Guardians of the Galaxy: Gamora

In preparation for Dragon*Con this year, our gaming friends decided to put together a group costume. We did a Guardians of the Galaxy/Star Wars mashup, with the concept that we were the GotG characters going to Dragon*Con, dressing up as the Star Wars characters. (Peter made us do it.) Seann, my husband, got Star Lord as his character, because he can totally pull it off. I got Gamora, because I am (a girl) not afraid of body paint. But Gamora is awesome so I was stoked to be her, but immediately panicked at the complexity of her costume… Here goes!

Part 1: The Movie/Characters

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Marvel's Guardians Of The Galaxy..L to R: Drax (Dave Bautista), Groot (Voiced by Vin Diesel), Gamora (Zoe Saldana), and Star-Lord/Peter Quill (Chris Pratt)..Ph: Film Frame..?Marvel 2014

Part 2: Sources of Info & Inspiration

The best resources for overall photos of what Gamora’s outfit is supposed to look like are actual screen caps of the movie (I watched it on my laptop and went crazy with screen caps), plus this gallery and this gallery of the real costumes on display, and honestly, images of the Gamora “action figure” were super helpful for the belt and other details. This post with ALL of Gamora’s outfits is useful as well.

DeviantArt and therpf were incredible resources, as there are some folks who’ve posted long threads about their own costumes there. Here are two found particularly useful:

Part 3: Piecing it Together

Items Needed for Gamora

  • Shiny Pants w/Blue Details
  • Leather-Look & Mesh Top w/Blue Details
  • Neck Piece w/Metal Details
  • Complicated Belt w/3 Metal Buckles & Holster
  • Tall Boots w/Straps/Buckles
  • Arm Bracers w/Texture/Wrap Detailing
  • “Necklace” Collar with metallic details
  • Long Dark Wig w/Purple Tips
  • Green Skin & Additional Face Makeup/Details
  • Rings!
  • Sword? Any other props or details?

Yikes, so this one is kinda tough. SO much of this costume isn’t just stuff I can find and use, it has to be MADE or altered or commissioned or something. Plus it requires body paint, and it’s cut WAY DOWN THE MIDDLE. No pressure there.

The MAIN Part of the Costume

I’d still like to TRY to be comfortable, so my thought for the pants was to go with some coated jeans instead of leather or pleather pants – they also seemed more affordable this way. Ann Taylor (randomly) had some on sale right around the time I was looking for costume pieces, in a nice super dark blue “Prussian Blue” wash in a skinny cut (which I would normally hiss at and throw out of my house), and I know I can fit into their clothes, so I ordered them online for $23.93 plus tax.

The TOP. Ok, so my first thought was to find a bodysuit I could wear under the jeans that would have the approximately correct mesh to fabric ratio and allow me to purchase something pre-made, essentially done, and add details instead of making something from scratch. Two options I found and considered are this one from lovemelrose (less than $30 is good!) and this one on The Fashion Bible UK ($18ish bucks is even better, but this one was sold out). Time for Plan B.

Soooo.. I consulted my amazing and talented friend Miss Bettie Cadaver who does clothing and costume design. She had some GREAT ideas that made the project seem simpler and more attainable, so I enlisted her help to put together the bulk of what became my “jumpsuit” for this costume. I had actually purchased 2 pairs of the coated jeans because I wasn’t sure which style/size would work best, so she used the “extra” pair and cut it up to piece together the top (so another $23.93), which she attached to the jeans to make a one-piece JUMPSUIT. She also added the extra details of the ribbed fabric and the sports mesh-looking fabric (which were found at the local Hancock fabric store and only cost about $4.20 including the ribbon mentioned below), and the shiny scales, and when it was all together I was SO thrilled with the result. She also customized the mesh bodysuit I wore underneath. I found this one for $9.95 on Amazon, which fit really nicely underneath the jumpsuit and fit much better than I expected. Bettie added some ribbon detailing to make the right pattern of Gamora’s outfit, and installed a set of snaps into the bodysuit that made it… more friendly for accessing the restroom without completely disrobing. VERY helpful!

ACCESSORY TIME!

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The belt, dyed and stitched and with 3D buckles, before adding final details to the holsters. Kitten not included. 🙂

For the BELT, I went straight DIY. I stumbled upon the design for the “buckles” on thingiverse, and did some searching at makexyz to find a 3D printer to make them for me. I found a local one based in New Orleans, Future Factory 3D (whom I highly recommend) which is awesome, and ordered them from him for $29.90. I used Krylon silver spray paint ($6.99 at Michael’s) to make them look metallic. If you would rather have metal ones, they are available at CosplaySky here and here, but a full set would cost you $57.00 plus shipping. The rest of the belt I needed to make myself, and I opted to make it out of leather instead of craft foam, as it would be more sturdy, less likely to fall apart, etc. So I visited Tandy Leather and picked up a piece of leather large enough to use for a few different projects, including this Gamora belt, the Star Lord/Peter Quill belt (see separate post), and odds & ends elsewhere including little carabiner-style clasps – “s-biners” –  $.68 at Academy Sports) and D-rings for the ends of the belt ($2.69 at Michael’s). For this set of belts I also needed black leather dye and sealant (cost estimate pending), plus stitching and leather needles (which I had already planned to pick up for a Rose Tyler DIY belt project).

IMG_9233For the BOOTS, I briefly entertained the idea of purchasing some tall strappy boots, specifically these Madden Girl knee-high boots, but for one costume I couldn’t justify buying another pair of black boots when I had some sitting in my closet that I could just make some additions to that would work FINE. I did want to add a few extra details, so I got some black craft foam and some cheap plastic buckles, with the idea of making a few add-ons. cost estimate pending

The ARM BRACERS. My awesome plan for these included making my own custom wraps (inspired by these) out of a faux leather fabric I found at Hancock ($10 for a HUGE piece from the scarp pile) and some little buckles, following this general tutorial, which is quite good. Due to poor time management, I didn’t finish these in time for Dragon*Con, but they’re still in the works for the next iteration of this costume (Halloween!). Stay tuned to the DIY post on all this costume’s accessories for details on these arm bracers. Instead, in a pinch, I used some black Everlast hand wraps we had in our martial arts stash that hadn’t been opened yet. We’ve had them for a while, so I don’t know what we paid for them, but you can buy them on the Everlast site for $6.99. I just used a seam ripper to remove the Everlast logos. IMG_1708

NECK PIECE. I decided to embark on my first thermoplastic project with this costume, since it was the best option I could think of to make the neck piece. It was FUN! I definitely need practice, but the weight and ease of making this was surprisingly perfect. Check out my DIY post on all the Gamora accessories for details on how I made this piece – this photo is mid-way through making it. (cost estimate pending)

For the WIG, the only way for me to go was to just break down and buy the Rubie’s Costumes version of Gamora’s wig. I found it at Amazon for $14.39. There’s another version of the wig out there with much brighter colors, where the top part of the wig is more purple and the bottom a much brighter pink, sold at several places (for example here at AliExpress), but I didn’t think it looked as accurate and was a little cheesy, and the reviews weren’t as good for that one, so I went with the darker one even though the bright colors were kinda fun.

For my green SKIN, of COURSE I consulted my go-to for all things makeup and body paint, my friend Meghan of DivineDelphiFX. You may remember her from my Femme First Doctor makeup, though she also did my makeup for my wedding and she’s an incredible body paint artist as well. She pointed me toward Show-Offs Body Art, and told me to find their ProAiir hybrid waterproof face & body makeup. I picked up two different greens to mix together to find the right shade for Gamora’s skin, choosing the Flo Green and the Green. I bought a 4.2oz bottle of each, as I was intending to do this costume at least twice, once for Dragon*Con in Atlanta in September, and then again for Halloween in New Orleans, and Meghan suggested that amount of paint. The color and texture of this paint was AWESOME! That amount cost me $67.74 including tax and shipping. Yeesh. I also picked up some extra makeup at Sally’s Beauty Supply, green lip pencil ($2.49) and eyeshadow ($.99) to add some definition to my eyes, and a white eye pencil ($2.49) that I used to draw on the detail lines Gamora has “carved” on her face. I borrowed some green nail polish from a friend in a slightly darker green than my skin, as well.

The last details I added were some silver rings, since Gamora wears a TON of them. I scooped up several for reasonable prices on Amazon last-minute, including these:

Note: All costs include shipping. Total Cost for this Costume = $302 (approximate, pending some costs)

Part 4: The Final Look

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Part 5: Epilogue

I LOVE this costume. It’s taken a lot of work, more than I’ve put into almost anything else besides the San costume I made last year, and it was more costly than I’d originally planned for, but it was worth it. I have a few upgrades I’ll be making between now and Halloween, that I’ve alluded to here, including:

  1. The Arm Bracers – I plan to finish the faux-leather ones I’ve drawn and cut out, and stitch those together for a more permanent solution instead of using the martial arts wraps.
  2. Boots – I’ll finish up the “covers” for the boots, again with the faux leather fabric, to add more SA details.
  3. Knee details – I have some of the ribbed fabric that I’ve tried to make the knee pieces from, they just need some adjusting and I think I might end up sewing them straight to the pants instead of having them be separate pieces.
  4. Belt – I have a couple of touch-ups I want to make on the belt, including more detail to the sword/blade holster piece.
  5. Makeup – I need an option that is less time consuming and more transportable. The airbrush was a great idea, but I ran into some technical details on the day of, and I think something that can be applied with a sponge might be easier to get other folks to help me with in a pinch. I spoke with some girls at D*C who were also painted green, and got some ideas for alternative makeup options, so I will try one of those out for Halloween.

Stay tuned for these upgrades and for the forthcoming DIY post, which goes into more detail on how I made the neckpiece, belt, and other accessories for this costume! Also check out my companion post on the Star Lord/Peter Quill costume Seann wore!

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2 thoughts on “Guardians of the Galaxy: Gamora

  1. I love Gamora, but I have to admit I was intimidated by how I would create her green skin. It sounds like it wasn’t too difficult! Thanks for sharing your process, it was super helpful!

    • I’m so glad! I had a lot of fun with this one. If you have any questions about it, let me know, I’m happy to discuss it more. 🙂

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