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On the Lam – Bonnie and Clyde Costumes

As two icons of the Great Depression, Bonnie and Clyde represent the ultimate criminal couple. Their high profile bank heists catapulted the two lovers to infamous outlaw status. Stories were written, headlines captured, and eventually even films were made about the two bank robbers known as ‘Romeo and Juliet in a getaway car.’ Their dark, criminal nature makes them a great Halloween choice, while their romance makes Bonnie and Clyde costumes a good fit for couples.

Keep reading for the history behind the bank robbers, ideas on how to put together the perfect gangster costumes, and how to play the parts of a dirty criminal couple this Halloween.

The Story Behind the Legend

Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow were infamous outlaws, robbers who traveled throughout the United States during the Great Depression of the 1930s. Their legendary status is owed partly to the presence of Bonnie, a woman. She made the Barrow Gang, as they and their friends were known, unique and, to the American public, almost heroic. According to writer Joseph Geringer, “Americans thrilled to their Robin Hood adventures.”

Just four years after they first met and two years into their long crime spree, the criminal couple were killed in May 1934, outside their Louisiana hideout. It was Bonnie’s wish that the couple be buried side by side, but the Parker family wouldn’t allow it, though both are now buried in Dallas, Texas.

The bank robber duo were two of the world’s first celebrity criminals, their romance seen as a fly-away tryst of heroic, criminal behavior. During a period of economic hardship, the couple was seen as striking back against the establishment and an uncaring government. Today, their legend has endured – in film, print, television, song, and even comics.

How To Put Together a Great Bonnie & Clyde Costume

The overall look of a fierce bank robber costume should be that of a fast-talking American gangster from the era of the Great Depression. Try renting the popular 1967 screen adaptation of the famous couple’s story, starring Warren Beaty and Faye Dunaway as the crime-spree couple. You’re sure to get lots of ideas for style and slang.

For Bonnie, you can use a simple flapper’s costume or a more updated and contemporary female gangster costume. The latter will give you a real bank robber look, while still keeping your costume sexy.

For Clyde, it’s all about the suit. Gangster costumes are easy to find online or you can simply pair a thrift store pin stripe suit with a fedora. Don’t forget the wing-tip shoes.

Finally, it’s the accessories and little touches that will really make your costumes. Many costume vendors, like, will sell either complete costumes or accessories like a toy tommy gun, or fake money bags.

Playing the Part of Bonnie or Clyde this Halloween

It’s time to brush up on your 1930’s gangster slang. You’re not guilty, You ain’t guilty. The police are the law and you’re not rich, you’re in the money. You didn’t hit him, you bonked him. Are you getting it, kid?

Remember, the Bonnie/Clyde duo are inseparable, a pair of lovers wrought by crime and killing. It’s widely known that Clyde was the killer of the gang, while Bonnie ran logistics and loading. Play this aspect up and don’t forget, as Bonnie herself wrote in her poem, The Story of Bonnie and Clyde, “they don’t think they’re too smart or desperate, they know that the law always wins; they’ve been shot at before, but they do not ignore, that death is the wages of sin.”

To find matching Bonnie & Clyde-themed costumes, search below and type in terms such as “Bonnie”, “Moll”, “Gangster” and “1920”.

Click "GO" below to find these adult costumes!

Filed under Couples Costumes
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