Squid Game guard uniform: How to make the 'No. 1' Halloween costume of the year
Here's how to make and where to buy the costumes of the moment.
CNET editor Gael Fashingbauer Cooper, a journalist and pop-culture junkie, is co-author of "Whatever Happened to Pudding Pops? The Lost Toys, Tastes and Trends of the '70s and '80s," as well as "The Totally Sweet '90s." She's been a journalist since 1989, working at Mpls.St.Paul Magazine, Twin Cities Sidewalk, the Minneapolis Star Tribune, and NBC News Digital. She's Gen X in birthdate, word and deed. If Marathon candy bars ever come back, she'll be first in line.
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Co-author of two Gen X pop-culture encyclopedia for Penguin Books. Won "Headline Writer of the Year" award for 2017, 2014 and 2013 from the American Copy Editors Society. Won first place in headline writing from the 2013 Society for Features Journalism.
Violent Netflix hitSquid Game is disturbing, but there's no denying the nine-episode show is beautifully shot. There's the unnerving Red Light, Green Light robot girl; the pastel-candy-colored stairways in the building where the doomed contestants live; and, of course, the striking costumes. There's red for most of the guards, green for the contestants, and an impressive Darth Vader-like dark metal look for the mysterious Front Man.
Yes, the series is more of a trick than a treat for the characters, but it's likely you'll see their distinctive outfits at Halloween parties and events come late October.
"The Squid Game staff uniform is going to be the #1 Halloween costume this year in Korea," one viewer tweeted.
If you want to dress up as a Squid Game character, the good news is the costumes aren't complicated. You can certainly assemble your own, and if you don't have the time to do that, online stores are already selling completed versions.
Squid Game contestant costumes
The contestants essentially wear white T-shirts under green track suits with white trim. They're recognizable as Squid Game characters and not just joggers thanks to a three-digit white number (between 001 and 456) on their backs and on the left side of the front of the jackets, as well as on their shirts.
It's not tough to make that costume yourself. Google "green track suit" and you're off to the Red Light, Green Light races. Don't forget the numbers -- you can grab some fabric and make number patches that will last, or for a one-night party, just cut the numbers out of paper and then glue, tape or pin them in the right spots.
Pick your number carefully. Seong Gi-hun, the closest thing the show has to a hero, is No. 456. Crafty Cho Sang-woo, the pride of his hometown, is No. 218. Elderly Oh Il-nam is No. 001, scrappy North Korean defector Kang Sae-byeok is No. 067, and brutal gangster Jang Deok-su is No. 101 -- for him, you'll want to get your artist friend to draw a snake tattoo on your face.
And if you're going to a frat party and want the easy laugh, maybe you'll choose No. 069, the desperate and unnamed husband who's playing the deadly game with his wife -- the dirty joke hidden in his number gets at least one rich patron to bet on him to win.
If you like props, a sack of marbles, used in one of the games, might be a fun addition. And don't forget to load up on fake blood and smear it in various spots, as none of the contestants make it through unscathed.
You can buy the costume if you don't have time to put it together from various sources. The major costume manufacturers aren't going to have time to put them together for sale, but cosplay and artist sites are already offering them.
SPCosplay is selling the track suit on Amazon for $48 (£35, AU$66). XOCostume has it for $66 (£48, AU$91). Warning: There are many other sellers, but whomever you choose, you're going to want to check on delivery dates -- Halloween is coming up, and some sites ship from Asia, which lengthens delivery time. Also verify whether the suit is sold in Asian clothing sizes, which are smaller than US sizes.
Squid Game guard costumes
Honestly, the red-clad guards have cooler costumes than the competitors in track suits. They wear red hooded jumpsuits that zip up the front, with black belts. No numbers for them, but they do wear freakish black face masks with either a triangle, circle or square on the front. And they carry threateningly large weapons.
This costume's a little trickier to make on your own, but it's still very doable. Search on red jumpsuit (though a tracksuit would do in a pinch, as long as it has a hood). The best way to make the face mask is probably to acquire a fencing mask, but also, some costume stores sell something they call a ghoul's mask or an invisible man mask, black cloth that's meant to completely hide your face. You can apply your own triangle or other shape easily enough with white tape.
The Front Man is the boss of the guards, though it turns out he too has bosses of his own. His costume is probably the coolest and the most difficult to make on your own. He wears an unusual black mask with sharp angles, and a long black coat and gloves. The coat and gloves are simple enough to buy (ideally, the coat would have a hood), but assembling your own mask is tougher.
If you want to DIY the Front Man mask, there are patterns for 3D printers that look pretty good. You can also buy the mask completed. Here's one on Etsy for $43 (£31, AU$59), and surely more artists will be making them soon.
Red Light, Green Light Squid Game costume
One of the more novel looks in the game is that of the giant robot schoolgirl who runs the Red Light, Green Light game, the very first game in the show. There didn't seem to be any completed outfits for sale online, but this is easy to assemble yourself. Just get a yellow shirt, top it with an orange jumper, and fix your hair in short ponytails or braids (or wear a wig). Then creepily say, "Red Light! Green Light!" and keep turning around quickly to stare at people. That's pretty much it.
All nine episodes of Squid Game are now available on Netflix.
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