I've written a lot of pages and articles on Hobbit themed costumes but this detailed how to dress like a Hobbit for Halloween guide is specifically about how you can look just like one of these rather cool, fantasy characters for Halloween, costume events or just because you want to.
Many of the ready to buy fancy dress outfits that you can get hold of are just designed for kids. However, using the ideas and the inspiration right here on this page, you can assemble and put together a really brilliant looking outfit yourself. In no time at all, you can be looking just like a real Shire member.
Enclosed are plenty of ideas on how you should style your hair, your make up, clothes and accessories such as jewelry. This Hobbit costume guide is all in an easy to read step by step format.
Note: This post may contain affiliate links for which I can be compensated.
Step 1: How to Dress Like a Hobbit for Halloween: Costume and Patterns
This guy nailed the look with long sleeved shirt, pant suspenders, hooded cloak, hairy feet and a pipe.
For this page, I'm concentrating solely on the male Hobbit costume and clothing. Let's face it, there are very few female halflings that Tolkien actually wrote about. Rosie Cotton is the most famous one because she ended up marrying Frodo's companion and friend, Samwise Gamgee, but even she didn't get many words written about her in Tolkien's books. That said, I have a female Hobbit page here.
Complete ready made outfits are much easier to find for kids. There are outfits based on the Frodo Baggins look from his adventures in The Lord of the Rings. These designs can give you a very good idea of the look that you're aiming for if you'd rather put your outfit together yourself.
UK Readers get a Hobbit Costume from Amazon.co.uk
In the movies directed by Peter Jackson we ended up with mostly muted and earthly browns and greens. Of course, this suited the whole much more serious vibe of that trilogy but you can really be a little more adventurous with the actual colors if you want.
The author, Tolkien, described these delightful creatures as loving bright colors. You'll notice if you watched the first Hobbit movie, An Unexpected Journey, that some of Bilbo's clothes were much more lighthearted and colorful. They were still in keeping with what had gone before but now with a slightly new and playful twist.
The Key Costume Item is a Hooded Cloak
One key piece is a hooded cloak. The fabric used to make the actual Fellowship cloaks for The Lord of the Rings movies was in gray. However, on-screen they sometimes looked green or even brown in coloring.
Since they were magical cloaks which acted as camouflage for the wearers, this makes sense that the coloring was not fixed. So any earthy brown, green or grey color works well as part of your fancy dress costume.
Team this cloak with a leaf clasp and a plastic sword also listed on this page and you'll have a brilliant fantasy look and styling in no time at all.
Adults can definitely have a harder time dressing up as a Hobbit character simply because it is pretty hard to buy complete sets for Bilbo or Frodo, never mind the other characters like Sam, Merry and Pippin.
I have seen ready made outfits available on eBay.co.uk and also on Etsy listed as cosplay pieces but they are expensive to get hold of. You'll save a lot of money piecing items together instead. Use the ideas on this page to put together a great Hobbit fancy dress for adults.
Typical Hobbit Fancy Dress Ideas and Style of Clothing
A very convincing younger Bilbo Baggins from An Unexpected Journey. Note the wavy hair, the pointed ears, wine red jacket and long pipe.
- Long sleeved shirt with the cuffs rolled up for the casual Hobbit style
- Men's pant suspenders
- A suit vest if you want a more formal Hobbit look
- A long sleeved suit jacket
- Cropped pants to show off your hairy feet
- A long, hooded cloak for Middle Earth adventures
1) Shirt and Optional Pant Suspenders
A typical style is to wear a long sleeved and light colored smart shirt. This is often worn with the cuffs rolled up just a little way up the arms for a slightly more casual look.
Often you see a pair of men's pant suspenders / trouser braces worn over the top of the shirt in order to hold the pants up. For a more formal look have the shirt sleeves worn full length with a smart buttoned waistcoat worn over the top.
2) A Sleeveless Buttoned Formal Suit Vest
Not everyone has a formal buttoned suit vest / waistcoat to hand in their closet. Hobbits enjoy wearing these in a variety of colors and not normally just dull colors such as black or grey. Expect to see them in deep wine reds, mustard yellows and woodland green shades.
They will be adorned down the front with some shiny metal buttons in brass or gold toned sheens. If you can't locate a suitable suit vest even in your local thrift store, you could remove the sleeves from an old wool jumper and then sew on a row of shiny buttons down the front to look just the part.
3) A Long Sleeved Jacket With Gold Colored Buttons
An easy option for cosplay is just to do the shirt and suit vest or, alternatively, the shirt and pant suspenders style because it's one that is most often associated with these creatures. But, if it's a colder day, you might want to go for adding the sleeved suit jacket on top.
Bilbo Baggins in the An Unexpected Journey movie wears a jacket in a deep wine red color. A wine red or natural forest green shade would be a suitable choice.
The jacket is in a style of a formal men's suit jacket or blazer and is made from heavy and weighty material like wool or velvet, and not thin cotton.
4) Cropped Pants
Cropped pants or trousers are very easy to make yourself. Just take some thrift store pants and cut them off just inches below the knees. You can either sew or glue back the ends to neaten the edges off or cut them ragged for an I've just been fighting fantasy monsters look.
Bilbo Baggins himself wears a pair of mustard brown color cropped pants in the Unexpected Journey movie.
5) A Hooded Cloak Ideal for Your Adventures
You can make or buy a long hooded cloak. Look for a hooded Elven cloak because this is the style that you need. Woodland green is a great color choice but not always easy to get. You can normally get gray or brown options which are fine for your cloak or cape.
A natural earthy color is a really suitable choice. If you make your own cloak then you can choose the exact color and fabric. You might also want to also add in the very recognizable leaf clasp too.
Sewing Patterns for Your Hobbit Costume
UK Readers get this Pattern from Amazon.co.uk
Image Credit: photo hosted by Amazon and linked to using Special Links in accordance with the Associates Operating Agreement.
If you can sew or have someone to sew for you, Simplicity do a great looking sewing pattern for a dress and a hooded travel cloak, very like what Frodo wore in the Lord of the Rings. The pattern is no 1771 and if it is sold out on Amazon then I have also found it on Etsy, so that's where you can also look.
Do take notice that they got it very wrong with the photos on the front of the Simplicity sewing pattern: Hobbits do not ever wear shoes. Don't make that mistake because it looks really wrong. Bare feet or shoes that give the appearance of bare feet are the way to go.
I found an excellent blog post on constructing a wonderful Hobbit lady DIY costume that has some wonderful photos to show you.
Simplicity 1771 Misses' and Men's Costume (Shown Above)
This Simplicity pattern, pictured above, looks perfect if you're wanting an outfit to wear for Halloween, a Tolkien themed event or fantasy con. It comes with a pattern for a cape, dress and apron. You could use the cape for a male or female outfit which makes it a very versatile pattern.
McCall's Patterns M4139 Lined and Unlined Cape Costumes
The hooded cloak pattern shown on the bottom right of this sewing pattern image from McCall's is the type of design that you are after with your Hobbit cloak or cape. It's a simple style of cloak with a hood and no fancy additions to it. You can use this pattern to make Elven cloaks as well because they are the same style.
Make Your Own Hooded Cloak
It is possible to make a hooded cloak without having any pattern. I know because I had to do this for a fancy dress event at school. It is possible to make a reasonable looking cloak this way but it won't look as good as what you could make with a proper sewing pattern. The choice of which way to tackle this may depend on time as well as what you need it for.
Step 2: How to Get the Look of Hobbit Hair
Image Credit: photo from Zazzle affiliate program and linked to accordingly.
What Halfling hair looks like and hairstyle advice. This postcard featuring The Lord of the Rings Hobbits, Merry and Pippin, illustrates perfectly the style of the typical Shire halfling hair. Tolkien himself described these fantasy creatures as having hair short, curling and that was often brown.
All the main Hobbit characters in the movies have a similar hairstyle which features wavy bangs stopping just above the eyebrow section. Hair at the sides creeps down to the top of the jawline and gradually gets longer towards the back where it sits at the bottom of the neck at its longest point.
The look that was gone for in The Lord of the Rings was much more of a wavy curl. Hobbit hair looks naturally wavy and even a little unkempt at times, there is nothing unnatural about it.
Hair is styled to grow in front of the ears with just the slightly pointy ear tips poking through behind. You can see the ears with side views of the characters. For males, the hairstyle that you're looking to achieve is very similar to a Jim Morrison wavy styling which is quite hard to achieve if you don't have wavy hair already.
If your hair is long enough, you could use a curling iron to get those waves in. Female members of the species, like Rosie Cotton, have the same style of hair, the only major difference is that it is grown long. But it is also a wavy curl hair. I found a photo tutorial on curling your hair here which is a 1980s Hair Tutorial.
Bilbo's hair is a medium brown with tones of the dried spice called ginger running through it. His hair is far more wavy than it is curly and looks a little unkempt. The length of his hair comes down to his jawline at the back. At the front he has bangs which stop above his eyebrows. And the hair at the side of Bilbo's face waves down in a wispy manner in front of his ears so they stick out and are a prominent feature.
Curly Style Wigs for Your Costume
These cosplayers got some wavy wigs in the Hobbit style that we've come to expect.
If your own hair cannot be styled in a typical Hobbit fashion, then you need a wig to pull off the look for your cosplay costume or event. Getting hold of a suitable male wig is quite tricky without going down the Afro route which really doesn't look right.
A good start is by looking at a 70's style shag wig with a jawline length to it. Another option is to look for a Mike Brady Bunch wig as these are also not a bad match. Don't forget that you can sometimes style wigs further to get closer to the exact look that you want.
For Bilbo Baggins, you need a medium brown almost a muted dried ginger color. Note that Bilbo's hair has more of a gentle wave than curls. Getting hold of a suitable hair wig for women is so much easier. You're looking for a wavy styling with some bangs at the front.
Preferably, the bangs will be wavy too but, if not, you can always attempt to style it yourself. Amazon have lots of wigs and you can also try ebay. Look for one which has quite a lot of curls all the way through the hair and the bangs section as well.
Step 3: Pointy Hobbit Ears Make a More Authentic Costume
There are arguments online as to whether Hobbit ears are meant to be pointy. Yes, actually they are. Tolkien himself stated in a description of Hobbits in 1938 that their ears were slightly pointed and Elvish. This was in a letter penned from Tolkien to his publisher.
Realistic looking ears are one of the harder parts of an authentic cosplay costume or fancy dress. There are ears that you can buy and apply using either spirit gum or liquid latex.
If you are technically minded, you might want to cast your own prosthetic ears. Alternatively, make your own low-cost DIY ears from simple craft materials. Whatever your chosen route, there are some great tips here for you.
Different Ways to Make Your Own Hobbit Ears
Prosthetic Costume Ears:
Carolyn has a great article with photos on her quest to make good prosthetic Hobbit ears like the ones worn by the character Frodo Baggins.
Make Pointy Ears from Foam:
For low budget ears, you can make some using craft foam. Here's a tutorial to make Elf ears from foam and you can use the same technique to make the less pointy Hobbit variety.
YouTube Video on Sticky Tape Ears:
If you're on a super-tight budget, here's a great trick for making your ears look pointy using sticky tape and make-up. This is great for last minute ears. See the YouTube video on sticky tape ears.
How to Apply Latex Elf Ears for Your Costume
Here's a great instructional video on applying costume ear tips. It shows off an excellent video tutorial for how you can apply latex ears so they look really natural. You may have to paint these ears or cover them in skin foundation to match them to your own skin tone.
Elf costume ear tips like these look a close enough match for Hobbit style ears. If you have a known latex allergy, you will not be able to use these ear tips. But these are readily available to buy as well as being affordable. This particular style of ears look very similar to halfling ears.
Step 4: Costume Feet and Hobbit Feet Slippers
Tolkien described Hobbit feet as being hairy from the ankle down and covered with brown, hairy fur. Personally I prefer how they've done it in The Lord of the Rings movies where the curly hair just covers around the flat front of the foot.
Nowhere does Tolkien actually say that their feet are large in proportion to their body size. So you don't need to worry about having bigger than normal feet. There is no distinction made for female feet, so we can assume that they are equally as hairy!
Purchasing good Hobbit feet or slippers can be problematic. There are official feet for kids which go in and out of stock like crazy. Adults can have a very hard time finding suitable feet to purchase. There are plenty of novelty and fun ones but these may not be right depending on the look you're going after.
ThinkGeek have some Furry Adventure Slippers which look remarkably similar to hairy halfling feet. These soft adult one-size slippers are fun but you probably wouldn't wear them for cosplay unless you wanted to look funny because they frankly look silly and not at all realistic.
There are lots of options for making your own feet. The idea I like best for cosplay is to essentially glue hair to your feet because it looks the most realistic. It's also a very cost effective option too. You can see with photos how one person has achieved some excellent feet using a pair of tights, hair and liquid latex. Read all about the making of Furry Feet.
If you don't have your own hair trimmings that you can use to make your own hairy or furry feet, you can purchase packets of curly doll hair, it is what people use to make dolls with. There are lots of silly and funny versions of hairy, halfling style feet that you can get hold of.
However, the reality remains that if you want to look quite realistic in your costume, you are best getting some curly doll making hair which is a close match to your own hair and gluing it to your feet with a good quality spirit gum or liquid latex.
Refer to My Page on Hobbit Feet for More Detailed Information
Step 5: Swords and Other Hobbit Fancy Dress Accessories
Luckily Bilbo and Frodo Baggins both shared the exact same sword. Bilbo acquired the sword called Sting during his own adventures and then he passed it on to Frodo Baggins. So you can dress up as either of these characters and use the exact same prop costume accessory.
Lots and lots of information about Bilbo's own sword called Sting is featured on my Hobbit Sword FAQs page with detailed info on where to buy one and lots of facts. If your budget will stretch to a full size prop replica, then you're very lucky. The prop versions are sold over on Amazon and also on eBay.
3 Methods of Making a Hobbit Sword from Easy to Hard Techniques:
1) Make a Cardboard Sword
Cardboard versions sound pretty rubbish don't they? However, it's been shown that with the right know-how you can make cardboard accessories that look really good. Here's one of the best cardboard sword cosplay videos I've come across: YouTube Make a Cosplay Cardboard Sword
2) Make a Basic Wooden Sword
A wooden version will last a long time and you can use it again and again for dragon cons or loan it out to your friends. Here's a great photo tutorial on making one: Making a Wooden Sword
3) Make a Real Metal Blade
For the advanced DIYers, here's a basic introduction to making a sword with a metal blade. It might make a costume accessory that ends up quite heavy for LARP or cosplay but a real one would look really good. Find this at AnvilFire.com
Hobbit Swords That You Can Buy and Use
There is a plastic version of the Hobbit sword called Sting. You can see in An Unexpected Journey that Bilbo finds it and it is also used in The Lord of the Rings by Frodo Baggins. I have this item and it is great fun.
It does look like plastic but it's still very well made. The really fun part are the battle sounds that it makes when you swish it through the air and also the fact that it lights up in blue, just as we see in the movies.
If my budget stretched that far, I'd love the replica version of Sting. It has a stainless steel blade with a metal guard and pommel. This one is NOT a toy and not for children since it is sharp despite being just a replica.
The United Cutlery Bilbo Sword is almost the same as the Frodo Sword from The Lord of the Rings movies but the main difference is that there is no Elven rune inscription on Bilbo's one, Bilbo apparently had the rune inscribed after his adventure. So, for that reason, I'd prefer Frodo's with the rune on.
The One Ring of Power: Gollum Found it, Bilbo Stole it and Frodo was Given it
If you're dressing up as either Bilbo or Frodo Baggins, a One Ring is a needed accessory. Both of these Hobbits had possession of the ring. Bilbo liked to keep his in his pocket and Frodo wore it around his neck on a chain.
Fellowship of the Ring Hobbits Wore Leaf Clasps with their Cloaks
All Hobbits who were members of the Fellowship of the Ring (in The Lord of the Rings) were given special Elven cloaks by the Lady Galadriel of Lothlorien. These magical cloaks helped to hide the Fellowship members from unfriendly foes. Each cloak was held together with a special leaf shaped clasp or brooch around the neckline.
If you're dressing up as any of the following characters, a leaf clasp is really a must for your cloak: Frodo Baggins, Meriadoc Brandybuck (Merry,) Peregrin Took (Pippin) and Samwise Gamgee. I love the look of this cloak brooch or necklace, this piece has the right look and is something that you might wear for lots of fantasy cosplay adventures. Have fun dressing up for your event.