How to Make a Milhouse Costume
I Had a Dream
A Milhouse costume is really easy to throw together, and you don't need to be a crafter or DIYer to make it super accurate either. In this guide, I'm offering some tips and products to make your Milhouse costume or cosplay milperfect.
Why Milhouse? I'm a big Simpsons fan, but I had a dream of becoming Milhouse Van Houten for Halloween a few years back. Milhouse and I have the same (huge) nose and, at the time, we had the same hair cut. It was one of the most appropriate costumes I have ever thought of for myself, and there's nothing better than dressing up like a character that you actually look like. Unfortunately, since my epiphany, my hair has grown out. My nose... remains. I made this guide in equal parts for myself as I did for anyone else that wants to dress up as Milhouse for Halloween of Comic Con. Someday Milhouse, someday.
Milhouse Word Association
What's the first thing that comes to your mind when you read the word "Milhouse"?
Milhouse Van Houten, like Marge Simpson, sports a full head of luscious royal blue hair. Milhouse opts for the traditional boyish side part. It's a look that's easily achieved with some gel or hairspray, and a devil-may-care attitude.
As I see it, you have 4 options. I've ranked them from most to least milperfect:
- Manic Panic (or similar hair dye): If you're fully committed to Milhouse cosplay, Manic Panic is the way to go. I've used this hair dye in the past and the colors are VIBRANT. It shows up best in bleached hair, and while it does fade and get everywhere (hello dyed bathtub, towels), you aren't going to get a more true color anywhere else. Be forewarned, you need to be FULLY COMMITTED if you want to go this route - the color will stay with you. I'm not convinced this stuff ever washes out completely.
- : Make sure you get proper cobalt blue (rather than navy). Spray-on color
- : You can always cut and style it to make it more accurate. They don't actually sell Milhouse wigs that I can see (shocking, no?). This wig was the closest I could find to Milhouse's royal blue helmet. With a little trimming, styling, and some hairspray, I think it would look accurate. Be sure to trim the bottom too, you don't want any Florence Henderson-ness going on here. A bright blue wig
- Your normal hair (styled appropriately): Not ideal, but if you don't want to mess with your hair (and it's already short and dark), you might be able to get away with it. If you already have the right haircut, colored hair spray is an easy route to Milhouse glory. To use it, spray and comb your hair into the proper shape (I'd use a comb you don't care about). The color washes out with shampoo.
Milhouse is a dapper young gentleman. He dresses sensibly, but with his own unique flair. Plus his mom says he's the handsomest guy in school.
- Shirt: When searching for a shirt, lookout for the following color names: orchid, violet, light purple, pale purple, or lavender. A very light pink could also work. Hanes, Fruit of the Loom, Gildan, and American Apparel make good plain colored shirts.
- Shorts: I suppose they're man capris, actually. I recommend dickies. If you're making the costume for a child or someone with a smaller frame, women's scrubs cut to look like Milhouse's (highwater) pants will probably be your best bet.
I am convinced that Milhouse wears Dickies. Dickies do fit rather large, so they will probably be long on an average sized person. Dickies also come in a huge range of waist sizes (from 26" to 60") so they will fit most adult men and women.
The shirt should be rather loose fitting, so stay away from typical lady t-shirts (unless, of course you're dressing as a Milwoman or something). American Apparel makes some nice basic t-shirts in smaller sizes. They also make kids sized shirts.
PS: The color shown here is called Orchid. It's also Pantone's color of the year (2014). Milhouse is a slave to fashion.
Milhouse's shoes are red, presumably canvas, and slightly tapered at the end. Milshoes are basically ninja shoes. It explains why he is so nimble and graceful.
- Shoes: Toms are my top pick, but if you want to go cheaper, any canvas style red shoe would work. Here are some other brands/styles to consider: Vans slip-ons or classic lace-ups, Keds, or Converse Chuck Taylors.
Milhouse is so ahead of the fashion curve that he wore Toms 20 years before they were invented. (I know, I know, Toms are just Espadrilles, right?)
Toms are true to size, can be worn without socks, and unisex. I have 4 pairs.
The glasses are possibly the most iconic part about Milhouse. The glasses themselves have a classic 20s style round lens that's really popular right now. They're also red, but I think you could get away with black in a pinch.
Now take off those glasses so they can see your beautiful eyes.
- Glasses: You can find them at costume stores or online for super cheap.
- Eyebrows: Milhouse's brick shaped blue eyebrows are very important. You can paint them on with some royal blue face paint or got to a craft store and get some felt or fuzzy blue fabric and stick-em to your face with spirit gum.
These are the most perfect Milhouse glasses I've ever seen. They've got a nice wide bridge, smallish lenses, and cartoonish look to 'em. They're also black, which I don't think is a deal breaker.
You can go full Milhouse with red spray paint. Cover the lenses front and back with some painters tape before you start, or just pop those suckers out.
To Paint or Not to Paint
You absolutely do not need to paint or cover your skin and give it that "Simpsons glow" to have a great costume. At the same time no one is going to fault you if you do decide to do something about that awful naturally toned skin of yours either.
- Tip: If you are looking for a more natural route and aren't worried about being yellow for a few days, consider putting Tumeric (yes as in Tumeric the spice) on your skin as a paste, let it dry, then rinse it off. It will give your skin a yellowish hue without the paint. Be forewarned, it will take some effort to get the color off completely.
You can paint your limbs yellow, but if it was me, I'd probably opt for a body suit or something similar. This particular one has a detachable head piece, which is good because you aren't going to want to cover up your beautiful Milface.
Our Good Friend Milhouse
© 2014 Shay Marie