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--to improvise a costume-

note: some people have used leather to make their costumes, but most use vinyl as described below.

- black or dark gray pants

- black boots, preferably without laces, that you can tuck your pants into (jack boot or 'shit kicker' style). if you do not have those and cannot get those, get or make a tall pair of black vinyl legging or spats to go over a pair of black shoes. folding stock vinyl is cheap and easy to get from craft/fabric stores. designing and cutting and sewing them is easy. prefab leggings/spats are available at costume stores.

- gauntlets consist of long black gloves, or regular gloves but missing the finger tips, like sports gloves. the wrist brace section of the gauntlets is ususally a flared black vinyl tube. to make them get a black rectangle piece of vinyl that fits all the way around your wrist / forearm, and add about 2 inches extra width. you will need to taper your pieces a little, and flare them slightly at the ends with scissors. once cut, they will need to be sewn. once sewn, the edges of the tube ends must folded under and sewn, and then an extra straight strip of vinyl need to be sewn onto each edge to make it more pronounced. paint the edges silver or gold with acrylic paint.

- get a thick black leather or vinyl belt (cheap at k-mart or tjmax, etc), and a flat rectangular or trapezoid buckle.

- get a couple of pouches to go onto the belt, of whatever material, but black or dark gray in color.

- sashes can be made out of many different kinds of material. essentially, it's a thick or double layer strip of sivler colored material that sits on your right shoulder. it can be made of anything you like, then color it with silver acrylic paint. you can get acrylic paint cheap at wall mart. if it is made of cloth, let the paint dry, then put the sash in the dryer for 10 min to make the paint heat-set.

- get a paste-on mustache from a costume shop, like eddie's trip shop, cut it in half. taper each half more or less to a point with scissors. use the double sided costume tape to paste the pieces onto your face mongolian style.

- headpieces - steve m. ( ) makes them. talk with him about making one for you, or any other person / company that you know that makes them.

- for torso armor, get a black, cotton blend (not pure cotton), long sleeve, button down collar shirt, preferably one size larger than your proper size.
cut the upper collar part off, leaving the collar looking like a 'priest style' collar.
get at least 1 square yard of gray vinyl from fabric store. then get a yard stick, a black marker, and good pair of scissors. put the yard stick on the vinyl and draw full length lines on the vinyl with the marker from one side to the other, until you have a sq yard of vinyl with many yard length lines on it, then cut the vinyl on the lines you drew.
you should end up with many yard length strips of vinyl.
these strips you will need to have sewn vertically onto the torso part of the shirt, front and back and on the bottom (shirt tails) edge. i strongly recommed that the strips be double-stitched for re-inforcement!
do NOT remove or cover the buttons on the shirt! the idea being that this way you will still be able to button up the shirt normally. a strip of the gray vinyl should be partially sewn on top of the button hole side like a flap covering the button holes from view, but still accessible to get the buttons into.
then get 6-inch pieces of flat metal from places like loews or home depot and dome shaped appolstry nails. the flat pieces are actually for wood panel reinforcement, and have drilled holes in them. tack those pieces with the appolstry nails onto the bottom edges of your shirt.
once you have pushed the appolstry nails thru the shirt, use needle nose pliers to bend the pointed ends down into the back of the shirt.

the shoulder guard is a little more complicated. get a double-thick piece of black cloth that is as wide as your shoulders and is a full square shape. cut the corners on it, so it makes an odd octagonal shape.
cut a hole in the very center of it that is wide enough for your head to fit thru. once it's cut, you will need more of the gray strips to sew onto the shoulder guard, only this time horizontally, and also on the egdes. once put together, use silver acrylic paint to color the edge all the way around. when you finished that part, either sew or use velcro strips on the shoulder guard to the top of the shirt.
- the neck piece is an odd shape, but the last piece on top of your uniform. it comes down to a point in front, and is basically a piece of black vinyl or thick cloth, cut in a square, turned to face as a diamond, then with a big hole cut out of the middle. then vinyl rims are sewn to the inside and outside. paint the outer edge silver.

below is what the ideal imperial male body armor should look like:

that is pretty much it, as if that is not enough!

NEW - a good example of a female klingon outfit, found by Theresa. Qapla' T.

to see good costuming sites, go [HERE] and [HERE]

let us know if you have any questions