Having grown up in the 80’s, I was thrilled to share my love of Back to the Future with my kids. They love the movies even more than I do now, so much so that they asked to go out as Marty and Doc Brown for Halloween this year.
The fact that this year, 2015, was the year that they had travelled to in the second movie, made it all the more special. My eldest, Michael age 12, asked if I could make him the Doc costume circa 1955 when he and Marty first meet in the past and Doc is sporting that ridiculously weird mind reading helmet. I love a good costume construction challenge and got to work on it right away.
First, let’s talk about Marty’s costume. My son Trevor is 10, and since the local thrift stores don’t carry a huge inventory in his size, I took to trolling on Ebay for the different pieces of his costume. I started early. Over the course of about a month, I was able to find him a denim jacket, a plaid shirt, a pair of 80s style foam headphones, a big black digital watch, a pair of suspenders, some plain white sneakers and the iconic orange puffy vest.
To this we added a red tee, a pair of jeans and some scraps of fabric which we already owned. The only construction needed for this costume was adding the yellow cuffs to his denim jacket, which I sewed on using a few strips of fabric, and I hot glued the red felt Nike swooshes to his sneakers.
As for Doc, I was able to purchase a pair of black pants and a pink dress shirt at the local thrift store. I bought the black shoes at Walmart. I made his smoking jacket using a pattern I found for a ladies blazer with a shawl collar. I just lengthened the body of it to give it the long flowing look of Doc’s from the movie.
I purchased the fabric for the body of it on Ebay and bought the velvet trim fabric from my local Joann’s store. I got the white necktie and the “Mad Scientist” wig on Ebay. Doc wears two wristwatches which we borrowed from my husband. A piece of gauze with some red Sharpie “blood” and some first aid tape completed the pre-helmet portion of Doc’s costume.
I wanted to make the helmet as lightweight as possible so that my 12 year old could wear it comfortably and not strain his neck. I started with a black bike helmet that was collecting dust in our garage. The materials needed for the rest of the structure consisted of the following: 1/2″ PVC pipe and pipe insulation, silver metallic card stock, red duck tape, hot glue and gorilla glue, silver metallic duck tape, paint stirrers, 16 gauge red wire, 16 gauge black crafters wire, floral wire, black duck tape, a large suction cup and 11 yellow 4″ glow sticks.
The costumes were a huge hit everywhere they went, most especially among my age group, the 40-60 year olds who were teens and young adults when the movies were first released. There were also a lot of younger folks who were familiar due to the recent press accounts of the 30th anniversary of the movie.
Two very fun costumes to construct, and very fun costumes to wear. What more could you ask?