Roald Dahl's fantastical factory workers, the Oompa Loompas of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, were first propelled into popular culture and public image by the 1971 film adaptation. The Oompa Loompas of the movie, with their white eyebrows, orange skin and green hair, are unmistakable and make for a strong costume choice. Once you have the hair and make-up together, constructing your own Oompa Loompa costume is not too difficult; everyone who has even a passing acquaintance with the movie will know just who you are.
Paint white vertical stripes on the neck and cuffs of the brown turtleneck shirt using white fabric paint. Make sure to paint stripes on the inside neck of the shirt that will be turned down and showing when the turtleneck is worn.
Paint white vertical stripes all around the knee-length socks to match the stripes on the turtleneck.
Create the distinctive Oompa Loompa trousers. The trousers are fitted below the knees but have a distinctive peak just above the knee. A little above the knees, take in the seams so the trousers are tight-fitting below that point, creating extra bagginess above. Use measuring tape to make sure the trousers will fit snugly. Sew a shoulder pad into each pant leg so the leg will flare out into a point above the fitted knee. Adjust the length of the trousers, if necessary, so they are capri length, hitting the middle of the calf.
Sew the white suspenders to the trousers so they crisscross the chest. Attach two large brown buttons to the front of each suspender.
Attach metal buckles to the brown shoes with craft glue. Oompa Loompa shoes are similar to Pilgrim-style shoes.
Dye hair green with temporary hair dye before putting on the costume or make-up.
Put on the full costume before adding the finishing touches to your face and hair. Put on the turtleneck and trousers, arrange the suspenders, and pull up the knee socks. Put on the shoes and the white gloves.
Apply orange face make-up to face and neck. Apply white make-up over eyebrows in a thick line. Use hairspray and hair gel to style hair into the distinctive bell-shaped Oompa Loompa hairstyle.
You may be able to find ready-made shoes with buckles as part of a Pilgrim costume at a costume store. You may also be able to buy or make a green wig to wear if you prefer not to dye and style your hair into shape.
Tips and warnings
- You may be able to find ready-made shoes with buckles as part of a Pilgrim costume at a costume store. You may also be able to buy or make a green wig to wear if you prefer not to dye and style your hair into shape.