Need a classic fancy dress costume? Heading to an Elvis tribute concert? Simply adore the man and his music? There are many reasons that you may be in the market for accessories to dress up as the one and only Elvis Presley, and whether you want to DIY it or go all out, we’ve got the info you need below.
Let’s start with the clothes. You’ve got a few options here, and they’re all spectacular. Firstly, there’s the iconic ‘Vegas’ sparkly suit. Presley actually had a number of similar white jumpsuits featuring different patterns and embellishments. The main thing you’re looking for is something tight-fitting, with flared legs, a high collar, and as covered in rhinestones as possible.
Alternatively, opt for the shiny gold suit that the superstar wore on the cover of the album 50,000,000 Elvis Fans Can’t Be Wrong. The matching three-piece suit, worn with a dickie bow, may make a stunning statement, but apparently, it wasn’t one of the King’s favorite outfits, although he was partial to wearing the jacket now and again, paired with black slacks.
And if you want a more vintage Presley look that you can put together yourself, how about going old school with the classic Jailhouse Rock vibe? For this option, raid your local thrift or second-hand stores for black denim jeans, a jacket, and a black and white striped top.
How to DIY It
If you like the idea of the Vegas white jumpsuit but don’t want to splash out on a store-bought costume, you can DIY it with a white shirt and a pair of white pants. Cut slits up the outside of the pants from the ankle to make them flare out, and sew or secure with safety pins a section of white or metallic fabric into these sections.
Next, use a hot glue gun to attach rhinestones, sequins, studs – or a mix of all three! You can even make an embellished belt using a piece of long white material and by sticking those rhinestones.
The next part of your iconic Elvis Presley look is the glasses. Look for full rim aviator-style shades with as chunky gold-colored frames as possible to nail the Elvis eyewear aesthetic. Check online for novelty Elvis-inspired shades that also incorporate rhinestones and additional embellishments to take your costume to the next level.
The original sunglasses worn by Elvis – and the type he’s most associated with – is the Nautic 2 model from the German manufacturer Neostyle. If you fancy going all in with your Elvis look, you can still purchase this model of glasses – they’ll set you back around $200.
So, we’ve got the clothes and the shades in the bag; next is the wig. If you’re a dab hand with the Brylcreem and happen to sport a full head of jet-black hair, you can skip this accessory – otherwise, a quick online search will throw up plenty of results for Elvis-style wigs. Whether you’re going for an authentic-as-possible or an over-the-top fun look will determine the type of Elvis wig and sunglasses that’s best for your costume.
Elvis’s signature hairstyle was known during the fifties as a ‘pompadour’ – the star made is so widely known and fashionable that, before long, it was being referred to as the ‘Elvis Quiff’ or similar.
It’s all about the little details, and this is certainly the case when it comes to creating a great fancy dress costume. With this in mind, opt for light pink or white socks, consider adding a red scarf to your outfit, and push the boat out with a bejeweled microphone.
For the feet, opt for a classic pair of black or two-tone loafers or a pair of studded leather ankle boots. And don’t forget the gold (or faux gold!) rings and chains, embellished belt, and a chunky statement watch to finish off your Elvis look perfectly.
Elvis at the Movies
For a slightly different take on the theme, you could dress up as a character Elvis Presley played in a movie. We’ve already mentioned the Jailhouse Rock look, but there are plenty of others. Channel your inner cowboy by copying Presley’s outfit in Flaming Star, or don a flowery red shirt, shorts, and a lei in homage to Blue Hawaii.
GI Blues, SpeedWay!, and Double Trouble offer more Presley costume inspiration – the King made so many movies throughout his career that there’s no shortage of options to choose from.