How to Put Together a Perfectly Spooky Outfit...
'Addams Family' and 'Addams Family Values' are two of my all-time favorite movies, with some killer lines and brilliant characters. And although the family are sinister and love all things dark and nasty, they're also amusing (and Wednesday is just the coolest don't you think?)
Below you will find details for each of the main character's clothing, plus information on other fun characters in the films. I've also picked out the best props and costumes you can buy, provided a tutorial for making your own Cousin Itt fancy dress outfit, and a list of other DIYs for making certain parts of the costumes yourself.
I hope you find this page helpful :)
Characters From The Musical
Morticia & Wednesday Gothic Dresses
If you search for gothic dresses and skirts you are bound to find something suitable for the Addams' ladies - a stunning example of which I've listed below. I've also included some pre-made complete costumes to make it really easy for you!:
The Different Character Traits & Clothing Options
The Addams's are the ultimate gothic & sinister family, with both adult and child characters that are perfectly suited to the spirit of Halloween.
The main members of the household are:
Morticia Addams: Time to vamp it up with pale skin, red lips, red painted nails, long jet black hair and dark eyes and eyebrows. The clothing is of course all black and floor length, with some lace, and tight/fitted shapes. Corsets and fishtail/mermaid skirts are ideal. Flowing, flared sleeves are also a trademark (no bare arms), and a sultry, flirty attitude is a must :)
Gomez Addams: There are a few different outfits that Gomez wears in the movies, but the most recognizable is the striking black and gray striped suit, with a white shirt, red bow tie, shiny black shoes and a light gray pocket square (very dapper). Another of his outfits consists of a dark red and black paisley smoking jacket, light gray pinstripe trousers, a black shirt and a gray cravat. There are various other outfits in dark colors to choose from, plus the more unique outfit he wears in the 'Mamushka' dancing scene. With regards to facial hair, a pencil-thin mustache and slicked-back black hair are vital. A cigar would make a good prop.
If planning a DIY striped suit (as it would be difficult to find one very similar), you could paint stripes - using masking tape as the stencil to keep the lines straight - onto a cheap black suit, although it would be quite time consuming.
Fester Addams: Maybe the simplest costume but the hardest makeup; this one is a lot easier to pull off if you're bald! You can use a bald cap if you do have hair of course, and you will need to paint your whole head a very pale color, and apply dark circles around your eyes. The costume is a boxy dark cloak/coat/robe (a bit like a monks) which is plain colored, reaches the floor and has a high neck. You can instead try out this option if you prefer though, which consists of a very odd wig, a weirdly boxy white suit and a gray jumper. A good prop for Fester would be a lightbulb.
Wednesday Addams: The classic Wednesday outfit is a (speckled) black dress with long sleeves, a white collar and black buttons all down the front which are done up right to the neck. I can't find a full-length photo of the outfit but I would imagine that the dress would be about knee-length and worn with black tights and shoes. Or you could choose the Native American 'Pocahontas' costume Wednesday dressed up in for a play at summer camp.
Your hair/wig should be black and worn in braided pigtails, and the only makeup necessary is a very pale foundation or white face paint.
Pugsley Addams: Pugsley has short light hair with a small quiff at the front and is a little on the tubby side. His classic look includes a t-shirt with black and white (or dark blue and light gray) horizontal stripes, and black shorts.
Lurch: Perfect character costume for someone tall and thin; Lurch is a bit Frankenstein-like and has black hair with a high fringe, wears a black tuxedo and bow tie, and generally communicates with moans and grunts. A good prop would be a fake prop hand to represent 'Thing'.
Grandmama: A cackling old witch with mad, gray frizzy hair, who wears a black feathered hat and a long dark dress with various shawls draped over the top. Her hobbies include making repulsive food, casting spells, mixing potions and carrying around a skull. She also seems to enjoy using axes, chainsaws and other deadly weapons, so if you can buy a fake one of these for a prop that would be great :)
Cousin Itt: A fun character who communicates in weird noises and is basically 100% hair. See below for a costume DIY.
Smaller parts in the movie:
- Flora & Fauna: If you are female and happen to have an identical twin or you know someone who looks similar to you, this is a good choice, although you will literally need to be joined at the hip for the whole time! Flora & Fauna are identical conjoined twins who appear at Fester's party wearing a big polka dot pink dress.
- Debbie Jellinsky: The evil murdering & gold-digging 'Black Widow' babysitter! Perfect if you want to dress in a tight white dress with diamond accessories (think Marilyn Monroe). You will definitely also need a blonde bob, and perhaps a prop spade or gun.
- Dr. Greta Pinder-Schloss: A con artist who wears a gray suit and tie when posing as a doctor. If you dress up as this character, a ridiculous German accent is a must!
- Lumpy Addams: Attends Fester's party and dances with Wednesday; he is hunchbacked, wears a dark gray suit and has a very distinctive hairstyle.
- Margaret Alford: The love interest of Cousin Itt, Margaret has a few outfit changes in the movie, including wearing a fairy costume for Fester's party scene. However the most important part of the costume is the hairstyle, which consists of short brown hair which 'puffs out' behind a black hairband.
- Pubert Addams: Hilarious costume idea for a baby - Pubert was the new addition to the family in the movie 'Addams Family Values' and was basically a mini-Gomez, with a pencil mustache and slicked-back black hair. He wears a gray onesie with a spider motif.
- Amanda Buckman: A young snobby and highly irritating girl who first appeared as a girl scout and later was at summer camp with Wednesday. She has blond pigtails and would be most recognized in a girl scout uniform or dressed as a pilgrim for the play the kids performed at camp.
- Joel Glicker: A geeky outsider who becomes Wednesday's love interest when they meet at camp. He has messy dark hair, wears round glasses, and most of the time wears a check shirt (with lots of pens in the pocket), black shorts pulled up high, and a brown belt.
The TV Series
How to Make a Cousin Itt Costume
(Image credit: me)
This is one of my favorite ideas for Halloween because it's both highly recognizable and highly hilarious! After you've made the hairy outfit, all you need to do is add the sunglasses and black bowler/derby hat on top...although in one scene Cousin Itt instead wears a cowboy hat, gun holsters, a belt and a studded bandana around his neck, so that's also an option.
It's quite hard to hide shoes in this costume so don't wear chunky or eye-catching shoes. Try to get as close to bare foot as possible. Also try and wear clothing underneath that is as close to the costume's hair color as possible.
What you will need:
* At least 4 very long wigs; You can try and find the right 'Cousin It' shade but I think it would be much easier to buy blonde wigs and then dye them a darker shade if you wish. When looking for wigs, search for 'Lady Godiva' or 'Rapunzel' to find the longest costume wigs available.
* Baseball cap (in your size) that you don't mind destroying
* Strong, waterproof and flexible fabric glue.
* A strip of medium-weight fabric (white or light colored preferably) that is approx. 5" wide, and long enough to wrap around your hips 2 1/2 times.
It will be much more economical to buy a regular square piece of fabric, cut it into strips and then sew the ends together to make a strip long enough...but if you have a piece of fabric long enough anyway then you don't have to do that!
* Needle & thread (optional)
(Note: If you have managed to find wigs that go from the top of your head right to the floor then your job will be much easier because you don't need to make the skirt section.)
- The first step is to cut the brim off a cap with scissors.
- Next, make sure the wigs are as untangled as you can get them (using a soft detangler brush).
- Then use a needle and thread (or strong fabric glue) to attach the front edge of one of the wigs to the center line of the cap. Try not to sew or get glue on the hair at all - just glue/sew the inside fabric layer of the wig to the cap. One half of the cap should now be covered with hair.
- Attach the next wig in the same way onto the other side of the cap. Put the cap onto your head to judge whether the hair covers enough of your face and top half of your body. If it does, then you can sew/glue the wigs onto the cap more securely and move onto the next section.
- If the hair is too sparse and you can see through it, then you have a couple of options; you can attach another wig or two onto the cap, underneath the previous two OR you can buy fabric in a shade as close to the hair as possible and make a ghost-like costume by putting a large rectangle of fabric over your head and cutting eye holes into it. This layer would go underneath the cap, and is a cheaper way to disguise what you are wearing under the wigs.
- If at this point the wig hair already reaches your feet then worn, then you're finished already, yay! If not, then you will need to make a separate skirt section to cover your bottom half...
- Measure 2 and a half times around your hips and then cut out a strip of medium-weight fabric that is the same length. You will probably need to sew shorter strips together at the ends to make a strip long enough. The fabric should not be thin and flimsy, and it should be between 4" and 5" wide. You can hem the edges it you want a neater finish but it isn't absolutely necessary.
- Mark 3 points on the strip; the center, plus a point at a distance of 1/4 of the length of your hip circumference from each end of the strip.
- Next, lay out your 3rd wig on the floor so it is straight and neat. Use your scissors to cut horizontally across the hair, as close to the top as possible. Keeping the cut ends of the hair as level as possible to each other, spread the hair out a bit on the floor.
- Lay out the fabric strip above the hair, and spread the hair out between the center mark and one of the other marks.
- Apply glue onto the bottom half of the fabric strip between the two marks.
- Press the hair onto the glue, aiming for an even layer with the tops of the strands lining up halfway up the fabric width.
- Do the same again by attaching the hair from the 4th wig between the center point and the mark at the other end of the fabric strip.
- Add a bit more glue on top of the hair tips and fold the top half of the fabric strip down to sandwich the hair in between. Leave to dry. You should now have a wrap-around hair skirt!
- Wrap the skirt around your hips twice and then tie the fabric ends to secure. You can add a different fastening if you prefer, such as Velcro.
* If the wig section you attached to your cap earlier is not thick enough, you can tie this skirt higher up, e.g. at chest height, as long as the skirt is long enough to still reach your feet.
* The other option is to wear the skirt and get a helper to cut off the excess hair which is dragging on the floor. The cut-off hair can be used elsewhere on the costume, or if it's long enough you could make another skirt section if the current one has not got the best coverage.
Apart from using wigs, another option is to create the hair yourself from long pieces of yarn, and I've even seen a costume made of hay! This would save money but it wouldn't be as authentic :)
TIP: Make sure that you store your costume neatly to prevent tangling when in storage.
DIY Products For Constructing a Costume
Fabric glue and a hot glue gun are always helpful for crafts, but are extra helpful for quick Halloween makes. The long blonde wigs I've listed are perfect for constructing your own Cousin Itt costume :)
Costume How-To Videos
Instructions For Making the Costumes
Corsets and fishtail skirts for Morticia, collared and button-up dresses for Wednesday (plus how to make a detachable collar), and many more useful tutorials for different parts of the costumes:
- Corset Tutorial 1
How to make an over-bust bodice with boning within the fabric.
- Corset Tutorial 2
With a useful tip for marking out the pattern template.
- Collared Dress
How to make a cute collared dress (for Wednesday).
- Flared Lace Sleeves
Perfect for Morticia's dress sleeves.
- How To Make a Cravat
Sew your own classic neckwear for Gomez.
- Learn to Tie a Cravat
Different ways and techniques for tying the cravat.
- DIY Striped T-Shirt
Perfect for Pugsley but you could also use this concept for Gomez's suit.
- Hooded Robes
Designed for a Jedi costume, but could be adapted for Fester.
- Detachable Collar
If you've found a black dress for Wednesday, this collar adds the finishing touch.
- Smoking Jacket Transformation
Clever idea for adding satin to a plain blazer to revamp it.
- Fishtail Skirt
You will probably need a bit of sewing experience for this but it looks fabulous!
- Homemade Collar Dress
Ideal for Wednesday, and you can see how to make a collar from scratch too.
Addams Family Movie Clips - View for Inspiration
Morticia, Wednesday & Grandma Wigs
Unless you have similar hair to the character you are dressing up as, your best choice is to buy a wig. Below you will find options for Morticia and Wednesday, plus a 'Bad Hair Day' wig which would be best suited to Grandma!
(Don't forget to buy a wig cap too to wear underneath.)
Make-Up & Face Painting Demos
Gomez Hair, Bald Cap, Make Up & Face Paints
For a quick Gomez makeover you can't beat an easy wig-and-mustache kit, and obviously a bald cap is pretty essential for becoming Uncle Fester!
I've also listed a dramatic makeup set, a very pale foundation, and very handy black and white face paints:
Please Leave a Comment!
fresyuhardo on October 14, 2013:
I think this lens is a cool lens.
DebW07 on October 07, 2013:
I was Fester one Halloween when I was a teenager. It was so fun seeing everyone's reaction (they didn't know it was me until I told them). Fun lens!
Shay Marie from Southern California on October 07, 2013:
My family did a Addams Family group costume back when the movies came out. I was Wednesday, but I asked my mom if it was okay if my doll's head remained attached.