How to Make a 50's Greaser Costume

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If you want a Halloween costume that will always look cool at parties, try a '50s greaser costume. You probably already have everything you need in your own wardrobe, with no sewing required.

Things You'll Need

  • White cotton T-shirt
  • Blue jeans
  • Black leather jacket
  • Black motorcycle boots or canvas sneakers
  • Hair gel
  • Accessories such as a comb, cigarettes, bandana and sunglasses

Know the look. The basic '50s ensemble for greasers is a plain, white cotton T-shirt and a pair of blue jeans. There should be no modern logos or pockets on the shirt. The blue jeans should be worn or faded. You can use black, but blue looks more authentic. Remember, greasers never tuck in shirt tails.

The black leather jacket is the quintessential greaser apparel. If you have a leather motorcycle jacket, all the better. If you don’t own one, consider asking around to see if friends have one you can borrow, or check out costume rental stores. Make sure to keep the collar flipped up. If you can’t come by a leather jacket, you can still look pretty greasy in your T-shirt and jeans alone. Try rolling up a pack of cigarettes in your T-shirt sleeve and going without a jacket.

Greasers are typically featured wearing some kind of leather boots, or canvas sneakers with white laces. If you have black motorcycle boots, you’re in business. If not, you can obtain inexpensive canvas high tops or tennis shoes at many discount stores. Try to find sneakers that are black, blue, or even red. Avoid using white sneakers or modern athletic wear.

No greaser is complete without the grease. Use lots of hair gel to keep your hair looking wet and slick. Part your hair on the side of your head with a comb, in line with the arch of your eyebrow. Comb each side of your hair straight down, away from the part. Then comb the ends of the hair back, trying not to disturb the part. Slick the side hair back over your ears so that it all meets in the middle of the back of your head. Hold the comb vertically and pull it straight down through the hair in the center of the back of your head to create the “duck tail.” With a little practice, your style will look straight out of the '50s. If, however, styling your hair is not your greatest strength, simply part it on the side and slick it back and you will look great.

To top off the look, have the top of a comb sticking out of your back pocket. Alternately, stuff a bandana in the back pocket and have it partially hang out. A pair of mirror shades or a cigarette behind your ear will complete the look. Play the part and adopt greaser mannerisms: slouch, lean casually on things and hook your thumbs in your belt loops. Practice your thumbs-up and your '50s lingo, such as, “daddy-o,” or, “You’re cruisin’ for a bruisin’.” These final touches will make you appear as though you just stepped out of your '57 Chevy on your way home from the malt shop.

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