Easy Movie-Themed Costumes and Cosplay

Do you like dressing for parties as characters from movies or history? If you’re into costumes or cosplay, you probably have a bunch of fun options lining your closet. If you ever want to attend Comic Con, a costume (or four – one for each  day) is pretty much required. Even if you only dress up for Halloween or the random theme party, some costumes are waaaay easier than others. (Believe me — I attend these kinds of conventions, and some outfits are super complicated!)

Here are some of the easier (But still fun) costumes. You can get most of the garb/accessories cheaply at thrift stores, Amazon, or on eBay. We’ll be adding more looks to this list as we write them up, so bookmark this page and check in from time to time.

How to Dress Like Mamma Mia – Here We Go Again

How to Dress Like Bellatrix Lestrange from Harry Potter

How to Dress Like Queen: Freddy Mercury and 80s Rock Bands

Arthur Dent Costume for Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

Jill Florio

Co-Creator of RunPee, Chief of Operations, Content Director, and Managing Editor. RunPee Jilly likes galaxy-spanning sci fi, superhero sagas, fantasy films, YA dystopians, action thrillers, chick flicks, and zany comedies, in that order…and possesses an inspiringly small bladder. In fact, that little bladder sparked the creation of RunPee. (Good thing she’s learned to hold it.)

How to Dress Like Queen: Freddie Mercury and 80s Rock Bands

Rami Malek as Freddie Mercury
Rami Malek as Freddie Mercury

With the new Queen movie Bohemian Rhapsody splashing across theaters, you might want to have a little fun dressing up like the members of the iconic rock band, led by Freddie Mercury.

It’s a simple matter to dress like you’re a male band member from the 80s era. As with many costumes, the key is the hair. You’ll be most recognizable if you find a wig featuring long, big hair. You can wear it straight like Roger Taylor (blonde), or curly like Brian May (dark). An afro works too, like John Deacon’s wild do. Tease the hair up and out, and spray the heck out if it for full effect. Add mutton chops for the fun of it.

Alternatively, find a wig with a mullet: short in the front, long in the back. Or cut up any long wig into that style. (If you’re too young to remember mullets, you’re better off.)

If you’re lucky enough to have three fun friends, you can form the entire band. Divvy up the roles to achieve the right quartet of looks from Queen.

Here’s the kind of clothes you need to dress like a band from the 80s: (Pick these things up cheaply at your local Goodwill or thrift store.)

  • A red or blue bandana around the head, or on your ankle (and over the boots).
  • A rock band teeshirt (worn tucked in) and artfully ripped.
  • Tight, slim cut blue jeans, or tight shiny vinyl pants.
  • Any leather, spiked, or studded accessories.
  • Black boots.
  • Bring a guitar, drum sticks, or tambourine.
  • Maybe stick some old Queen sheet music in your back pocket. Bring a small  notebook to scrawl down off-the-cuff lyrics as they come to you. ANYTHING can be a song lyric. Remember, this is Queen we’re talking about. (Scaramouch, scaramouch, will you do the fandango?)
  • A cigarette for one hand and a glass of beer in the other. (You don’t have to actually smoke or drink.)
  • Bonus Points: If you want to find one of the more flamboyant 80s looks, just do a quick search for Band Members Of Queen. You’ll find loads of looks the fashion police would fine you for. Go nuts and wear a silk or velour bathrobe over your outrageous attire.

If you want to dress specifically as Freddie Mercury, the short-hair-and-porno-mustache look will be most recognizable. For the full ensemble, add the following: 

  • Slick your hair back with gel. (Use a wash-out dye to color it black.)
  • Wear some big front teeth.
  • Wear mirrored, metal-rimmed sunglasses all day and night.
  • Slap on a big fake mustache that curves down the sides of your mouth. Possibly grow out your own, if you have the time and feel adventurous.
  • Find a leather arm-band with studs. (Look on Amazon or eBay.)
  • Wear a white, tight tank top and slim-cut blue jeans.
  • Find a black leather belt.
  • Finish the look off with black boots.
  • Dangle a cigarette from your lips.
  • Consider putting a silky Asian robe over it all.

If you want to really be recognized, bring along a microphone and a section of  mic stand, like Freddie did. Remember that Freddie had a larger than life persona! Call everybody darling; flounce around and give out hugs. Pass out Tic-Tacs and tell people they are Quaaludes. Sing some of your favorite Queen — or at least do the stomp and clap anthem We Will Rock You (if you can’t sing). Make everyone around you stomp right along. You’ll probably get the whole room chanting the lyrics with you, so memorize the words. Here are the lyrics to Bohemian Rhapsody, if you have the stamina for the world’s most outrageous six-minute song.

Movie Review – Bohemian Rhapsody

Lyrics to Bohemian Rhapsody

 

Jill Florio

Co-Creator of RunPee, Chief of Operations, Content Director, and Managing Editor. RunPee Jilly likes galaxy-spanning sci fi, superhero sagas, fantasy films, YA dystopians, action thrillers, chick flicks, and zany comedies, in that order…and possesses an inspiringly small bladder. In fact, that little bladder sparked the creation of RunPee. (Good thing she’s learned to hold it.)

How to Dress Like Bellatrix Lestrange from Harry Potter

I like to cosplay anything from Harry Potter. I’ve got looks for Hermione, Luna Lovegood, Harry himself in a gender-switched role, a gender bent Snape, Tonks, Dolores Umbridge, Professor Trelawny…and my favorite costume, Bellatrix Lestrange. I’ve worn her now to both the Intergalacticon and the San Diego Comic Con.  She is amazingly fun to play when you’re in costume. My heart may belong to Gryffindor, but being a Slytherin is just so much more fun.

How to Become Bellatrix Lestrange: 

One thing to keep in mind for a Bellatrix Lestrange costume: the hair. The billowing mane of crazy dark hair (with a streak of white) is the signature look for the insane but deadly follower of Voldemort. If you’ve got lots of dark hair naturally, great! Tease it up, add a ton of hairspray so it’s big and wild, and there you go. Otherwise, you’ll need a wig. I know for a fact wigs are affordable and plentiful on Amazon. As for the white streak, you can actually order just that — a white bit of hair to clip to your own head. Or use white chalk, or one of those colored hairsprays. Once you’ve got the hair settled, the rest of the attire is simple.

Here’s what you need to get for the full Bellatrix look:

  • Black Boots. Anything like this will do, but if you can find tall boots with laces on the front, you’re ahead of the game. As for all the contents of Bellatrix’s look, take a look at your local Goodwill or other thrift store for inexpensive costume goodies.
  • A long black dress. You can use a long black skirt and top if you can’t find a dress. The key is you want something with faded glory, that’s form fitting, and slightly off-key. An old prom gown would be perfect. I found a fantastic long and sweeping black dress with a tight bodice that I wear when I cosplay Bellatrix, but before I found the gown at Goodwill, I used a drapey, shiny black skirt and a black top with a corset look and long sleeves. If you’re handy with a needle, try and make a lace-up front on your outfit, like Bellatrix wears. Just rip the bodice apart and tie it back with black shoestrings. Add some kind of lacing to the sleeves, and you’re instantly recognizable.
  • You might keep your eyes open for a black lace-up corset, either from a thrift store, of Amazon, or from your own sewing skills. This isn’t as crucial, but it’s another signature look for the insane Death-Eater.
  • A Dark Mark. You can order these as body stickers online, or simply use a Sharpie to draw your own on your inner forearm. Look up images for the Dark Mark online and draw them as best you can. It’s just a skull and a snake — pretty simple to replicate. Feel free to touch the mark with your wand, to show people how to call upon Voldemort! (If you dare.)
  • Speaking of wands, you need one. Fortunately, any stick you find outside will do. Bellatrix has a rigid 12 &3/4 length wand, made of walnut (with a dragon heartstring core)… and it’s bent like some kind of horrible claw. So look for a bent stick. Use it as-is, or get crafty with some brown-black paint. Beddazzle it if you want. Her wand is bare of detail, but you can really do whatever you want. It’s YOUR Bellatrix. Note: If you have the money, you can order a Bellatrix Lestrange replica wand online. I’m looking right now and there are Bellatrix wands on eBay for $10. I have lots of wands, myself. An Elder Wand from Platform 9 & 3/4 in London, a random wand that “chose me” at the Universal Studios Wizarding World (and yes, I was beside myself with joy to get chosen for the demonstration at Ollivanders), and a bunch of wands I made myself from sticks, chair back dowels, and a broken billiards cue.
  • A necklace with a black leather string and bird skull pendant. I found the bird’s head pendant for a few dollars at Joanne fabric. I used a length of black cord from the same place, since I don;t like wearing leather on my neck. You don’t NEED this bird skull necklace, but this is something she always wears. Look for some all-black necklaces and rings, and you’ll be fine. I have a filigree vintage ring with jet set into it that I found for $2 at Goodwill. It’s the little details that count.

That’s it, besides a whole lot of attitude.

In essence, you have to look larger than life, and a whole lot of nuts: Bellatrix  finds torture a delicious entertainment. Act the part. Laugh hysterically in public. Scare people with just how sexily creepy you can be. Rewatch some of the Harry Potter films that feature Bellatrix: The Order of the Phoenix, The Half Blood Prince, and especially the Deathly Hallows, Parts 1 and 2. If you feel especially creative, you can even cosplay Hermione in her polyjuiced Bellatrix garb.

Have fun, and try not to use the Cruciatus Curse on everyone you meet!

Jill Florio

Co-Creator of RunPee, Chief of Operations, Content Director, and Managing Editor. RunPee Jilly likes galaxy-spanning sci fi, superhero sagas, fantasy films, YA dystopians, action thrillers, chick flicks, and zany comedies, in that order…and possesses an inspiringly small bladder. In fact, that little bladder sparked the creation of RunPee. (Good thing she’s learned to hold it.)

How to Dress Like Mamma Mia – Here We Go Again

Want to look exciting and retro-new, like a character from the carefree 70s in Mamma Mia  — Here We Go Again?

It’s not hard to pull it off either as a party costume, or just to add a bit of sunshine and blue ocean vibe in your life. Donna Sheridan, the star character of both Mamma Mia movies, had a distinctive look: flowing, wavy locks, denim overalls, flowered prints, tiered bell bottoms, diaphanous maxi-skirts, ponchos, big floppy sunhats, and a flowy air of cool unsophistication. Who needs to be rigidly runway-ready, when you can be comfortable and effortlessly chic in a sundress?

At one point in Mamma Mia 2, young Harry shows young Donna a tight, stylish dress, telling her she thinks she will like it. Her response is to tuck her thumbs into the sides of her overalls and exclaim, “It’s like you don’t even know me at all!”

Of course, in her dual role as the lead singer in The Dynamos, she wears distinctive costumes with high clog heels ad multicolored piles of shiny fluff, over tight, stretchy, bedazzled tunics and thigh-hugging leggings. Very different.

Yet both celebrate a joyous attitude towards life, just like the cheery ABBA songs they sing. Even their more sad songs have a bouncy beat. It’s just the way these movies celebrate freedom, individuality, and life that are so appealing.

Get this look by digging into your/your mother/aunt’s old closets for the kind of attire you see in Mamma Mia. Go visit thrift stores. Vintage stores. Or best yet, look for some old sewing patterns online and get crafty. Pick simple designs and add things…lots of things: frills, feathers, tiers of gauze, patches with flowers and the sun, beads and rhinestones. Fake flowers, even. Mix it up. The key is to look effortlessly fun, and not like a crazy person. Add things, then assess. Edit as needed. Think of your designs like a sunny, happy bonsai tree. You’ll know when you’ve hit the right amount of zing. If you look like Elton John at his heyday, you’ve gone too far. 🙂

What else? Scrunch your hair as you let it air-dry. Go super minimal on the makeup – a little blush or bronzer, some colored lip balm, and not much else. Tuck flowers behind your ears, and use Ivory Soap instead of perfume.

Here’s a behind-the-scenes look at some Mamma Mia garment creation: 

More Tips: 

Embrace Your Inner Dancing Queen With These 5 ‘Mamma Mia!’-Inspired Looks

The ‘Mamma Mia!’ Costume Designer Explains How to Dress Like Young Donna

Related, on RunPee:

RunPee’s Mamma Mia 2 Review

RunPee’s Rewatch Review (To be added when finished.) (And, BTW, we gave the original an A grade for fun, likability, and a sense of infinite re-watchbility!)

PS: I think it’s high time to host a Mamma Mia party at RunPee HQ. We’ll be sure to toss on the soundtrack and get some 70’s duds. See the bell bottoms by Amazon, below:

Jill Florio

Co-Creator of RunPee, Chief of Operations, Content Director, and Managing Editor. RunPee Jilly likes galaxy-spanning sci fi, superhero sagas, fantasy films, YA dystopians, action thrillers, chick flicks, and zany comedies, in that order…and possesses an inspiringly small bladder. In fact, that little bladder sparked the creation of RunPee. (Good thing she’s learned to hold it.)

Arthur Dent Costume for Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

I wore this Arthur Dent costume  for the 2018 San Diego Comic Con on Saturday (along with an Ask Me About RunPee pin, of course), and tucked my old ratty copy of Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy in my robe pocket (the DVD will work too. Or just your Smart Phone, which is basically the real Hitchhiker’s Guide these days). Dolphins are on the print of the towel (“Thanks for all the fish!”). No makeup except lip balm. Hair in braids…it was pretty cute. And super easy. Saturday is so crazy at Comic Con that you need an easy, comfortable costume. It doesn’t get more comfy than pajamas!  🙂

Pros-

  • Super simple to toss on in the morning and go. Literally, you just roll out of bed with this one. No time wasted for the big, big day!
  • Comfortable all day!
  • Cheap. You probably have everything at home. Conventions are very expensive, and San Diego’s Comic Con is the grand-daddy of them all. Save your money for signings, goodies in the exhibition hall, and on your other, more elaborate cosplays.
  • Towel is great to wipe the sweat off your face when standing in line for hours outside in the hot sun, or when running in the concourse between panels.
  • The thick robe was nice at night, or in spaces that had aggressive AC (like the Masquerade Ball).
  • It’s from a classic novel that also has a movie associated with it, so it’s not hugely esoteric.
  • Nobody who guessed my costume cared that I was a girl in a ‘guy’ role. Those who recognized me loved it!
  • I got to wear my purple foam crocs. Flip flops or slippers would normally be better, but with all the walking/trudging/running/standing you do at Comic Con, you need something comfortable for spending ten or more hours on your feet. These were perfect. Made me glad I kept the darn things.
  • Nothing sticks out to snag on other people, so you can get through the teeming crowds easily. Time saved is stamina saved!

Cons –

  • Most people didn’t recognize my cosplay theme and just figured the pajama/robe setup was from something or other (it’s clearly not clothes you wear outside the house). When they see the Don’t Panic pin, though, most folks clue in. (Use any large pin you have, cover with any non-clear tape you have, and write Don’t Panic!)
  • On a hot day, the thick robe is a bit much.
  • There are so many better costumes around you that you start feeling a bit lazy.(Keep in mind: you can always change into something more complicated before the Masquerade Ball.)
  • Terry cloth robes. It’s the opposite of sexy.

Overall, the Arthur Dent cosplay is a great choice if you have a little Con fatigue and you know you’re going to be a too overloaded to deal with hassles (as for Saturday’s insane lines) or too tired to care about something elaborate (as in Sunday). Plus, the people that clue in to exactly who you are feel really proud of themselves. I actually hugged a few folks who happily exclaimed, “You’re Arthur Dent!” They made my day.

 

 

 

 

Jill Florio

Co-Creator of RunPee, Chief of Operations, Content Director, and Managing Editor. RunPee Jilly likes galaxy-spanning sci fi, superhero sagas, fantasy films, YA dystopians, action thrillers, chick flicks, and zany comedies, in that order…and possesses an inspiringly small bladder. In fact, that little bladder sparked the creation of RunPee. (Good thing she’s learned to hold it.)