How to Make a Sumo Suit

Written by jessica briggs
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How to Make a Sumo Suit
Sumo wrestlers are a fierce basis for your costume. (Ethan Miller/Getty Images Sport/Getty Images)

Sumo wrestlers have a distinctive look due to their minimal clothing. The only thing sumos wear is a silk loincloth called a mawashi, and they style their hair in a traditional Japanese-style topknot. If you would like to dress up like a sumo wrestler but do not weigh enough to fill out a ready-to-wear mawashi, you may be more comfortable making your own stuffed sumo suit. With a few readily available materials, you can create a comfortable, breathable costume that will make a big impression at any costume party.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Long-sleeved shirts in your skin colour, one in your size and one three sizes too large
  • Tights or leggings in your skin colour and size
  • Elastic-ankled sweatpants in your skin colour, three sizes too large
  • 2 satin handkerchiefs in your desired mawashi colour
  • Stuffing material
  • Sewing needle
  • Thread to match your skin colour

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  1. 1

    Place the tighter shirt inside the larger one and the tights or leggings inside the sweatpants. These are the inner and outer layers of your sumo suit.

  2. 2

    Stitch together the inner and outer layers around the wrists, neckline and ankles. This will prevent your stuffing material from coming out while you continue to stuff, and while you are wearing the costume.

  3. 3

    Put on the top and bottom layers of the costume. Begin stuffing between the layers on the arms first, then the chest, back and finally abdomen. Stuff enough that you look much larger, but not enough to look lumpy or uneven. Stuff the bottom layer starting down at the ankles and moving up to the waistband. Remember that you may have to sit in the costume, so don't stuff the layers so much that you will have trouble sitting down.

  4. 4

    Remove the layers and stitch together the waistband layers on the top and the bottom of your costume. The actual waistbands will be hidden by your mawashi, so don't worry about them being too obvious.

  5. 5

    Cut one of the two handkerchiefs in half. Roll the other up to use for the crotch part of the mawashi. Stitch the two long sides of each halved handkerchief together to make two long tubes. Stuff these tubes and then stitch each short side together to make the belt. Stitch the short ends of the rolled-up crotch handkerchief to the middle front and back of the belt. You will pull this on over your bottom layer and wear it over the waistbands so that they are camouflaged.

Tips and warnings

  • If you cannot find the shirts, leggings and sweatpants in a colour similar to your skin tone, try dying them with commercially available dyes to achieve an appropriate colour.
  • When choosing a stuffing material, consider the weather or environment where you will be wearing the costume. Paper is lightweight and breathable, but can't get wet and can look lumpy as well as be uncomfortable to sit on. Batting is inexpensive and usually made out of nylon, which can be very warm but will not be damaged from water. Cotton batting is more expensive, but breatheable and comfortable.

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