s department store uniform with a dark-coloured jacket and trousers, plus maybe a cap. As a shop porter, Billy will need some brown-paper parcels or boxes to carry – and of course, a notebook and pencil for making a note of any mysterious goings-on!

For Joe

At work in the Sinclair's stables, Joe will need a shirt, some trousers, a flat cap and perhaps some braces. Most importantly of all, make sure you've got a toy dog by your side to be Daisy the faithful Sinclair's guard-dog.

For Mr Sinclair

A champagne glass was in his hand, and he wore an exquisite dress coat over a snowy white waistcoat, against which a gold watch chain gleamed - The Clockwork Sparrow

Why not dress up as the mysterious Mr Sinclair himself? Mr Sinclair is always very elegant: he wears a smart suit with a white shirt. You could add a bow-tie, a top-hat, a pocket-watch, or a flower for his button-hole (his favourites are orchids). Don’t forget a soft toy dog to be Lucky, Mr Sinclair’s pet pug!

For 'Red Hands' Randall

One of the best Sinclair's inspired costumes I've ever seen was villainous 'Red Hands Randall; from The Painted Dragon! For this costume, you’ll need a dark jacket and trousers, a flat cap or bowler hat and of course a pair of red gloves… plus a very sinister expression!

For Veronica or Phyllis

…she was dressed very beautifully in a much-ruffled, lace-trimmed ivory gown. She must be one of this season’s debutantes, and a particularly wealthy one at that - The Jewelled Moth

Fashionable young ladies like Veronica and her friend Phyllis would wear long dresses, trimmed with lace or frills. These would usually be in light colours like white, ivory, pale pink or pale blue - bright or dark colours would have been considered in very bad taste! A bridesmaid dress or a long party dress would be a great place to start. Remember to add some ladylike accessories such as  white gloves, a pearl necklace, or even a parasol. Of course, you’ll also need a hat decorated with flowers, bows or feathers. Maybe you could even add a sparkly brooch to your outfit to be the mysterious jewelled moth itself…

For Tilly

In The Midnight Peacock we meet Tilly - a housemaid who soon finds herself investigating something strange at grand Winter Hall with the help of Sophie, Lil and the gang. To dress as Tilly, you’ll need a long dark-coloured dress and a white apron. To complete your outfit, you could add a frilly white maid’s cap.

Of course, there are lots more characters you could dress up as in the Sinclair's Mysteries books - but hopefully these ideas will get you started. Why not check out my Pinterest board here for even more Edwardian fashion inspiration?

For an even easier dressing up idea, use this colour-and-cut out mask template to create your own mask, perfect for attending Lord Beaucastle's masked ball?

If you do dress up as a character from the Sinclair’s Mysteries, make sure you send me a picture or tag me in any photo you share on social media - I can't wait to see what you come up with!

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