Halloween is not just about scaring people. Everyone’s favorite sugar-filled holiday is also about paying tribute to characters you’ve loved your whole life. Whether it be the Power Rangers, Dracula, or Freddy Krueger, there are an endless number of ways to dress up as your favorite people and creatures.
Debuting in 1998 and written and directed by the inimitable Coen Brothers, The Big Lebowski is an absurd, sardonic, adventurous and comedic detective story of the highest caliber. Helping the film achieve its cult-like status were surely its endlessly quotable lines of dialogue and a cornucopia array of unforgettably whacky characters.
Should you decide to plan on an homage to The Big Lebowski during this year’s upcoming Halloween celebration, you’re in luck because most of the items involved in the making of this costume can be purchased cheaply online or from secondhand stores. I’m going to show you what to look for as you’re scanning over musky thrift store shelves.
Personally, my favorite character from the film will forever be Jeffery Lebowski himself. While Walter Sobchak could almost be tied for that title, he’s a very very close second. Anyway, I always felt a kinship with Jeffery Lebowski, from here on out referred to as “The Dude,” and his slacker mentality. He’s a man who feels perfectly at home in the year 1991. He’s an easygoing, pot smoking pacifist who enjoys bowling with his friends and sipping on White Russians. I’ve decided to dedicate this article to preserving his memory and helping you become The Dude for a day.
Basically, there are two versions of The Dude that you could potentially turn into a great Halloween costume and I will describe the accessories associated with each of them.
Seen at the beginning of the film, Bathrobe Dude a great first impression when it comes to visual storytelling. He sports sunglasses, a beige bathrobe, green plaid shorts, a white v-neck t-shirt and a pair of brown leather old man sandals.
Sunglasses for Halloween
There is definitely wiggle room on all of these, but the above were the first Amazon search results that looked almost exactly like the movie versions. They’re a good jumping off point for your thrift store shopping list. You could definitely find a cheaper t-shirt, sunglasses, and bathrobe if you see something that looks similar on your travels. You just have to keep your eyes open.
Zubaz Dude, on the other hand, is The Dude we see when he’s out and about chasing down the perpetrators who urinated on his rug, getting more and more confused along the way. He’s a dressier slacker who instead sports a gray hoodie, Zubaz pants, and a pair of dirty tennis shoes.
As with the first set of accessories, the products listed are just good places to start. I couldn’t find the exact shoes because they are currently out of production and people on eBay are asking exorbitant prices. The ones I provided are a really good lookalike. Just make sure to dirty them up a bit. The Zubaz pants are pretty close the pants he’s wearing and people would definitely know what you’re going for. The hoodie is, of course, just a generic gray athletic sweatshirt. You’d just need to tear the neck line out a little to make it look worn in. Who knows? You might catch a break and find some of these items leftover from the 90s at some dingy, hole in the wall clothing store and get them for a steal.
As for the hair and beard, you could always grow them yourself. Most men are sporting at least a goatee these days and you could get away with simply wearing a wig. For the sake of those who are both bald and clean shaven, I dug up two pretty good pieces that you could use to complete the hair and facial hair portions of the costume.
The only other things I might add are a bowling ball, a fake joint, a White Russian in a highball glass, or a small carton of milk. Any of these used alone or in combination would be the perfect icing on this cake of a great costume.
“Yeah, well, y’know that’s just like, uh, your opinion, man.”