How to live like you’re in a Tim Burton movie

As a creative with a love for Gothic romance and Victorian art, Tim Burton is a great inspiration of mine. I can immerse myself in his work all day. From the perfect array of character sketches to movies such as ‘The Corpse Bride’ and ‘Edward Scissorhands’. My adoration for his eerie, twisted concepts and moods is a love which, I’m positive, will last a life time.

If you are a regular reader of The Whimsical Wildling, then this should all come to no surprise to you. Particularly if you’ve seen my Wonderland Series or follow me on Instagram.

The problem I find, is that the worlds in which Tim Burton so flawlessly creates, is just too alluring. Simply watching his movies or reading a few books just isn’t enough. Sometimes, I desire to literally jump into that world. I know, I’m crazier than the ‘weird girl’ in ‘Frakenweenie’.

I just find his creations so fascinating. One of the reasons I love blogging so much, is the opportunities to be able to dress up and play different characters. After having a Tim Burton movie binge one fateful day, the idea to live as a character inspired from this artist popped into my head. Let me tell you, carrying this out was one of my best ideas, I swear. That act of rebellion, free-expression and non-conforming to societies restraints was incredible.

Furthermore, something which I encourage my readers to peruse and illustrates what being a Wildling is all about. Committing to a Tim Burton lifestyle isn’t for everyone but maybe for a day or two? well, that’ d be pretty awesome if I do say so myself. So my dear Wildlings, here is my guide into the wonderful world of Tim Burton and my life tutorial on how to live as one of his characters. With a few adjustments and an alteration here and there, you too can be a suitable resident of Halloweentown.

Nightmare Hair

Embrace those bad hair days. A common trait found in Mr. Burton’s characters is his character’s wacky hairstyles. Think Edward Scissorhands’ crazy locks pointing in a million different directions, or, Mrs. Lovett’s unruly curls. It’s unlikely you will ever see a standard Burton character with normal hair, unless, of course you’re a bald skeleton like Jack.

Your hair needs to look something akin to a birds nest. The easiest way to achieve this is to do what I did here. Using the Lee Stafford Chopstick curling wand, split your hair into sections- depending on the thickness of your locks- and wrap small pieces of your locks around the wand. Remember to use a heat protector and don’t loose impatience or rush this styling step. Once all your hair is curled, run your fingers through the tight curls to loosen them up and create a crazy frizzy look. If you’re feeling particularly insane, tease gently at the roots for added volume and a style that speaks; ‘I need to be admitted into a mental hospital!’

Voodoo Mood

 Everyday is Halloween. That’s how Tim Burton lives and it’s obviously translated through his work and projected out of his characters. Generally, you can narrow the moods of Tim Burton individuals into two categories. There’s ‘whimsically giddy’ or ‘morbidly deadpan.’

I’d suggest choosing the one that feels most natural to you. However, I wanted to challenge myself on this particular day and specific shoot. ‘Whimsically giddy’ would be the more natural mood to choose for myself; instinctively excitable and outwardly weird- if you catch me at the right time, the first of the two options would be the more logical choice. Despite this, ‘morbidly deadpan’ allowed me to channel a part of me which I had assumed was nonexistent. The unemotional, extrinsic being that lacks a connection with almost everything. The Gothic alien, if you will. Although, I do find myself feeling disconnected with many things, it was intriguing to feel a small sense of self-development tapping into this seemingly neglected part, hiding inside of me.

Which ever option you chose, channel that moodiness of moods, with great substance, like it’s your life. Because my dear, Burton Babe, it is your life and this is who you are. At least today.




  Where would a Tim Burton character be without their sunken, tired eyes and pale skin? Well, they wouldn’t be a Tim Burton character. Avoid all sunlight and don’t have any more than 3 hours sleep per night to achieve that sleep-deprived look.

 If going out during the night and stop sleeping isn’t your thing. You can easily achieve that same look with a bit of makeup. Now, let’s get one thing straight. You don’t need to be as white as a sheet to look like a Tim Burton character. If you have dark skin, then just because Tim Burton doesn’t include these kind of individuals in his worlds doesn’t mean you are not welcome.

If you are naturally pale like myself here, then you won’t need to do much to your skin. For this shoot it’s certainly a perk. However, being as white as snow comes with it’s own dilemmas. I can’t tell you how many times Tabitha laughs to herself when she can’t get the camera to focus or has exposure issues because I’m so pale. However, if you have darker skin, simply apply a foundation that is two or three shades lighter than your usual tone. It’s not about being white with Tim Burton characters but looking sort of sickly, withered and half-dead.

The main focus should be on the eyes. Simply apply a black eye shadow all over the lid, not forgetting to also add this under the lower lash line for that sunken-in look. Apply the product, a bit at a time and build up the black eyeshadow for best results. If you really want to get crazy with that sunken-in look, apply a dark bronzer heavily to the cheekbones. Finish off with a dark lipstick for the ultimate Gothic look.

I am the shadow on the moon at night,

Filling your dreams to the brim with fright.

When in doubt, Stripe it out.

If you don’t immediately think of stripes when it comes to ‘Tim Burton fashion’, then you haven’t been paying attention. It’s basically his signature look and it’s odd if a character doesn’t wear stripes at least once. From Beetle juice, to Tweedledum and Tweedledee, to Jack Skellington. I can’t recall one movie in the past decade that doesn’t contain stripes at least once. To put it simply, Tim Burton and stripes is like peanut butter and jam. Without the other, it’s lost. If it’s black and white, you’ve hit the Jackpot. See what I did there?

When I spotted this dress, I knew it was the perfect garment for channeling my inner Tim Burton. It’s also perfect for my hourglass body shape, nipping in at the waist and flaring out at the hips. Complimented with a low, wrapped, v-neck and vertical stripes to elongate the body. Thus, achieving the illusion that I’m taller and slimmer- a common trait in Burton characters. I felt fish net tights were a necessity to further push forth the Gothic style and the 5 inch high heeled ankle boots with it’s buckle strap pulls the outfit together. Adding some much needed height for that burton-esque look. After all, I’m only just under 5 ft 4″.

Throw on something striped, lots of black and an outfit that elongates your figure and you’ll be looking so Burton-esque people will think you’ve escaped from their television screens!

Befriend the Dead

No Tim Burton story is complete without someone rising from the dead or taking a trip to their local cemetery. Visit a graveyard like I did here and make some friends with the dead. I always find bringing some freshly baked vegan cupcakes or a delicious mug of hot chocolate goes down a treat. After all, the dead could use something hot inside of them and I can assure you, they’ll be very grateful for your consideration. Just make sure you don’t visit on a full moon, talking from experience, it can result in some unwelcomed problems.

Don’t conform, to the social norm.

The one thing I adore the most about Tim Burton and what he stands for is that he doesn’t conform to societies standards. I love that he teaches his fans that it’s OK to feel out of place and you should first and foremost be yourself. Moreover, to never follow what society wants us to do if it goes against who you are as a person. It only results in tragedy and misery with in yourself for denying who you really are. It’s soul crushing.

Edward Scissorhands attempted to fit in with the members of the community by donning a white shirt and suspenders. What he failed to understand is that making the best of the community isn’t about fitting in. Instead, it’s about utilizing what it is which makes you special. For Edward, it was his artistic inclinations with hair styling and horticulture. For me it’s about illustrating and helping others, causing those around me to realize that I may dress high-end but that doesn’t make me a prestigious snob nor apply to the stereotype, society would label me as.

Playing a Tim Burton Character for a day was strangely enlightening. I encourage everyone to channel some of their inner Tim Burton, I know is inside of us all. Don’t be afraid of standing out, having ‘weird’ quirks or looking unconventional. Who want’s to conform anyway? Normal is boring.

One person’s craziness is another person’s reality.


Dress: Closet London striped wrap front skater dress with belt

Tights: Fishnet Tights

Heels: Sam Edelman Zoe High Heel Ankle Boots (✕)