How do I start clowning? clown costume, part 3

Clowning Tutorial – creating your clown costume

When it comes time to make your own clown costume—a few things to remember.

First, you’re going to be moving around quite a bit.  You’ll want your costume to be comfortable. Pick fabrics that are comfortable, cool in summer, warm in winter. Give yourself additional size.  You don’t want the seat of your pants to rip when you bend over (unless that’s part of your routine, of course :o)

Feel free to begin by simply raiding your closet, your family’s closets, and your local Goodwill store. It’s amazing what you can find for little or nothing. Harpo Marx actually bought his famous trench coat at a discount store (read the story for yourself in Harpo Speaks!). Don’t forget the advice from last time about inexpensive clown shoes (“Again, advice from Turk Pipkin — feel free to pick up some ordinary sneakers and either 1) color them with acrylic paint.  They’re no bigger, but they’re definitely clown shoes now, or 2) glue them inside a pair of size 18 shoes! That way, you get to wear a comfortable pair, and still look “clownish.”  One other twist from Mr. Pipkin: put the left (normal-size) shoe inside the right (clown-size) shoe, and vice versa – looks like your feet are reversed.”) You can purchase large shoes economically from Keds, or from clearance places (or, check out this short article on inexpensive clown shoes)

If you’re adept with a sewing needle, you can purchase patterns and sew your own.  Don’t get the generic “Halloween one-piece jumpsuit” pattern.  Simply because you’ll look like one of a thousand others. Simply take an existing pattern & modify it.  For example, my vest is a normal “Santa Claus” pattern, with large pockets.

If you’re of a mind, don’t forget some of the clown dealers. Again, I recommend that (if you’re fortunate enough to have one locally) you develop a good relationship with your dealer.  The good advice is worth triple the cost of the merchandise. And don’t be afraid to develop that same relationship with a mail-order or online dealer as well; I owe major kudos to PeeWee at for her help.

Final advice: clothes may make the man, but it’s the heart that makes the clown. If your costumes imperfect, don’t sweat it too much.  It can be improved over time. Work on letting the inside come out.

Next time, we’ll leave costuming behind and start to talk about the various “things” you can do as a clown. See you then!



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Frosty Little applying makeup
Clowning Tutorial

How do I start clowning? clown makeup, part 1

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Assistant Director, college professor, and a truly great clown, Lee Mullaly, doing his Staff on Stage as Juggles.
Clowning Tutorial

Clown Costume part 2 – part of the clowning tutorial