I love making costumes based on popular characters. Follow my tips to make your own!
Who Is Harley Quinn?
Harley Quinn is a DC Comic villainess. She is an accomplice and love interest for Batman's archenemy, the Joker. These two lovebirds met in Arkham Asylum. The Joker was a patient, and Harley was his doctor. Yes, Harley Quinn's real name is Dr. Harleen Frances Quinzel, and she is a psychiatrist.
While trying to treat the Joker, Dr. Quinzel fell in love with him and even helped him to escape the asylum; in fact, she helped him escape a few times. Eventually, Harley quit her day job as a doctor and became the Joker's sidekick. Wonder if she ever came to regret that career choice?
Background, Friends, and Powers
This slightly crazy shrink was born in Brooklyn, NY. She is an ally of Poison Ivy. Poison helped Harley become immune to the effects of poisons with a potion. This drink also gave her strength, speed, and increased agility, as well as some healing factor (I love comics!).
Harley's character has evolved over the years. She was once a submissive and abused woman, just a sidekick to the big, bad Joker. However, in recent years, she has come into her own as a villain in her own right rather than a supporting character in the story. She also wears a kickass costume, which means so much if you are a comic book character!
So, if you are feeling a bit crazy and wild this Halloween, a Harley Quinn costume sounds perfect for you!
"I found The Joker's psyche disturbing, his dementia alarming - and his charm irrisistible! What can I tell ya? The guy just did it for me."
— Harley Quinn
Different Harley Quinn Costumes to Choose From
There are a few different Harley Quinn costume ideas for you to think about.
Nutty Nurse Costume
Harley Quinn was a doctor, so one option is a medical-looking costume that looks like a nutty nurse's outfit. It is usually made with a short white skirt, a white top, and a red corset or vest. Add some diamond shapes in black to it, and wear your hair in ponytails tied with black and red ribbons. Add the white face makeup and the black eye mask that every Harley costume needs, and you're good to go.
Two-Toned Black and Red Costume
The second costume idea for Harley Quinn is a half-black, half-red pair of leggings or pants, plus a similarly two-toned top. Again, this will need some black diamond shapes attached to the red side of the pants and the same makeup look.
Simpler Black and Red Costume
The third costume I've come up with for Harley is similar to the second costume idea, but it allows you to use solid black or red leggings or pants. You will also need diamond shapes cut out and glued onto your pants. If you choose red pants, make your diamond shapes black (and vice versa).
Wear a black or red top with a black or red vest. If you choose a short-sleeved shirt for your costume, you can add black or red arm gauntlets. These can be made with felt, paper, socks—just about any material will do. You can add double-sided velcro to a piece of cloth to open and close them. One should be black, and one should be red. Add the ponytails tied with red and black ribbons and the usual makeup, and you're set.
How to Make the Two-Toned Black and Red Harley Quinn Costume
To make this costume, you will need some sewing skills, or you can ask a friend who can sew to help you. The supplies you will need are:
- A Red Shirt
- A Black Shirt
- Red Leggings
- Black Leggings
- A Black Corset
- Sewing Needle
- Black or Red Thread
- 1 Black Glove
- 1 Red Glove
- Black Boots
- Red and Black Hair Ribbons
- Black Half Mask or White and Black Face Makeup
Sewing the Shirt and Pants
You will need two T-shirts, one in black and one in red. Each will need to be cut in half, and then sew a red side and a black side together.
The same goes for your leggings. Cut the pants in half and then sew a red and black side together. Get some red felt, cut out some diamond shapes and glue them onto the legs of your pants.
You can hand-stitch the clothing together, or you can use a sewing machine. A machine will make a stronger seam. You can find lots of tutorials online if you need step-by-step instructions, but the basic idea will be the same.
What If I Can't Sew?
If you don't want to sew, consider wearing the white t-shirt with red sleeves you will find in a paragraph further on down this page. You can also find some Harley Quinn boot covers to wear over a black or red pair of leggings so you don't have to cut and sew.
Finishing Touches: Hair and Makeup
You can tie your hair in side ponytails and tie red and black ribbons around them. You can wear a half black mask, or you can apply a mask using black facepaint or theatre makeup.
Example of a Two-Toned Cosplay Costume
A red and black striped corset, leggings with one black leg and one red leg, some great patent leather boots, and a pair of wristbands are what this cosplayer made her Harley Quinn costume from. These might not be so easy to find but you can see from the picture, they were definitely worth the search. Her hair was done at a salon, but you can do something similar with red and black hair rinses or dyes.
This is a great looking costume! Add the white makeup with the black makeup mask, and you will be transformed into Harley Quinn.
"I'd just to like to say, if there were no Batman, there'd be no Joker and I never woulda met my Puddin'! Thank you, Batman!"
— Harley Quinn
How to Make the Nutty Nurse (White Skirt) Harley Quinn Costume
To recreate this costume look, you will need:
- A White Skirt
- A Corset or A White T-Shirt With Red Sleeves
- Arm Sleeves (only needed with the corset)
- Black Thigh High Stockings
- Black Boots
- Red And Black Hair Ribbons
To put together the look pictured above, use a white skirt, a white blouse or shirt and a short red corset. Wear it with a black belt, black thigh highs, and some black boots.
As an alternate idea for the shirt, I saw a cute Harley Quinn costume look that was made using a white t-shirt with red sleeves. It's not the exact same as the Harley Quinn looks we usually see, but it worked nicely.
Add some ponytails, red and black ribbons, and the classic Harley Quinn white face black mask makeup look to finish off the costume.
"Face it, Harl, this stinks: You're a certified nutso wanted by the law in two dozen states—and hopelessly in love with a murderous, psychopathic clown."
— Harley Quinn
Gallery: Harley Quinn Cosplay From Comic-Con
Shoe Ideas for Your Costume
You can wear all kinds of boots or shoes with the Harley Quinn costume. Pick your favorite style, or let your choice be decided by what's already in your closet.
- Big Black Shiny Boots
- Doc Martin Style Boots
- Spectator Shoes or Boots (Two Tone Black And White)
- Black Ankle Boots
- Harley Quinn Boot Covers
Friends and Enemies Costume Ideas for Groups
Red & Black Leggings Outfit
White Skirt Red Corset Costume
Harlequin Costume Design
Fun Facts About Harley
- Did you know that Harley was a gymnast as well as one of the top students in her medical school?
- She calls The Joker "Puddin" or sometimes "Mr. J".
- Film maker Kevin Smith is well known for his movies: Clerks, Mallrats, Chasing Amy, Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back. He is also a huge comic book fan, so much so that he actually named his daughter for one of his favorite comic characters. That's right, he named her Harley Quinn Smith!
Videos for Learning More About Harley
You can find some great videos below. One tells you the history of Harley Quinn for those of you interested in learning more about this character's story. There is also a clip from Suicide Squad starring the great looking Jared Leto and Margot Robbie as The Joker and Harley Quinn. Have fun!
Costume Ideas From the Suicide Squad Movie
Have you seen The Suicide Squad? It's a movie about "the worst heroes ever!" This crew of villains was gathered by the government to go on missions after the death of Superman. Each of these very bad guys (or gals) has a bomb in their head as a means to control them.
Suicide Squad Characters
These villains are:
- Deadshot (Will Smith)
- Joker (Jared Leto)
- Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie)
- Captain Boomerang (Jai Courtney)
- El Diablo (Jay Hernandez)
- Killer Croc (Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje)
- The Enchantress (Cara Delevingne)
And don't forget about Amanda Waller, who is the leader of the Squad in this movie. Amanda is played by Viola Davis.
This is one killer collection of costume ideas for Halloween this year, so if you are looking at a Harley Quinn costume, these could be ideas for your friends.
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