Halloween is a particularly special time of year in our household. And choosing a good Halloween costume for the is a rather major and important decision.
Last year Wendy and I decided on a three part costume based on our favorite characters from the USA Network show Mr. Robot. You can skip down to the costume description How To if that's what you're primarily here for.
Maybe it's because we have such fond memories of dressing up as kids, perhaps it's because we love the decor and the fall weather, or maybe it's because Wendy and I met on Halloween night way back when we were teenagers (I was way too old to be trick-or-treating with friends, though I was, and she was handing out candy at her house). Whatever the reason, Wendy are both like kids in a candy store when October grows near.
Every year since we bought our home in 2003, we've acknowledged this deep seeded love of Halloween by throwing an all adults costume party in our home. Everyone dons their best costume (like our friends who attended as DIY bloggers, Wendy & Alex and their dog, Lulu).
Every year we think long and hard about the costume we'll adopt to top the previous year. Whether we were dressing as Piper and Pornstache from Orange Is The New Black back in 2013...
Or the Queen leading the Scot in a dog collar for a highbrow meets lowbrow political commentary on the Scottish Independence referendum...
It's our goal to be at least somewhat topical when we're choosing our getup.
Last Halloween Wendy and I decided to take our love of the slightly obscure but wonderfully done hit television show, Mr. Robot, to the next level by dressing up as not two but three characters from the show.
When considering the characters we wanted to adopt as our one night alter ego, we had to assess both the accuracy and the execution value. Rather than go the automatic route of male character and female character, we instead opted for the less expected male lead/male lead outfits. Let me tell you, Wendy pulled it off so well that a friend wondered who the "creepy short guy offering him drinks" was at our party. Yeah, that was my wife, bro.
Let's go over how we pulled it off, shall we? We'll go over all of our techniques and sources in the event you want to give any of these characters a go for this year's Halloween.
First we'll look at the easy one. Elliot Alderson
Elliot was a somewhat natural choice for me given his short dark hair, olive complexion, and general stature. It was also a somewhat to very easy costume to build given that his most identifying characteristic is his black hoodie.
First off, I started collecting the necessary wardrobe items. I was able to order pretty much everything I needed from Amazon.
- Black Hoodie
- Black Undershirt
- Black Skinny Jeans
- Black Converse
- Black Tactical Backpack
Elliot is a complex and dark character. Computer hacker while attempting to remain altruistic in his destructive ways. He's also a schizophrenic drug addict, and the costume has to relay this in some way.
For my costume I grew my hair for about a month, then had Wendy give me a bit of an undercut in the style of Elliot. I definitely should have cut it up higher and had more of an arch to it, as well as another 12 weeks of length on top, but it wasn't bad overall.
In order to make me look a little strung out we added some really dark circles around my eyes with some makeup as well as a little blush on my eyelids. The goal was to make me look as tired as we could, like I'd been up all night hacking into banks...or playing Pokemon Go or something.
The whole outfit was about as simple as it gets. Throw on the clothes, put on the backpack, and walk around the party with wide eyes trying to look intense.
Next up, Elliot's father, Mr. Robot
Wendy decided to make an attempt at pulling off Christian Slater's character, Mr. Robot, which we worried would be a stretch for a blonde female. But Mr. Robot's outfit is layered in such a way that pretty much anyone can pull it off.
The complete list of items necessary is somewhat extensive, but with a hat, glasses and jacket, your shape, size and sex really doesn't matter much since the costume covers much of it.
- Brown Work Jacket
- Mr. Robot Patch
- Cotton Twill Cap
- Gray Cable Knit Scarf
- Plaid Wool Scarf
- Tortoise Glasses
- Fingerless Gloves
- Plaid Shirt
- Blue Jeans
- Work Boots
The most important part of the costume is the Mr. Robot patch. We picked one up and just ironed it right onto the work jacket we bought.
In order for Wendy to get the right look that Christian Slater's character has, she'd need a solid 5 o'clock shadow. Given that she's female and happens to not have facial hair for her own 5 o'clock shadow, she decided to go the makeup route to make it a reality.
Using an inexpensive bath poof (you can pick one up from the cosmetic section of Target, Walgreens, etc.) and a tube of brown liquid eyeliner, she stippled stubble onto her face, making herself into a pretty convincing woman with facial hair. Eye liner is the way to go since it gives you a more authentic look of stubble, versus a cream costume makeup or eyeshadow, which just leaves you with a dirty face effect.
With that she tucked her hair into the hat, put on the rest of the outfit, and transformed into Mr. Robot.
When "Elliot" and "Mr. Robot" were face to face, like in the show, out costumes seemed to work out pretty well.
So well, in fact, that the above photo was tweeted to Christian Slater last year...AND HE EVEN RETWEETED IT! How uniquely 21st century is celebrity validation on a costume of their likeness?
And finally the F-Society leader
Since a masked costume isn't good for a social Halloween party where you are the host, I mostly put this costume together to wear out on Halloween night. This way I could walk around town in a masked getup in true Halloween style.
Last year I had to do some real digging to find the mask, since Mr. Robot was a somewhat obscure show and things weren't being sold. I actually ended up ordering a few different masks hoping one would work well.
The one on the left is a hand sculpted original from an etsy artist, signed and numbered. The one on the right a mass produced mask from a 3D printed model. The one on the left was the better of the two, but a little large.
This year it's far easier as there are licensed products that will allow you to easily complete the costume.
To pull off the whole thing you'll need...
- Black Top Hat
- Fsociety Mask
- Black Tuxedo Jacket
- White Tuxedo Vest & Bow Tie
- White Gloves
- Chef's Striped Pants
- Black Cane
- Black Converse
This costume was great for Halloween night itself (yes, we're such Halloween nuts we each had different costumes for our party night as well as Halloween night), and received so many compliments from people walking on the street. A lot of people that didn't know the show said "It's the Monopoly Man, but he's evil!" But quite a few said, "Hey, it's the Mr. Robot guy!" Either way, it was working.
If you're ordering the different pieces keep in mind that the mask will require you to wear a larger size hat than you typically wear. I wear a 7-1/4" hat but ended up with an 8" top hat to fit the mask.
The costume itself is pretty straightforward. Put on the tux, throw on the shoes, pull down the mask, and head out on the town.
If you're going anywhere in costume and happen to pass a bank, it always makes for a good photo op.
Keep in mind, it is rather difficult to have a drink when your costume involves a full face mask. Might be worthwhile to pack a straw as well.
Overall we loved last year's costume. We're kicking around ideas for this year's party but will be keeping it to ourselves until we're all set. But if you follow us on Instagram I'm sure you'll see what we choose once we're all ready to go.
What are your plans for Halloween this year? Do you have your costumes picked out or are you still having a hard time figuring it out?