Without a pirate themed box office hit since Hook, dressing up as pirates waned in popularity, but all that changed since Johnny Depp’s role and reprisal in the Pirates of the Caribbean series left many a young lady swooning for swashbuckling scallywags. Just ask Brandon Pinto who was fired by Disney because just the sight of him in his Captain Jack Sparrow costume drove young girls wild. Yo, ho, yo, ho, the pirate life indeed. So man the sails while I navigate us through the ins and outs of pirate costumes.
Unlike some other popular Halloween costumes that have a certain amount of irony sewn into them, any one can be a pirate: adults and children alike. Even the ladies are getting in on the action and not just as wenches, but as women pirates daring the open seas. Couples pirate costumes can be doubly fun. If anyone gives you guff for being “that” couple who matched, make them walk the plank!
The make up of a good pirate costume is not that dissimilar from what you normally wear, but baggier. Time for some plus size shopping starting with shirts. A baggy, white, button up shirt will do just fine. It doesn’t have to be fancy. Roll the sleeves 5 or 6 inches above the wrists and keep the top buttons of your, now pirate shirt, unbuttoned as if you were relaxing on a beach in the Caribbean.
If you cut and fray the bottom of a pair of slacks in a zigzag pattern, like clothing on the Flintstones, it will give them a worn look. Brown and black pants work best, shorts can work too, and both should be cut somewhere between the shin and knee. You don’t have to destroy your own clothes, thrift stores are some of the best places to pick up costume making materials cheaply.
Pirate boots can be really any boot, but costume boots help you make a decision fast. Ladies have a good selection of leather boots to choose from, but for guys work boots or army boots are fine. All you need now is a bandana to round it out. Solid color bandanas, especially red bandanas, are highly associated with buccaneers.
That’s the basics of a cheap home made pirate costume. Optional additions include: a wig, pirate sword, jewelry, fake parrot companion, and a large belt, but the real difference between good costumes and the best pirate costumes is attitude. No one has ever heard of a polite pirate, and how you talk is important. Use “Arrr!” as liberally as you want, substitute “me” when the grammatically correct choice is “my” and just have fun.