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Would I Make a Good Pirate?

Are you considering what to wear to an upcoming costume party and wondering, "Would I make a good pirate?” The answer is simple. Anyone – women, men, and children – can make a convincing pirate with just a little bit of know how.

Would I Make a Good Pirate

Gathering Material

To answer the "how" behind your question, "Would I make a good pirate?" you will need to collect the tools necessary to make the most convincing costume. You probably already own many of the things you need, or can find them inexpensively, so making a convincing pirate should not cost a lot of money!

To start, you will simply need:

  • A pirate hat or a plain red or black bandana. If you have long hair, consider putting the pirate hat or bandana on and braiding your hair into thick locks for an authentic pirate look.
  • Beads and rubber bands – if you have long hair, or if you have a long wig for the purpose, consider decorating your hair with beads by wrapping them your hair with rubber bands or black hair bands, as pirates often added embellishments like these to their hair.
  • A vest of some sort, ideally in black, red, or brown (to resemble leather).
  • Long-sleeved shirt (a baggy-sleeved blouse would be preferable) – the most convincing tops are Victorian in style, with a ruffle around the collar. You may also want to consider letting this shirt get very dirty or staining it, since pirates were not known for their grooming and hygiene.
  • Black or gray leggings or pants for men – the idea here is that you can tuck these pants into your boots for a more authentic look. You can also use very baggy, old black or gray pants, cutting them off near the knees in a zigzag pattern for a more convincingly worn pirate look.
  • A long black skirt for lady pirates – again using sharp fabric scissors to make the bottom of the skirt look tattered and old.
  • Black or brown boots – the longer the boots the better. If the boots can fold over at the top, that would be best of all.
  • A swashbuckling belt – to make this, use a bigger belt with the largest buckle you can find or find a long piece of satin fabric to go around your waist.
  • A sash – many pirates wore sashes and you can use the same material you used when creating your belt.
  • A toy sword or short knife, tucked into the belt.
  • Jewelry – pirates were flamboyant, so having large gold hoop earrings (if your ears are pierced) would be perfect. You can also adorn your neck and wrists with a variety of beads and any other costume jewelry and rings you may have lying around. In many ways, the more the better!

Many of these clothing items you may have at home or you can pick up very inexpensively at a local thrift store or garage sale. Avoid going to party stores for these items if your goal is to make your pirate costume as inexpensively as possible.


You will also need black costume makeup, especially if you don’t already have a beard. With the costume makeup, create an upside-down triangle under your bottom lip and fill it in as dark as possible. Then use that same black make up to create a flamboyant, even swirling, mustache. You can also use the black makeup to create a fake scar on your pirate face by drawing a straight line and adding slashes through that line to look like the rough stitches a sailor might have given himself!

Would I Make a Good Pirate?

Keep in mind just a few of the tips above and you’ll find that the answer to “Would I make a good pirate?” is "Yes." It's a snap and does not have to cost a bundle!