Step-By-Step Daryl Dixon Cosplay Costume Guide
With the ever growing popularity of Walker Stalker conventions, and Season 7 of The Walking Dead gaining momentum, there really is no better time to create to your own homage to one of the franchise’s fan-favourite characters; Daryl Dixon! Whether you’re living in the US or UK, looking for cosplay ideas for your next Comic Con, zombie themed party, or if you simply want to look awesome during your next Walking Dead box-set marathon, here is our step-by-step guide for creating an authentic Daryl Dixon costume.
Poncho, vest or jacket?
First things first, you’ll need to decide which Daryl Dixon costume you want to create. Depending on which season of The Walking Dead you’ll be cosplaying Daryl’s look changes slightly. As many diehard Walking Dead fans may already be aware, Daryl is first spotted wearing his iconic Angel Wings Vest in Season 2 (Episode 4 to be exact), but then acquires a poncho in Season 3. By Season 4 onwards he has also picked up a leather/jean jacket. Regardless of which season you choose, here are our top tips for authentically recreating each Daryl Dixon look;
When you think of Daryl Dixon cosplay, the first thought that comes to most people’s minds is either ‘crossbow’ or ‘angel wings jacket’. Before we move on to Daryl’s weapon of choice later in this guide, we recommend investing in an authentic ready-made Daryl Dixon Angel Wings Vest.
For a full guide on how to select the Daryl Dixon Vest that suits you check out our Daryl Dixon Vest post. We recommend three alternative leather vests which range in price, detail and durability to suit all pockets. We give details about plain leather vests that can be easily converted to an authentic Daryl Dixon Vest by attaching some easy iron-on readymade wings and also recommend a tutorial video on how to fashion your own wings if you are feeling brave!
Vest and Jacket combo
If you want to cosplay as Daryl Dixon from Season 4 onwards, or if you plan on trick-or-treating on a cold October night, then why not opt for a Daryl Dixon vest and jacket combo? As you may have noticed from watching The Walking Dead, Daryl often layers his Angel Wings Vest over a leather/jean jacket. To achieve this look, simply purchase a similar Leather/Jean Jacket to wear under your Daryl Dixon Angel Wings Vest from the section above. On the other hand, you could even purchase a readymade Daryl Dixon Vest and Jacket cosplay combo which will do all the work for you!
If you’re cosplaying Season 2 Daryl Dixon then you’ll need to find a fetching poncho to complete the look.
This ready made version is available now. It is officially licensed from The Walking Dead and is manufactured from a mix of 90% Polyacrylics, 10% Polyester and has a wide cut for comfort and ease of movement. With a cross bow in hand you can make an instant transformation into the Dashing Daryl Dixon that will stop the show at any comic convention, Halloween Party or Walker Stalker event. We at ZombiePit think it may just be too practical to limit to cosplay. Slip one of these on, feel that cowboy vibe course through your veins and you may never want to hang it up again!
For those not lucky enough to get there hands on one of these excellent ponchos, an alternative is available. Check out this skilfully crafted Daryl Dixon Poncho which measures approximately 44″ wide by 31.5″ long from the shoulder down, so should fit most adults. It is manufactured from acryllic and carefully designed to authentically resemble the Poncho as worn on The Walking Dead by the daring Daryl Dixon.
There are several options that you could also consider. For instance, you could purchase a wool poncho or costume poncho set that boasts a similar design to Daryl’s poncho. Possible options include this Fair Trade Men’s Alpaca Wool Poncho, this Del Mex Classic Mexican Blanket Poncho, this Manakamana Men’s Woven Cotton Poncho, this Lonesome Cowboy Costume or this Eastwood Classic Poncho; all of which bear close similarity to Daryl’s poncho.
Make your own Daryl Dixon Poncho
Alternatively, you could take a step out of Daryl’s playbook and fashion your own poncho from a woollen blanket. After all, as Norman Reedus noted during a Sci-Fi Now Interview;
“I have a poncho this season!…It’s supposed to be a horse blanket I put a hole in”.
In the same way Daryl Dixon fashioned his poncho by taking a colourful horse blanket and making a hole for his head, we can show you how to come up with a richly colourful poncho that will look and feel every bit as good as Daryl’s.
After scouring the Internet we found this Western Decor Blanket Throw which features the same colours and style as Daryl’s horse blanket poncho. Simply cut a hole in the middle as demonstrated within this YouTube video: “Making a poncho from a horse blanket” and you’ll have created your own poncho of which even Daryl Dixon himself would be proud!
Finding your ideal Daryl Dixon boots
In true biker fashion, Daryl Dixon wears brown lace-up boots which are perfect for riding his motorcycle, hunting in the woods and fighting zombies. When it comes to choosing your ideal Daryl Dixon boots you should opt for a lace-up pair of brown leather boots that have a rubber or synthetic sole. By doing so, you can execute an authentic Daryl Dixon cosplay without your feet feeling like they’ve walked to Terminus and back!
At Zombie Pit, we recommend investing in either some Irish Setter Hunting Boots which have been manufactured in leather and fitted with a synthetic sole or a pair of these Red Wing Heritage Boots which come in a range of colors.
The high quality nature of these various boot options means that they will stand the test of time. Moreover, their understated style means that they can be used for a wide range of Walking Dead cosplays.
Choosing Daryl Dixon shirts and jeans options
Although Daryl’s look may vary with each passing season, his style of jeans always stays roughly the same! As such, we recommend investing in a pair of Wrangler Men’s Cowboy Cut Slim Fit Jeans in Shadow Black, Charcoal Grey or Trail Dust. These colour schemes will cover all of Daryl’s different looks from Season 1 right up until the impending Season 7 premiere.
Similarly, when it comes to shirts, Daryl seems to follow a pattern of khaki, grey or black button-down work shirts in either long-sleeved or cut-off sleeve varieties. As a rule, if you’re cosplaying as Daryl Dixon from a earlier season then he will be wearing either a vest or poncho so you should opt for a sleeveless button-down shirt in a khaki, grey, dark brown or faded plaid design. Possible shirt options from these earlier seasons include; this Khaki Men’s Biker Shirt or this Plaid Button Down Shirt.
Alternatively, if you’re cosplaying as Daryl Dixon from Season 4 onwards in his vest and jacket combo then he will be more likely to wear either a Sleeveless Black Biker Shirt or a Long Sleeved Sweatshirt.
You may also have noticed that there are episodes from later seasons wherein Daryl wears his angel wings vest over a plain black long-sleeved shirt. In these cases we recommend pairing your Daryl Dixon vest with this type of Long-Sleeved Black Work. Shirt
Doing your hair Norman Reedus style
Alternatively, if like the rest of us you lack the necessary locks for a Daryl Dixon look then never fear you can simply order a ready made wig that does the job! Click here to read our full review of this Daryl Wig.
Even if you’re cosplaying on a tight budget, you can get your hands on a Generic Men’s Wig and then utilise this step by step Daryl Dixon Haircut Tutorial to create a look that would give a Norman Reedus a run for his money!
Adding some awesome finishing touches
Once you have acquired the core clothes of your Daryl Dixon cosplay you can take your time adding some authentic finishing touches. For instance, eager-eyed Walking Dead fans will have noticed that Daryl always has a red bandana tucked into his back pocket so you could attach a Plain Red Bandana to your jeans to finish off your look. You could also add a Bleeding Prop Knife and Daryl’s ghoulish Walker Necklace; the choice is yours!
Moreover, depending upon which season of The Walking Dead you plan to cosplay, Daryl will have already fought off his fair share of zombies. So why not make your Daryl Dixon costume appear more battle-worn by adding a few tears to your jeans, shred parts of your shirt and apply some Stage Blood and black face paint scuff marks around the edges? If you have the time you could even apply some Fake Scab Makeup Gel and Bruise Makeup to make it look as if you’ve just fended off a gang of Saviors! You can learn how to apply all manner of battle scars, bruises and Daryl Dixon facial hair by watching this helpful Daryl Dixon Makeup tutorial:
The makeup kit used by Jacky Bernhard is Graftobian Student Theatrical makeup Kit – Deluxe – Light/Fair. The kit is available for delivery to the UK, but is also available on Amazon.co.uk.
If you really want to go the extra mile, you could even cosplay as Zombie Daryl! Simply follow the step-by-step costume guide provided above and then read our Easy Zombie Makeup Tutorial or Zombie Makeup Tutorial for Wounds to learn how to apply your own zombie scars, wounds and ghoulish make-up.
Don’t forget Daryl’s weapon of choice!
Last but by no means least, it wouldn’t be a Daryl Dixon cosplay without his trusty crossbow!
As Norman Reedus himself has said;
“It’s hard not to look cool carrying a crossbow. It’s pretty cool, yeah. I have a lot of cool toys, that’s for sure”.
Fortunately, there are numerous Daryl Dixon crossbow replicas available to order online. The following prop crossbow makes an ideal choice for cosplaying Daryl Dixon. For more details check out our Daryl Dixon Crossbow Review.
All that’s left to do is practice your crossbow skills; even Norman Reedus had to start somewhere!
Ultimately if you have any further questions about Daryl Dixon cosplay ideas, or about Walking Dead costumes in general, then please feel free to contact our Zombie Pit team for some top tips and to have a look within our Zombie Costumes section online today.