Now it’s time to actually start shopping for your costume pieces. I recommend you start with the flightsuit/undersuit as the first clothing item to look for, then build on that. Depending on what color undersuit you find, your concept may change. But it’s really personal preference what order you follow, I suggest the “soft parts” first (the pieces that aren’t armor), then move on to the armor plates.
Also to clarify we call it a Mandalorian flight suit but a more accurate name would be undersuit. Military flight suits usually have lots of exposed zippers that can be problematic, especially if you’re aiming for membership in the Mandalorian Mercs group. And depending on what country you live in, it also goes by different names. You will have better success if you search for “work coveralls”, “boiler suit”, “mechanic jumpsuit”, “automotive uniform” etc., instead of military flight suit. I will use the terms flight suit and undersuit to refer to the same thing.
You can find a nice flightsuit that needs minimal modifications. You don’t need an expensive tailor for this part of your costume. Save your budget for other harder to find items. It might take some hunting but you can find an affordable flight suit that meets your needs and looks good.
What makes a good Mandalorian Flightsuit?
A good choice of undersuit will have these features:
- It will fit you well. You want your undersuit to be form fitting, not baggy.
- It’s made of breathable fabric for comfort, but it’s also sturdy. This is especially important if you plan on attaching thigh armor to the undersuit. Avoid thin, flimsy fabrics.
- You want a solid color flight suit with no pattern designs.
- The zipper is hidden underneath a fabric flap or in some other manner so you don’t see the zipper teeth.
- If it has butt pockets, you’ll need to remove these. This is usually easy to do but still something to consider. Use a seam ripper and remove the stitch marks as best you can. This article shows how using a spoon.
- Slit pockets need to be either hidden or sewn shut so that they don’t bulge open. You don’t want pocket flare or pocket ears on your undersuit. You can either sew it shut from the inside or use hemming iron-on adhesive tape so they don’t fall open.
You’ll want to consider the collar as well. What kind of neck covering do you want for your completed outfit? Remember that there should be no visible neck skin. This means you’ll either have a flight suit with a collar, a vest with a collar, a turtleneck undershirt, a totally separate neck seal piece (like a neck dickie), a balaclava, or a neck gaiter. So you’ll need to decide whether to remove the flightsuit collar or flip it up.
Do you want a one-piece or two-piece undersuit? People sometimes choose 2 piece suits because it’s easier to manage bathroom breaks. I’ve worn a 1 piece and never had this issue. I can stay in costume for 3-4 hours without needing a washroom break. But this might be important for some people, especially if they have certain medical conditions. If you do choose a 2 piece undersuit, the top shirt and bottom pants need to be of a matching color and fabric. It should look like a 1-piece undersuit when the waist seam is hidden underneath a belt.
Short sleeves are ok if you wear a long sleeve underneath, and this longer sleeve can be a different color. If you want the classic Mandalorian look, you can buy 2 suits or 2 shirts to create the short sleeve on long sleeve layered look. The extra fabric can also be used to make custom Mandalorian tool pockets. You can find Boba Fett style pockets and shin tool pocket templates at the Dented Helmet forum, thanks to Alan Sinclair. Even if you don’t want to carry shin tools, consider taking your removed butt pockets and turning them into shin pockets. They’ll be great as extra functional pockets to carry money or bank cards safely.
Ensure that the short sleeves end about mid-bicep at the shortest. And the long sleeves should end up hidden inside the gauntlets, not sticking out. Another benefit of the short sleeve top layer is that you can easily hide gauntlet hoses or cables.
Another optional modification to the suit is adding foot straps. This is an elastic strap that goes under each foot. This will keep the legs of the suit tucked into the boots. It’s commonly seen in stirrup pants.
When you’re shopping around, sizing will be tricky. Usually, work coveralls are meant to be worn over top of clothing but you’ll be wearing it as your undersuit. If you’re a smaller female, finding a flight suit made for women is a challenge. Read buyer reviews to get an idea of which size to order. This Dickies Coverall from Amazon may work well for slim female Mandalorians. The Dickies especially has a great fit for females.
Also, keep in mind that you are limited to a few typical colors with work uniforms. If you want a specific color, dyeing fabric is an option but it can get tricky especially with synthetic fabrics. It’s doable, just another thing to consider. Avoid making your flightsuit/vest the same color as your armor. You want some contrast, so your kit details stand out, especially in photos. Classic undersuit colors on Boba, Jango, and Djarin include: light grays, medium blues, and grey with blueish/brownish undertones.
Flightsuit styles and brands to consider:
Some popular brand names for work uniforms include: “Dickies”, “Big Mac”, “Walls”, “Red Kap”
The Red Kap Twill Coverall is a good option, it needs minimal modifications, is affordable, the zipper is concealed, and it’s available in a bunch of colors. And here’s another option from Walmart, Uniform Coveralls.
Medical scrubs are a great option for a two-piece undersuit. just try to find scrubs with a sturdy, non-stretchy fabric material. They are also a good choice if you live in hot weather countries. I suppose a sweaty Mandalorian would look like he’s been working hard on a mission, but it might not look aesthetically pleasing.
Another option is “Under Armor” shirt and pants sets. This is what stormtroopers wear as their undersuit. Or similarly, you could also use thermal wear tops and bottoms from Walmart or sports stores. You just want the top and bottom to match exactly.
Females can also consider turtleneck jumpsuits, dance unitards, or bodysuits. Just keep in mind that if it’s a knit fabric eventually over the years it will start to lose some of its shape. My first Mandalorian kit has this style of undersuit. I’ve had it for about 4 years and used it at many events and it’s now starting to sag where my thigh armor is attached. They’re comfortable and breathable, but it might be too “form-fitting” for some ladies. For those who are more body-conscious, you can add capes or kamas (also called belt-capes or butt capes) to add more coverage. Mandalorians are not “super-heroes” but a form-fitting bodysuit can be a good option for some ladies.
Don’t forget to look for used flight suits on Craigslist or Kijiji. It might even have some nice weathering already. Other places to look include military surplus stores, farm/work supply stores (like TSC and Marks Work Warehouse in Canada). And obviously eBay and Amazon. I found work coveralls at a local military surplus store for $15CAD, so you might want to start there.
If you enjoy sewing, this Simplicity Pattern 8722 Coverall looks suitable. Using a pattern gives you the benefit to choose whatever fabric and color you want. And if you don’t mind spending money for a ready-made flight suit, this Din Djarin Sky Costume is an option, or this Amazon Mandalorian Costume. (Keep in mind that the flight suit, flak vest, and cummerbund might be the only useable part of this outfit for Mando Mercs approval. The vinyl “armor” pieces should be removed by taking out the stitches.)
Lastly, if you have a smaller body frame or want to build up your upper body a bit, I recommend adding shoulder pads to your flight suit. Smaller females sometimes worry about their helmet looking to large or looking like a bobble-head. Shoulder pads can help with proportion issues by adding more structure to the shoulder areas.
Flightsuit Fitting and Tailoring
Lastly, if you do buy a suit that ends up being too big or baggy on your body you really should tailor it to fit better. Tailoring can take a so-so outfit and turn it into a great outfit. Try to take your time throughout the whole process of assembling your kit. If you enjoy the process and care about small details, it will show in the end.
You might need to take out excess fabric on the legs, arms, and back. Back darts and tighter legs/arms might also help your flight suit not bulge out of your vest or armor as much. And in case your wondering, along with the butt pockets, you’ll want to remove the side tool pocket that’s typically seen on work uniforms. When people see you in a Mandalorian kit, they should think, “wow, a Mandalorian”, not “I have those work coveralls also”. Anything that is easily recognizable or identifiable to the public should be altered.
You don’t need advanced sewing skills to fix a baggy flightsuit. Here’s a good tutorial on resizing pants and also here. And below you can watch more video tutorials on modifying your flight suit to get a better form-fitting look. Hopefully, you have some basic sewing skills or know someone who can help out if needed. And of course, there are always local tailors who can easily do this work if you don’t have the time, motivation or a sewing machine.
Important! Wash your undersuit first, it might have some shrinkage. And do a “flex-test” before you cut your flightsuit. This is especially vital if you’re using a non-stretchy fabric. So after you have pinned the excess fabric, move around. Do some Mando poses, squat, sit, kneel, walk up/down some stairs, etc.
I hope this helps you. If you have any other suggestions or comments please reply in the comments below to help other beginners.
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