How to Make a Gladiator Girl Costume

Updated February 21, 2017

If you love ancient Rome, a gladiator girl costume can be a daring way to make yourself the hit of this year's Halloween party. With just a few materials, many of which you might already have, you can make yourself a costume that bares as much as you dare. This project will only take a few hours. Pick up a toy sword and you will be ready to slay all the wild beasts at your next costume party.

Start with a basic black bikini swimsuit that fits well. If you prefer something more modest, you can achieve a similar result with a black tankini swimsuit. Gray or brown also work. Using a swimming costume as a base for your gladiator costume saves time and prevents irritating fit issues.

Sketch out your gladiator outfit. Add as much or as little coverage as you dare. The typical gladiator girl costume is a bikini top and a short, panelled skirt. While the skirt is one of the most recognisable parts of your costume, all of the details need to work together to make a creative and provocative costume. Leather and metallic accents make your gladiator costume look authentic.

Begin with your top. Add fishnet accents using a pair of fishnets or trims of various sorts. Sew all accents on snugly with a needle and thread. Take advantage of seam lines in the bikini top by cutting and attaching panels of leather, fishnet or vinyl along part of the top. While metallic trims or coins are a great accent, they can be heavy, so be careful of this.

Make a pattern for your gladiator skirt. Simple rectangular panels will do; however, adding a diamond shaped point to one end of the rectangle will add a bit more flair to the skirt. For a swingier or fuller skirt, cut the panels narrower at the top than the bottom, creating an elongated diamond with one point cut off. Cut enough panels to go comfortably around your hips. If you are using leather or vinyl, you will not need to worry about seaming, but fabric panels require that you cut two and stitch right sides together to avoid raw edges. Cut a waistband to your desired waist or hip measurement, plus a 1-inch overlap for a closure and a bit for seam allowances.

Pin the skirt panels to the waistband, arranging and overlapping them as desired. Have a small overlap on the waistband of your skirt to allow you to fasten the skirt around your hips or waist. Sew the panels onto the skirt waistband. A sewing machine is the fastest choice, but hand sewing works well too. Attach hook and loop fasteners to this overlap, either with a sewing machine or by hand. Add metallic trims to the waistband of your skirt for extra detail on your gladiator girl costume.

Accent your gladiator girl outfit with gladiator style sandals that lace up your calves and heavy cuff bracelets in silver or leather. If you prefer to cover a bit more, fishnet stockings or even standard tights provide a bit more modesty.

Things You'll Need

  • Black bikini
  • Fishnet stockings
  • Metallic trims and fabrics
  • Leather or vinyl scraps
  • Sewing machine or hand sewing needle
  • Thread
  • Hook and loop fasteners
  • Heavy cuff bracelets
  • Gladiator sandals
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About the Author

With a master's degree in art history from the University of Missouri-Columbia, Michelle Powell-Smith has been writing professionally for more than a decade. An avid knitter and mother of four, she has written extensively on a wide variety of subjects, including education, test preparation, parenting, crafts and fashion.