As I mentioned on Instagram, last minute Halloween costume posts are the only Halloween costume posts I do. I believe last year I didn’t post any costume pics until after Halloween, in fact….maybe the year before, too, so if you keep in mind about how everything’s relative and all, I’m doing very, very well this year! Go me!
So Superman is not a particularly obscure costume. When I found out that was Abe’s Halloween pick this year, I intended to just swing by Target and grab something off the rack. Only the thing is, the prefab Superman costumes are, it turns out, kind of….ugly. And cheap looking. And, I suspect, not particularly durable. Which doesn’t matter a whole lot for kids who only want to wear their costumes for one night, but Abe is a kid who’s pretty into costumes. He still wears his mail carrier costume from two years ago. And he wore last year’s firefighter costume regularly until it finally pretty much fell apart.
I didn’t want his Superman costume to disintegrate.
And I wanted it to be adorable.
So the only option was to put something together myself. I thought this would also save me money–and it would have, if I’d gotten started earlier and managed to thrift most of the stuff–but as it was, I spent a good bit more than I would have for a pre-made costume from Target or Walmart.
But! Many of the components are actual, real clothes that he can wear even if there comes a day, maybe a Tuesday in late January or something, when he DOESN’T want to wear a Superman costume.
(Because Abe hasn’t taken this costume off in days).
Here’s what we used (Amazon affiliate links ahead: if you buy something after following my links, you don’t pay any more, but I earn a small commission; thanks for supporting Boxy Colonial!)
Superman T-shirt: we already had this, but it came (via the thrift store) from Old Navy.
Long sleeved blue shirt: to go under the t-shirt. If you could find a long-sleeved Superman shirt, you could avoid this step, of course, but I couldn’t find a plain blue w/ logo one in Abe’s size (plus we already had the t-shirt.
Blue leggings: I realized too late that Abe has a pair of pajama pants that would have worked for this. Oh well.
Cape: I forgot to get a picture of the back, but this is a red cape with a Superman logo on the back. It was $13, and I’m impressed with how heavy duty it is and how well made it seems. The velcro closure on his neck is a little…chokey, so I’m thinking of safety pinning it to the inside of his shirt for Halloween night.
Red rain boots: at around $17, these were the most expensive part of the costume, but now he has rain boots to wear, too! I’m pretty confident these could have been thrifted if I’d had another month. My friend Tracy actually did find a pair a couple of days after I ordered ours, but they were a few sizes too big, so it’s probably just as well I went ahead and bought these.
Red cheer brief: I was very excited to discover that cheer briefs exist. I kept thinking I was going to have to just have Abe wear plain red underwear over the leggings. But I wasn’t thrilled about it, so one night I decided to at least try to find girls’ underwear so they wouldn’t have the flap on the front. And that google search led me to cheer briefs (which, I gather, are meant to go under cheerleading skirts). Perfect! They’re even shiny! Like something a SUPERHERO would wear! FYI for this particular brand: they run big in the waist. I have a safety pin in the back making them fit Abe better, and the cape hides it just fine, though.
Superman light-up belt: I’m not even going to try to link to this. I got ours on eBay, but it seems clear they’re not making new ones anymore. And I can’t really recommend it anyway. It looks super cool, but it’s advertised as kid sized but way, way, way too big for Abe (and thus, I’m going to guess, too big for most kids who might actually dress up as Superman). We spent forever drilling new holes into it to get him to sort of fit him. And it came still new in the package, but with corroded batteries inside that meant it didn’t actually light up like it was supposed to. We changed out the batteries, and it worked again…for awhile. Last I checked, it’s not lighting up anymore, which is a bummer. I’m sort of shocked that no one else makes a similar Superman belt, but it seems to be the case. In retrospect, we would have been better off cutting out a strip of yellow felt and maybe drawing the logo on the front with a sharpie.
And there you have it: a sort of, kind of DIYed, not cheaper but better and cuter, Superman costume!