This week, I'm going to show you how to make a costume from some pieces you probably already have in your closet. They're perfect for that party you got a last minute invitation to, or if you decided that you really did want to dress up for Halloween after all but there is no time to make something.
First up is a pirate costume. For guys, I like a casual button-down shirt that has some of the top buttons undone to mimic the renaissance shirt look. Pair it with some skinny pants and black dress shoes, which you can cover with boot toppers like these. Too late to order covers? Check out this tutorial from Chic Steals for instructions on making your own from an old leather jacket. Alternatively, you could also tear up the bottom of your pants and go barefoot (or wear some thin sandals if you're going to be out on the town.) Complete the look with a fabric sash - check the ladies' department or buy a yard of fabric and cut it down to size - then check the costume department for a spiffy hat, eye patch, and toy sword. Alternatively, you could dress in all black, switch the fabric sash for a belt, change out the hat and eye patch for a black bandanna and mask, add some gloves, and go as the Dread Pirate Roberts from The Princess Bride.
For the ladies, I like the look of a peasant blouse with a bohemian skirt, but you could certainly wear a button-down blouse and/or pants as well. If you have a longer skirt, you can pin in up with safety pins. Michelle over at Damsel in this Dress does this all the time to create visual interest in her long skirts. Wear boots if you have them, or you can go barefoot (remember the sandals if you're going to be walking around outside) like I suggested for the guys. Add a scarf on your head and pile on the hoops and bangles for accessories. If you skip the pirate-y accessories, you could tell everyone you went as a gypsy instead.
Olympic Podium Outfits
Probably the most comfortable costume you could ever wear is one based on the uniform the American athletes wore when they took the podium at the Olympics this year. Have a gray track jacket and black sweats in your closet? Boom! You're halfway there. (Bonus points if they're Nike brand.) The athletes also wore bright green Nike sneakers, but you could wear whatever sneakers you already own. In order to look more like an Olympic athlete, you'll need to add patches to your jacket like they had. You'll need a regular American flag patch for the left shoulder, which you can find at most craft stores, and the Team USA patch to go over your heart. Unfortunately, at the time of writing this the Team USA shop was out of stock on the patches, but you can make your own by printing out the image on sticker paper. If there's time, you should add a medal to your ensemble. You can make your own using this great tutorial over at Paging Supermom. It's not time consuming, but you will need to allow time for the clay and the paint to dry.
Housewives and Mafia Men
The last costume isn't necessarily Mad Men specific, but I know the show is popular so I thought I'd play with it a little. (I just admitted that I've never watched Mad Men, for shame!) Gentlemen have it easy, as they should already own almost everything in the ensemble (Really! Every man needs to own at least one suit.) For hair, slick it back a la Draco Malfoy. The only thing you'll need to find - and it really isn't required to pull off the look - is the fedora, which can be tricky to locate, but a trilby will do in a pinch. (Yes, there is a difference.) For ladies, you'll need a dress that is either full on the bottom or a dress that is tight all over, sometimes called a wiggle dress. Either will work. (You can also wear a fitted top with either a tight or a full skirt if you don't own an appropriate dress.) Black pumps are standard, but ballet flats will work too. Finish off the look with pearls and nylons, and don't forget the red lipstick!
I also found this great link for Mad Men accessory tutorials for two of the leading ladies - check it out!
Not quite satisfied with my ideas? Check out my Costume Ideas board on Pinterest! I've got lots of ideas on there that will surely inspire you.