Do-it-yourself Bonnie & Clyde costumes

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Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow were infamous outlaws during the Great Depression era of the early 1930s. They robbed banks and stores and even committed murder. They are probably the most famous gangster couple ever and there have been songs, books and films written about them.

You can put together your own Bonnie and Clyde costumes for theatre performances, theme parties or as a Halloween costume.

Early 1930s clothing

By the 1930s the colored clothing of the roaring 20s had disappeared and people wore conservative clothing in darker colors. Hats were worn most of the time by both men and women, and men wore suits during the day unless they were in a labouring job. Suits were mainly double-breasted and were worn with button-up shirts, a tie and dress shoes. Women rarely wore trousers, and dresses and skirts reached below the knee. Most womens clothing was form-flattering and classy.

Bonnie Parker costume

Bonnie wore skirts, blouses and cardigan suits. The flapper dress style had mainly finished by the 1930s and skirt lengths were below the knee. Blouses were shaped and could be silk or cotton. Skirts were mostly narrow with a slim waistband. She wore tailored jackets and berets or cloche hats. For ideas, watch the 1967 film starring Faye Dunaway, which shows appropriate clothing from the era. Add high heels, dark eye shadow and red lipstick.

Clyde Barrow costume

A pin-striped double-breasted suit is perfect for a Clyde costume and most thrift stores will have them. Team it with a well-pressed shirt and a smart tie and it will give the right look. Choose wingtip shoes and a fedora hat to complete the costume. For a more casual Clyde you can team slacks and a shirt and go without the jacket.


Accessories and added touches can really make your costume. Add toy guns that fit the 1930s era like Tommy guns or rifles for Clyde and a handgun for Bonnie that could fit in her purse. Fake money bags with a dollar sign on the side can make it look as if you’ve just been on a crime spree.