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How to Create a Lara Croft Tomb Raider Costume

You can buy a Lara Croft costume online, but you can also create your own outfit.

You can buy a Lara Croft costume online, but you can also create your own outfit.

Lara Croft is the gun-packing heroine from the video game and film franchise Tomb Raider. Lara is a busty, athletic Brit known for raiding tombs for buried treasures. She is highly intelligent and likes to have things her way.

If you would like to dress up as a sexy heroine with brains and personality, then Lara is your girl. Her look is very simple to pull off, so long as you have a few crucial items. Below are guides on how to get the hair, makeup, and clothes just right to complete your Tomb Raider costume.

Lara Croft Outfit

eBay and Amazon both offer Lara Croft costumes that you can purchase online. However, I will explain how you can create the look yourself without purchasing a preexisting costume.

Things You'll Need for the DIY Costume:

  • Combat Boots or Gothic Boots
  • Belt
  • Motorcycle Gloves (Optional)
  • 2 Black Tactical Leg Holsters
  • 2 Toy Guns (Optional)
  • Cargo Shorts (Brown or Hunter Green)
  • Tight-Fitted Tank Top (Blue, Hunter Green, or Brown)
  • Tube Socks

Shorts and Top

Put on the shorts and tank top first. You can either wear a cut off tank top that shows midriff or a full tank top. Do note that if you opt for a full tank top, you should tuck any excess shirt into your shorts.

Socks and Holsters

Pull the tube socks on and put the holsters on each leg. The holsters should come all the way up to your upper thigh. Make sure they're tight enough to not slip down when you walk around, but also not so tight that they cause the skin and thigh to bulge. The best way to make sure the holsters are on you properly is to walk up and down a flight of stairs. If they don't move around or if your leg doesn't feel numb, then you have them on correctly. If you don't feel like carrying the toy guns around, just keep them in the thigh holsters to complete the look.

Boots, Gloves, and Belt

Equip yourself with boots, gloves, and a belt. The belt can be worn looped through the shorts or else hung low across the hips. However, the latter option only works well for those with a broader hip structure. For the boots, make sure your socks are visible above the top of the boot, but only about an inch or two above the top.

Next, it's time for hair and makeup!

Hair and Makeup

The Lara Croft Braid

Lara is depicted in the movies and video games with long, dark brown hair that is usually styled into a single braid. If you already have long, dark hair, simply do your hair up in a French braid. If you don't have long hair, you could always opt for extensions (if you're willing to spend the money) or a wig. An alternative look that isn't a traditional Lara Croft hairstyle would be to style your hair into a pixie cut.

Go for Dark and Nude Makeup

For Tomb Raider makeup, Lara usually wears darker colors. She doesn't wear an abundant amount of makeup, nor does she wear bright colors. Go with dark browns and nude shades for your makeup.

  • Eyes: use a dark brown eye shadow with black eyeliner (preferably liquid eyeliner) on the top lid and a mocha brown for the bottom lid. She has smaller eyes, so if your eyes are large, use the eyeliner to make your eyes appear smaller.
  • Nose: Her nose is very slim, so use concealer and foundation to slim the ridge of your nose, if needed. The video tutorial in this article helps explain how to properly put on your concealer and foundation to complete the look.
  • Face: For your cheeks and lips, use nude colors. Remember, she's a tomboy, so bright pinks and reds are totally not her thing. You can get a nude lipstick, apply some of it to your index finger, and rub it into your cheekbones. This creates a shine to your face and also adds a little color. Use the same nude lipstick on your lips.
  • Eyebrows: Her eyebrows are very arched. To achieve this look, pluck your eyebrows into the shape you want them. Once you've plucked them, use an eyebrow brush to create an arch if your eyebrows do not have a natural arch to them. Then, apply a clear mascara onto the eyebrows to force them to hold the arch all day long. This is basically like applying hairspray to them.
You can find several key pieces for a Lara Croft costume at an army surplus store.

You can find several key pieces for a Lara Croft costume at an army surplus store.

Where to Purchase the Gear

As I mentioned earlier, Amazon and eBay both offer complete sets of Tomb Raider costumes if that is the route you choose to go. The complete sets can cost as low as $20 and go up into the hundreds. If you're more inclined to create your own Lara Croft cosplay, then you will have to know where to find some of the particular pieces.

If you're wanting a durable Lara Croft costume (like for cosplaying), but are not interested in sewing it yourself, you can find several of the key pieces you will need to complete Lara's look at an army surplus store.

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  • Leg holsters may be difficult to find, but if you contact a surplus store about your particular needs, they may be able to accommodate.
  • Tube socks and tank tops can be purchased at Walmart or any other department store with a large clothing selection. The tube socks can also be found at nearly any shoe store.
  • The belt can be as simple as a standard belt purchased at a department store, or as complex as a tactical belt purchased at a surplus store. The type of belt you use should be based on what you plan on doing with the costume. If you're just wanting a simple Lara Croft Halloween costume, then a standard belt should be fine. If you plan on doing a Tomb Raider cosplay, then a better belt may be in order.
  • Combat boots can be purchased at any supply store. You can also purchase gothic or gothic-like boots from higher-end stores, such as some boutiques and specialty shops.
  • Shorts can be found at nearly any department store during appropriate seasons.
  • Toy guns can be purchased from nearly any department store with a toy section.

Another option for your gear would be to check out local consignment shops. It is highly unlikely that you will find leg holsters at a consignment shop, but you might be able to find the shorts, tank top, socks, and other items for far cheaper than you would be able to purchase from a department store.

Shopping online for your attire is also an option. You can purchase individual items on sites like Amazon and eBay. Etsy is an online artisan site that might carry some of your needs.

In order to pull off Lara Croft's style, especially in a cosplay

In order to pull off Lara Croft's style, especially in a cosplay

Pulling Off the Lara Croft Look

A lot of what makes Lara so fun and unique is her personality. She is hard, smart, and doesn't take any crap. She is incredibly confident in herself and her abilities. In order to pull off Lara Croft's style, especially in a cosplay setting, you really need to radiate confidence. Lara isn't the type to worry about if her tummy is flat enough, because she knows that she works hard enough to keep it so. If you spend your entire cosplay time tugging at your clothes, you're not going to be able to pull off a Lara Croft cosplay very well.

A great idea to help build yourself up enough before cosplaying as Lara Croft is to watch the Tomb Raider films starring Angelina Jolie. Jolie plays a fantastic Lara and is an excellent example of the type of confidence you will need to cosplay like Tomb Raider.

As always, when cosplaying, just remember to have fun and enjoy yourself!

© 2012 Daniella Lopez


Julie on April 20, 2019:

Where can I find these awesome boots and how much?

EK on September 21, 2018:

What about the thing she wears on her back over her shoulders? What is that?

Linda Bilyeu from Orlando, FL on October 01, 2012:

A very Happy Halloween to anyone who wears this costume! Very clever and crafty!

James Kenny from Birmingham, England on February 27, 2012:

Cool hub, Daniella. I remember one of my friends at school fancied Lara Croft (yeah I know- very weird)That costume would sure cause a stir if you had any nerds at the party, if someone dressed as Princess Leia turned up as well, they'd probably all pass out haha.

princesswithapen on February 27, 2012:

I am not a gamer but I've seen Tomb Raider and this costume looks pretty cool. I'm sharing this.


Daniella Lopez (author) on January 25, 2012:

She's one of my favorite characters too, Rachel. :)

Rachel Richmond from California on January 24, 2012:

Hey Daniella! I love the character Lara Croft ~ Excellent Hub! *Almost want to watch the movies now...

Daniella Lopez (author) on January 07, 2012:

Haha! Well that's good at least. :P

Kelly Umphenour from St. Louis, MO on January 07, 2012:

Haha too late - she is 23 and living with one already! lol But I do like him so all is well!

Daniella Lopez (author) on January 07, 2012:

Thanks Kelly! Your daughter must be beautiful! Better watch out on all those little boys... LOL!

Kelly Umphenour from St. Louis, MO on January 07, 2012:

Haha Daniella - too funny! When you first see the video the way it is paused with the arrow frozin in the middle of the girls face on the page - my goodnes it gave me a shock! That looks so much like my daughter it is incredible:) lol But when I watched the rest - not so much! I think her cheekbones and eyes.

Very good one here and fast too! Whoa!

Daniella Lopez (author) on January 07, 2012:

This would be pretty fun for RP, Tammy. Thanks for reading!

Tammy from North Carolina on January 07, 2012:

Cute hub.. Would be fun for roleplaying too!

Daniella Lopez (author) on January 07, 2012:

@Ray: That's awesome! Tomb Raider is actually what got me into gaming. I thought Lara Croft looked badass so I just had to play the game. =P

@Kitty: I know it's a little early, but I was watching Tomb Raider and that's where the inspiration for this hub came from, lol. Thanks for the vote and reading!

Kitty Fields from Summerland on January 07, 2012:

Very early for Halloween costumes, but this is a very well-put together idea, Daniella! Voted up and awesome.

Raymond D Choiniere from USA on January 07, 2012:

It's a great hub Daniella. I have the playboy edition of the original model who was used for the origianl Tomb Raider game. Angelina Jolie played an excellent Lara Croft for the movie series. Voted up! :)

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