Dressing up as Adam and Barbara Maitland from the 1980s cult hit “Beetlejuice” is a surefire way to spook the living daylights out of your Halloween party guests.
While their outfits alone may not be particularly interesting, they are transformed into something truly unsettling when matched with a movie-accurate mask of the Maitlands’ monstrously shape-shifted faces from a pivotal sequence in the film.
Today, we’re going to transform you into the film’s lovable ghostly couple, Adam and Barbara Maitland.
From their everyday casual outfits to their terrifying monster forms, let’s help you get into character for your cosplay event or Halloween party.
How to Dress Like Adam and Barbara Maitland From Beetlejuice
Simplicity is the name of the game with these two costumes, so putting either of these costumes together won’t be difficult.
For Adam Maitland’s costume, here is what you’ll need:
- Flannel plaid long-sleeved shirt, usually in black and white
- Cotton T-shirt, usually in red
- Stretch web belt
- Men’s khaki pants
- Men’s boat shoes
The Outfit: Adam’s attire is relatively simple – a plaid shirt with a plain undershirt, high-waisted khaki pants, and a pair of round glasses. Raid your closet or your local thrift store for these items. Remember, the key to Adam is comfort over style.
The Hair: Adam’s hair is brown and moderately long, with a soft parting on one side. If your hair doesn’t match, consider a wig or use hair products to get a similar style.
The Monster Look: Now for the fun part – Adam’s monster transformation. Craft foam and paint can help you create Adam’s elongated nose and chin. As for his fingers, look for finger extensions online, or if you’re feeling crafty, make your own out of foam or paper mache.
Barbara Maitland’s costume consists of the following:
- Short-sleeved print dress
- Ballet flats
- Long curly-haired wig
The Outfit: Barbara’s outfit is a quintessential 80s look. A high-waisted, long, floral print skirt paired with a pastel or white blouse. Don’t forget her memorable red, square-framed glasses and sensible shoes.
The Hair: Barbara sports a short, wavy, brown hairdo. Again, a wig can be your best friend here if your hair doesn’t match.
The Monster Look: Now to transform Barbara into her monster form. This involves some creative crafting to create the gaping mouth across her eyes. Use craft foam to form the shape and paint it to match your skin tone. The teeth can be made from white craft foam or even plastic spoons painted white.
The Handbook: A pivotal prop in the movie is the “Handbook for the Recently Deceased.” You can create a cover for this book using a hardcover book and some craft supplies.
The Attitude: Lastly, embodying Adam and Barbara is as much about the attitude as the outfits. Remember, they’re a loving, kind-hearted couple, just a little overwhelmed by their new ghostly existence. Channel their sweetness, confusion, and determination, and you’re ready to step into their ghostly shoes.
Masks & Accessories
Keep in mind that both of these costumes come with a creepy-looking mask that has an opened mouth with a creature sticking out of it.
The Barbara Maitland costume also comes with a copy of the book entitled Handbook for the Recently Deceased, which features prominently in the movie. A plastic eyeball eye is also part of Adam Maitland’s costume.
Remember that these are casual outfits simply because the couple was driving around in their car right before their accident, which means that you can spend time at your next costume party without being uncomfortable in what you are wearing.
DIY Costume Tutorials
About the Maitland’s Look
Adam and Barbara Maitland are a young couple enjoying making their Connecticut home their own. After their car accident, they enlist the help of a “bio-exorcist” named Beetlejuice to help them drive the Deetz family out of the house so that they can live there in peace.
But Beetlejuice, with his crude demeanor, isn’t quite as successful as the Maitlands hoped, and this is where the film gets interesting.
Adam and Barbara Maitland don’t wear anything fancy, but what really makes these costumes stand out from the crowd are masks that portray the part of the movie in which their faces are deformed in crazy-looking ways.
So there you have it, your guide to becoming the Maitlands. Just remember, no matter how great you look, don’t say Beetlejuice three times, unless you’re ready for a mischievous, stripe-wearing specter to crash your party!