How to make a Dr. Horrible Costume

Dr. Horrible

We’ve been blogging quite a bit about Dr. Horrible, the supervillain musical that’s taken the Internet by storm.

Today, we’ll take a closer look at making a Dr. Horrible costume.

Lab Coat

Dr. Horrible Dr. Horrible wears a white lab coat. You can find a basic lab coat at any costume shop, but if you want to be picky you’ll need a coat that buttons on the side, not down in front. Look for the “Howie” style coat.

Here are some places that sell this type of lab coat:

EDIT 9/28/09: Irongate Gallery is selling a custom lab coat that is perfect for around $100. Includes the caduceus sewn in. They also have gloves and silver goggles. CLICK HERE

Edit 11/05/08: Shadow Dale Creations now also offers an authentic Dr. Horrible lab coat for $200. Available in white or red. CLICK HERE

A couple other places to try:

Edit 9/28/10:

Helpful commenter Shelley pointed out this seller on Ebay. 96bellyacres is selling custom Dr. Horrible lab coats for approx. $80.00.

Ships from the USA.

Dr. Horrible

Logo on Pocket

The Dr. Horrible logo is a caduceus, which is a winged herald’s staff entwined by two serpents in the form of a double helix.

The serpents are green and the staff is red.


Dr. Horrible GogglesUPDATE (10-21-09) – Be sure to check out our latest post that shows the goggles in high detail.
The evil doctor wears a pair of silver welding goggles. The best pair I’ve seen is available from Irongate Gallery.

Similar goggles may be available at the following stores, but you might want to paint them silver:

White Gloves

Dr. Horrible CostumeDr. Horrible wears a pair of white work gloves. Some people have found that fencing gloves work, too. You can try these stores:

White Boots

Dr. Horrible CostumeComplete your outfit with a pair of white boots, and you’re all set. They can be found at the following stores:


This recent Comic-Con attendee came pretty close:

Dr. Horrible Costume


I hope we see a bunch of Dr. Horrible costumes this Halloween. Be sure to practice your evil laugh!

If you haven’t seen Dr. Horrible yet, head on over to or purchase the show directly from iTunes.

This entry was posted in cosplay, how-to, ideas, movies, music, superheroes, tv, video. Bookmark the permalink.

79 Responses to How to make a Dr. Horrible Costume

  1. FunkyLady says:

    Okay, I think I want one of these!

  2. Moist says:

    But what are the tips for the good Doctor’s FINAL costume?

  3. manny says:

    Hi Moist. I was torn between mentioning it and giving away spoilers. What should I do?

  4. Dr. Horrible says:

    Last costume? Die your lab coat red, that what it looks like they did (look at the stitching and buttons they remained white).

    Ok, so the lab coats suggested up there are close. Anyone have any ideas on what the flap of fabric under the top most front of the coat looks like? It clearly doesn’t come all the way down, but I can’t tell where it stops. Has anyone seen one of these open? Should be an easy make.

    Also, any ideas on making the weapons? Death Ray, or forearm laser from the bank heist?

  5. Jack Kerouac says:

    Sorry, but those lab coats are nothing like Horrible’s, except in the vaguest possible way. The lab coat is more of a 40s style mad scientist coat. The worst thing you could do is get that one wrong. I think you’d have to stitch it together yourself in order to get it right.

  6. manny says:

    Hi Jack K. – from what I understand, the actual coat worn by Dr. Horrible was leftover from the Firefly episode “Ariel.” I’ve looked and looked for the exact coat, and I think you are right. To be perfect, you’ll have to sew it yourself.

  7. Dave DuJour says:

    His gloves changed from off-white to black for the final scene too. And I doubt his boots stayed white, although we never see them. I’d suggest black boots to match the black gloves and non-khaki pants underneath the red coat. Maybe black. Again, we just don’t see enough of the “Evil League of Evil” costume to know for certain.

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  10. Dave DuJour says:

    You should probably remove the Pentergast site from the list of places for goggles. Apparently they aren’t shipping things that look even close to what’s pictured and they’re being extremely rude about it.

  11. Wulfae says:

    Out of curiousity, have you ordered the goggles from discount Are they actually the exact goggles, or are they the green version that everyone seems to be getting?

  12. manny says:

    Good point, Wulfae. I bet they are green like the others. I will clarify.

  13. Costume Maker says:

    But a can of silver spray paint and some masking tape fixes that easily. As long as you can find the right model of goggles, color shouldn’t be an issue. As for the lab coat, you may want to, if you’re not really a seamstress, get one of the coats that look some what like Dr. Horrible’s and have some one tweak it for you.

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  15. richard says:

    yeh, the goggles are different. Its not surprising really, more than likley (like most of the costumes in film and TV) they have been adapted for the film. Those goggles just need a lick of pain and a replacement strap and they’d be fine.

    Also, any idea where/how to get the little logo? Or is that a case of finding someone who can sew?

  16. manny says:

    Richard, this is pretty close, what do you think?

  17. CubeGuy says:

    Finally got everything ordered for mine. I’ll probably just end up making an iron-on transfer for the Caduceus. ☤

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  19. LightPhoenix says:

    Looking at the costume, it seems it’s slightly oversized – it looks like they might have taken a larger size than NPH and sized it down.

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  21. Austin says:

    I’m working on putting one together, thanks for the help!

  22. Rick says:

    Does anyone have a much clearer pic of the logo on lab coat pocket? I went to a embroidering booth and they said the picture would have to be much clearer for them to digitize it. I don’t have the photo software or knowledge to pull it myself. Any help would be appreciated, thanks!

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  25. Hey Guys,

    Wanted to give a heads up that I have a lab coat you might be interested in at my store. I’ve been working with some designs for a while and I’m finally ready to put it up today.

    PS – There are only a few pictures right now, I hope to add more soon.

  26. manny says:

    Thanks, Irongate. That looks awesome. I’m going to edit this article to include your lab coat.

  27. Pingback: Dr. Horrible Lab Coat Update | My Disguises - We Love Costumes

  28. Rannan says:

    The style of lab coat that docotor horrible wears is a Howie Lab Coat

  29. Rick says:

    The Fibre Metal VG800H5 goggles mentioned are NOT the ones shown, and they differ by more than just the color of the body. The ones pictured above seem to be an exact match, but the green ones everyone can buy are different. They have different ventilation holes on the sides, and the frames around the eyepieces aren’t knurled like Dr. Horrible’s.

  30. holly says:

    i found the PERFECT goggles! they are EXACT in EVERY WAY but the type of vents (which are easily removed and swapped), and the blue-green color (which is easily painted to match metallic) they have ALL six vents – top, bottom, and side. and the frames around the eyepieces ARE knurled. also, the tabs for the lift-front are the correct shape (not triangular). in summary, after a couple of simple modifications, they are an EXACT MATCH. (believe me, i have been looking high and low for months to find the perfect pair… and this is it!)

    i bought a few extra pairs to sell, and if you already got a pair of those fibre-metal goggles that aren’t exactly right, you can use the vents from those on these – easily removed and re-snapped into place. thought because of the six vents, you may need more than one pair of the other goggle.

  31. Tai says:

    I found great boots and acceptable gloves for cheap through Star Safety.

    Here are the gloves, $2.06:

    And the boots (scroll down–men and women’s sizes available!), $14.93+:

    Spread the horribleness.

  32. Just an MS in Horrible... says:

    Thanks so much for the tips! As for changing the color of things in existing costumes, there is an amazing spray paint called “florist’s Friend” that is designed to paint just about anything. I’ve used it on everything from fabric to metal and it looks great. I’m going to try to use it on black gloves and the goggles–I’ll let you know how it looks. Love the blog!

  33. PJ Otaku says:

    This is in regard to fellow US fans of Dr Horrible that might be looking for the costume…

    The members of my rock band, The Shake Ups, are all dressing as Dr Horrible for our Halloween show. I had to do a LOT of research to obtain appropriate garb, so I thought I’d let you know what I found…

    First of all, unless you’re in the UK or Ireland it’s going to be difficult to find the howie labcoat. I found one that was close at, however they do not ship international orders – and have yet to process my refund… So unless you’re in one of the aforementioned areas, don’t bother with them.

    The closest coat I found was through Pastelli, an Italian company that does actually have a US branch. Look for model T001 Tecnus or A001 Los Angeles, which are the closest to the doctor’s design. It took a while for me to hear back from someone, but the direct e-mail for the person that handles the US & Canada is, and the website to find the coats is

    The goggles are model VG800H5 and are discontinued, and therefore out of stock at many places. I was able to find them at Amazon for even less than I had originally ordered them for when the original order I placed was cancelled due to unavailability.

    For boots, do a search for “boot shrimper white” at, and then find your size.

    Also, for anyone wanting to be Captain Hammer, you can get the perfect gloves (Darth Vader gloves!) at most party supply or Halloween stores. These are far closer than any other recommendations I’ve seen.

    Hope this helps!

  34. manny says:

    Thanks, PJ. Hey, can you send us pictures of your band all dressed as Dr. Horrible? That sounds AWESOME!

  35. PJ Otaku says:

    We’re hoping it’ll be awesome. We’re playing the costumed show on Oct. 25th, and planning to do
    a couple of the songs too (“My Freeze Ray,” “My Eyes”). Once we have all of the costume stuff, I’ll send
    some pics 🙂

    If you want to check out the band or some of my tunes, go to: (the band that’ll be dressing as the good doctor)

    or (check out my song “Joss Whedon Is My Master Now”)

  36. KMarsh says:

    Does anyone know how they faded the logo on the gloves? You can see in this [1] screenshot that the logo is still there, but greatly faded. I tried sandpaper, acetone, and isopropyl; the solvents didn’t do anything and the sandpaper only worked up to a point — I think I’d sand through the leather entirely if I kept trying that method.


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  38. ABrody says:

    I went to a Menards and bought a small jar of paint called Glistening Gray by Pittsburgh Paints

  39. Sarah says:

    I just got my Howie coat from Uniforms By Ray Higgins out of Canada. It fits and is wonderful. They shipped in a little less than two weeks.

  40. Sam says:

    I have 2 pair of size 11 white boots, I have pics if anyone is interested. They were part of a set of 3 and I don’t need them. I’ll sell for a reasonable price and ship priority mail. 🙂 digitalsaint [at] gmail!

  41. Mary says:

    I became a huge Joss Whedon fan after my husband got me to watch his Firefly and Serenity DVD.s Since i already was making costumes it was just natural for my daughter and I to start making Firefly costumes, holsters and of coarse the famous leather Browncoats for ourselves and then for other fans. This took off and now we have a website where we will soon be offering the Dr. Horrible lab coats in white and red in the near future. If interested please check out our site

  42. Jeannette Lewis says:

    if you want a really good Dr. Horrible coat you are probably just going to have to make one. I just made one for my 9 year old and he is OMG cute. The fabric I used was wrongish though, so it drapes funny, but it was easy to draft the pattern – it si a very basic silhouette. I used snaps instead of buttons and ended up drawing the symbol because when I embroidered it the damn thing came out huge. Lol. I got the inexpensive green goggles and painted them, same with the boot, walmart “rain boots” painted white >.> that did not work particularly well /shrug.

    All in all he looks adorable (kinda like a young Dougie Howser come think of it). He knows the songs and it make my mama’s heart go pitter pat in a big way. Daddy will be Capt. Hammer and I get to be a groupie. older brother refused the Hammer role so he is a spartan, can’t win them all…

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  45. Monopolowa says:

    Found this post detailing how to sew your own Dr. Horrible lab coat…Looks like they did a good job

  46. Hey Guys,

    Just wanted to say that I’ve added some new photos to our site as we’ve refined the design since we started way back when. I’ve updated some of the pattern based on the actual lab coat that an amazing fan was able to provide shots of.

    The new pictures are up on the website.

  47. Gina says:

    Found a great site to purchase goggles, lab coat, boots and gloves ….. See

  48. Felipe 058 says:

    Hey everyone,

    I noticed that the link to doesn’t work; I don’t think that site exists anymore. Also, I personally am not a fan of those blusih ones at the other linked site (I don’t know if it’s just the picture that’s making them look blue or not…). I did, however, find two pairs that I like very much, and I thought I’d share them with you guys 🙂 The first pair is similar to the bluish pair up top, but they’re all white except for the cuff. The only problem in my opinion with these are the natural cuffs and the cuffs seeming a little short, but both problems are easily remedied with a bit of skill and patience. The second pair I found by taking the advice above about fencing gloves. This was by far the best pair I found, and they are the closest match I’ve been able to find to Dr. Horrible’s gloves (besides of course making them oneself), but the mitt itself is off. Ha, if anything, a combination of the mitt on the work gloves and the cuff on the fencing gloves would be almost perfect.

  49. Nick says:

    The gloves can also be found here at amazon:

    once you add that to your cart amazon recommends just about everything else you’ll need 🙂

  50. Casey says:

    Finally found the closest thing without spending $150 at Irongate.

    They were very nice and accepted my order from the US. Should have it shortly. Unfortunately it is discontinued and the only sizes they have left are 1 each of medium and XL, but around 30 XSMALL, SMALL, and XXL. Hopefully this will help somebody out.

    E-mail (remove X’s) and she will help you out. As long as the order is in by the 23rd she can have it there by Halloween.

  51. manny says:

    Wow, Casey, that’s a great find!

  52. Lisa! says:

    Made my son his costume… I made the smock from scratch using a commercial pattern that I altered as needed- used shell buttons. My husband painted the welding goggles and belt sanded the Tillman logo off the gloves. We bought used Hunter rainboots off eBay and painted them white.

    We’re going to a showing of DHSAB at the Egyptian tomorrow night.

    (Son is 8 years old and the biggest Dr. Horrible fan.)

  53. Edison says:

    Casey – GAH. That’s too bad, that is by far the best find for the $$ and the style! I’m going to attempt ordering from the site anyway… it’s not blocking my attempt to try to get an L. (Not that that means anything from a small company, but why the heck not). Thanks for the post!

  54. Josh says:

    Ok, I am putting together a Dr. Horrible costume for San Diego Comic Con, and I am almost all set, but I was wondering if anyone had any idea where I can get something close to the freeze ray gun?

  55. Bryan says:

    Hey Josh, what are you using for your lab coat? I’m still having trouble looking for a sort of cheap but still quality enough that it looks like the one from Dr. Horrible.

  56. Josh says:

    I had a lab coat custom made, so not cheap.

  57. Conor says:

    Thanks for all the effort. If anyone’s still looking there’s a UK company with a similar, though not exact, “Howie” coat.

    Good luck finding what you need.

  58. Matthew says:

    I’m going out tonight in my uni labcoat and a pair of goggles I made myself out of paper cups and swimming goggles… came here for the logo I’m going to pen onto my coat. Have to say with more time I might be more anal… but hey, leave that for America and when the sequel comes out!

  59. jesus garcia says:

    Has anyone tried to order from Pastelli? It seems like the most viable option.

  60. Filmore says:

    Looks like these guys have a Howie Style with “Chinese collar” which is pretty darn good looking for a lab coat

  61. Shelley Peters says:

    Check out the coats by 96bellyacres on e-bay. They are a perfect match to the buttons and design of the Dr. Horrible lab coat. Price range is $51.00 to $60.00 and it comes in white, red and red with white stitching. He has one with a caduceus on the pocket (not quite accurate) and one without where you could embroider a more accurate one youtself. For an extra $18.00 he will sew it from sports weight twill which gives it that “heavy” fabric look of the real coat. Very authenitc, fast respoonse and turn around time for something custom made to your measurements. Sure he’ll be swamped for halloween.

  62. manny says:

    Wow, Shelley, great find. That’s very cool!

  63. Pingback: Dr. Horrible's Lab Coat on Ebay | My Disguises - We Love Costumes

  64. Shelley Peters says:

    I think when we bought this coat it actually shipped from South Carolina, USA. Not sure where the Australian link came in.


  65. manny says:

    Thanks again, Shelley. What would I do without you? When I googled 96bellyacres, I got the Australian version of Ebay,, so I assumed he was in Australia. Oops! I changed the links to Ebay in USA.

  66. Shelley Peters says:

    Another spot to look I’ve found in my searches is gr8stuff88 on ebay has a sew on patch to put on your own lab coat. Again, not a perfect match to the real logo but it is something for only $7 including shipping.

  67. AnnQ says:

    Take a look at my home-made labcoat at I made many adjustments to the Simplicity pattern often recommended. Ironed on the caduceus after a bit of work in Photoshop. I think this looks authentic!

  68. Kim says:

    Dr. Horrible “EMBROIDERED CADUCEUS PATCH” is available from gr8stuff88 on E-Bay. Current Item Number is 260679050481 as of 10-20-10. The Item number is subject to change BY E-BAY but gr8stuff88 will always have this item available. Check it out! NO DECALS!!!! HIGH QUALITY EMBROIDERED CADUCEUS FOR DR. HORRIBLE COATS!! MACHINE WASHABLE!!

  69. DarkSlime says:

    I found the perfect goggles on this site. Match exactly just need to be aged.

    Let me know what you think!

  70. mugoi usagi says:

    If you look closely the gloves are Tillman brand. You can barely see the outline of the logo on them during close up shots.

  71. Obs says:

    I do not recommend Irongate Gallery at all- I would recommend removing them from your list. Ordered a month ago, and no response at all from them. They don’t respond to emails and won’t answer their phone, yet they will take your money and make posts on Facebook, so you know they’re still there.

    See comments on:

  72. mugoi usagi says:

    @DarkSlime: I actually ordered those goggles. I hoped to get them as pictured but expected I’d be getting the green ones everyone else sells. When they came they were the green 4 vent goggles. I plan to mod and paint them. My complaint about that site is that I wrote a short review noting the difference between picture and product (noting also that they appeared to be good quality, etc) and my review was removed within days of posting. So just be aware that if you order those goggles you won’t *get* those goggles.

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  74. Chris says:

    Oh hey!

    Nobody seems to have been on here a while, and pretty much all links seem to be outdated :/

    For those of you in the UK I’ve found an awesome (cheap) substitute for the lab coat, it just needs the pocket and embroidery:

    It’s missing some of the side buttons, but hey-ho, beggars can’t be choosers for 15 quid.

    When it comes to goggles, boots and gloves however; there’s not much you can get from the UK that are the same or similar to Dr. Horrible stuff without spending well over £100

    If I find anything else I’ll post it up here for UK people 😀

  75. Justin says:

    Here’s a good source for a Howie coat:

    They’re snaps, not buttons, but it’s the real deal for about €30 plus shipping. Mind, if you’re not in the UK your checkout may be almost double that due to shipping.

  76. J,k, & a Higginbotham says:

    I know this is a older blog but does anyone know of anyone selling silver welding goggles? contact me at

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