Easy Orange Is The New Black Halloween Costume Ideas

By | August 3, 2015

Netflix OITNB

I love Orange Is The New Black from Netflix. It’s a great show, combining wit with pathos. There’s a hat full of strong female characters, a rarity in both TV and film.

Whilst dressing as a convict may not be all that alternative if you’re actually living in a prison, it’s great fun at Halloween. There’s also lots of Orange Is The New Black Halloween costume choices that look great no matter what your body shape or skin shade.

If you do happen to be a man you can choose your favourite guard, go ahead and grow yourself a pornstache, or pick one up with your guards outfit (below) For an easy costume be a boyfriend on the outside, bonus points for being Christopher.

If you can’t leave the house on Halloween without wearing a padded bra, then feel free to choose one of the female costumes.

Piper Chapman Halloween Costume

The lead character in Orange Is The New Black is Piper Chapman, a nice middle class girl with a drug smuggling conviction. You can get the look really easily with a set of scrubs.

You can buy a Piper Chapman costume from one of the Halloween costume companies, but they can be poor quality and tend to come in just one size – designed to fit no-one. For a better quality outfit opt instead for real scrubs in orange.Women's Scrub Set Medical Scrub Top and Pant (Mandarin Orange, Medium) SIZES RUN LARGE!

These scrubs are designed for use at work, so you won’t get all sweaty and uncomfortable with that “costume” material. They also wash well so you can use them again, either for other costume parties, or just as gardening clothes.

This brand does run large on sizing so consider getting a size smaller than normal.

Add a white t-shirt underneath for extra authenticity and comfort.

Do you love #OITNB?

  • 80% Yes, it’s brilliant
  • 0% No, not for me
  • 20% I haven’t watched it … yet

OITNB Inmate CostumeDickies Scrubs Women's Classic V-neck Top, Khaki, X-Small

For the more relaxed, everyday, experienced convict look, you’ll want beige scrubs. You’re in the main, general prison population now, no longer the new kid on the block. Most of the time the characters in Orange Is The New Black are wearing beige scrubs, but let’s face it, Beige Is The New Black doesn’t have quite the same ring to it when you’re pitching a book or TV show.

Choose scrubs that will fit comfortably with a t-shirt underneath. Think white Fruit of the Loom short T for Alex, or long sleeved grey marl for “Crazy Eyes”.

Whilst elasticated waist pants may be more authentic prison garb, you’ll likely find draw string more comfortable. Both are available to go with the Dickies scrub set, in sizes from 2XS to 5XL.

OITNB Halloween Make Up
OITNB Halloween Make Up

Source: Netflix

A Note On Make Up

Most characters in the show go make-up-less, or at least Hollywood/TV make-up-less, so aim for a natural look. Depending on which character you choose you may want to add a flash of vamp-red lipstick or a serious set of eyebrows.

There’s not much call for eye shadow in the show, remember, you’re supposed to be in jail – even if you had a great collection of make-up sent in or bought from the commissary, someone would probably steal it from you. That’s the problem with prison – the whole place is full of criminals.

You are not actually in prison at the moment, and so I advise using real make up, not Sharpie pens for your eyeliner, on health grounds.


There’s plenty of scope for accessorizing, based on your prefered character or story arc. Take along a screwdriver in your pocket (but maybe not an electric toothbrush).

Make yourself some flipflops out of maxi-pads or duct tape.

Take along a beige plastic cup for your drinks – you can’t be trusted with glass, obviously.

OITNB Halloween Red
OITNB Halloween Red

Source: Netflix

Go Red!

Red is a brilliant character for an Orange Is The New Black Halloween costume. She’s instantly recognizable and you can be as obnoxious as you like all evening whilst claiming you’re just staying in character.

You’ll need a white chef’s coat, but if you happen to have a doctor’s one knocking about in your dressing up box from a previous costume, that will work just fine (everybody has a dressing up box, right?).

If you have basic embroidery skills, get some red thread and sew “RED” with a cross stitch underlining onto the pocket of your top. If not, then deploy a red Sharpie. A red wig will work, but they all seem to be a bit “out there”. If you have sort hair try a red temporary hair spray color.

You’ll want a wig, unless your hair really looks like that.

Original Orange Is The New Black Halloween Costume

Make life easy on yourself. Go as the Legendary Litchfield Prison Chicken. Go one step further for Halloween and get a chicken outfit. There’s a great on on theBreaking Bad Costumes page.

There’s plenty of ways to use it again later, including as a Breaking Bad costume. You could get a job handing out flyers for chicken places too.

OITNB Costumes For Men

The easiest costume choice for men is to wear this prison guard shirt with a regular pair of pants. Feel free to add a walkie talkie if you like and some handcuffs if you need an excuse to buy some.

Add a mustache, or don’t, depending on which guard you want to be.

You can of course choose one of the other outfits and buy yourself a padded bra to go with it.

Get Inspired

A quick look at the Season One and Season Two OITNB trailers will give you a good grasp of your chosen characters look. Choose your accessories to match. You’ll need to watch the series again on Netflix to get your accent and mannerisms down.

OITNB Season 1 Trailer

OITNB Season 2 Trailer

A Note On Blacking Up

Don’t do it. It’s not big, it’s not clever and it’s not cool. Don’t be that guy/gal.

One thought on “Easy Orange Is The New Black Halloween Costume Ideas

  1. Nam Huynh

    You can get a plastic badge for any character on eBay. The badge looks basically identical to the one in the show:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *