I was a little late getting on the Breaking Bad bandwagon, but now that I’m here, I figured I’d put together a brief tutorial showing you how to put together an accurate Heisenberg costume. Yes, last Halloween season saw lots of wanna-be sites posting how-tos, but none of them got the details right. I’m here to give you the straight dope (get it?) on the screen-worn clothing.
Early on in the series, there’s a definite difference between Walter White and his alter-ego, Heisenberg. They share some articles of clothing but the iconic wardrobe belongs to Heisenberg. That’s why his outfit is the one I’m going to cover.
Walt’s not much of a fashion plate, so I’m a little confused by his choice of hat and shades. I suppose you could argue that he might have stolen them from Jessie. I don’t really remember where he gets them on the show, but they’re cool. That’s where we’ll start.
The original costume piece was made by Bailey Hats of Hollywood and is called the Jett. You can find it for less than $70 if you shop around. The producers of the series sold the rights to reproduce the hat to a company called Goorin Brothers. They claim to have made the original, but I seriously doubt the validity of their claim. First off, the hat they make has a black lining with a bright gold tag. On screen, the hat has a white lining with what appears to be an obscured Bailey logo. You be the judge. At the very least, the Bailey hat is about half the price of the Goorin version and by most reports, it has a better hand and moves more like the one Walt wears.
The correct sunglasses are a model called Turntable, made by Smith Optics. Turntables originally came in a couple of colors. Walt’s were black. These are no longer in production so they’re fetching fat cash on Ebay these days, even when they’re the wrong color. There are lots of glasses that might do, but none that capture the iconic look quite like the Turntables. If I find a reasonable facsimile, I’ll update this post. In the meantime, save your money and get the real deal, but be careful. There are some Chinese counterfeit glasses out there that look very little like the real deal. You’ve been warned.
For the bulk of the series, Walt also wears some old-school, wire frame prescription glasses, but so far, I’ve not found anyone who could identify them.
At the end of the show, he wears some black plastic frames. Those are called Montreal and they’re from Republica Eyewear.
Walt wears a black windbreaker as Heisenberg. His tan windbreaker is definitely a London Fog microfiber jacket, so I think it’s safe to take a leap and assume this black jacket is from the same company. You can clearly see the microfiber texture in high def. The closest thing I’ve been able to find is a London Fog microfiber golf jacket. You can find it at BELK.
UPDATE: Thomas wrote in to say that he’s seen a picture of the real jacket and that it was a Perry Ellis Portfolio Golf Jacket in microfiber. He even provided a link to the jacket on Amazon. Thanks, Thomas!
Here’s where you luck out. Walt wears a lot of different button-up shirts in different episodes, so you can pretty much choose any conservative shirt off the rack. At least one of his shirts was by John Henry so it’s possible all of them were. The most memorable ones from the show are his green plaid shirt and his burgundy one. The burgundy looks especially good with the darker Heisenberg outfit so that’s what I’d choose. And don’t forget the white t-shirt underneath.
Not that you’ll be showing them off, but if ever there was a character who was known for his underwear, it’s Walter White. Tightie-whities, of course. They have gold and blue stripes around the waistband but in the opposite order from the colors on Fruit of the Loom undies. Hmm.
Walt wears Dockers. Just Dockers. Plain old, straight leg Dockers. Probably the classic D3 cut. Heisenberg usually wears black or navy and Walt usually wears tan. The back pockets have flaps. Other than that, they’re generic.
He holds them up with a generic Ralph Lauren leather belt. Brown with tan pants and black with black. Pretty standard fare.
Walt has singular taste when it comes to footwear. Black Wallabee boots are what he wears most of the time that he’s presenting himself as Heisenberg. He also wears tan Wallabees on the show. Made by Clarks, these boots are truly ugly. While other footwear will work (and probably be less expensive), the Wallabee look is definitely part of Walt’s uber-nerd image. They’re available at Zappos. The folks at Zappos keep breaking my links, so just go there and search for “Wallabee”.
Lest we forget that Walt’s family is being threatened, his costume includes a gold wedding band. While this is optional, it will definitely help finish the look. Details matter.
Early on in the series, I believe he wears a calculator watch. Probably a Casio, though it’s not seen clearly enough to say for sure. In the last season, Walt wears a Tag Heuer Monaco Chronograph. Since this wristwatch usually sells for $5000, I think it’s okay not to sport one with your costume.
Walt wears a side part and a weird pseudo-mustache early on in the series, even as Heisenberg. He graduates to a shaved head and a van dyke later in the show and that’s more attractive, but it’s up to you to choose. If you don’t already wear facial hair, the short, stubbly stache would grow in quickly. A bald cap could work but I’d prefer a close cropped buzz or shaved head for authenticity.
If you’ve read down this far without any knowledge of Walt’s product, what are you waiting for? Go watch the show! Walt and Jessie make blue crystal methamphetamine. No, blue meth doesn’t really exist. It’s fictional. It was a way for series writers to give viewers a visual cue while also giving DEA agents a clear link to a new meth lab. Making your own prop meth is easy. You can buy blue rock candy like that used on the show, or you can make your own and bag it in tiny ziplock bags. The original source is Albuquerque’s own The Candy Lady. The recipe to make your own is at SugarHero.
BTW, the pic above is from Rebel Donut, an Albuquerque institution that made the cast and crew special Blue Sky doughnuts.
For those handful of you who just can’t get enough accuracy, show up in a beige Pontiac Aztek, the ugliest car ever produced in an ugly color that was never produced. Apparently, Vince Gilligan was so enamored of the idea that Walt=beige that he had the Aztek repainted in this awful color. It also has a black steel replacement wheel on the left rear.
The show also features a 1986 Fleetwood Bounder RV, but for my money, the Aztek is Walt’s signature vehicle.
One last note. As if it weren’t evident enough on the show, I feel like I should mention the fact that crystal meth destroys lives. BB is a fun show but it seldom delves into what the crystal does to Walt’s customers. I’ve personally seen the effects and they aren’t pretty. Have fun playing in Walt’s sandbox but at the end of the day don’t forget that the show is fantasy. Check out THIS SITE if you don’t believe me.
If you think of something I’ve missed from Walt’s costume, please post a comment and let me know. In the meantime, happy hunting, hermanos!