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Get easy, DIY Nancy Drew Halloween costume ideas for women here. Nancy Drew makes for the perfect easy book character costume for women because you can pull from your own closet and/or re-use the component pieces you purchase. You’ll love the classic look of this amateur detective. Let’s get literary!

collage of nancy drew Halloween Costume ideas for women

Nancy Drew Halloween Costume: Essential Elements

Nancy Drew’s is one of the most iconic literary characters, and her style is classic, vintage, preppy, feminine, and very Americana — all elements you take from real life. In fact, I curated this literary costume based on items from my own personal closet.

Nancy Drew famously wears a sweater with a wool plaid skirt, loafers, and pearls. She carries a magnifying glass and/or a flashlight in a leather satchel purse. The book cover of The Hidden Staircase is a great example of this.

This Nancy Drew Halloween costume also makes a great Book Week costume for teachers, and it would make a great compliment to a boy’s Encyclopedia Brown costume.

Easy DIY Nancy Drew Costume Ideas Decoded

Nancy Drew Books

First things first! If you are going to dress as Nancy Drew for Halloween, you should carry a Nancy Drew book! It’s one of the most popular book series of all time, after all! These are a few classic options if you don’t already have any at home.

Accessories: Magnifying Glass and Flashlight

Another important component to nailing that Nancy Drew investigative vibe in your Halloween costume is to carry an old-fashioned magnifying glass or flashlight, which you may already have at home. If not, above are a few options that match the aesthetic.

Cable Knit Sweater

It’s hard to imagine a sweater more classic than a cable knit sweater. It’s so Nancy Drew, and you will likely re-wear it too!

The sweater I pulled from my closet for this easy, DIY costume is another classic staple — a Ralph Lauren cable knit sweater. It’s one sweater you will have in your closet forever.

Plaid Skirt

This brown plaid knee-length skirt is perfect for your DIY Nancy Drew costume. And the elastic waistband makes it comfortable and versatile.

If you want more ideas, the plaid wool skirt that I use from my closet to create my own Nancy Drew costume is from J.Crew Factory.


Top off your costume with comfortable, timeless loafers by Sperry, which are the most comfortable shoes I own. There is tons of padding inside, and they really mold to your foot. (They run true to size, and Nancy Drew would approve.)


Nancy Drew would have clutched her pearls while solving mysteries, and you will too! Above is a simple option if you need pearls. You can also choose pearl earrings in addition to or instead of a necklace.

For more options, the pearls I own and wear for my Nancy Drew costume are from one of my favorite New England retailers, Kiel James Patrick.

Satchel Purse

Lastly, finish your costume with a satchel purse, perfect for carrying your investigative gear and the evidence you gather! (Wink)

I purchased my satchel purse from the leather market in Florence, Italy.

Frequently Asked Questions

How to make a Nancy Drew costume?

To make a Nancy Drew costume, wear a sweater with a wool plaid skirt, loafers, and pearls. Carry a magnifying glass and a flashlight in a leather satchel purse.


These easy, DIY Nancy Drew Halloween costume ideas blend vintage flair and modern-day mystery-solving for those who yearn to channel their inner detective or simply pay homage to the timeless heroine of our favorite childhood mysteries.

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