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October 22, 2009 9:52 AM   Subscribe

We're in NYC. How do we dress as Bonnie and Clyde for Halloween for under $40/pp?

I want to convince my lady to go as Bonnie to my Clyde for Halloween this year, and I want to enlist your help in making my case. Upside: we get to dress as dapper 30s badasses and cover ourselves with bullet holes and fake blood. Downside: she wants to go as the Hamburgler. And that means if I want to do a team costume with her (which, I don't know why but I do) I'm probably going as Ronald McDonald. And fuck that.

Neither of these ideas is as great as the first idea, which was we just go all out and get really elaborate furry costumes, but I poked around online and it looks like they run about $90 and up to rent for a night. Would be hilarious and memorable, but that's a lotta scratch for a one-night rental.

So I guess the question is this: Where could we get vintage/30s-looking clothes in NYC for purchase or rent for under $40 per person? Doesn't need to be exactly like the Faye Dunaway/Warren Beatty movie, or even like the real-life Bonnie and Clyde, just something that says "old-timey mobster". Are there any Goodwill/thrift stores where you've found stuff that would work for this?

And what, other than a beret for her (that part from the movie has to stay, I think) and loads of gory bullet holes for both of us, would make us obviously Bonnie and clyde-ish? For instance, I could rent a suit maybe and use my own white shirt to ruin with fake blood.

Also--will we get arrested by overzealous NYC cops for carrying a fake tommygun around on the subway on Oct. 31st? How fake does it need to look to avoid spending All Hallow's Eve in the slammer (you'll never take me alive, coppers!)?
posted by andromache to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (8 answers total)
I was Bonnie last year, and while I went for more of a Faye Dunaway version, I found all the parts at Goodwill and Target for around $40 + the shoes, which I wear all the time anyway because I love old-timey looking stuff like that. The *actual* Bonnie look with which most people are familiar is fairly easy to pull off because each of the pieces can be found in today's fashion. Grab different items and put them together and voila! You're set. Clyde was more of a suit-wearing guy, but if you're willing to make a few alterations, you can probably find what you need in a Thrift Store.

But it sounds like the look you're going for is more mobster than B & C. I guess you're picturing pinstripe suits and such? Look for mobster and gun moll outfits in every Halloween costume store. It's a fairly popular costume, and I don't think they're too expensive.
posted by katillathehun at 10:04 AM on October 22, 2009

Tommy Guns would be the clincher.
posted by cazoo at 10:35 AM on October 22, 2009

In NYC, all fake toy guns have a bright orange cap in the barrel by law.

Fedoras are pretty in fashion now, as are berets. Seconding Target on some of your accessories. Bullet holes can be approximated with a charcoal pencil and some fake blood. Or make your own cornsyrup + food coloring blood.
posted by cmgonzalez at 10:36 AM on October 22, 2009

Here's myself and friend as Bonnie & Clyde from a few years ago. The only thing we bought were the hats and vests, everything else we already owned. I drew a line up the back of my stockings with marker to make a seam (do this once the stockings are already on). Stuff pillow cases with news paper and draw big dollar signs. And get some pistols.
posted by kidsleepy at 11:01 AM on October 22, 2009

And thirding, I got my hat at target.
posted by kidsleepy at 11:02 AM on October 22, 2009

hmm, try here for the picture.
posted by kidsleepy at 11:14 AM on October 22, 2009

Man: pleated front pants, suspenders, open collar (soft collar) shirt, wide tie, vest if possible, all in shades of brown/beige as those are good depression colours
Woman: beret, mid calf skinny skirt, shirt or tight sweater with round neck and long sleeves, mid high heel, small purse, all in cream/brown/beige/mauve/dead green; seamed stockings are nice or draw a line with an eyeliner/eyebrow pencil up the back of the calf

Sounds like Goodwill or the back of your or your parents' closet to me.
posted by x46 at 12:15 PM on October 22, 2009

Go to H&M or a Wet Seal derivitave. They have cheap clothes and that style. Think 1920s pin stripes, pencil skirts, tights with stripes, mary jane shoes w/ heels, layered jewelry like long pearls w/ some chains. I went to them for Steampunk (close to the genre) and got off with a $40 outfit. Plus the look is in now so you can wear it again.
posted by stormpooper at 12:25 PM on October 22, 2009

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