Do-It-Yourself Janis Joplin Costume

Janis Joplin had a very distinctive look to go with her amazing voice. From her Foster Grants to her feathered hair, she created an iconic look for herself. She certainly made an impact in the short amount of time she had. Her style influenced many singers that came after her, including Stevie Nicks. If you’d like to be Janis Joplin for Halloween, here are suggestions for all the items you will need to get her signature look.

Introductory picture is the cover of my copy of Janis Joplin’s last album, Pearl.


Janis Joplin loved to wear teashade Foster Grant glasses. She was frequently seen wearing them when off the stage. Today they are a necessary part of recreating her look.


Purple Glasses

Janis Joplin also liked the purple Foster Grants. I recall an interview where Janis and the interviewer are discussing her sunglasses. She states that she likes to wear Foster Grants but she frequently loses them, so she asks that if the company is going to send her a case of glasses for talking about their product to please send her the purple Foster Grant sunglasses.



Janis Joplin had long, wavy brown hair. When she was younger she tried
to fight it and would always wear her hair tied back, but when she got
older she decided to embrace her full, thick hair. Janis usually wore
feathers in her hair to accentuate the fullness and make her hair even
bigger. There were often enough that it could have made an entire wig.

Pants and Dresses

Any 60′s-style bell bottoms will do. I’ve chosen to focus on the pants she wore in the photo for her last album cover, Pearl. Janis preferred pants. She was a tomboy and always tried to be one of the guys so she didn’t often wear dresses, although when she did wear dresses they were almost always miniskirt dresses with tights underneath.



Janis Joplin wore many different types of shirts. I chose the shirt below because it would go beautifully with the red bell bottoms above. Janis wore various styles of shirts, from tie-died shirts to flower print shirts to bright solid-colored shirts.


This shirt looks like something out of the ’60’s. It would make a great piece in a Janis Joplin costume.


Janis didn’t really like to wear shoes, but when she did wear shoes they were often flat sandals or flip flops.



Janis Joplin wore lots of jewelry. She wore many rings and necklaces and bracelets. She would wear necklaces of different lengths to layer them. Her jewelry was not expensive, it was mostly gemstone jewelry. She even made some of her own necklaces. There is a red jasper necklace that appears in many of Janis Joplin’s pictures (you can see it in the picture below – click the picture to enlarge) which she seemed to favor.

Exciting News for Janis Joplin Fans

A clothing and accessory line is being created based on Janis Joplin’s
fashion, called Made for Pearl. The website is now active! It has
clothes and jewelry and handbags inspired by Janis Joplin’s style.

Made for Pearl
Fashion inspired by Janis Joplin.

Made for Pearl Vests
Vests inspired by Janis Joplin created for the Made for Pearl clothing line.

Janis Joplin Style
This article has some great ideas for recreating Janis’s style.

Janis Joplin Documentary

The first video is a very interesting documentary about Janis Joplin. The second video is a documentary-type video that includes a lot of clips of her singing.

Janis Joplin’s Albums

These are Big Brother and the Holding Company (Janis’s first band), Cheap Thrills (Big Brother’s second album), I Got Dem Ol’ Kozmic Blues Again Mama (the album from the band Janis started after leaving Big Brother), Pearl (from her last band, Full Tilt Boogie – this album was released posthumously), and In Concert (a live album with performances from all of her bands).

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