Time Travel Costume Ideas

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Time travel costumes can take your character into the future or back to the past.

If this era bores you, why not dress as a time traveler for Halloween? Time travel costume ideas can be anything from the past or future, which gives you plenty of creative freedom. To make it obvious that your costume is a time traveler rather than just a depiction of a specific era, choose a famous fictional time traveler such as Doc or Marty McFly from Back to the Future, or incorporate a prop or two to indicate you've traveled from another era.


Famous Time Travel Outfits

The Back to the Future movie franchise has two instantly recognizable time-travel costume ideas: Marty McFly and Doc Brown. Marty is an easy costume to pull off, as you probably have most of the elements in your closet already. Wear faded blue jeans, white retro sneakers, a red t-shirt covered by an open white button-down shirt, topped with a denim jacket with the cuffs rolled up. The biggest part of his look is an orange puffy vest, widely available at thrift stores year-round or at department stores any time after summer.


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A white lab coat is a big part of Doc's costume. If the coat has a breast pocket, put a couple pens or small tools in it, sticking out of the top. Use temporary gray hair spray if your hair isn't gray, then use plenty of hair gel or hair spray to muss it up. Wear welding goggles on your forehead as well. To finish the Doc Brown costume, wear a Hawaiian shirt and white t-shirt under the lab coat and a pair of khakis.


Another classic time travel outfit depicts Alexander Hartdegen from any of the movie ports of H.G. Wells' The Time Machine. This type of outfit looks like clothing that might be worn by a nondescript scientist of the late 1800s or early 1900s. Think brown oxford shoes, brown wool pants with suspenders, a white button-front shirt and a dark brown wool vest, An optional vintage brown wool coat is a great idea if your Halloween festivities are outdoors on a cool night.


Steampunk Time Travel Outfits

The Time Machine's long-lasting popularity morphed into a similar costume idea: a steampunk time traveler. Steampunk simply takes antique clothing styles and gives them a funky, punky twist with added elements such as a top hat decorated with vintage welding goggles. For the actual outfit, wear brown or black pants, paired with a white shirt and a brown or black vest and brown or black shoes or boots that look like someone may have worn them 100 years ago. For a more feminine look, swap that plain outfit for a frilly dress or corset top, like something women wore in bars in Old West movies. The tophat and welding goggles still work well with a feminine steampunk outfit.


Future Time Traveler Costumes

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Only a real time traveler knows what humans dress like in the future, so you have loads of creative freedom with your outfit. Takes some cues from the sci-fi movies and TV shows from the 1960s. Shows such as Lost in Space have all kinds of costume-worthy ideas, such as the silver jumpsuits worn during some of the crew's flights. Any type of jumpsuit or full-body stretchy suit can be accessorized to make it look like it came from the future. Find some old puffy winter boots such as snowmobile boots and paint them silver, for instance, for that space traveler look.


Create an emblem for your made-up time-traveling company and put it on your jacket or shirt. A simple shoulder bag with your homemade logo on it enhances the look. Paint a toy ray gun gold or silver and wear it in a holster or carry it around for an added touch.



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