How To Create a Terminator 1 Costume


As this post is about 80s fashion, then I will be mainly focusing on creating a costume based around the original T-800 Model 101 cybernetic android played by Arnold Schwarzenegger in the original 1984 Terminator film.

Arnold Schwarzenegger in Terminator 1
Arnie in Terminator 1

To create a costume you'll need a black, leather (or faux leather) motorcycle jacket, fingerless motorcycle gloves, a grey T-shirt, brown cargo pants and some shades - the motorcycle is optional!

For a Terminator 2 costume you will need to swap the grey tee for a black one and the pants/trousers need to be black leather. The shades look sleeker, too.

Out of the two looks, the one created in the second movie is definitely cooler, but as the movie came out in 1991, it's useless if you need a costume for an 80s party. However, the easiest option is to opt for this ready-made costume which I found at

Terminator 2 Costume (UK)

Also available in the U.S.



The Jacket

This is going to be expensive if you opt for real leather, obviously. But if you want an authentic look then you can't beat the real McCoy.

Arnie Terminator 2 Leather Biker Jacket
Real Leather Terminator 2 Jacket (UK)
Arnie Terminator Leather Biker Jacket
This jacket which is available at Amazon UK is made form genuine lambskin leather and really captures the look of the original jacket. It's labelled as being based on the second movie, but could be used for the first film, too, as it's hard to spot much difference between the jackets used in either movie. However, for around a third of the price you can buy this faux/PU leather jacket which still looks pretty decent.
Faux Leather Biker Jacket - 3 sizes (UK)

Slim Fit PU Leather Motorcycle JacketIf you select this jacket, then you'll be taken to Amazon, and if look underneath and you'll find a range of low-cost accessories which will help you to complete your look including boots, leather pants and gloves.

A similar, low cost PU jacket can also be bought at the U.S. store.

It may also be worthwhile haveing a look on ebay as you'll find a wide range of both new and used jackets here

The Gloves

For the first movie you'll need fingerless gloves, but for the second one then you need full leather gloves.

Leather Fingerless Gloves with Studs

A wide range of low-cost, fingerless gloves can also be found at Amazon's U.S. store

The Trousers

You'll need a pair of mud-coloured cargo/military pants to capture the look of the first movie, and they were really quite basic. If you have a pair of brown chinos they they would be ideal, but they can be bought relatively cheaply at Amazon.

Cargo Pants for Terminator 1 Costume
Lightweight Cargo Assault Pants (US)

Determining the exact shade of brown for the pants is difficult (The official toy features a deeper shade of brown than those worn in the movie), but the pants above come in many different browns which is handy.

Casual Cargo Trousers (UK) - many colours

The trousers above are, by far, the most popular and best-priced item at Amazon and come in a choice of over 30 colours and many sizes.

The T-shirt

A basic, grey T-shirt with a round neck is all that's required. However, you may like to add a splash or two of fake blood

Grey T-shirt for Terminator Costume
Grey T-shirt

You'll find oodles of suppliers selling gray tees at the U.S. Amazon, too.

For a Terminator 2 look add a black tee instead.

The Shades

The sunglasses worn by Arnie in the first movie were bigger and more squared than in the second film, and the best pair I could find were at The Movie Shop at Amazon.

Terminator T1 Glasses by The Movie Shop

Terminator 2 Shades
Terminator 2 Shades by G&G

The T2 shades shown above were only available at the U.S. Amazon, but a similar pair can be bought from The Movie Shop in the UK.

The Boots

You'll need a pair of tall, leather biker boots with a buckle,

Terminator T1 Leather Calf Length Biker Boots
Calf length Terminator Biker Boots

Leather fingerless fgloves with studsThe most authentic looking boots were this pair available in the UK. However, at close to £70, for a fancy dress costume this may not be an option.

Western/Biker Ankle Boots by Oaktrak (UK)
Biker Western Buckle Boots
While not as tall as those worn by Arnie in the film, this pair is a third of the price of those above, and if you wear your cargo pants over them then nobody will notice the difference!


I'll Be Back Terminator Make-Up Kit
I'll Be Back Make-Up Kit (US)

Although it will add a significant amount to the overall cost of your costume, this make-up kit would add an awesome finish to your look. However, this kit isn't available in the UK and a less fiddly alternative would be to wear a face mask.

Terminator T-800 Face Mask
Terminator T-800 Face Mask (UK)

A number of face masks are also available at the U.S. Amazon, although not this particular one.

Well, that completes my post and I hope that you have found it useful.

More 80s costume ideas for men living in the UK can be found on our website. We also have a page especially for U.S. men, too - U.S. Costumes


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