How to Make a Charlie Chaplin Costume

What better way to celebrate Halloween than to honor the work of Charles Spencer Chaplin, the British entertainer who found his way into the world's heart in the early twentieth century? Chaplin's main character, the Tramp, is recognized all over the globe and it's an easy look to assemble.

(Image: Michael Buckner/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images)

Step 1

Get a bowler hat from a new or used haberdashery store.

Step 2

The fake mustache is a must. Chaplin wore a thin smudge on his upper lip, sometimes called a "toothbrush mustache", that came in handy in his film, "The Great Dictator", a satire that mocked Hitler and the Third Reich. Buy a regular fake mustache and trim off the sides until it looks right.

Step 3

Chaplin's Tramp carried a bamboo cane. Any decent stick will do.

Step 4

The Tramp's shoes and trousers are oversized. The shoes should be black and somewhat worn.

Step 5

Chaplin also wore a tight coat. Get one that's two sizes too small for you. Wear it over a rumpled shirt.

Tip

Chaplin watchers have described his character as "a hobo with the manners of a gentleman." Your outfit should strike that balance. The clothes should be worn, but not filthy or torn. The contrasting elements of the role is part of what made Chaplin's work so memorable.

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