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How to make your own prince purple rain costume

Updated February 21, 2017

Creating a Prince costume from the movie "Purple Rain" might be quite a daunting task. Making the costume from scratch would be difficult, expensive and time-consuming. However, if you are willing to do some rummaging at your local Goodwill or Salvation Army, you should be able to find some clothes that you can alter to create a great "Purple Rain" costume.

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  1. Purchase a jacket to be altered. It's pretty unlikely that you will find the perfect purple jacket at your local second-hand shop, but it's possible. You can also search on eBay. Your best bet will be to purchase a white or off-white trench coat. Using powdered fabric dye, available at most grocery stores and craft shops, dye the jacket purple, following the package directions for best results.

  2. Allow the dye to set, again following the package directions, then attach the silver studs to the right shoulder area. Silver studs can be found at craft stores. You can affix them to the jacket with a hot glue gun or fabric adhesive, which can also be purchased at a craft store.

  3. Using a needle and thread or fabric glue, attach the lace to the inside of the jacket's sleeves at the cuffs. This will give the illusion of a lace-cuffed, long-sleeved shirt.

  4. Turn the jacket inside out and attach the shoulder pads to the shoulders of the jacket with a needle and thread. The shoulder pads will give it the broad-shouldered style of Prince's jacket.

  5. Purchase a white button-front shirt. You may be able to find the sort of lace-cuffed "pirate" shirt you need at a thrift shop, but if not, don't worry. You can simply take an ordinary button-front shirt and dress it up a bit. If you have a costume store in your area, you should be able to purchase a separate neck piece. Ask for an ascot or a lace collar. Simply snap this around your neck, and you will be in business. Alternatively, you can purchase lace and Velcro at a fabric store and create your own neck piece using these materials and a needle and thread.

  6. For the trousers, use a loosefitting pair of black sweatpants or leggings. The top of the trousers should sit at your waist. Using a needle and thread, attach five large white buttons to the trousers, referring to a picture of Prince from the film to ensure correct placement. Sweatpants and leggings can be found at retailers like Target or Wal-Mart, or at second-hand stores.

  7. Find a pair of boots in your size. Prince's boots are shiny and black, with a heel. You may have to shop in the women's section to find the right boot. If you wear anything bigger than a man's size 9 shoe, you may not be able to find what you need in a brick and mortar shoe store. A great place to find women's footwear in larger sizes is the Internet. Websites that cater to adult entertainers often have women's shoes in large sizes.

  8. Apply make-up and put on your wig to complete the look. Use a bit of eyeliner, and pencil in a thin moustache and soul patch if you haven't grown them. For the wig, look for one with black curly hair. Trim it if necessary. The wig should fall about 2 inches below your ear lobe.

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Things You'll Need

  • Fabric glue or needle and thread
  • Boots
  • Wig
  • Eyeliner
  • Jacket
  • White lace (for jacket cuffs; approximately 18 inches)
  • Purple fabric dye
  • Silver studs
  • Shoulder pads
  • White button-front shirt
  • Lace ascot
  • Loose-fitting black sweatpants or leggings
  • 5 large white buttons

About the Author

Tucker Cummings is a freelance writer based in New England. She holds two Bachelor of Arts degrees from the University of New Hampshire and is a member of the Association of Professional Business Writers. Cummings is also a food writer and curates the blog, Brave New Breakfast.

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