Badger Costume
Badger in Firefly pilot episode

Badger (from Firefly) Costume

My Badger cosplay came about almost serendipitously. Once I'd decided I might, perhaps, do other Firefly cosplays (as explained in the article about my River Tam costume), I became more interested in the cosplay discussions in the various Firefly fan groups, and began to get some specific ideas about what would be needed to do the various costumes in the show. Badger was of interest very early on because he does not carry a gun, but I didn't set out with the goal of doing a Badger cosplay. I just kind of stumbled upon useful costume pieces, and at some point realized I had pretty much everything I needed, so I might as well go for it.

Hat: This is probably the most important piece of of the costume. I was poking around on amazon.com for something completely unrelated (I think it was a moustache for a dance number my troupe was doing), and in the "People who bought this also bought..." section, there was a bowler-type hat, like Badger's. My first thought was actually to that it might be fun for something like Cousin Itt from the Addams Family, but it was when I thought about doing Badger that I decided to go ahead and get it. Badger in Firefly episode Shindig

Suit/Jacket: Badger wears a jacket with pants and a vest, but it's not perfectly clear if they're a matched set (a full suit) or not. The jacket does seem to be a different fabric, with a bit of texture, compared to the vest and pants, though, so I figured treating them as separate pieces would be fine. The pants are fairly plain dark pants; I figured my black jeans would be suitable. The vest, also fairly plain... but I'll talk about it separately. As for the jacket, one key aspect of Badger's style is the accessories he wears with his jacket, which includes a handkerchief. So it was important to have a jacket with a handkerchief pocket. That was something I didn't have already.

So I took a trip to Goodwill, not specifically for that, but for multiple cosplay projects I had in the works, as well as a couple of general-purpose items that I was kinda hoping to find. For example, I was thinking it would be nice if I could get a better jacket than my first one that I used for Doctor Who. And sure enough, I found a jacket that would work well for Doctor Who and also had the breast pocket for Badger's handkerchief.

Accessories: As mentioned above, accessories are an important part of Badger's style. They're similar, but not quite identical, in the two episodes we see him in: the pilot (top photo, below) and "Shindig" (lower 2 pics, below, and also the photo at right, above). In both cases, he has the handkerchief stuffed in the breast pocket of the jacket. I already had a silk handkerchief I thought would be a pretty good match. He also wears some kind of tie around his neck, although they may be different kinds of ties. As you can see below, in the pilot he wore a regular-type necktie, but in "Shindig" he wore 2 different ties, in more of an ascot-type style. Either is easy enough for me to do with what I already have, but I'm most entertained by the necktie worn without a collared shirt.

Badger in Firefly pilot episode (showing accessories)

Badger in early part of Firefly episode Shindig (showing accessories)   Badger in later part of Firefly episode Shindig (showing accessories)

The 3rd accessory is the pin on the jacket's lapel. It's a bit harder to make out exactly what it is in the pilot; my best guess is a leaf with berries similar to holly. In "Shindig" you can tell it's a flamingo, and when you get a good view of it, you can see there's actually two different flamingo pins, with the one in the back being a bit harder to see.

So one day, I was browsing on eBay for something unrelated, I believe it was for things with a "phoenix" theme, and saw someone selling 2 pins, the other of which was a flamingo VERY similar to the front one of Badger's (it faces the wrong way and doesn't have colored gems, but otherwise it's the same pin). The two together were very cheap, too, like just $5 or so. So I had to get them.

Vest: After taking care of the above items, I realized that all I still needed was the vest. (The pants and shoes were nothing special; I figured I could use the same ones I did for Doctor Who. The shirt appears to be one of those tank-style undershirts that some guys wear, and I had a couple of tank tops that could work.) At some point along the way I'd gotten what I thought would be a suitable vest on eBay, but when I tried it with everything else I wasn't quite happy with it. But since I was so close, I was starting to get anxious to get the costume finished, so I went browsing around eBay and Amazon. I found a vest that I thought would work on Amazon, but it turned out to be much too small (even though I was careful to check measurements), so I had to return it. I tried again, this time with a men's vest, mainly because I figured the measurements would be more reliable. It worked out OK. I decided to add some elastic around the waist area to make it a little less boxy. I was hoping to get it all together for Supercon in July 2017, but alas, the vest issues meant that didn't happen.

Then, a while after Supercon, I happened to be at Goodwill and saw a vest that I thought would work better than the Amazon one. I couldn't return the Amazon one, alas, since I'd modified it. But the new one was only like $2, so no biggie.

It wasn't until the following year at Supercon that I finally got to wear it:

Sherry R cosplay as Badger from Firefly

Overall, I was pretty pleased with it. The tie bothered me a bit though... didn't like the color and it was a bit stiff. Next time I'll fix that.

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