If you're like me, and I know you are because you're reading this entry, you like Captain America! You like him so much that you would make variations of his costume, including the "old school" WWII outfit. Enclosed herein is the process I went through to put this together. Some of it is work, some of it is locating things in stores or on the internet, but in the end, it all comes together for less than you'd pay for a pre-fab costume. So try this and enjoy!
Step 1: The Helmet
This is probably the trickiest part of the costume. First you need to acquire an actual helmet. The plastic ones are pretty cheap, metal ones will be more expensive. But if you don't mind a used one which also adds authenticity, you can get a reasonably priced one off eBay. I paid $32.00 for this one. Next you're going to want to paint it blue. For ease of time, I went with spray paint. I used a high gloss paint and sprayed the entire helmet. It takes 24 hours for it to dry fully. The next step is the "A", which gave me a little trouble. I've included the steps I took so that you don't do the same and how I corrected it. At first I decided to use a stencil, so I bought a plastic stencil and painter's tape. The two problems I ran into were: 1. Because of the curvature of the helmet, the stencil would not stay flat, which left gaps on the side when I tried to paint it; and 2. I don't know if it was because of the time or the temperature, but the white paint was not bonding well and keep dripping and eventually I ended up with a blob that also removed the previous coat of blue. In the end, I resprayed the blue and then hand painted with some regular house paint freehand. That worked out a lot better.
Step 2: The Outfit
Next you need to acquire the main part of the outfit: shirt, jacket, pants, boots. The pants I got from an Army Navy Surplus Store. They will cost anywhere from $10-$40 depending on condition (new or used), size and location. You want to get Paratrooper Trousers. I paid $40 because I wanted the best and since I'm a bigger guy, there's not as many originals in my size. So the pants are new. I ran them through the wash several times in order to get them more weathered. The jacket was a great find at a second hand store and only cost $10 and is nice and weathered. The shirt was new and can be purchased from a number of sites. I choose the knit costume shirt at 80stees for $28. The boots were the hard part, as again, it will depend on size and condition. I found them as cheap as $20 on up to $200 on eBay. Because of timing and delivery, I could not keep trying to win, so I ended up buying mine new from Atthefront.com for $124, but again, with more time I could have taken the $20 ones on ebay just as easily.
Step 3: The Accessories
These are the elements that really bring the costume together. Big things like the shield are essential and you can't pull this off properly without it. I was able to get mine for $50 on eBay. It is not an official licensed shield, but rather one made by a prop maker, and I recommend this since it's cheaper than the $400 one from Sideshow and other official prop folks and won't make a difference in the look and appearance. Mine has a metal handle wrapped with leather for holding and a leather strap attached for carrying on my back. In addition, the soldier's belt rig with holster and compartment will range in price depending on your time and what you want it to look like. I went full out and get this great original for $107. The piece d'resistance was the dog tags. $8, from another local Army Surplus store made to order. The even had the notch and I got them to put Steven Rogers on them.
Step 4: Final Product
And there you have it. Once it's all together, it looks truly awesome. The first picture is me along with my wife as the Blonde Phantom (who fought along side Cap in the All Winners Squad). The other is my solo picture where you can almost hear me saying, "I want you...to vote for my Captain America costume". Happy Costuming!