How to Make a Ringleader Costume

Written by andrea hermitt
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How to Make a Ringleader Costume
Gather a few simple items from your closet to make a ringleader costume. (Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images)

A ringleader or ringmaster costume can be used for theatre plays, for a child's circus-theme party or for Halloween. It can be made with items from your closet or the thrift store. You will only have to purchase a few scraps of fabric trim and accessories.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Suit jacket
  • Trousers
  • Boots
  • Top hat
  • Gold fabric trim
  • Fabric glue or needle and thread

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  1. 1

    Find a jacket, which will be the starting point of your ringleader costume. An easy option is a black or red blazer that you will decorate with gold trim on the sleeves, lapel and shoulders. You can sew on the trim or glue it on with fabric glue. A riding jacket with a contrasting collar will work, and you can't go wrong with a tailcoat if you can find one.

  2. 2

    Choose trousers or a skirt. Close-fitting black slacks with white vertical stripes will work well, as will riding trousers. Women could choose black or white leggings or stretch trousers, black shorts or a miniskirt with fishnet tights.

  3. 3

    Choose a shirt. You can use a regular button-down dress shirt or a formal tuxedo shirt. A woman may prefer a bustier or a gold or red vest. A man could add a vest or cummerbund with his dress shirt.

  4. 4

    Boots are essential. They should be knee-length like riding boots. Ladies wearing shorts, leggings or a short skirt could choose above-the-knee boots for a dramatic effect.

  5. 5

    Select other accessories. A top hat and white gloves are must-haves. You can also add a bow tie, moustache and whip or leather strap to complete your costume.

Tips and warnings

  • Shop at a thrift store so you will feel comfortable making alterations to your ringleader jacket.
  • Make sure the items you choose for the ringleader costume are age-appropriate.

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