What can I wear on the 31st without shaving?
October 24, 2008 2:30 PM   Subscribe

Costume Filter for the Bearded (again): How do I pull off Jesus on the cheap? If not the Big JC, then who (or what)?

I'm not willing to shave, so my costume ideas are seriously lacking this year, as is my budget. I've got the rope sandals and the beard, so it seems like I've got a good start on Jesus, but I'm of course open to better suggestions.
If Jesus: good patterns for robes and thorny crowns?
If you have another idea: what is it and how do I do it?

I'm relatively thin, the shorter side of average, with a couple months beard growth (no moustache though).

I've seen the other threads, but they were all just different enough...
posted by piedmont to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (14 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Dress as Santa Claus, with a scrawled little sign around the neck saying "ONLY 54 MORE DAYS."

Seems whimsical at first glance, but any family that goes all-out for Christmas with guests, decorations, cooking, presents, etc., will know how terrifying that prospect really is.
posted by Rhaomi at 2:46 PM on October 24, 2008

A monk of some sort? If you have longer hair, you could put it up in a top-knot and go eastern style. Shorter hair, you could pull off a Western monk. You'd just need the appropriate robe. That's my costume this year, actually, but I'm going all balls out with a tonsure. That may be more extreme than you want to get probably.
posted by elendil71 at 2:47 PM on October 24, 2008

Fidel Castro: I did this one year with green army hat, somewhat matching fatigues-style shirt, (fake) beard, cigar, etc.
Santa Claus on a diet, or Billy Bob Thornton in Bad Santa: I don't know how easy it is to find a Santa suit at Halloween, but a red sweatsuit will do. Alternatively, if your weather allows for it, a bathing suit.
Leonardo da Vinci - unclear how to best do this, but somebody on here is surely clever enough
Zeus - similar to Jesus in the bathrobe department, but with more (cardboard, covered in aluminum foil) lightning bolts
Garden gnome - little red hat, probably monochromatic outfit/overalls. Best if paired with a cute brunette (as Amelie)
German beer guzzling stereotypical guy - lederhosen, hat with feather, beer
Father Time - see Zeus; also, bring a baby (or reasonable facsimile thereof)

For many of these, you'll want to drop a few bucks on spray-on silver/white/grey hair color.
posted by knile at 2:48 PM on October 24, 2008

Extreme Makeover: The Saint Nick Edition. Bonus points for dark circles under the eyes (cheap makeup) and rhinoplasty bandages. Santa hat from a dollar store, black belt, Just For Men facial hair dye package sticking out of your pocket. "Hello My Name Is" tag printed from anywhere on the web. (Apologies if this sounds ridiculous, I've had a glass of wine and blame it on that. Yeah, that works.)
posted by gummi at 2:52 PM on October 24, 2008

If you want to be Jesus you could perhaps carry a cross around to make it more obvious. Either that or loaves and fishes.

I think Atlas would be an easy costume for someone with a beard. Just make a sheet into a toga and carry a globe around.
posted by Violet Hour at 3:07 PM on October 24, 2008

Get a bathrobe, a bowling bag, a joint, and a white russian. Complain about the soiling of your rug. Insist that your girlfriend is 'Your fuckin' lady friend' and not 'your special lady.'
posted by mullingitover at 3:15 PM on October 24, 2008 [2 favorites]

I was Jesus for a party once. It went off fantastically.

The robe: Ok, I sewed mine, but if you can sew a pillowcase, you can sew a Jesus-case. Get enough white muslin to be your height - all you need is two yards if you get something 60 inches wide - and then fold it in half. Lay down on the fabric on the ground, with your neck on the fold. Have someone trace where you arms are - give yourself a good T shape to work with. Cut a neck-hole. Sew the bottom of the arms and the sides in one long seam on left and one on right.

The sash: Get a piece of red fabric; can be narrow, only needs to be 8 inches wide, but long enough to wrap around your waist and toss on your shoulder. I went with more 1.99 cotton.

The thorns: This was kind of awesome. In the fabric store, there are probably fake flowers. Find the flower chains - the kind on a fake vine that you can pull the flowers off. Go for an olive or brown base color if you can, not bright green. Test subtly if the flowers come off the fake vine. Buy it, denude it, and wrap it around. It will look pretty thorny, and won't hurt.

I also went for fake stigmata. I did not leave that party alone. Rrrawr.
posted by Weighted Companion Cube at 3:18 PM on October 24, 2008

The Unabomber.
posted by spikeleemajortomdickandharryconnickjrmints at 3:19 PM on October 24, 2008

If you dress up as Jesus you can walk up to girls and say "Jesus loves you."
posted by muscat at 4:20 PM on October 24, 2008 [1 favorite]

I went as a 10th century depiction of a crucified Jesus for a company party (prose here). I went to the trouble of molding and casting my own spikes and wounds, but you don't really need to go that far.

On the cheap:
Go to a fabric store and buy a couple yards of the cheapest muslin they have. Run it through the washer and dryer with an old pair of jeans to wrinkle it up (I didn't do this - would've looked better). Wear it as a loin cloth. About $5.

Apply dark purple or medium gray eyeliner in your eye sockets (but not lids) to get that sunken-eye tired look. About $2 for a bargain pencil.

Hit up a garden/craft store and get grape vines (usually $2 or $3). Soak them in a bucket to soften for a few hours then wind them around your head to make a crown. Wear until they hold their shape. Then I hot glued them to a disk of acrylic for a halo. You could alternately use a large Frisbee spraypainted fluorescent yellow. I had the brilliant idea of taking two discs, hot gluing them together at the edges and filling with the contents of a large Cyalume light stick for glow, but the discs bulged and popped the seams staining the kitchen floor of my apartment permanently.

A tasteful amount of stage blood will work fine. Don't put too much on your hands so you don't make too much of a mess - especially if you need to grope a nun (or someone dressed up as a nun).

As a kicker, since I was working at Adobe at the tie and had access to a really nice scanner and a dye sublimation printer, I forged a replacement ID badge. At the time, the badges were made to have a lot of emphasis on your first name, so they read "CAPITAL J. Plinth" My forged badge read "JESUS H. Christ". I continued to use it for two months afterwards.

Be prepared to respond to people coming up to you and groveling. A simple "Bless you my child." goes a long way.
posted by plinth at 5:39 PM on October 24, 2008

You don't need the thorny crown.

Just a white, terry-cloth bathrobe and some fake-blood stigmata go a long way.
posted by Netzapper at 5:42 PM on October 24, 2008

Once made a crown of thorns once with some twigs and viney stems I collected from a vacant lot. It wasn't hard at all to coil them up and entwine them into a crown.

If you can find a suitable tunic, how about a T-shirt that says, "What would I do?"

Other bearded costume ideas: Hank Williams Jr. (requires moustache), Amish guy, Abe Lincoln (even better with a Brooklyn accent), C. Everett Koop, Mose Schrute.
posted by hydrophonic at 7:55 PM on October 24, 2008

...can't find a suitable tunic...
posted by hydrophonic at 7:56 PM on October 24, 2008

I made my crown of thorns out of coat hangers, and a (flat) cross out of a large cardboard box.
posted by fings at 10:29 AM on October 26, 2008

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