One of the best parts of having two boys close together in age, is dressing them up as popular duos! When Halloween rolled around this year, we had a great time throwing out ideas of partner costumes we could use. The legendary Laurel and Hardy duo was a definite “yes” as soon as one of us said it. With one little guy being tall and skinny right now, and the other shorter and stouter…it was perfect.
Emblematic for their bowler hats and slapstick comedy, Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy appeared in over one hundred films together from the late 1920’s to the mid-1940’s. From silent shorts, to feature films, to the stage, these two opposites had the audience in stitches. Goofy Laurel and Serious Hardy balanced each other out perfectly, always getting in and out of a fix – of course in the most obnoxious way possible. Sound like your kids? Ours too!
Putting together the Laurel and Hardy Kid’s Costume was easy, and the responses at Halloween parties or when they knocked on doors to trick or treat was priceless.
In fact, all the outfit pieces can be made or purchased for a few bucks at second-hand stores, or with remnants of wedding or Easter suits.
Step 1: Bowler Hats
These bowler hats are really what makes the outfit! Worn by everyone from Charlie Chaplin to Billy the Kid, these round felt caps became a signature of the “City Gents” of the business class from the early 20th century. These costume versions can be found at party stores, Halloween stores, and sometimes even Dollar stores. Because they were adult sizes, I put winter hats under them to stay on the kid’s heads.
Step 2: White Collared Shirts
Start with a classic look – long sleeved, white collar shirts and black dress pants. Laurel always has a bow tie and Hardy a tie. Easy enough, most already have these staples or can find them anywhere.
Step 3: Suspenders for Hardy and Vest for Laurel
Add the suspenders, to keep Hardy’s pants pulled up extra high above his waist. Throw a vest on Laurel, to compliment the snazzy bow tie look.
Step 4: Tie and Bow Tie
While Laurel always sports a bow tie (even when wearing suspenders), Hardy is a tie kind of guy. He either chooses a short black tie (not even reaching his ridiculously high pants), or a tie that can be ridiculously tucked into those pants. You can make your own bow tie for the costumes as well.
Here is our little Laurel! I think he’s got a future in performing, don’t you?
Little Hardy had us rolling, for sure! Don’t forget to draw on a mini “toothbrush” mustache above the lip with black eyeliner.
And go crazy with black and white photography!
One day your kids will be sure to say, “Well, here’s another nice mess you’ve gotten me into!”
Even if these two little impostors don’t yet remember seeing March of the Wooden Soldiers (Babes in Toyland), they sure gave a good laugh to all of us who have. What can I say? This looks like a classic “tit-for-tat!”