As I mentioned in my Harley Quinn post, one of our good friends decided she wanted to have a “clown party” for her birthday, and Seann came up with the awesome idea for us to do The Joker & Harley Quinn for our costumes. Seann decided on The (Mark Hamill-voiced) Joker from the animated series as his inspiration.
Part 1: The Character
Part 2: Sources of Info & Inspiration
For this one, we really just went with photos from the animated series. I didn’t consult any other resources online because this one was actually pretty straightforward. It’s all “normal” clothes in weird colors, and stuff that was pretty easy to find.
Part 3: Piecing it Together
- Purple Suit
- Orange collared shirt
- Green Vest
- Blue tie or bowtie
- White gloves
- “Wing-tip” shoes or Shoes w/Spats
- Squirting Flower prop
- Green hair spray/color
- Clown-ish makeup
As I mentioned in my Harley Quinn post, we didn’t have too much time to put these together, since we started after Dragon*Con in September and the party was scheduled for October 17th. We got lucky with Seann’s pieces, scoring his suit, shirt, vest, and shoes at the Thrift City USA on Terry Parkway. The suit was a double-breasted lavender striped piece that fit Seann in the shoulders (no easy feat) but generally looked big on him, which was kind of perfect. It was $27.24. We found a short-sleeved orange collared shirt for $4.35 and a tan vest (to be dyed green) for $8.71. On a whim, we looked at the shoes and found a pair of burgundy-purple pointy-toe shoes that could be painted to look right, in a 1/2 size big (fixable with inserts), also for $8.71. All costs include tax.
The suit was already a lavender, but needed to be darker. I also needed to dye the vest. So when I was ordering some items for my Harley costume, I also picked up a couple of bottles of RIT (I already had some of the right colors on hand, so I only needed two to make the colors Seann wanted), a Purple (add-on item) for $3.22 and a Light Yellow for $7.66. I also got a white makeup paint (recommended to us) by Wolfe F/X Essentials for $15.99, which would work for both of us for several applications.
Dying the suit and the vest was a PAIN IN THE ASS. I’ve dyed a handful of items before for my Rose Tyler cosplays, but I’m far from being an expert, and neither the suit nor the vest came with a handy label telling me what kind of fabric I was dealing with. And I suck at knowing by look or feel, I’ve only recently started to get comfortable with sewing, soooo… yeah. That meant that the dyes I bought didn’t work. Correction: The BACK part of the vest and the buttons turned a lovely sage green, and the stripes on the pants (and all the lining pieces inside) got more purple. Otherwise it was a BUST. Soooo… I bought different dyes, for synthetic fabrics. I picked up a bottle each of the RIT DyeMore, in peacock green ($10.99 on Amazon) and Royal Purple ($9.37 on Amazon). These dyes also specifically called for a stainless steel pot (as opposed to the THREE giant aluminum crawfish pots we already have in the garage… SIGH), so I ordered a 20 gallon steel pot for $32.99, also on Amazon. (not included in the totals for this costume, I’m considering it an investment for future dying/crafting and you may already have one)
So I tried again. The vest got somewhat more green, and the suit took on a little more of a bright purple color, but I wouldn’t say that either of them worked well. And I followed the instructions to the letter, so I don’t know what the deal is. At this point we were out of time, so we just went with it, and will find better solutions later on, for the next time these costumes get worn.
The last few items – squirting flower, white gloves, we just grabbed at the Spirit Halloween store, in a Joker pack that came with a crazy green wig as well. It’s the same as this one on Buycostumes.com, for $27.18 including tax. We also grabbed a bright blue bowtie that approximated the color tie Seann was going for, only $5.43 with tax (similar to this one).
Note: All costs include shipping. Total Cost for this Costume = $128.85 (approximate – including ALL the dye but not the steel pot; without the dye it comes to $97.61)
Part 4: The Final Look
Part 5: Epilogue
We got RAVE reviews for these costumes. They were comfortable, easy to recognize, and very fun! We need to make a few upgrades/changes for Seann’s Joker before the next time we wear them, including:
- Brightening the purple on the suit – at the moment I have NO idea how to do this, given that I exhausted the two things I knew how to do, so I will be consulting some of my crafting/sewing friends to see if they have ideas. My only thought is fabric paint, but that’s a LOT of fabric paint and my fear is that it will ruin the texture of the suit. Not that I’m worried about the suit itself, but I don’t want it to be crunchy or weird, it should feel like clothes! Method TBD
- Brightening the green on the vest. I’m going to cut right to this one and just buy some fabric in the color Seann wants and sew it to the front of the existing vest.
- Other mods – we’re actually going to remove the sleeves from the orange shirt to make it more comfortable and less bulky under the suit (and you never see the sleeves so who cares?), and then actually affix just the front of the vest to the front of the orange shirt (at the shoulders and size seams), removing the extra vest layer in the back, again to make it easier and fewer layers. The suit also needs some minor alterations, like the pant legs need to be hemmed and the jacket could do with a shortening of the sleeves. Stuff I feel confident doing at this point on my own, especially since it’s a costume and not a fancy suit.
Otherwise, a BIG success. We’re really happy with these costumes!