BACK TO THE FUTURE COSTUME COLLECTION

Dress like Doc Brown, Marty McFly, and Jane Parker with our Easy DIY Costume Ideas

Back to the Future costume ideas feature image

How to Dress like the Back to the Future Cast

Travel back in time to a future full of possibilities and 80s-tastic costume designs. The real present day might be a little different from the one envisioned in Back to the Future (will we ever get our hoverboards?) but it is still fun to see what could have been.

From the original Back to the Future, where a shoestring budget necessitated innovative prop and outfit solutions, to the sequels where huge commercial success allowed for new and big-budget technology to be envisioned.

These are our favorite Back to the Future costume ideas that can be made at home on any budget.

DOC BROWN COSTUME (Back to the Future I)

Doc Brown (Back to the Future) DIY costume

1. OVERALLS – Begin your Doc Brown costume with a set of crisp white overalls. This is an essential accessory for any classic ‘mad scientist’ outfit.

2. WIG – Part of Doc Brown’s instantly recognizable look is his disheveled white hair. Much like Albery Einstein, who has time for a comb when you’re changing the world?

3. BELT – Add a thin black belt worn haphazardly around your waist. No belt holes are necessary here.

4. SHIRT – The Doc is a big fan of Hawaiian shirts (which he wears in all three movies. A floral shirt really adds to this costume’s relaxed and non-conformist aesthetic. We also recommend adding a plain white tee underneath.

5. GOGGLES – Steampunk goggles are a perfect imitation of the welder goggles Doc Brown frequently wears during his experiments.

6. SPORTS WATCH – A casino or similar sports watch will work in place of the Seiko A826 watch the Doc wears.

7. STOPWATCH – With a shoestring budget, the original Back to the Future costume designer had to improvise with many outfit props. What says futuristic ‘scientist’ quite like a gym stopwatch?

8. REMOTE CONTROL – Finally, add a regular RC controller so that you can control your DeLorean. You might want to apply some DIY here and add a few wires/cables to make this accessory even more authentic.

ABOUT DOC BROWN:

Emmet Lathrop Brown, Ph.D. (Doc Brown) is a brilliant scientist and the inventor of the world’s first time machine.

Portrayed by Christopher Lloyd, Doc Brown is a great admirer of past scientists and inventors including Isaac Newton, Thomas Edison, and Albert Einstein. A love of the science-fiction author Jules Verne also seems to drive his thirst for adventure.

Although initially enamored by and somewhat naive as to the consequences of time travel, the Doc soon develops a guilt for the events he has altered through his travels. Despite this, he continues to attempt to use time travel as a force for good, albeit in a far more cautious way than he first did. 

DOC BROWN COSTUME (Back to the Future II)

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1.  COAT – Ever the stylish mad scientist, Doc Brown’s costume from Back to the Future II features a functional yellow raincoat to keep him dry and clean.

2. SHIRT – Like the Back to the Future I costume, Doc Brown again dons a signature Hawaiian shirt. This time in red and detailed with Chinese characters.

3. GOGGLES – With a bugger budget, the sequel was able to ramp up the futuristic absurdity further than ever before. These wrap-around chrome goggles wouldn’t even look out of place in The Matrix.

4. PANTS – Add a regular pair of khaki chinos or pants (really any pair of pants will work fine for this outfit).

5. WIG – Like the Back to the Future I Doc costume, you will definitely need a quality mad scientist wig for this look.

6. SOCKS – We love a good pair of argyle socks and so does the Doc, it would seem! No better excuse to prevail yourself of a stylish pair of special-occasion socks.

7. BOOTS – The Doc wears a heavy-duty pair of black boots. Dr. Marten’s are perfect for this if you already have a pair.

8. LACES – Finally, the eccentric Doc Brown stylized his boots with a pop of color in the form of bright red laces.

ABOUT DOC BROWN (BACK TO THE FUTURE II):

In Back to the Future II, Marty and Doc discover that the present they have returned to is vastly altered from the one they left.

Doc Brown has been declared legally insane after letting slip about his time travel machine and Biff has become a corrupt millionaire after getting hold of a future version of Sports Almanac.

Together, they battle to restore the present and future to the original timeline and undo the damage their time traveling has wrought.

Arguably just as iconic as his original outfit, this is definitely one of our most popular funny costume ideas.

MARTY MCFLY COSTUME (Back to the Future I)

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1. VEST – Marty is the king of layering. Start this cool DIY McFly costume with a red puffer jacket (or gilet).

2. SHIRT – Next, add a plaid or striped white shirt. Alternatively, a light blue shirt will also work just fine. Like Marty, you may also want to add a burgundy tee under your shirt.

3. JACKET – Finally, get yourself a comfortable denim jacket. If purchasing one, we suggest going for a size-up to create a similar baggy fit.

4. JEANS – Michael J. Fox wore a pair of denim Guess jeans in the original movie. Any light-blue denim in a relaxed fit will suffice.

5. CASSETTE PLAYER – As a true child of the 80s, Marty McFly is never far from his trusty Walkman cassette player. This is an optional accessory but really adds to the 1980s feel of the costume.

6. SHOES – Marty wears a pair of white Nike running shoes with red accents.

7. SHADES – Finally, add a pair of aviators like the ones worn by Marty. Any excuse to wear shades is a plus in our books!

ABOUT MARTY MCFLY:

Marty McFly (played by Michael J. Fox) is a high school student who becomes a time traveler when he happens upon Doctor Emmett Brown and his DeLorean time machine.

Although they originally met when Marty was just 14, Doc’s reputation as a lunatic prevented a friendship from forming until several years later.

In the original movie, Marty plays guitar in a group called The Pinheads and has a keen interest in music such as Michael Jackson, Van Halen, and Tom Petty.

After traveling back in time, Marty amazes the previous generation with – unbeknown to them – the music of the future.

If you are looking for a fun and cute couple’s costume idea, then Marty McFly and Jane Parker are a great option.

MARTY MCFLY COSTUME (Back to the Future II)

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Marty McFly (Back to the Future 2) costume

1.  JACKET – Somebody, please tell us, where are our automatic adjusting clothes? Although this costume accessory doesn’t actually self-dry or adjust, it is still the perfect accessory for this Marty McFly costume.

2. JEANS – Like the original, Marty is still rocking the light-blue denim jeans in the Back to the Future sequel.

3. CAP – A key part of this futuristic outfit is Marty’s – shall we say questionable – holographic flat cap.

4. SHOES – Again, they might not self-adjust but these officially-licensed boots are super cool nonetheless.

5. WATCH – When you’re predicting the future, you can’t get it right every time. While we might not all be walking around with Casio calculator watches on our wrists, it’s fun to see what previous generations considered ‘futuristic’.

6. SPORTS ALMANAC – That’s right, you can get the very same sports statistic magazine that wrought so much havoc in Back to the Future II. Even if you’re not making a Marty McFly costume, this is an awesome gift idea for any fans of the series.

7. HOVERBOARD – As a 1:1 scale replica, this hoverboard prop is a must-have accessory to round out this cool-as-a-cucumber DIY outfit.

ABOUT BACK TO THE FUTURE II COSTUME DESIGN:

Ah, what a future they envisioned for us in the 1980s.

Where are our hoverboards, self-drying clothes, and self-fastening trainers? The future sucks.

But at least we can pretend otherwise, with a killer Marty McFly costume based on his uber-cool Back to the Future 2 look.

Following the huge success of the original, the costume designers for the sequel actually had a decent prop budget to work with. This allowed them to create some custom ‘futuristic’ pieces, rather than having to dig through the discarded pile in the studio wardrobe.

JENNIFER 'JANE' PARKER COSTUME

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1. COSTUME – As one of our easiest DIY costumes, this outfit requires just 4 purchases. The highly-rated Jane Parker costume set comes ready to go with a white shirt, blue vest, and floral pants.

2. SHOES – Jane wears a pair of immaculately clean white high-tops, similar to the sneakers worn by her boyfriend, Marty.

3. SOCKS – Add a pair of white tube socks rolled down around the ankles.

4. WIG – This is a great costume idea for women with naturally brown and wavy hair. If that’s not you, then a Jane Parker wig is a nice easy alternative.

ABOUT JANE PARKER:

Jennifer ‘Jane’ Parker (played by Claudia Wells in the original and Elisabeth Shue in the sequels) is the girlfriend of Marty McFly (cute couple costume idea, anyone?) and a key character in Back to the Future.

Although her screen time is limited in the original, Jane takes on a more active role in the sequels. Particularly in Back to the Future II when she must deal with the consequences of encountering her future self, as well as alternate versions of Marty.

The trilogy concludes with Marty and Jane reunited in their original 1985 timeline, happy to be back together and with the possibility of future adventures left up in the air.

More DIY 'Back to the Future' Costume Ideas

Back to the Future is one of the most beloved Science Fiction franchises of all time.

While many time travel movies seem to take themselves too seriously, the adventures of Marty McFly and Doc Brown are a refreshingly lighthearted and heartwarming change of pace.

Looking for more outfit inspiration? Check out all the best DIY Back to the Future costume ideas that inspired our own roundup.