You don't have to rob a bank to make your own gangster girl costume. They're fun, sexy and creative and best of all, you can have killer looks without spending a lot of money. Chances are good that you already have most of what you need hanging in your closet. For the parts you don't have, raid your local thrift shop – you're sure to find all the things that every well-dressed gangster gal requires for your Halloween costume or cosplay character.
Emulating a Gangster Moll
It isn't necessary to plan every aspect of your gangster costume, but it's important to have a general idea in mind. Think Bonnie Parker of Bonnie and Clyde fame, or "Billie" Fretchette, who hid John Dillinger after his escape from prison. DIY costume ideas might include a bias-cut, mid-length black skirt with a matching long sleeved sweater, black beret and black Mary Jane pumps to provide that female gangster look, ready to rob a bank or race away in a vintage Ford Deluxe Sedan.
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If your idea of the perfect gangster girl costume is on the more feminine side, consider a vintage velvet or silk batwing blazer with a matching pencil skirt. You can go with a roaring 20s flapper costume or a classic speakeasy adult costume. Look for fishnets or a pair of nylons with a seam down the back and complete the look with a pair of black heels.
Alternatively, an old Hollywood-style backless evening gown, bias-cut with a swirling skirt and a modest neckline, matching over-elbow satin gloves and strappy jeweled sandals fit the Las Vegas gangster moll persona. Like infamous mobster Bugsy Siegel's girlfriend, Virginia Hill, you can be just as sleek, sophisticated and bad from your diamond earrings to the tips of your sparkling high heels.
Gender-Bending Gangster Girl Outfits
Most gender-bending gangster girl outfits will begin with the basic pinstripe suit. Choose a black or white long-sleeved shirt to go under the suit jacket. If your shirt is white, add a black tie, and a black shirt should be contrasted with a white tie. Gangster girls should be properly attired from head to toe, so look for a pair of black or black and white shoes and a black or white fedora hat that you can wear at a jaunty tilt.
Accessorizing the Gangster Girl
A few well chosen accessories will complete your look in true gangster style. It goes without saying that the best women's gangster costumes include a weapon, and you should be able to find an inexpensive toy gun in your neighborhood toy store or thrift shop. A toy tommy gun is perfect, but a toy gun in a holster will work just as well. If you choose to wear a skirt, tuck a tiny toy pistol in a garter.
Successful gangster girls love jewelry, and a few well-placed gold rings and chains will do the trick. If you're dressing in a flapper dress, don't forget the matching beaded headband. Don't forget some snazzy gold, ruby or diamond cuff links for the shirt cuffs. Although it's entirely optional, cigarette in a long movie-star holder or, to add a comical touch, a plastic cigar adds character to your gangster girl costume.
Completing the Gangster Costume
Grooming is the secret to the most impressive and realistic gangster girl costumes, and will make even a thrift shop costume look top notch. Clean the suit and shirt and remove any stains or spots, then press them neatly with some sharp creases down the center of the pant legs. Clean the shoes and polish them so they shine.
Apply makeup carefully, but don't overdo it, as excessive makeup will just detract from the costume. Braid your hair and pin it up or let your curls tumble from under a beret or fedora. Most importantly, gangster girl costumes are all about attitude, so have fun and let them know exactly who's boss.