As a child, I always wanted to be Zorro, and as the responsible adult I grew to become, the desire did not stop. Since I finally got the awesome skill of growing a Zorro moustache, I decided to make a Zorro costume.
I do not like Antonio Banderas’ Zorro, I prefer Guy Williams’ Zorro, mainly because it is the one I watched as a child and also because the costume makes more sense. It seems that very few people are dressing up like Guy Williams’ Zorro lately (probably because the original Zorro series was running in the 50s) and there is not that much interest in making Spanish capes or Mexican attire from the 1800s, so it was a bit difficult to find all the elements to make an accurate costume while keeping it reasonably priced.
So what does Zorro wear? The main idea behind the character is that he is a regular (albeit rich) person who dresses up in black clothes in order to avoid being seen at night. His clothes have nothing really special besides the fact that they are black (and that they come from 200 years ago). That is why it does not seem suitable to have golden decorations as Banderas does.
The most distinctive parts of the costume are the mask, which covers the top half of the face, the Golden Gate gaucho hat, and the Spanish cape. He also wears tight black trousers, what seems to be a black blouse (tight on the torso with very loose sleeves), a cloth belt or cummerbund, high horse-riding boots and black leather gauntlets.
Parts that can be bought
- The hat can be found at the Old West Gallery. They had the best price and it is exactly the right shape (although their picture may not show it properly).
- The trousers are women sports trousers with only one seam visible where the fly would be, just like Zorro’s. I do not think they have any special name, I got them at a local sale for around 5$. The most embarrassing part was having to try on woman’s trousers at the store, but it is easy to get over it once we think the payoff is becoming Zorro. The trousers had a small branding which was easily peeled off.
- The boots can be found at a local leather or cowboy shop. They must be tall, with a rounded tip and a flat top. Basically, horse-riding boots.
- I got motorcycle gauntlets that look the closest to Zorro I could find locally. Ideally they should have no strap, and a white edge. These types of gauntlets were used mainly for sword-fighting and horse-riding.
- I was lucky enough since my mom already had a black man’s shirt lying around that fitted the purpose perfectly (I just had to remove a pocket). I have no idea where such a shirt could be found otherwise.
Parts that need to be made
- The cape was made from a large piece of black, non-stretchy cloth I bought. It was selected for its quality of having some weight, being lustrous, ondulating well, being opaque, and not being stretchy.
- The mask was done using the same cloth as the cape. Its shape and pattern come from some reference pictures I was able to find.
- The cummerbund could be bought (and I even got one from a church sale) but the modern versions do not look as authentic.
- The bandana can easily be made from some cloth scraps from the cape. It is required in order for the hat to hide the forehead and hair (especially when moving).
You can download the Zorro Mask SVG Pattern. It is based on a picture of the original mask lying flat. However, there is a bit of distortion in the eyes and they would benefit from being narrower.
I looked for a long time for a Zorro cape (or at least a man’s cape) pattern without any luck. So, based on the Disney’s series stills and other cape patterns, I came up with my own. You can download the Zorro Costume Pattern which is drawn at 1:1 scale and thus includes all the required dimensions. You can use the awesome Inkscape to view it.
I believe the cape is quite accurate, but I’m definitely not an expert. This was my real first experience sewing something together that needed to look half-decent.
See below the resulting costume (I know I need to work that fencing stance).