My buddy and I wanted to go big for a Halloween contest at work. Rather than go individually, we thought it would be best to double team the contest. After we decided that it would be super awesome to be Forrest Gump and Lt. Dan, we needed a plan to execute the design of the costumes. The hardest thing to acquire for this costume is the wheelchair. Once you have that the only other issue is making Lt. Dan look like he has no legs.
I am not very flexible so sitting on my knees was not an option. It took some thinking but I figured out a pretty awesome solution. I duct taped a wooden rail across the frame of the chair (between the wheels, right under the seat). This allowed me to rest my shins under the chair. I then found a way to staple a black cloth to my pants. This gave the illusion of Lt. Dan having no legs. One trick that might help for the Lt. Dan costume is to wear thick socks and shin guards because your shins do end up getting pretty sore resting on the wood rail if you don’t have some sort of padding.
For the pants, I cut the back side off from the knee down. I then tied the front of the pants in a knot and cupped the front of my knee caps. This makes it look like you really don’t have any legs. Other than that, all you need is a white sleeveless undershirt, bandana, button down collared shirt (preferably Hawaiian), dog tags, cigar, bagged bottled beverage, long hair (wig if you don’t have long hair) and some facial scruff. That will give you your perfect Lt. Dan. Forrest Gump is a little easier to put together. The essential pieces are button down collar shirt, some khakis with belt, a pair of classic Nike running shoes and a red classic Bubba Gump Shrimp hat (can be found online).
The trick to pulling off this fun costume is staying in character. Lt. Dan, make sure you talk mean to Forrest, keep that cigar in your mouth and take a swig of your bottled beverage every so often. Forrest, make sure to be nice and talk with that Gump accent, wave to people with a loose wrist and when standing still, place both hands on the back of your hips. Watch the movie so you can really get into character. We ended up winning the costume contest at work. We even went out to a couple parties and were given special treatment because some of the security guards and workers thought that I actually had no legs. They took us to a special elevator to get us up stairs, put us in the VIP section and even cleared out a bathroom stall for us. This was the most fun I’ve had with a costume. The reactions you get from people are priceless.