The Joker is an infamous character, he is loved by many and with his latest movie ‘Joker’ in 2019 he gained even more popularity from fans. Joaquin Phoenix portrayed an incredible rendition of our villain and although he was very popular before this movie tipped his popularity over the edge. Now you will see The Joker being cosplayed at many different Cosplay events as well as at Halloween parties and other types of events where you might dress-up. Men and women love to get on their suits and cosplay one of the slickest characters to ever come out of the DC comics and now he even has his own movie. I just wanted to quickly mention is love interest Harley Quinn of whom I have a whole article about too so you can go as a duo or cosplay both of your favorite characters whenever you feel like it, that’s what I do!
Why I Love Playing The Joker
The Joker is an incredible character to not just cosplay but to learn about. He has many complexities and if you dive deep enough he is also really fascinating to look into. The thing I love most about cosplaying the Joker is that he doesn’t change all of that much. He always has the same sort of makeup, the same green and purple suit, the same narcissistic psychopath with incredibly dark roots. You can really play with how you portray him, do you go full out like Jared Leto did in the suicide squad and use fake blood around your teeth and look generally unapproachable or do you take the ‘Arthur Fleck’ Joker look portrayed by Joaquin Phoneix? The disheveled clown who looks tired and on the verge of a breakdown? Or do you take The Joker portrayed by Heath Ledger or what about the Joker from his many cameos in the Batman movies and comics? It’s up to you how you play him and I love his character for that.
The Many Outfits Of The Joker
The Joker has had many appearances over the years, starting all the way back in 1940 when he first appeared in the Batman comic book. I won’t mention the comics and every single television series and movie he has been in as this list will get really long but I wanted to share with you his most popular on-screen iconic looks starting from his very first appearance in 1966. His looks really don’t change much the only difference is slight modifications to his character as in the 1950’s they decided to make him more humourous before returning him back to the way we see him as a sadistic bad guy in the 1970’s. Remember these are his most iconic looks:
The Adventures Of Batman 1968: This was the first time we saw the animated version of the Joker and from this point onwards we see him wearing his classic purple and grey suit and he even uses a cane in this series.
The Dark Knight 2008: The Dark Knight brought new and old fans together as we saw Heath Ledger take on this iconic role. We see him dressed in his iconic suit and we get the suitable nurses outfit he wears that has since become an iconic Joker outfit.
Gotham 2014: Controversial but his look is important, this series never actually calls the joker ‘the Joker’ but his look is creepy and his smile one of the most hauntingly disgusting and realistic ones to date.
Suicide Squad 2016: People were torn on Jared Leto’s rendition after the phenomenal portrayal by Heath Ledger but we are talking about his look here and many loved it. It had a new Emo vibe to it with metal teeth, tattoos, bloodstains, muscles, and just a whole new vibe whilst still keeping some of the iconic pieces of the Joker.
Joker 2019: I personally loved this movie and I know a lot of Joker films felt it was a great comeback by Joaquin Phoneix. Many didn’t like Jared Leto’s rendition and felt that Joaquin brought the Joker back from Heath ledger and turned things all around. In this film, we see all of the Joker’s iconic costumes plus a few extra accessories that make him really unique.
I am interested to know which is your favorite Joker portrayal? Is it in the earlier films? comics? Or are you a Jared Leto fan? Let me know in the comments down below!
The Best Joker/ Joaquin Phoenix Costumes & Cosplay Outfits
The joker is one of a kind type of character, we have never seen anything remotely like him and people love his wacky, warped and interesting personality. I wanted to show you my favorite Joker costumes, all of them range from the different renditions of him to some of the best moments in the movies we love. Below I also have some tips on how you can be an even more convincing Joker once you have the costume. I hope you enjoy!
Grand Heritage Joker Costume (Favorite)
This costume is definitely one of my favorites on my list. It has everything you’re going to need and it really captures something special as it the costume we see in the Batman movies and comics. It’s a classic and a real masterpiece, it’s got so many little details and looks like a really well put together suit until you realize you have just stepped into the Joker’s shoes. It’s also a great price for everything that you get and it gives you the creative freedom to really experiment with your clown makeup (check this out for clown makeup inspo) and it allows you to channel any of your favorite Joker looks. Whether you’re cosplaying, heading to a Halloween party, this costume is amazing quality and sets you out above the rest.
Inspired by the Batman comics this Joker costume is a classic, some may even call this look ‘vintage’. Although his look hasn’t changed all that much since the beginning, this suit is noticeably different, it’s more tailored, abetter fit and the pinstripes and long tailcoat give this costume an air of sophistication, giving it an old-fashioned vibe amongst modern suits. There’s even an attached flower on the large lapel of the jacket, as you will know, the joker is of course always a gentleman, at least to begin with. This costume comes with so many pieces for you to put together, making it look more expensive and like a real suit.
Many people fell in love with the Joaquin Phoenix version of the Joker. The way he danced through the scenes, his expressions, his character, and his clear breakdown was captivating and he won many a new fan when that movie came out. The way he portrays Involuntary Emotional Expression Disorder (IEED), which when he uncontrollably laughs at the most inconvenient of times is mesmerizing, and he really lets us into the emotional and mental dealings of this famous clown. This suit is just like the one Arthur Fleck wears during the movie, it’s a great replica and it will allow you to channel not just the Joker but also Arthur Fleck and his emotionally turbulent character.
The Classic Joker (Budget-Friedly)
If Heath Ledger was your Joker, this suit has everything you need to cosplay your favorite rendition of the infamous character. It even comes with a realistic, complete with the signature green hair so that you don’t need to worry about doing your makeup or buying face paint. It’s a purse-friendly version for sure as you get everything you’re going to need, excluding shoes and you’re set to go. It’s high-quality, it looks great and it immediately lets people know who you are, there is certainly no guessing with this costume.
One of the most iconic scenes in the Dark Knight movie, this twisted nurse costume is worn by the Joker and might I say he looks pretty fine in it too! This costume is for those who don’t want to wear the full suit and want something a little bit different. For people who want to stand out a little and of course cosplay one of the best scenes in the movie. This costume also allows you to add on a green wig and even platform shoes so you can really express yourself, all you’re missing is a clipboard and of course the creepy red smile.
Incredibly realistic, incredibly well-made, and a suit you could wear during your everyday life this cosplay costume is amazing and requires you to do absolutely nothing to make it even better all you need is the green wig. The thing I love the most about this suit is the long-lined jacket, instead of the long coattails, it’s long all round just like the jacket worn in the Dark Knight. The shirt, tie, and pants are also astonishingly similar to the original, which as lot of you cosplaying veterans will know are very much appreciated in our community.
Jared Leto put a twist on the Joker that we had never seen before, he took away the smart suits and replaced them with tattoos, chains, and lots of bare chests. Many people loved him in this movie and wish there had been even more scenes with him so that we could have seen his character flourish even more so. This costume, however, is typical Suicide Squad Joker and if this is your favorite performance this is a great costume. With basketball shorts, leg coverings with the batman lego etched all over them, the long purple leather coat, and gold chains we see him adorning throughout the movie, this costume is the perfect presentation of the Suicide Squad version and I approve massively.
Whilst entirely possibly to wear the other costumes some women prefer to wear the costumes that are specific to females as sometimes they can be a slightly better fit. This one is for those women who want to interpret the Joker in their own way. Inspired by the Batman movie and the need to run amok in Gotham city, this pinstriped classicly purple suit, bright yellow vest, green shirt and gloved hands are the epitome of the Joker and you can now bring a little bit of feminine action into the mix whilst still maintaining the classic look of our villain.
Not all kids want to be Batman, some want to be the villain and for kids who know taste when they see it, this mini Joker costume is ideal. It comes with a mask so you don’t have to worry about painting their face, pants and the vest/jacket combo so that they can channel their favorite character and look amazing and realistic whilst doing so. It’s a great price so you don’t need to worry about spending a fortune on something, you get everything they’re going to need, and most importantly of all, it allows them to feel like part of the fun for a while and play their favorite anti-hero spectacularly.
Batman Lego Joker Costume (kids)
Some people don’t even know that the Joker appeared in the LEGO Batman movie, he played a crucial role, and fans young and old loved seeing his appearance in this movie. He was voiced by Zach Galifianakis who did a tremendous job and who actually converted a lot of younger fans into fans of the character we have all know and loved for years. That’s why this costume is so perfect for any fan of LEGO or the Joker. It’s amazing quality, it comes with everything you need and it will stand out amongst any other costume. The detailing is tremendous, it looks just like a LEGO character has come to life which is exactly what the designers f this costume were going for.
The Joker typically has green hair in the majority of his comic book, Tv series and movie appearances and when we think of cosplaying this character most of us will always remember that fact. To complete a Joker look I really suggest getting yourself this high-quality green wig, it’s smooth, realistic looking and it is also a replica of the wig in the latest 2019 Joker movie where we see Arthur Fleck finally get his big shot. Seeing him with the green hair sends a shiver up your spine as we see the Joker we have all seen for years on our screens, we know his true character and Arthur Fleck is a severely misunderstood individual.
Some people don’t want to do their clown makeup, I love doing my own but I still wear masks from time to time so I can also totally understand why some people choose to wear them to every cosplay event, sometimes makeup it doesn’t even look as good as a mask and some people just don’t have the confidence to do it there is always the option to wear a mask and this mask is ideal. It has green hair which is, of course, a classic and the actual mask is painted white, it has the red-green and the black eyes. It fits snuggly over my head and it looks great with any of the Joker costumes, it brings them to life.
In the Batman movies, the Joker occasionally dons a cane, and this one is an amazing replica. It has a creepy clown face on the handle, the tip is pointed to make an eloquent yet audible ‘clacking’ noise as it is pressed against the floor with each step and the orange stick stands out amongst the greens, yellows, and purples worn by our anti-hero. It’s a great accessory, one not everyone thinks of so it will make you stand out and let people know your Joker movies.
Any suit shoe will do but if you really want to complete your look getting some brown suit shoes ties everything together. They are really expensive and as they are a great price once they arrive you could easily have some funny and get them a little bit dirty by using paint splatter, using a sponge dipped into some facepaint and splodge it all over the shoe to create dirt and debris and even wear them in a little to make them lorn worn and slightly disheveled much like the man himself.
We see the Joker smoking a lot throughout the movies, most noticeably in the 2019 movie. At the very end we see a close-up of his hands which are stained yellow from nicotine, after years of puffing on cigarettes. These fake ones are a great way to complete your character without the nasty habit, they look realistic and with each puff they even create fake smoke to create the effect of a real cigarettes.
How To Make A Joker Costume (DIY)
It can be tricky to DIY a suit as it’s his most classic costume but if you shop around Goodwill and other cheap stores you should be able to pick out at least a few of his items and then be able to make up for it with your makeup. I found this video where a guy does just that and makes his own twisted nurse costume from the Dark Knight, it isn’t a perfectly done DIY but it gives you an idea on what can be done with just a little imagination:
If you are really stuck just wear plain clothes, all black should work fine and focus on the makeup, people won’t mind and it will still be obvious who you are cosplaying. Sometimes it can be really hard to find specific things from places like Goodwill so focus on key elements like the hair, the colors, or the makeup.
The Jokers Favoite Colors: We typically see him in four main colors, green, purple, yellow and black. If you can use a sewing machine or shop around cheap stores you should be able to pick up some of these colored items and make your own outfit out of them, even if they are simple.
I also found this video on how you can make some fake grills inspired by Suicide Squad, grills can get expensive and these are what differentiate this Joker from the others, it’s a really simple guide to follow and itwill give you an instant grill:
The Highest Quality Joker Suit (Mix & Match)
Some people don’t like to buy the all-in-one costumes, I personally love them because it saves me a lot of time but I can totally understand people who don’t. Some people don’t want certain things such as in this case maybe somebody already has their own pants or shirt, so I have created a little mix and match for those of you who want to pick the things they need rather than buying the whole costume.
Suit: This is really high-quality, it looks fantastic and it can be used in the real world as it is costume level and is good enough to be worn on set. It looks smart, it’s the right color and it’s a DC dream.
Suit Vest: A lush green color, the perfect for our villain, this vest sits perfectly over any shirt of your choosing, buttons up in the middle and looks as authentic and as convincing as the real thing.
Suit Pants: Pinstriped just like the ones that were worn in the Dark Knight, these classic pants pair up with the Joker perfectly, they look smart and casual yet we all know the type of person who wears pants like that and his name because with J.
Shirt: I have never seen a shirt with this pattern on in real-life before, it has a sort of circle pattern design, hinting at the type of things normal clowns would wear. This shirt is slim-fit, it looks great and fits in with the pieces of above perfectly.
How To Do Joker Makeup
If you aren’t going to wear a mask make sure you get some special FX makeup. This kit comes with everything you’re going to need to re-create the Joker and it comes with other colors too so that you can experiment with other characters and let your imagination run wild. You can re-create tattoos from the famous suicide squad version or just stick to the white face, black-rimmed eyes, and red smile. I would also get some white face paint as you’re going to need quite a lot of it, just remember to rub at your face, don’t be delicate and don’t make it perfect.
Makeup is a very important step in transforming yourself into this man. He has a look we all know, It’s not a complicated look to re-create by any means but it can be really useful to follow some sort of tutorial to give you the idea of how it’s done and how you can re-create his look with little to no experimentation.
Suicide Squad Look:
This look can get a little tricky in places, especially if you aren’t used to makeup but it’s really interesting to follow and gives you a great insight on how you can personally transform yourself into the Jared Leto version of this personality.
If Arthur Fleck trying to get his big break is one of your favorites this tutorial is fairly simple to follow and shows you exactly where each line should be. In the movie, one triangle under his eye is bigger than the other, so it’s important to remember a couple of small details like that.
I think this is the hardest tutorial out of them all but even with basic tools it can be created, you don’t need the cap or the special tools just to remember where the lines go and a rough guide on how you can get the pasty, washed-out, yet scary look.
Harley And The Joker For Kids
Although most of the same rules apply when doing kids makeup for these roles, sometimes it can be fun for other kids to see how other kids did their own makeup. You can make it as simple or as complicated as you want, there are no rules and it can be a lot of fun for them to express themselves.
Character Traits & Quotes From Joker/ Joaquin Phoenix (Transform Yourself)
Don’t just wear the costume, learn how your Joker performs, how he acts and walks, learn little ticks and traits and you will see your costume transform before your very eyes. Below I am going to show you some of the things I do to get into character and remind myself of the person I am cosplaying.
Traits That We See From The Joker:
- He holds gaze for too long, he seems to have no social awareness and has no idea how to hold a normal conversation with someone without seriously creeping them out. He also likes to stare.
- He has a laughing disorder, in my opinion, most perfectly portrayed by Joaquin Phoenix. This disorder is real and it’s called ‘Involuntary Emotional Expression Disorder (IEED)’. He laughs when things make him nervous, anxious, angry, and scared. His laugh is loud, odd and at times, obnoxious.
- We see the Joker walking expressively, his arms flaying about, his leg strides long. I suggest watching some videos on this to really get a hang of it.
- Joaquin Phoenix shows us some pretty incredible dance moves around his city, up and down some steps. See if you can narrow down these moves for when you are posing for the camera.
- “I believe, whatever doesn’t kill you, simply makes you…stranger.” (The Dark Knight)
- “Why so serious?” (The Dark Knight)
- “Let’s put a smile on that face!” (The Dark Knight)
- “Smile, because it confuses people. Smile, because it’s easier than explaining what is killing you inside.” (The Dark Knight)
- “Forgive My Laughter. I Have A Condition” (Joker Joaquin Phoenix)
- “The worst part of having a mental illness is people expect you to behave as if you don’t.” (Joker Joaquin Phoenix)
- “Can You Introduce Me As Joker?” (Joker Joaquin Phoenix)
- “Is It Just Me Or Is It Getting Crazier Out There?” (Joker Joaquin Phoenix)
Which is your favorite Joker quote? Do you have any you want to add below?