Katniss Everdeen Hunger Games Costume and Makeup
How to Dress Like Katniss Everdeen
Create a realistic, inexpensive Katniss Everdeen costume with this Hunger Games costume guide. Here you'll find descriptions and photos of each outfit worn by Katniss in the book and movie and creative ideas for putting together an instantly recognizable Girl on Fire costume.
Whether you're looking for tips on how to dress as Katniss in District 12, the Capitol or the arena, this cosplay guide has you covered from braid and bow to boots.
Katniss Everdeen Wig
Throughout the Hunger Games movie, Katniss Everdeen's hair never strays far from her signature style. Regardless of whether she's hunting in District 12 or fighting for her life in the arena, Katniss keeps her long brown hair in a uniquely styled braid. For those whose own hair isn't quite as long or dark as the Girl on Fire's, this wig is an essential accessory.
Descriptions of Katniss Everdeen's District 12 Outfits
- "I swing my legs off the bed and slide into my hunting boots. Supple leather that has molded to my feet. I pull on trousers, a shirt, tuck my long dark braid into a cap, and grab my forage bag." Chapter 1
- "As soon as I'm in the trees, I retrieve a bow and sheath of arrows from a hollow log." Chapter 1
➔ Oversized Tan Leather Jacket
Katniss Everdeen's tan leather jacket is an essential part of your District 12 costume. If saving money is a priority, scour the racks at a secondhand shop like Goodwill or Salvation Army, where a genuine leather jacket — if you're lucky enough to hunt one down! — could be bought for as little as $5.
If searching for a leather needle in a thrift store haystack doesn't appeal to you, pick up a jacket like the one below online, where numerous sizes, cuts and colors are always readily available.
Regardless of whether you pick up your leather jacket in a thrift store or online, remember that Katniss inherited her hunting wardrobe from her father after he died. Keep an eye out for a square-cut men's coat that's slightly oversized then rub sandpaper on the elbows, pockets and collar for added authenticity.
Poll: Why Dress as Katniss Everdeen?
What do you love about Katniss?
➔ Long-Sleeved Henley, Striped Slacks & Tan Leather Boots
The best thing about Katniss' District 12 costume is that most of the clothing you'll need to buy is cheap, easy to find and reusable.
To start, purchase a black or dark gray long-sleeve thermal shirt (preferably crew neck with a few buttons and visible stitching) and a pair of brown or gray slacks. Specifically, Katniss wears dull-colored pants with a subtle light brown pinstripe, a realistic wardrobe option for life in a dusty, impoverished coal-mining town.
Given the low economic status of Katniss' family, her wardrobe is mostly made up of tattered hand-me-downs so choose a men's thermal shirt and loose-fitting slacks. For added authenticity, age your outfit using sandpaper, coffee and lemon juice.
➔ Tan Leather Knee-High Boots
Tan knee-high leather lace-up boots allow Katniss to comfortably and quietly traipse through the woods.
➔ Wooden Bow
Few heroines have brandished a weapon as ferociously as Katniss Everdeen wields her signature bow. In The Hunger Games, Katniss' District 12 bow — which differs significantly from the bow she picks up in the arena — is a sleek, wooden flatbow.
Most of the bows sold in sporting goods stores are expensive compound hunting bows, but a variety of inexpensive bows and archery kits can be purchased online, including an exact replica of the weapon used by Jennifer Lawrence in the film.
➔ Tan Leather Quiver & Archery Gloves
Like any good hunter, Katniss enters the forest prepared. She keeps a leather quiver, a cylindrical container, slung across her back to keep her stash of arrows close at hand.
The Girl on Fire also wears brown leather archery gloves to protect her fingers. This glove is the sort of accessory that will set your homemade District 12 costume apart from any store-bought look.
Photos of Katniss Everdeen's Hunger Games OutfitsClick thumbnail to view full-size
Descriptions of Katniss Everdeen's Reaping Dress
- "To my surprise, my mother has laid out one of her own lovely dresses for me. A soft blue thing with matching shoes." Chapter 1
- "Let's put your hair up, too,' she says. I let her towel-dry it and braid it up on my head." Chapter 1
➔ Conservative Light Blue Dress
During the Reaping, Katniss wears a simple light blue button-up dress. Though incredibly plain, the dress' matching sash flatters Jennifer Lawrence's hourglass shape.
For your own Reaping dress, choose something frilly, dainty or dated and keep an eye out for matching 1950s-style saddle shoes.
Better yet, scour local thrift stores for a plain, shapeless vintage dress and use ribbon to fit it to your figure. The added detail will give your costume a truly secondhand, Depression-Era look.
➔ Mockingjay Pin
Katniss receives her infamous gold mockingjay pin immediately after the Reaping and wears it as a token from home during the Hunger Games. The bird featured on the pin is eventually used to symbolize the rebellion spurred by the Girl on Fire's defiance of the Capitol.
Descriptions of Katniss Everdeen's Tribute Parade Costume
- "I'm in a simple black unitard that covers me from ankle to neck. Shiny leather boots lace up to my knees. But it's the fluttering cape made of streams of orange, yellow, and red and the matching headpiece that define this costume." Chapter 5
- "My face is relatively clear of makeup, just a bit of highlighting here and there. My hair has been brushed out and then braided down my back in my usual style." Chapter 5
➔ Black Bodysuit & Boots
A shiny black bodysuit and a pair of tall black lace-up boots are essential parts of the outfit Cinna designs for the District 12 tributes' debut at the parade in the Capitol.
In the movie, Jennifer Lawrence dons a skintight catsuit made of shiny black material with a snakeskin-like pattern and a high double collar. The Capitol adores flashy, glamorous outfits so be sure to choose boots that are shiny, fashionable and slightly over-the-top and, for the most authentic costume possible, a long-sleeved bodysuit made with patterned material.
If comfort is a top priority or you simply aren't sure when you'll ever have the opportunity to wear a faux leather catsuit again, you may want to opt for a black long-sleeve unitard, a pair of shiny black leggings, a faux leather jacket or a black corset.
These alternatives will offer you an authentic Girl on Fire look without the worry of discomfort or wasted cash.
Descriptions of Katniss Everdeen's Interview Dress
- "The team works on me until late afternoon, turning my skin to glowing satin, stenciling patterns on my arms, painting flame designs on my twenty perfect nails. Then Venia goes to work on my hair, weaving strands of red into a pattern that begins at my left ear, wraps around my head, and then falls in one braid down my right shoulder. They erase my face with a layer of pale makeup and draw my features back out. Huge dark eyes, full red lips, lashes that throw off bits of light when I blink. Finally, they cover my entire body in a powder that makes me shimmer in gold dust." Chapter 9
- "My dress is entirely covered in reflective precious gems, red and yellow and white with bits of blue that accent the tips of the flame design." Chapter 9
➔ Red Dress & Accessories
Although the Girl on Fire's pre-Games interview gown is written about in awesome detail in The Hunger Games, Jennifer Lawrence's dress differs significantly from Suzanne Collins' description.
To achieve Katnss' movie look, start with a floor-length red one-shoulder dress, preferably made of satin or taffeta. If cash is a concern, recycle one of your old homecoming dresses or scour the sales racks at a department store in April or May, when prom season is coming to an end.
As for hair and makeup, complete your costume with smoky eyes, red lips, an intricate braided updo and a LOT of gold body glitter.
➔ Capitol Training Uniform
Given that Lionsgate released an official uniform shirt, this look is incredibly simple to recreate. Order your official training uniform shirt today and pair it with some black, striped athletic pants that are tucked into brown leather boots.
If the official uniform shirt is sold out, DIY your look with a black v-neck t-shirt and plain black yoga pants. Use fabric paint to add a thick silver stripe and thin red stripe to the side of your outfit.
Debate: What Fans Loved & Hated About the Movie
Which scenes did you enjoy most and which failed to make you feel a thing? Whose acting brought the characters alive and whose didn't? What beloved parts of the book did Lionsgate leave out? Share your favorite and least favorite moments from the Hunger Games movie!
Descriptions of Katniss Everdeen's Arena Uniform
- "Cinna does my hair in my simple trademark braid down my back. Then the clothes arrive, the same for every tribute. Cinna ... helps me dress in the undergarments, simple tawny pants, light green blouse, sturdy brown belt, and thin, hooded black jacket that falls to my thighs." Chapter 10
- "The boots, worn over skintight socks ... have a narrow flexible rubber sole with treads." Chapter 10
Poll: Did YOU Enjoy the Hunger Games Movie?
What did you think about the Hunger Games movie?
➔ Black T-Shirt, Cargo Pants & Brown Ankle Boots
Katniss Everdeen's Hunger Games uniform may be her single most-recognizable look and thus your best bet if you're hoping to hear a lot of "Oh, look! It's Katniss!" comments. Most of what you'll need to create this costume probably already exists in your closet, which makes it an inexpensive (and easy!) DIY option for girls with limited time or cash.
To start, throw on a simple black v-neck t-shirt and a pair of olive green or light brown cargo pants. While in the arena, Katniss tears off half of one of her pant legs and sets her sleeve on fire. Add scratches and burns to your own costume using sandpaper, scissors and a long-handled lighter.
Katniss also stomps through the arena in a pair of practical leather boots that help keep her a step ahead of the other tributes. Tuck your cargo pants into a pair of rugged dark brown ankle boots, lace them tight around your ankles and leave the upper flaps open to recreate the Girl on Fire's arena look.
Couples Costume Idea: If you're dressing up with your own Peeta, carry a satchel of berries to add extra detail to your costume.
➔ Lightweight Hooded Black Rain Jacket
Cover up like Katniss, Peeta and the rest of the Hunger Games tributes with a waterproof jacket, ideally something lightweight with reflective silver stripes and a touch of red by the collar. The color of these jackets are used to distinguish between districts and District 12's jackets are black.
If your jacket doesn't come with reflective stripes, use silver safety tape to add detail to the shoulders and sleeves. If actual rain gear doesn't suit your style, opt for a plain black zip-up jacket made of faux leather.
Poll: Hunger Games Costume Options
Which Katniss Everdeen costume is your favorite?
➔ Silver Recurve Bow
Choosing the right bow is essential when putting together an authentic, homemade Katniss Everdeen arena costume. Why? The bow that she picks up in the Hunger Games arena is completely different from the homemade bow she inherited from her father back in District 12. After Glimmer is killed by the tracker jackers, the Girl on Fire snags a beautiful silver recurve bow from her abandoned supplies.
Sleek silver bows are hard to come by on the cheap so choose yours based on style and size first. Once you've found the bow that best fits your budget, give it a Capitol-worthy makeover with metallic silver spray paint.
➔ Scars, Burns & Other Battle Wounds
- Cuts & Scratches: While squaring off against Clove, Katniss notes that one of Clove's knives "slices above [her] right eyebrow, opening a gash that sends a gush running down [her] face."
- Calf Burns: After running from a rainstorm of fireballs, the Girl on Fire describes her burned calf as "a brilliant red covered with blisters" and notes that "the burned area is about the size of my hand."
- Hand Burns: During the firestorm, she also burns her hands, which become "covered in red welts."
- Tracker Jacker Stings: After freeing the Tracker Jacker nest, Katniss is stung three times on her cheek, neck and kneecap. She describes the knee lump as "closer to an orange than a plum in size" and notes that "a foul-smelling liquid oozes from the places where I pulled out the stingers."
- Loss of Hearing: After blowing up the Careers' food supplies, Katniss places "a hand to [her] left ear, ... and it comes away bloody."
The color of Katniss' backpack varies. In the book, District 12's star tribute picks up a bright orange backpack that she later camouflages with mud. In that orange backpack she finds a thin black sleeping bag, a pack of crackers, a pack of dried beef strips, a bottle of iodine, a box of wooden matches, a small coil of wire, a pair of sunglasses and a half-gallon plastic bottle with a cap.
In the movie, Katniss snags a mostly black backpack with orange accents from the Cornucopia. Choose the color that best suits your costume needs and attach a knife handle to the outside to replicate the dagger that Clove throws at Katniss. And don't forget about the silver District 12 sack that she risks her life to snatch because it contains medicine for Peeta's infection.
Descriptions of Katniss' Victory Interview Dress
- "Cinna comes in with what appears to be an unassuming yellow dress across his arms." Chapter 26
- "Venia helps me into a pair of flat leather sandals." Chapter 26
- "I am still the 'girl on fire.' The sheer fabric softly glows. Even the slight movement in the air sends a ripple up my body." Chapter 26
- "My hair's loose, held back by a simple hairband. The makeup rounds and fills out the sharp angels of my face. A clear polish coats my nails. The sleeveless dress is gathered at my ribs, not my waist. ... The hem falls just to my knees. Without heels, you can see my true stature. I look, very simply, like a girl." Chapter 26
➔ Girlish Yellow Gown, Gold Crown & Leather Sandals
Katniss' post-Games interview dress was designed by Cinna to make her look innocent so that the Capitol might overlook her rebellious behavior in the arena.
Kick off your victory costume with a simple yellow dress and add ribbons, bows or flowers to add additional girlishness.
Complete your look with a sleek golden forehead crown and simple leather sandals.
➔ Peacock Lashes
After Katniss and Peeta's victory, the duo is interviewed by Caesar Flickerman and crowned by President Snow in the Capitol. During these scenes, Katniss wears a pair of intricate peacock eyelashes.