Dune Costume Ideas: 8+ Greatest Cosplay Guides

The best Dune costumes feature

When the original Dune novel was released in 1965, a phenomenon was born. The cultural significance of Frank Herbert’s universe cannot be understated. Every major science-fiction universe of the modern age from Star Wars to The Matrix has drawn significant inspiration from Dune’s revolutionary world-building, costume design, and theoretical technology.

To celebrate the long-awaited release of the first sequel to 2021’s blockbuster, Dune, (although it now looks like we will have to wait a little longer than planned) we have rounded up all the very best Dune costume ideas, cosplay inspiration, and outfit ideas. From the original stillsuit design to Paul Atreides, Channi, The Baron, and beyond, this is our official Dune costume roundup.

Note: If you are looking to design your own stillsuit, be sure to check out our more comprehensive how-to create a stillsuit guide.

For more Science-Fiction cosplay inspiration see:

The Best Dune Costume Ideas

Dune (2021) Stillsuit Costume

1. The New Dune Stillsuit (From the latest 2021 movie)

The Stillsuit costume is an important piece of technology within the wider Dune Lore. It is worn by the native inhabitants of Arrakis (The Fremen), as well as the great houses of the galaxy tasked with overseeing Spice production on the planet. Arrakis is arguably the most important planet within the Dune universe, as it is the only place where Melange (often referred to colloquially as ‘spice’) can be mined.

What is ‘spice’?

Melange (spice) is a type of psychedelic drug that offers the user many desirable benefits including anti-aging, the expansion of mental awareness, and something referred to as ‘farsight’. The latter is critically important for the navigators who, without farsight, would be unable to effectively pilot the faster-than-light (FTL) ships that connect the various planet of the Dune universe together.

Many other orders and groups in Dune also utilize spice for a number of other benefits such as Truthsense for the Bene Gesseritt and genetic memory for the Fremen. In short, melange is what makes the Dune universe turn – a sort of fictional replacement for the role oil plays in the real world.

The problem? Arrakis is a largely inhospitable planet. A desert environment where the sheer heat and lack of access to water can kill an unprepared wanderer in a matter of hours. The solution: The Stillsuit costume. A head-to-toe skintight outfit designed to retain and recycle as much water from the body as possible, from perspiration to water droplets produced while breathing. Even urine is collected and repurposed. It is said that a properly fitted stillsuit can reduce the amount of water loss to a fimble full per day.

The Stillsuit costume design in the latest movie adaptation is intricately made with various tubes and rubber gaskets on show. It also looks distinctly homemade and a little haphazardly put together with overlapping armor pieces and often paired with a tattered shawl or cloak. This represents both the toll of the harsh Arrakis environment and the fact the stillsuit is an original invention of the less technologically advanced (debatably) Fremen.

If you would prefer to purchase a ready-made Dune costume then the Adult stillsuit cosplay outfit from Banbas is a fantastic choice. Otherwise, check out our complete guide on how to create your own stillsuit at home.

Lynch's original Dune Stillsuit costume design

2. The Original Stillsuit Design (From the 1984 adaptation)

David Lynch’s original movie adaptation of Frank Herbert’s beloved series has not aged particularly well. Lynch has famously spoken out since about the turbulent production of Dune, calling the movie “a gigantic sadness in [his] life”. Limited creative control and a restrictive special effects budget might have stunted what could have otherwise been an incredible Sci-Fi epic, but the original is still an admirable effort that does a number of things well. One of which is Dune’s costume design.

David Lynch’s Dune costume design

Similar to the latest adaptation, the first Dune Stillsuit costumes were made to hug the skin as tightly as possible. They also feature exposed tubing that hints at the various recycling and water retention functions under the suit’s surface. Unlike the latest costume designers (Jacqueline West and Bob Morgan) who opted for a gritty ‘used-future aesthetic’ more in keeping with the original source material, 1984’s lead designer Bob Ringwood opted for a more futuristic take.

Head-to-toe in shiny black PVC, Ringwood’s stillsuit is painfully 80s. But here’s the thing – it works. The original Dune costume designs, created on a shoestring budget from used bodybags and various other repurposed materials, have a distinctive charm all their own. They look far more ‘organic’ than the new Dune outfits and each was painstakingly made by hand.

Now, to make your own 1984 stillsuit Dune cosplay, we recommend avoiding used body bags (although thinking about it, that could be a great conversation starter at your next Halloween party). Instead, start with a black coverall, cosplay foam to create the ridged structure, and faux vegan leather to replicate that glossy, organic look. Finally, foam rubber tubing can be used to create the intricate cables that carry moisture back and forth for the wearer. And that’s truly a Dune costume, done DIY style. Ringwood would surely be proud.

3. Dune Fremen Costume

The Fremen are the natives who inhabit the spice-producing planet Arrakis. Over generations, they have learned to master the harsh realities of their home planet. That means living in relative ‘harmony’ with the giant sandworms and overcoming the complete lack of water. The Fremen are typically seen wearing their stillsuits, which they originally invented.

We won’t go into detail again on how to create your own stillsuit costume as that has already been covered above briefly, and in-depth through our dedicated stillsuit guide. However, there are a few key details that are essential to creating the ultimate Dune Fremen costume.

Firstly, the Fremen are known for having the brightest blue eyes. This is a side-effect of spice addiction, which the Fremen frequently use during their rituals. Eyes of Ibad are what they call this affliction which leaves them with both blue pupils and lenses. If you want to use colored contacts, make sure you only use FDA-approved lenses such as these from Solotica.

Next, the Fremen typically wear an additional cloak or shawl to help protect their eyes from the sun and sand of Arrakis. For a Fremen suit costume, we recommend a post-apocolyptic-styled shawl for that tired and tattered aesthetic.

Finally, the Fremen have their own distinct weaponry adapted to life on Arrakis. The Crysknife is crafted from the tooth of a dead sandworm and given to each adolescent as a symbol of their transition from child to adulthood within the tribe. The Maula pistol is also often used – a silent handheld gun that fires poison darts.

It’s these finer touches that will let you create the perfect Dune Fremen cosplay.

4. Baron Vladimir Harkonnen Costume

Baron Vladimir is the head of the great Harkonnen house and the primary antagonist of the original Dune book. Vladimir harbors a deep hatred for the house of Atreides after the Emperor of the Known Universe took the protectorate of Arrakis and oversight of spice production from the Harkonnens and handed responsibility to Atreides.

Described as a monstrous man in the books, Baron Vladimir is hugely overweight and only capable of movement thanks to the use of a suspensor belt that supports his mass. Without this technology, he would be unable to move at all.

We catch brief glimpses of The Baron’s costume design in the latest Dune movie (played by Stellan Skarsgard). Here he is completely bald and dressed head-to-toe in a black cloak, very similar to a Monk’s robes. He also has bright blue eyes due to a spice addiction, likely from his extended time spent on Arrakis.

Other Dune outfit ideas include Glossu Rabban, one of the Baron’s two surviving nephews, played in the movie by Dave Bautista. Or the original Baron from Lynch’s 1984 adaptation, who focused less on his immense proportions and more on his grotesque gluttony. Lynch’s Vladimir Harkonnen (Kenneth McMillan) was covered all over his body and face with hideous boils, cuts, and sores. He also wore a distinctive leather trenchcoat with a military-inspired red and black striped interior.

Lady Jessica yellow dress Dune costume

5. Lady Jessica Dune Costume

Lady Jessica is the official concubine of Duke Leto Atreides (head of House Atreides). She is also a member of the mysterious and often mistrusted Bene Gesserit order. The Bene Gesserit are a wholly maternal group with superhuman physical and mental abilities, altered through the use of Melange. They hold considerable political power within the Dune universe and are often positioned alongside the rulers of the great houses as advisors and concubines.

Lady Jessica (Rebecca Ferguson) wears a number of striking costumes throughout Dune (2021). However, perhaps her most striking is her yellow dress with a mesh headdress.

Lady Jessica’s costume starts with a full-length, high-necked, and flowy yellow dress. Next, a yellow, silk shawl is worn as a hood over her head. Finally, the most intricate part of her outfit is an intricately designed veil that she wears over her face and that extends down her chest, as well as matching arm accessories. To recreate this detailed jewelry, a little DIY is likely necessary. We recommend starting with costume gold chains, which can then be woven and connected with golden split rings to create the desired chainmail pattern.

6. Paul Atreides (Timothee Chalemet) Costume

Paul Atreides is the main protagonist of the first two Dune books and one of the most important overall characters in the series. Despite being only 15 years old when we first meet him, Paul carries the heaviest of burdens. The Bene Gesserit identify him early on as “The Chosen One” or Kwisatz Haderach. As the first male Bene Gesserit, it is prophecized that Paul Atreides will usher in a new era for the known Dune universe.

Paul Atreide’s (Timothee Chalemet’s) Dune costume is an all-black formal ensemble with a military-inspired shirt and dress pants. All that needs to be added are a pair of black dress boots and leather Renaissance gloves with an extended arm cuff.

Alternatively, Paul is seen at the end of the movie in his stillsuit costume as he starts his tenure among the Fremen People. We expect we will be seeing much more of this look in the upcoming sequel when it releases this November. In Fact, Timothee Chalemet is set to have a very busy schedule this winter, with the Charlie and the Chocolate Factory prequel, Wonka, set to debut just one month later.

7. Chani (Zendaya) Dune Costume

Chani is a native who appears in frequent visions and dreams to Paul Atreides. Later, Chani plays a central role as the Fremen elected to take care of Paul during his time with the native group. Later, as his concubine, she helps Paul become the spiritual leader of the Fremen and adopts the name Muad’Dib.

When Chani (Zendaya) appears before Paul in his visions she is seen wearing an all-white, full-length dress with long sleeves. This perhaps foreshadows the role both of them will play as spiritual leaders to the Fremen. Later, when we first meet her in person, she is dressed in a typical Fremen stillsuit. Much more appropriate for the harsh Arrakis desert.

Chani’s (Zendaya) Fremen suit is much the same as the others we encounter throughout the first movie. However, with one notable exception. Chani wears a distinctive shawl that appears to be crafted from linen. Linen is a slightly coarse material with a natural color almost identical to the cloak worn by Zendaya. We recommend something like this long linen scarf from YOBOKO for your Dune cosplay outfit.

8. Duke Leto Atreides Armor

Duke Leto Atreides is the head of House Atreides when we are first introduced to the Dune universe. He plays a central role in both the original novel and its subsequent prequels. He is described as a tall man with olive skin and flowing black hair, much like his son Paul. By all accounts, he is a highly competent leader who shows both compassion and ruthlessness, when required. He also shows great foresight and intelligence by immediately recognizing the stewardship of Arrakis as the poison chalice it truly is.

Leto Atreides is played admirably by Oscar Isaac in Dune. Isaac manages to capture Leto’s personality perfectly: An honorable man who is doing everything he can to better his precarious position. He wears several heavily military-inspired costumes throughout the movie which offer huge cosplay potential. However, his most distinctive outfit is arguably his House Atreides armor.

This would be a great potential project for someone who is using a Dune cosplay to dip their toes into DIY costume design, foam cutting, and basic frame building. The armor pieces are large and imposing but generally simple. Most are straightforward geometric shapes with few finer details with the exception of a couple of rivets. Start with an impact-protection motorcyle jacket as a base for your Duke Leto costume. Next, EVA foam is a staple for cosplay armor designs. Get yourself enough sheets and we recommend having a read of this brilliant armor cosplay design guide available on Skillshare.

Looking for more Dune Cosplay inspiration?

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