The SCCS Guide to Terminator 2 Sarah Connor Cosplay

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Hospital to desert

Super basic, white U style tank top, light gray sweatpants that tie at the waist. A light blue scrub top is an option. Obviously, for a con you’re not going to go barefoot so add some plain white sneakers like Keds. Another optional is a faded denim jacket with tan corduroy collar and cuff and “Chet’s Auto Parts” on the back, but finding the exact match for the jacket might be tricky as well as matching the patch.

In the desert:

Black tank top:  “U” style back.
So, funny thing is that I’m sure her shirt is black, most people I know seem to agree. And to me it always will be black. But two different prop action pages that had had screen worn costumes describe and show gray shirts. Perhaps they were washed a whole lot, I do have a few that are kind of gray myself. Meanwhile, McFarlane, Hot Toys and N.E.C.A. all have made figures with Olive Drab Green. This is something I so am going to ask Linda about if I ever meet her again. And, you know, can manage to remember anything when I do. If someone doesn’t ask first, of course.

Do I think Sarah would wear? Yup and any of those colors is possible.

Me? Yup, but mostly black. Except my gray tie-dye with a wolf pup. I do tend to prefer racer backs for better tattoo reveal. Sadly (because it’s a bad sign of things to come), our tank top season keeps increasing here, but I do wear black T-s of various sleeve length. Or gray.

Cosplayers? This is easy to find, obviously. It’s up to you if you want to go with black, gray or OD green. I really can’t say definitively at this point what the right color is. I may have to ask Linda Hamilton if I ever get to see her again.

BDU (Battle Dress Uniform) pants: Mil-Spec/Defense Standards design, except hers apparently had stirrups which are not standard (but see the boot issue below).  Can be found in any army surplus store in your neighborhood or online, but without the.

Sarah? Certainly, but I don’t actually see her bothering to sew stirrups on them, she’d probably just wear taller boots.

Me? Yup, I have a few, gone through many. Got me to love a lot of pockets, but I tend to prefer tactical pants, now, they tend to have more pockets.

Cosplayers? I’d go for the actual BDUs for a true cosplay. You can find them at your nearest Army Surplus store or online. Get taller boots, skip the stirrups unless you really want to sew them on.

Commando Covered Watchband: They don’t show the olive drab green which is what Sarah wore, but one of the problems with matching is that hers had black Velcro and now they make them with OD green Velcro to match.

Sarah? Sure, it’s a practical way to keep your watch from being damaged and from throwing light.

Me? I bought a black one one day, while buying BDUs, seeing them on the counter and they were cheap and it seemed amusing to me. I soon realized that with the watch completely wrapped in this I don’t kill them within months or even weeks like I always did. It’s a lot cheaper to buy one of these bands every few years than a new watch every few months. I don’t remember when I last bought a watch. I actually buy batteries for them and have them work (before I’d think that was the problem but it never was). So I continue to wear a black one.

Cosplay? You could go with the ODG on ODG as they are now but you might want to doctor an OD green one up with black Velcro to get more of a match. As they are relatively inexpensive, you could even buy a black one to swap the Velcro out if you can sew webbing.

Three-Prong Pistol Belt with metal buckle: While it sometimes looks black this actually seems to be a dark OD green. That would make sense, as the brass hardware dates it probably even earlier than the movie, this is probably Vietnam era. Today when you do find hardware like this, as most pistol belts today have plastic quick-release snaps (like her vest did at the time) the hardware is a dull black.

Sarah? Sure.

Me? No, as I carried concealed I don’t need a load belt that doesn’t also hold up my pants.

Cosplayers? You will probably want to get some gold/brass paint to paint the metal for screen accuracy unless you find a vintage one.

Close up of Sarah's boot
Added photo due to link not working right

Combat Boots?: To be honest, even then I remember thinking that her boots looked more like round toed paddock boots than like combat boots. The height of them, the shaping of the upper, the thin sole, the soft looking leather, the kind of speed lacing and all just looks more like a paddock boot. And, yes, some are steel-toed and have that overlay. I may be wrong, of course, there have been a combat boot made like this back then that I didn’t find or I totally dismissed for being so, well, awful.  But looking at up-close photos, they really look like paddock boots. See my notes about the BDU pants having stirrup, in order for them to stay tucked. 

Sarah? Certainly she would have found higher boots with better soles rather than add stirrups to her pants. Probably gone for Jungle or Desert boots (both are leather and cloth with venting differentiated by color, so probably black Jungle, but maybe the more old-school OD green and black Jungle) given that it was probably hot in the desert. 

Me? I like Panama-soled speed-lace combat boots, except in winter when sometimes wear winter Infantry boots when I don’t just go with some butt ugly warmer boots. I have both all leather and Jungle styles, speed-lacers. I am considering trying athletic sole tactical boots at some point. But do like soles that don’t hold stuff….we have horses after all. 

Cosplayers? If I were cosplaying I’d go for my favored Jungle boots rather than screen accurate. In part for comfort (I mean, I wear them horseback riding because if I end up waking for some reason, well, riding books suck to walk in), but also because I’m really perplexed by the screen choice in this one. And I don’t think anyone looks that closely at the boots, to be honest. I know of no one else who has mentioned these, all the figures have combat boot styles. So, seriously, go for comfort and, likely, something you’ll wear otherwise because, boots….but I recommend some type of actual black combat boot.

Those Sunglasses:  The most identifiable thing Sara wore were those distinctive Matsuda 2089 sunglasses.

Sarah? Of course, they’re great all around eye protection. They were around $2,000 but given her armory, it seems she had some access to stuff so she might have gotten her hands on them.

Me? They’re attractive glasses, but if I had the money for the real thing should I find them, as even 25th anniversary limited release 2089H (which came in both the gold/brown and in silver) now appear to be sold out, I’d probably spend that sort of money on something else. I may get the Magnoli Clothiers  cosplayer knockoff, someday, just to have. Probably wouldn’t wear them too much.  I do have some small, round aviators that bear more than enough resemblance that I often don’t wear them too much, even though there is no side-shield. Which also limits their usefulness so I prefer wrap around sports and shooting sunglasses, anyway. Same side protection, better field of view.

Cosplayers? the price of the real thing has been rather rich for most, so many have made due with the sort of round aviators I have, or various “steampunk” ones with side-shields which work good for more casual cosplay. But now there are the Magnoli Clothiers version at about $150, for those who want screen accurate.

Heading out:

Sarah, heading outThe above will do it for many, but if you want to move on to when she moves out….

Navy Utility Cap: A reader naNavy Utility Capmed Travis pointed out that the cap she is wearing is a utility cap of a style that seems to have cease being made in the ’80s. Again, this is a Vietnam era piece.  It is also a very dark blue, that on screen looks blacker than black.

Sarah? Probably, I’m thinking a lot of her stash was Vietnam era.

Me? Never did find one so settled for a BDU Patrol Cap pictured here, but honestly I like it a bit better, because I like the way the front has a lower profile while hers has a higher front profile. patrol capBut I wear a lot of different hats including “baseball style” and I do tend to wear a cap with sun-protective draping when out on the homestead, as well as Boonie hats. My skin hates the sun, I pretty much have something on outside. So if I found one that fit, I would probably wear it.

Cosplayers? This style is not easy to find and the term “utility cap” is used for later styles with different appearances. You might find them on eBay, this is where I got the photo above and I found this as well, but by the time you see this those might be gone completely and sizes are already limited. This page offers different utility caps for sale, so you might find this style and also see some of the variations. If you can’t find one and have some crafty skills you can probably mock one up possibly from a patrol cap or the like.

ALICE (All-Purpose Lightweight Individual Carrying Equipment) vest: It pretty much is what it is. But note that hers was not a solid vest as I’ve seen some cosplayers use.

Sarah? Sure, especially when going out to shoot the Father of Skynet.

Me? Well, I have pants with 14 pockets, so it’s not something I need so much. But I might pick one up someday.

Cosplayers? This is the closest I can find to the actual vest that Sarah wore. But it, and the few others that I found that are similar, are all sold out in black. Woodland camo ones, you can pretty much trip over, though. I have zero clue as to how easy to dye they might be, they are mostly nylon. But it shows what you are looking for, including the laced on back You may also need to get another pistol belt, non pronged and with a quick release buckle as she doesn’t hook it to the one she was already wearing.

At Cyberdyne:

Trench coat: This actually appears to be identical to Reese’s coat and may be the same one Michael Biehn wore on screen in the dream sequence. Which was an Army quarpel coat.

Sarah? There is the question of how she got this, was it something she had and took from the compound? Or was it Dyson’s? She needed something to enter the building in that hid her paramilitary clothing and weapons and such a coat is a good choice, just as Kyle found it useful for hiding his sawed off shotgun. Aside from practicality, did she already have it because it reminded her of Reese? Or grab it from the Dyson’s for that reason, even if preoccupied so maybe subconsciously? The coats are not hard to come by, so either is an option.

Me? Yeah, I realized that I have one of these now, although I only wore in once or twice. It was among the belongings of my Dad that I decided to keep and wear. So it is also over-sized.

Cosplayers? This is a great option if you are in cosplaying when tank tops might be a bit chilly, like many areas at Halloween. Some, like mine, have zip in lining, too. And they aren’t really that hard to find, either online or at Army surplus stores. Sometimes you find them in your closet already. Remember it should be over-sized. And lose the hat and the ponytail. Seriously, I don’t think I’ve seen anyone use one, although plenty of Kyle Reese cosplayers have.


If you’re doing conventions, you may not want any weapons remotely realistic looking, let alone screen accurate, depending on what con you are at their restrictions vary a lot (even more so as of 2017). For a photo shoot you might want to go more realistic, if you’re a shooter doing a photo shoot, you may want the real thing, of course.

Given my feelings about realistic, or even non-realistic, fake weapons, I want to ask anyone carrying prop weapons at a con who never handle the real thing (or have only casually and figure fake ones you don’t need to bother with safety rules…I know most who are experienced just handle them the same out of, or to keep, habit), please learn safe weapon handling:  finger on frame, muzzle never pointed at anyone. Not only does this put you more “in character” but it’s less likely to freak out people experienced with real weapons. No, really, it can freak people out to suddenly see one pointed at them if they are more use to real ones.

The Internet Movie Firearms Database lists all the Terminator 2 firearms here, I’m listing the ones Sarah used, but you can see photos at the database. If you want screen accurate, you may have to do custom work on prop guns, but I’ll let you do the searching.

Colt Series 70/Detonics 1911 hybrid: From Pescadero to the compound.

Sarah? Well, the T800 had from the biker and she grabbed it from it’s waistband and later seems to ditch it, but see below.

Me? Not 1911 fan.

Cosplayers? When she has this gun she’s in her hospital clothing and then the stolen Chet’s Auto Parts jacket and then switches to….

Detonics Custom 1911 with Pachmayr grips: Acquired at Enrique’s compound.

Sarah? Apparently.

Me? Still not a 1911 fan.

Cosplayers? Probably not that hard to find a replica, may need to do some custom work on the grips

Colt Commando CAR-15 Model 629 (actually mocked up Colt Sporters): The carbine we see her cleaning and that she uses to shoot at Dyson. Also in the SWAT van, although that would be another one found there.

Sarah? Sure, probably an actual Commando though.

Me? Probably not my first choice, either Commando or Sporter, but wouldn’t kick it out of my arsenal.

Cosplayers? Probably pretty easy to get this replicated.

Remington 870 Police Combat with folding stock and high capacity magazine tube and shell holder on stock:

Sarah? She grabbed this from the SWAT van, so hard to say what her actual choice would be, but she does go for the Remington 870 Shorty in the new film. You all remember the one-armed pump so what more is there to say?

Me? Not first choice, I like Mossbergs a bit more.

Cosplayers? I think this should be easy to find a replica of, or might need some custom work. Consider losing the hat and messy loose hair if you add this, as that’s where she was at by then.

SOG Bowie S1:

Sarah? Yeah, this is a great knife. Actual question is, why did she just ditch it?

Me? Okay, of all her weapons, this is the one I truly covet. Seriously my gun tastes run a bit different, but I love SOG knives, own several both fixed and folding, and the original Bowie that started the company is just …ah, well, a dream. For the real thing you’re looking at collector prices. For their current Bowies it’s around $240-$300. So chances are, while I really would like to, I probably won’t have one anytime soon.

Cosplayers? You can go to the trouble of finding or making a replica if you’re going for her “compound” look, but as she (again, mindbogglingly) leaves it in the picnic table, if you do the full vest and cap version, it would be more screen accurate to just wear an empty black knife sheath. That would likely be more con-friendly, too.