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Pirate costumes for Halloween

Pirate costumes for Halloween

Pirates have been sailing our seas since around 1200 BC. The adventures and exploits of pirates of old fascinate us because of the codes of honour among thieves - bad as pirates could be, there were always stories of friendship, bravery, and even possibilities for romance. And, of course, treasure.

The Golden Age of Piracy took place in the 1700s CE, most notably around the Caribbean region where ships carrying goods from Europe and Africa were docking. Around this time, Britain laid off a great proportion of its naval seamen following the signing of peace treaties that made their employment redundant. Many of them had training in military tactics and sabotage, and these men turned their skills to profiteering.

Clothing for wannabe pirates

The basics of a pirate costume you will need...
  • White oversized linen shirt, add ruffles to the cuffs if you wish
  • Loose drawstring trousers in brown or beige
  • Long-length tunic waistcoat
    Or a corset worn over the linen shirt
    Or a well-worn leather jacket
    Or find a worn military-style or other long-length coat in a vintage store or opportunity shop (add some gold trim if you like)
  • Wide leather belt to belt over your tunic, waistcoat, or shirt

Pirate gear for the guys

Make your own pirate boots
Ladies rustic pirate costuME

If you don't have a suitable pair of long boots, select a pair of your own shoes that could pass as the "feet" of a pair of boots, and make your own boot extensions.

Measure around the widest part of your calf and measure the desired length from ankle to knee or thigh. Note the amount of fake leather you will need, and try to match the colour of your shoes.

Cut your "boot-legs" out of the fake leather, making sure that you have enough extra along the back to glue the leg into a tube-shape, while still being able to fit your foot and leg into the tube.

Slip on your gaiters before you put on your shoes and tuck your trousers into your boot-legs, or just wear a long-length tunic and show a bit of thigh!

Notorious historical pirates of the Caribbean
  • Blackbeard
  • Black Bart
  • Calico Jack
  • Anne Bonney
  • Mary Read

Pirate gear for the ladies
Rustic lady pirate


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