I took a couple of the kids to the craft store for Halloween supplies, and while we were there, the boy declared that he wanted to be Gandalf this year. He was at the right place at the right time, so even though we only have a couple of weeks to plan, we picked up some grey quilting cotton and got the project started right away.
The costume is being designed after this discription of Gandalf in the book, minus the eyebrows:
"He wore a tall pointed blue hat, a long grey cloak, and a silver scarf. He had a long white beard and bushy eyebrows that stuck out beyond the brim of his hat."
I started by making his tunic, which was taken from me before I even had the chance to hem it, and has been worn constantly ever since. We added one of dad's woven leather belts, which works perfectly, I think.
We are also using a few ideas from the movies, even though the boy has never seen them.
I really like the thumbs-stuck-through-the-sleeves-teenager-style that the film Gandalf wears. It seems appropriate for someone who is trying to stay a little warmer while trekking through the wilderness. These knit up in no time, and were also taken away the moment they were finished. The nice thing about all this enthusiasm is that the costume will get some wear and not look so crisp and new by the time we get to Halloween. Yup, we're all about authenticity for our fictional characters around here.
Next up, a cape, a hat, and a silver scarf.