How to Make a Gandhi Costume

The famed Indian leader Mohandas Gandhi is strongly associated with the minimalist style of dress he adopted. In fact, when he was invited to visit the king and queen of England, he arrived, true to his style, sporting just a loincloth and shawl. When asked if he was wearing enough clothes, he wittily responded that "the King has on enough for both of us!" With a generous amount of fabric and a few accessories, you can create a Gandhi costume at home.

Gandhi wore no more clothes than absolutely needed. (Image: bijendra/iStock/Getty Images)

Things You'll Need

  • Flesh-colored swim cap

  • Flesh-colored foundation make-up

  • Flesh-colored face powder and cosmetic brush

  • Fake mustache

  • Round, wire-rimmed glasses

  • Cycling shorts, boxer brief or trunk underwear

  • 6 yards of lightweight white fabric, 60 inches wide and cut in to two pieces

  • 2 1/2 yards of same lightweight fabric cut to approximately 18 inches wide

  • Flat, open-toe sandals

  • Tall walking stick

Step 1

Put on the swim cap. Hide any evidence of your hair.

Step 2

Evenly apply flesh-colored foundation to both your face, neck and the swim cap. Using a cosmetic brush, lightly dust your face, neck and swim cap with a flesh-colored makeup powder.

Step 3

Apply the fake mustache and put on the glasses.

Step 4

Hold one of the two largest pieces of fabric behind you with both hands outstretched at waist level. With your right arm still stretched to the side, bring your left arm across the front of your body and tuck the end of the fabric in to the waistband of your underwear. Bring your right arm across to the left side of your body and tuck the end of the fabric into your waistband. Tuck any excess fabric into your waistband. Hold the 18-inch side of the remaining piece of fabric behind you and tuck it into your waistband. Allow it to drop to the floor. Bring the fabric up between your legs and tuck the remaining edge into the front of your waistband. Use the final large piece of fabric as a shawl and wrap it around your bare shoulders.

Step 5

Put on the open-toe sandals and grab the walking stick


Since a generous amount of fabric is used, consider cutting up an old white sheet for the costume. Try using safety pins or a belt for added security when wearing the loincloth. It can be worn at any desirable length, so cut to suit if necessary. Find inexpensive glasses at your local thrift store or drug store. You can carefully take out the lenses if the prescription doesn't suit your eyes.


Be aware that the costume will need to be disassembled for bathroom breaks.

References & Resources