Whether you’re trying to reenact the movie “Annie” or just want a comfortable, easy costume for Halloween, dressing up as a raggedy orphan is easy for anyone from a preschooler to an adult. This costume is also easy to adjust for the weather; you’ll be able to wear more layers on cold days and fewer when it’s hot outside, so keep these clothes on hand all year round for last-minute costume parties.
Picking a Costume
When it comes to finding clothes for your costume, make your local thrift store your first visit. Select clothing that is one to two sizes larger than what you normally wear, since oversize clothes will make you look more ragged than garments that fit properly will. Look for several items that you can layer together, such as a long-sleeved t-shirt, a button-down shirt, a sweater and a pair of baggy pants. Girls might also wear a long, ripped skirt or nightgown over tights. Pick items that don’t match in color and style. You might also take a trip into the closet of an older man -- such as your father -- and borrow some worn-out items.
Wash any items that you find at a thrift store before putting them on. When they’re clean, add some wear and tear to them to make your costume look more ragged. Press your clothing onto the driveway or a patch of grass to get some dirt splotches onto the fabric. To make light-colored clothing look older, brew a pot of tea and let it cool to room temperature. Dip the fabric into the tea, wring it out and let it dry. Make some holes or slits in the knees of your pants with scissors or rub sandpaper over the shirt collars and elbows to make them look slightly more threadbare.
A ragged orphan might not wear many accessories, but adding a few items will make your look complete. Pull on a pair of mismatched socks and your oldest, dirtiest shoes; to go even further, place mismatched laces in your shoes. Tear a long strip of fabric off the bottom of one of your shirts and tie it around your head to keep your hair back; boys can tie pieces of fabric around their wrists to create makeshift wristbands. Give children worn, broken thrift-store toys -- such as one-eyed teddy bears -- to carry.
Putting the Look Together
One of the perks of dressing up as an orphan is that suiting up is a quick process. Throw your clothes on in whatever order you pick them up; don’t be afraid to pull a button-down shirt on over a sweater or put a shirt on backwards. After you’re dressed, add some smears to your face and hands to make yourself look like you’ve been out in the elements. Rub dirt or brown makeup onto your skin. Complete your look by running some gel through your hair to make it look greasy and unkempt.
- Photo Credit Ralf Nau/Lifesize/Getty Images
Who Is Daddy Warbucks?
The character of "Daddy Warbucks" is originally from the American comic strip "Little Orphan Annie," created by Harold Gray. The strip first...
How to Make a Little Orphan Annie Costume
When most people think of Little Orphan Annie, they imagine of a little curly redheaded girl singing "The Sun Will Come Out...
- How to Make Old Clothes New
How to Create an Anne of Green Gables Costume
The beloved heroine of the Anne of Green Gables book series and miniseries, inspires costume ideas for young girls, teens and young...
How to Create a Miss Hannigan Costume
Miss Hannigan, the main antagonist in the musical “Annie,” is a washed-up, drunken orphanage mistress who tries to foil Annie’s future with...
- How to Dress Like Punky Brewster for Halloween
How to Make an Oliver Twist Costume
The story of "Oliver Twist," Charles Dickens' orphan boy who falls in with a gang of pickpockets in 19th century London, is...
How to Make a Queen Esther Costume
Dress to impress and look your royal best robed as the Bible Queen Esther. There isn't much known about how this ancient...
Costume Ideas for Redheads
With the variety of famous people, both real and fictional, that have red locks, there is no shortage of costume ideas for...
Costume Ideas for Bald Men
There are many bald-headed characters in movies and on TV shows that would make great Halloween costumes. The first thing you'll need...
Costume Ideas for Huckleberry Finn Play
One of the all-time great novels, “Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” presents vital themes for young and old. Whether your theatrical adaptation is...