Broadway’s Top Do It Yourself Halloween Costumes: Charlie Chaplin

TheaterMania’s favorite DIY Broadway Halloween costumes, Part III.

Broadway is the best place outside of Comic-Con to grab inspiration for a Halloween get-up, but we’re aware that not everyone has access to Evita’s dress or costumer Susan Hilferty’s budget. So we tapped our own in-house make-up and costume guru Josh Hibbard to put together our Top D.I.Y. costumes inspired by shows currently running on Broadway.

Mustaches are big this year, making Charlie Chaplin, the iconic central character in the new bio-musical Chaplin at the Barrymore Theatre, a hip and low-maintenance look both dapper men and ladies going drag can tramp around in. In this costume installment, TheaterMania’s Creative Director Kimberly Kaye picks up Charlie’s famed bowler.

Beyond the simplicity of the get-up, there are definite advantages to being the lovable little celluloid vagabond — since you’re a silent movie character you won’t be expected to make small talk at the party, and you’ll get to carry an umbrella while wearing actual clothes in case the late October weather gets raw (sorry “sexy cat/mouse/dog/Real Housewife” costumes). Plus you get to wear THE mustache! Just remember not to take it personally if someone calls you a “little tramp.”

The ‘stache is the quintessential Chaplin costume piece. Josh suggests using synthetic hair rather than just drawing it on. “If you draw it on you can really tell it’s been drawn on,” he explains. For our Chaplin Josh simply snipped a bit of hair from the black wig we used for Hipster Elphaba and attached it over the lip.

“I’m loving the mustache,” Kimberly says, “but I’m gluing the bowler hat to my head. Without it I’ll look like Hitler.” The devil is in the details.

Click here to see our DIY Cyrano costume.
Click here to see our DIY Hipster Elphaba costume.

Items Needed (click on the links below to buy everything you need online):

-Oversized pants with suspenders

-Dress shirt, tie (vest optional)

-Tattered blazer

Bowler hat

Chaplin mustache

Pros-Aide Adhesive, liquid latex, or eyelash adhesive


Eyebrow pencil


1. Apply a thin line of eyeliner to highlight your eyes.

2. Color in your eyebrows with Mehron black or a basic eyebrow pencil to make them stand out.

3. Cut ½” from a cheap black wig or Barbie you no longer get along with to create the moustache.

4. Apply Pros-Aide Adhesive (liquid latex or eyelash adhesive are also acceptable) to your upper lip with a q-tip.

5. Attach the moustache to your upper lip.

6. Trim hairs hanging over upper lip until the moustache is the appropriate length.

7. Fill in any bald spots with the eyebrow pencil.

8. Put on your Costume. Menswear items already in your possession (or immediate “borrowing” range) will probably suffice: big pants, suspenders, a dress shirt, black tie, and old black blazer will do it for apparel; don’t forget the bowler hat.

Check back tomorrow for our first child’s costume of the series!