It's rare to find a costume that embodies several different motifs and can be easily suited to multiple genders. While the concept of a coal miner as a costume might seem strange, the core idea is actually delightfully versatile and easy to implement.
You can make a horror costume, a standard occupation based costume, and a sexy costume. All these can be done regardless of gender, with the right clothing and accessories.
• Traditional Look For a straightforward, traditional costume, the simple route is denim. Denim overalls, denim jeans, denim jacket if it's cold. Grab a toy plastic helmet with a flashlight -or just the flashlight into place yourself - and you're done. Denim has a long history in such work, and took a while to be considered appropriate for just wearing around.
• Horror Look If you want to go with a horror look, a mask will do the job nicely. There's at least one B-movie out there involving a mineshaft related horror villain, and masks tend to complete the look. Not just any mask will do, though. To stand out as a proper mine related villain, the tragic result of negligent safety standards or an angry Balrog at the deepest depths of the mines, you need the right mask.
A respiratory mask, or a mockup of one, will work nicely. Mines are incredibly dirty and dusty, and miners nowadays wear protective gear to mitigate death from black lung. A mockup of such a mask, perhaps with a few chips and cracks or the like, will add the look nicely. In a pinch you could also use a welding mask.
The look they create can be creepy, and while not entirely in line with the miner look, it's still in the ballpark. Add in the Darth Vader breathing for even more ominous antics, though you might want to remember a straw if you go to a party.
• Sexy Look Those wanting to go the sexy route are off to a great start just by sticking to overalls and whatever minimal clothing is needed. A pick or helmet makes for a nice touch to set the coal miner look as well. As usual with sexier costumes, less clothing is usually a good start. Short shorts and a denim top of some form can also do the job quite nicely.
Coal mining is rough work, dirty work, and there are a few ways to portray that in costume. The horror angle does the job very well, especially if you dirty up the denim with some charcoal or whatnot. Fake bloodstains are an option too, depending on personal preference. The straightforward costume can benefit from dirt as well. If you want to go for the dirty sexy look, there's nothing wrong with that, either.
At the core of this costume denim and a helmet, with perhaps a mask, go a long way to completing the look. The simplicity of the costume and minimal accessories make it a versatile choice for fans of blue jeans and other denim related clothing. Or folks who ran across a Balrog.
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