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How to Nail the Scariest Joker Costume of Halloween 2022

Send in the clowns.

Joker 2019 Joaquin Phoenix Youtube/Warner Bros. Pictures

Ok, gents. Halloween is fast approaching, and it’s time to get your costume in order. You could keep it simple, with a Jason Voorhees mask or Freddie Krueger sweater, but we think you should stay on trend and emulate the Joker. Why? Because director Todd Phillips has just confirmed the sequel to 2019’s blockbuster will drop in 2024.

Joker: Folie à Deux will see Joaquin Phoenix return as failed comedian Arthur Fleck (a.k.a. the Joker), alongside Lady Gaga as Harley Quinn. As with the first film, the namesake antihero will be dark and complex with an aesthetic to match. In other words, the character is perfectly suited to Halloween. The costume is equal parts eery, easy to achieve and very in vogue. Below, we’ll guide you through a step-by-step on how to become the most frightening Joker of the year.

1. The Suit

Joker 2019

Youtube/Warner Bros. Pictures

The first thing you may notice about the new Joker is that his signature purple suit is amiss. Instead, the maniacal DC villain sports a crimson two-piece with a gold waistcoat and sea-green buttondown. We’re not mad about it, either—there’s nothing like a bright red suit to make you stand out at a party.

StudioSuits Joker Suit

StudioSuits Joker Suit.  StudioSuits

If you want to stick as close as possible to the outfit donned by Joaquin Phoenix—which was custom made and then distressed to look lived-in—StudioSuits is offering an excellent replica that can be customized and tailored to your needs. The suit ($305) is made from premium red tweed fabric and can be coupled with a rust linen waistcoat ($150) and a green linen shirt ($75).

Ferragamo blazer, Eton shirt, Ralph Lauren waistcoat.

Ferragamo blazer, Eton shirt, Ralph Lauren waistcoat.  Ferragamo/Neiman Marcus/Ralph Lauren

Alternatively, for a more refined approach, treat yourself to a velvet Ferragamo blazer in pomegranate ($1,990). Opt for a subtle green dress shirt, like this wool one by Eton ($325). Then, finish with a beige suede waistcoat by Ralph Lauren for a bit of texture ($598).

2. The Shoes

Tom Ford's Kensington Brogue Leather Derby Shoes

Tom Ford’s Kensington Brogue Leather Derby Shoes.  Bergdorf Goodman/YouTube

Shoe-wise, the 2019 Joker sports some well-worn, two-tone oxford lace-ups. We suggest investing in these Tom Ford Kensington Brogue Leather Derby Shoes ($1,090). They’re not as dramatic as the Joker’s treads, but they’ll last you a lifetime.


3. The Face

Joker 2019 Joaquin Phoenix

There are two ways to “put on a happy face”—as the Joker says. First, you can test out your DIY makeup skills and attempt the look at home. The good thing about the Joker’s disheveled clown makeup is that it’s quite forgiving. You don’t have to make sure that you’re super neat or that you get your eyebrows exactly the same height. If it’s a little messy, roll with it.

We suggest picking up this color palette from Ben Nye ($78)—it has the blue, black, white and red hues that you’ll need—and this Clown White Makeup ($6) should you need a little extra white for your base coat. For those of you who don’t know, Ben Nye is a leader special effects makeup and comes (unofficially) Goth-certified—that ghostly white complexion will last all night, no matter how hard you dance. You’ll also need two makeup brushes, a small precision tip ($31) and large concealer brush ($39). When it’s time to start the application, you can watch this YouTube tutorial (below) or follow our written guide.

  1. First, paint your whole face white using the large concealer brush. Try to go a little lighter on the points which you will paint later in color (the triangles above and below your eyes, the eyebrows, nose and lips). Then, grab a cue tip and wipe away any excess white paint from these soon-to-be colored areas. This is so the color and white doesn’t blend and dilute—you’ll get a richer red and blue.
  2. Next, grab the small brush and add blue triangles to the top and bottom of your eyes. You’ll notice the Joker’s triangles aren’t exactly symmetrical and kind of resemble blurry teardrops, so have a little fun with your shapes. You can practice on a piece of paper first, till you’re ready to tackle your face.
  3. Rinse the small brush and move onto the red points. Start with the eyebrows, again these do not have to be mirror-image. In fact, it adds to your unsettling demeanor if they’re not.
  4. Finish by painting your red nose and that menacing grin. When it comes to the lips, we think bigger is better.

If this all sounds entirely too difficult, leave it to the professionals. Prive, for example, is an on-demand service that will do your Halloween makeup at home (prices range from $50 to $175 per hour). Of course, there are plenty of talented artists out there; do your research and best book quick.


4. The Hair

Joker 2019

Youtube/Warner Bros. Pictures

To achieve the Joker’s broccoli mop is pretty straight forward. Grab a tub of Good Dye Young’s Poser Paste Temporary Hair Makeup ($18) in Kowabunga Green and lather generously. Too lazy? Head to your trusty barber or salon and ask them to color your hair—temporarily, of course—green. Alternatively, you can pick up Joker wig on Amazon for around $35 a piece.

Finally, if you haven’t yet seen the 2019 masterpiece, get your mannerisms on point by watching the trailer below. Happy Halloween!

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