|How to Make the Best Hobo Costume Ever, From Head to Toe|
Since I was a little kid, one of my favorite homemade costumes for Halloween has been a hobo costume. My mother was always good at creating costumes from whatever we had around the house and this was one of her specialties.
A hobo costume is easy to put together and one of the most effective when it comes to hiding your true identity, which I think is the most fun part of any costume party.
So if you're a boy, girl, man, or woman looking for a way to win the local Halloween costume contest this year, you've come to the right place because I'm ready to reveal some of our favorite hobo costume ideas, head to toe.
Hobo Costume Ideas From Head to Toe
|Two hobos walking along railroad tracks.|
Public domain photo.
If you can't find what you need in your own closet, check with a family member or friend. Or visit the local thrift store where you'll likely find inexpensive items that will work well. Any hobo worth the name would have a small sewing kit in his satchel, so if you want to and have time, cut patches out of another old shirt or pants and sew those to the knees or elbows of the pants or shirt you've chosen for the costume.
Hobo Shoes or Boots and a Hobo Hat
If you can find old shoes with holes, definitely go with those. If the shoes are too big, try stuffing them with newspaper which you can arrange to show through the holes, definitely a nice - and authentic - touch. Likely you'll be able to find an inexpensive pair of boots at the thrift store that you can scuff up for the occasion.
For a boy or man, look for either a stocking type cap or, even better, an older style hat with a brim. Think 1960s or Freddie the Freeloader (or the photo above). For women, a kerchief around the head will be fine. A typical big red bandanna, nicely wrinkled, will cover your hair and contribute to your disguise. Check the local dollar store if you don't have a bandanna lying around the house. Either way, try to hide your hair to help hide your identity.
Important Hobo Costume Accessories
Stereotypically, a hobo would carry what few belongs he had wrapped in a bandanna satchel or perhaps his spare shirt, tied to a stick which he would carry over his shoulder. If you use a stick, just use caution around other people's eyes.
Another secret to a prize-worthy hobo costume is a walking stick or a cane. For the very best effect, make the stick short so that you have to stoop over to use it. Remember the pillow inside the back of your hobo shirt? Leaning over the walking stick with a pillow "humpback" will help to obscure your face by bringing it down below eye level and will be a huge addition to the character. Cut a broomstick or find a good-sized piece of tree limb for the stick, or use an adjustable cane. Wear an old pair of work gloves to cover your hands, again so you won't be recognized.
Makeup or a Hobo Mask Adds a Finishing Touch
|Old man "Bertrand" silicone mask from themasker on Etsy.|
If you disguise your identity with a mask, either a man or a woman can play the part of a hobo. You'll find an awesome selection of very affordable old man masks on Amazon. If you're going all out and have a good budget, a professional silicone old man mask, like this "Bertrand" mask from TheMasker on Etsy, will totally hide your face and neck and completely fool anyone who knows you as long as you don't talk.
The Secret Ingredient to a Perfect Hobo Costume
Which brings us to the most important secret to the best hobo costume ever: Don't talk. Enter the costume party with your hobo costume intact, leaning over your walking stick. Walk slowly and simply don't say a word. I can tell you from experience, this is the most fun part of the whole costume.
Mingle among the guests and do some one-hand grazing of the refreshment table if you like, but keep quiet. Everyone will be talking about your character and wondering who it is inside such a perfect hobo costume. Continue the ruse as long as you can, or at least until the costumes are judged. Enjoy the role and have fun!
What Is a Hobo, Anyway?
|Two hobos ride the rods on the underside of a boxcar.|
Public domain photo
I remember a hobo coming to our door back in the late 1950s, but until this year I wasn't sure that people who call themselves hobos actually still exist. They do! In fact, they even have conventions. If you're interested, learn more about real-life hobos and the hobo convention at these links:
Britt Hobo Days, the Hobo Convention
Hobos on Wikipedia
So tell me. How do you like these hobo costume ideas? Would you consider dressing up as a hobo for Halloween or for the next costume party that comes around? I love the idea and I'd love to know what you think.
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