Taking the black
October 22, 2012 9:28 AM   Subscribe

I want to be a night's watchman (from Game of Thrones) for halloween. It's not too hard of a costume, considering I just get all black stuff and wear it, and try to find some black fur looking stuff too. However, in the tv show everyone's outfits are pretty faded and covered in snow. How can I replicate that? Any other suggestions?

I'm going by the costume store today, and maybe goodwill too. I have a shirt and gloves that'll look fine and am probably just gonna wrap some brown boots in black fabric and wrap rope around it to hold it. But when I buy a cloak and pants, its gonna look brand new. Is there a way to artificially fade black clothes in the next two days (there's a party I'm going to on Wednesday)? As for snow, I don't want it to be a huge part of the costume, just thought it'd be a nice touch if the clothes were a little white. I guess I could buy some false snow, but would throwing a little bit of flour strategically accomplish the same look?

Also, any other neat small touches are appreciated. I'm thinking for the "fur" look I might buy a black shag bathmat from walmart and cut it to fit my shoulders...
posted by DynamiteToast to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (14 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
I would try to rub baby powder into the nooks and crannies.
posted by Vaike at 9:34 AM on October 22, 2012

Get that crunchy styrofoam stuff & rub it into powder: It glints just like snow & for a little while you will be covered in it (NOTE: NOT the stuff that comes apart in small round balls. The stuff that goes CRUNCH when you squeeze it).
posted by Ys at 9:36 AM on October 22, 2012

These suggestions sound like they'd work for the faded look. Not sure about the snow. . . If there was more time Smooth On makes rubber and plastics you can make look like anything. Maybe the window frost in a can for christmas would work. . .
posted by [insert clever name here] at 9:36 AM on October 22, 2012 [1 favorite]

To fade the clothes: take some sandpaper to them to wear them out (the specific coarseness will depend on the particular fabrics you're using; stronger fabrics need coarser paper). Running them through the wash several times will also help a bit.

For getting the snowy look, any fine white powder should do. Icing sugar sticks to things a bit better than flour, so if you don't want to leave a trail of "snow" everywhere you go, icing sugar may work a bit better than flour.
posted by asnider at 9:40 AM on October 22, 2012

I bet grey or white colored hairspray would work on fun fur...
posted by JoanArkham at 9:40 AM on October 22, 2012

Here are two pages with techniques on distressing and weathering costumes. Not very verbose, but the second link especially should give you an "aha!" moment or two. Google turns up some good stuff with the terms "distressing" and "weathering" in relation to the fabric you want to rough up.
posted by Slap*Happy at 9:46 AM on October 22, 2012

1. You need a sword.

2. Memorize the vow: “Night gathers, and now my watch begins. It shall not end until my death. I shall take no wife, hold no lands, father no children. I shall wear no crowns and win no glory. I shall live and die at my post. I am the sword in the darkness. I am the watcher on the walls. I am the fire that burns against the cold, the light that brings the dawn, the horn that wakes the sleepers, the shield that guards the realms of men. I pledge my life and honor to the Night’s Watch, for this night and all the nights to come."

3. Incorporate other costume elements. Those who take the black also sport miscellaneous leather straps and pewter fasteners/medallions. Maybe crisscross two thick belts across your chest? You could use spray paint to get plastic stuff intended for other looks (pirate, royalty, etc.) to be the right color. When you adapt the brown boots with the black fabric, may I suggest a) fake leather or micro-fibre for a suade look and b) create tubes with elastic on one end that you pull up to your knees (elastic side down), follow with boots, tuck into boots and then fold over the tops so the boots wind up cuffed a la Puss in Boots, Shrek era.
posted by carmicha at 9:46 AM on October 22, 2012 [3 favorites]

You probably don't want flour as it will brush off onto everyone else's things and also attract insects. I suspect it might make you look more like a Head and Shoulders commercial than scary Night Watch member.

Dappling your rug with colored hairspray is a great idea (you could use an overlay of newspaper with strategic holes cut out as a rough stencil). Craft stores also do sell fake snow and cans of spray glitter for snow for displays and model trains, if there's one by you. Clear, iridescent glitter (not silver or gold) tends to look more like snow; you could lay some lines of clear glue down and just sprinkle that on, though glitter is not known as the herpes of craft supplies for nothing. (I would still rather deal with de-glittering my costume than de-flouring it.)
posted by jetlagaddict at 9:50 AM on October 22, 2012

Take it to some dry/dusty dirt in your yard and rub it in, it'll make it look more weathered. Failing that, sand or dusty, cheap (clean) kitty litter.
posted by deinemutti at 9:52 AM on October 22, 2012

Fuller's earth.

This is what they use to make people and things look dirty in movies. A little sandpaper will help, too. Get a few different grades.
posted by ablazingsaddle at 10:13 AM on October 22, 2012 [1 favorite]

Oooh, I just had an idea for snow. Not sure how it will work but might be wirth experimenting. Get some real (not biodegradible) packing peanuts, or break up a styro box in smallish chunks. Lay on inert surface, preferably outside. Put acetone (nail polish remover) in a spray bottle and mist styro pieces. This will cause them to melt and make weird shapes. Then get some kind of plastic glaze/shellac from craft store (or maybe even nail polish) and start coating it on. once you have a thick enough layer, it should look like snowy ice chunks that you can glue to the fur.
posted by [insert clever name here] at 10:35 AM on October 22, 2012

Some great answers here, thanks guys. Most of the motivation behind flour is not having to buy fakesnow/spray paint, but I may just resort to that. Also I'm flying cross country with the costume, so it'd be nice to not have to bring the fakesnow with me on the plane. Spray paint of some sort would avoid that problem though.

Also, definitely getting a sword and memorizing the vow, though I doubt I can bring the sword on the plane so I'll have to get my DC buddy to pick one up.
posted by DynamiteToast at 10:54 AM on October 22, 2012

If you wash your black clothes with hot water, that'll fade them quite a bit. I'd start there before resorting to sandpaper or anything else laborious.
posted by mchorn at 12:25 PM on October 22, 2012

You can use fake snow spray to give your costume some realism. If memory serves it will flake off over the evening, but the first hour or two should be fine.
posted by tatiana131 at 1:42 PM on October 22, 2012

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