I’m a big fan of a good closet costume. Having dug too deep into the cosplay mine, though, I rarely get to participate in that field as I’m typically too busy crafting my costumes from raw ore.
This year, though, I had the delight of helping a friend assemble a last minute closet costume and she had stumbled upon a gem, Pippi Longstocking.
If you are somehow unfamiliar with Pippi, she’s amazing. She is an impossibly strong, inexplicably wealthy, incredibly kind,
and delightfully eccentric nine-year-old girl. We, ourselves, had forgotten that, but as we assembled the costume, we slowly recalled how brilliant Pippi was. It was a lovely game of collective nostalgia, but I digress.
Pippi makes for a great closet costume because she manages to be incredibly distinctive and recognizable, without also being super specific. Most iconic characters have one look. For example, you either have Velma’s clothes from Scooby Doo, or you don’t. Pippi, though, has enough incarnations that you just need to scrounge some elements:
- Long Stockings, preferrably mismatched.
- Ill-fitting pullover shirt
- A loose dress or skirt with patches
- Braids that stick out straight sideways.
The hair is the hardest part. The costumee happened to have hair long enough to pull this off without wigs or extensions or anything. Her hair isn’t made of wire, though, so we had to add some. We used a coat hanger. It was bent to fit snugly over the top of her head and we build the braids around it.
Having been poked a few times, I highly recommend bending the ends up. This protects passers by, and also gives a way to catch the elastics and keep the braids from backing up the wire.
Braiding into place took a couple tries to figure out the pattern that worked. It’s hard to explain, but I’ll try. It’s just like doing a normal three strand braid, but take the left strand under the wire, and the right strand over the wire.
A couple quick stitches to attach patches and Pippi is born: