How to create a vampire costume from the film 'Lost Boys'

In 1987, The Lost Boys ushered in an American teen vampire look that didn’t rely on historical gothic styling like pale willowy features, Transylvanian cheek bones and trailing black hair. The Lost Boys were muscle bound and leather clad, with layered ‘80s shag cuts. This is a natural style vampire look, and therefore easy to recreate for a costume without any prosthetics expertise. You can search round second-hand shops for the necessary outfits, and make use of some party shop supplies for the rest, ending up with a distinctive 1980s all-American vampire character, straight from the film.

Put together an American-look, 1980s style outfit. Source clothing from second hand shops, which are often the best places to find these loose, casual styles. A sleeveless shirt goes well with tattooed arms, or you could wear a cropped vest under an open shirt.

Pull on a pair of washed mid-blue jeans, with rips and a slouchy cut. Team with a heavy leather belt and boots.

Wear a retro ‘80s style biker jacket, which should be loose and made from thick leather, with boxy shoulders. If you can’t find one with the right shoulders, sew or glue in a couple of foam shoulder pads from a haberdashery store. This gives a masculine 1980s silhouette.

Slick the front of your hair back, using a dab of hair gel in dry hair. Apply just enough to get hold but not enough to give a slicked, wet-look style. Comb hair back from the front and at the sides, letting longer hair fall behind the shoulders. You could spike up a shorter layered style, while combing it back slightly.

Place in coloured contact lenses, if you are using them. These create the attacking vampire look from the film. Choose yellow or red and always put them in according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Pop in plastic vampire fangs from a party shop.


Accessorise with any Americana. Flag scarves and bandanas, fake tattoos, hoop ear rings, leather jewellery and stubble all help to build up the costume.

Carry a bottle of edible blood from a party shop, to dress your fangs as needed.

For a peroxide blonde look like Kiefer Sutherland’s character, David, try a spray in hair colour from a professional makeup shop. These wash out, and are the perfect way to add some filmic drama to this style inspired vampire look.


Be cautious when using makeup supplies like coloured contact lenses or hair colours. Always follow the instructions carefully and do not use them if you think you may be allergic to any of the ingredients.

Things You'll Need

  • 1980s style top, such as a sleeveless t-shirt or Hawaiian shirt
  • Boxy black leather biker jacket
  • Casual, ripped blue jeans
  • Cowboy or biker boots
  • Hair gel
  • Comb
  • Vampire fangs
  • Coloured contact lenses (optional)
  • 1980s style wig (optional)
  • Shoulder pads (optional)
  • Glue or sewing needle and thread
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About the Author

Shefali Choudhury is a qualified make-up artist and nail technician, with more than 12 years experience of professional makeup in beauty, film and theater. She graduated in fine art from Central Saint Martins and has been writing professionally since 2007.