How to Make a Detective Costume

Things You'll Need

  • Trench coat or houndstooth jacket

  • Magnifying glass

  • Plastic, latex gloves or leather gloves

  • Old hat

  • Fake mustache

  • Pad and pencil for jotting down clues

  • Old pipe

  • Old spectacles if you have them

  • Hair gel

  • Baggy pants with tight legs

  • Hawaiian shirt

  • White sleeveless t-shirt

  • Sunglasses

  • Stuffed monkey

How to Make a Detective Costume. Detective costumes are classic Halloween or Murder Mystery attire. It's easy to make a detective costume for very little expense if you are willing to do some snooping around. With just a little legwork you may be surprised at what you uncover. Making a detective costume is a lot like solving a case, it's all in the details.

Sherlock Holmes Detective Costume

Step 1

Take a trip to the local thrift store. Treasures like old trench coats or fedora hats are often found lurking in these shops if you are willing to dig for them.

Step 2

Use your imagination. Don't look at things as they are; see them for what they could become. An old beige table cloth is really just a big piece of material ready to be made into the perfect trench coat or the black bristles of an old shoe brush could become the perfect bushy mustache when attached to a small double sided piece of tape.

Step 3

Stop in at a few garage or yard sales. The items you unearth here may be just what you need if you use your imagination. An old tackle box makes a great "sleuth's bag" to carry all of your special detective gear.

Step 4

Dig through junk drawers to see if you can unearth an old pair of spectacles or an old pipe. By removing the lenses, these glasses can lend a scholarly air to a detective costume and you'll still be able to see. Clamp that old pipe between your teeth to cap off the Sherlock Holmes look.

Step 5

Find a jacket, overcoat or old hat made of houndstooth material to add to your Sherlock look.

Step 6

Cruise through the novelty shops at the mall or visit your local party store for a fake mustache, handcuffs, magnifying glass, fingerprint powder and fake police badge.

Step 7

Buy a little notebook and pencil to jot down clues.

Ace Ventura Pet Detective Costume

Step 1

Upgrade to a more modern Ace Ventura Pet Detective. Jim Carey's got those crazy eyes, but you can achieve that slickster look with just a few wardrobe changes and some hair gel.

Step 2

Buy some thick, goopy hair gel and put a lot on your hair, making a big swoop that stands up near the forehead.

Step 3

Dig through your closet for those 1980's style baggy pants with the tight, straight legs. If you can find a pair that are too short, it just adds to the charm.

Step 4

Search your underwear drawer for an old "A-shirt," the kind with no sleeves. If it has stains, so much the better.

Step 5

Pull out an old Hawaiian shirt. A yellow one is best.

Step 6

Search your child's toy chest for a stuffed monkey and carry it with you.

Step 7

Find an old pair of sunglasses. A pair for the monkey would be cute too.