(initial posting 11/7/21)
I'd already done Pirate Kaylee Frye, and so I wasn't feeling any particular interest in making another Firefly-pirate mashup. However... this past February I was browsing around online looking for Tai Chi shirts, when this knee length Kung Fu jacket caught my attention. It wasn't really what I was looking for at the time, but I thought it could make a pretty cool pirate coat, and might actually be usable for me (living in the subtropics as I do) because it's 100% cotton. Then I saw it came in brown, and I got the idea of using it to do Malcolm Reynolds as a pirate. So I bought the jacket (figure I can also use it if I ever need a jacket to go to Tai Chi class).
It was easy to assemble the rest of the basic look from pieces I'd used for previous pirate costume variations: the pants from pirate costume 1, because they were similar in color to Mal's iconic pants (and I figured the mod I made to fit the cuff was a small nod to the stripe on the side of the original pants); the boots from pretty much all my recent pirate costume variations; the holster from the usual cosplay with guns method; and the shirt first used for my Ottoman pirate costume, because its red color was close to one of Mal's iconic shirts. It seemed weird to try to put suspenders on the pirate pants, so I decided they weren't necessary, especially since they'd be mostly hidden by the coat anyway.
So that just left accessories. I had a couple of pieces of jewelry with Chinese coins on them that seemed appropriate, as well as a few pieces of Firefly jewelry (some of which I won at a Can't Stop the Serenity event), so I figured I could do something with those.
But Mal is a Captain... so I thought he'd need a Captain's hat. I had the one that I used for my regular pirate costumes, of course. But I felt a need to do something to make it more Firefly-ish. I had an iron-on type patch with the Independents rank insignia, which gave me the idea to create a feather thing in those colors (mostly green and yellow) to replace the feather things I was using on the existing hat. I already had some feathers, including peacock feathers and a bag of craft feathers in assorted colors, in my craft stash. But I'd never really worked with feathers for anything like this before, so I Googled "how to make a feather fascinator" to get me started. I picked through the mixed feathers for green and yellow (and a little brown to represent the Browncoats) and got to work. First pic below is just starting, second is almost done:
After finishing up the feather design, I added the Independents patch as a sort of central medallion, attached with hook&loop. I attached the whole thing to a rather large barrette, and then clipped the barrette to a loop of grosgrain ribbon I'd put on the hat for this purpose. (I still wanted to be able to switch back to the previous feather things on occasion.) So below is the results; first pic is the final feather thing, and the 2nd shows it attached to the hat:
So, I'm really pleased with the feather piece itself, but a bit disappointed the patch pretty much disappears behind the hat brim. Oh well, at least I know it's there :-)
I wore it to the Boynton Pirate Fest on Halloween 2021, and here's a very nice pic I got (courtesy of Gizmo Expressions).
(following update added 11/22/21)
The costume is mainly about the coat, and I was a bit disappointed that my pose didn't show off the coat very well, so I wore it again to Camelot Days 2 weeks later, and I did get a shot that showed the coat better. It's not full-length, but between the 2 pics, I think you get the idea :-)
Return to main Cosplay page