Max Mayfield Costume Guide

Max Mayfield is a fierce and independent character from the hit show "Stranger Things". Her iconic '80s skater-girl style is both effortlessly cool and instantly recognizable. This costume guide will help you recreate Max's signature look using readily available clothing and a few simple DIY customizations. With our expert tips and insights, you'll embody Max's rebellious spirit and bring a touch of Hawkins, Indiana, to your next costume event.

Our Verdict:

  • Difficulty: 3/10
    • Most items can be found within your existing wardrobe or thrifted. The DIY elements are relatively simple, even for beginners.
  • Can you build it from your own wardrobe: 
    • It depends! If you own striped tees, denim shorts, and colorful sneakers, you're well on your way. Otherwise, thrift stores are your best bet.
  • Scare factor: 0/10
    • Max isn't a scary character at all. This costume is more about attitude and 80s nostalgia.
  • Cost: $$$$$ Here's a rough breakdown:
      • Basic (from your wardrobe or thrifted): ~$10-$25
        • (This assumes you only need to purchase minor accessories or modify existing clothes with minimal supplies).
      • Mid-range (mix of new and pre-owned items): ~$30-$60
        • (If you need to purchase a new striped tee, sneakers, or more specific accessories like the yellow watch).
      • High-End (replica pieces): ~$80+ (If you aim for exact replicas of her clothes or invest in a skateboard for added authenticity).

Additional Notes on Cost:

  • Prices can vary based on your location and if you're shopping during peak seasons (like Halloween).
  • Creative substitutions can save money! Don't be afraid to improvise with items you already own.
  • Remember, attitude is priceless. Perfecting Max's mannerisms and confidence adds major authenticity, regardless of cost!

Max Mayfield Costume Ideas

  • Max' Floating Look


You will need the following items for your Max Mayfield's floating costume:

  1. Max Mayfield Jacket and Shirt
  2. Women's Hairpin
  3. Red-Brown Wig
  4. Long Sleeve Striped T-Shirt
  5. Casual Denim Pants
  6. Max Mayfield Shoes
  7. Max Mayfield Full Costume

One of the notable revelations in Season 4 involves Max. As depicted in the image above, there's a moment where Max seems to be hovering above Dustin, Lucas, and Steve in Stranger Things 4

  • Max' Season 4 Walkman Look

  • Max' Season 3 Shopping Look

Max Mayfield Season 3 Costume

You will need the following items for your Max Mayfield Season 3 Costume:

  1. Striped Crop Top T-Shirt
  2.  Loose Jean Shorts
  3.  Yellow Plastic Watch
  4.  Vintage Red Sunglasses
  5. Vans Trainers
  6.  Fake Ice Cream
  7. Skinny Leather Belt

From The UK? Click Here for The UK Links

During Season 3, Max emerged as a trendsetter among her friends, particularly Eleven. Sporting vibrant and stylish outfits, she assumed the role of Eleven's fashion consultant

  • Max's Skater Girl Look


You will need the following items for your Max Mayfield skateboard costume:

  1. Long Sleeve T-Shirt
  2. Red Track Jacket
  3. Classic Jeans
  4. Wig
  5. Yellow Watch
  6. Red Backpack
  7. Vans Sneakers
  8. Madrid Skateboard

In Season 2, Max portrays a true tomboy. She dresses, talks, and engages in activities typically associated with boys during the 1980s.



Other "Sadie Sink" Costume Ideas

Ziggy Berman

Other "Stranger Things" Costume Ideas

Stranger Things Costume Ideas

How To DIY Max Mayfield's Iconic Look

Max's bold stripes, denim, and rad accessories make her look instantly recognizable. If you have our ready-made shopping list above but want a more personalized or budget-friendly approach, get ready to channel your inner '80s skater girl with these DIY tips!

The Striped Crop Top

  • What You Need:

    • A red and white horizontally striped t-shirt (the wider the stripes, the better!)
    • Fabric scissors
    • Measuring tape or ruler
    • Pen or fabric marker
    • Seam ripper (optional)
  • How To Do It:

    1. Determine the length: Try on the shirt and decide where you want it to crop. Mark the desired length with a pen or fabric marker, adding a couple of inches for a raw hem.
    2. Cut with care: Lay the shirt flat and carefully cut along your marked line.
    3. Perfect the hem (optional): For a cleaner edge, fold the bottom of the shirt inwards and secure with a few stitches. A raw edge looks perfectly punk rock too!
  • Bonus Tips:

    • If you can't find the perfect striped shirt, buy a plain white tee and use red fabric paint or markers for a truly customized look.
    • Raid your closet or visit a thrift store to find a vintage striped shirt – that authentic '80s vibe will be undeniable!

The Denim Shorts

  • What You Need:

    • A pair of denim shorts (or jeans you're willing to cut!)
    • Fabric scissors
    • Measuring tape or ruler
    • Pen or fabric marker (optional)
    • Sandpaper or a cheese grater (optional)
  • How To Do It:

    1. Find the right length: Try on the shorts and mark where you want to cut. If using jeans, be sure to leave enough length to roll the cuffs.
    2. Cut it up: Lay the shorts flat and carefully cut across your marked line.
    3. Get that lived-in look (optional): Use sandpaper or a cheese grater to distress the edges and create a frayed, worn-in effect.
  • Bonus Tips:

    • Look for high-waisted denim for that true '80s silhouette.
    • Don't be afraid to experiment with washes! While light-wash denim is classic Max, you can rock any shade that fits your style.

The Colorful Sneakers

  • What You Need:

    • A pair of canvas sneakers (white or light-colored)
    • Fabric paints in various colors (red, blue, green, yellow, etc.)
    • Paintbrushes
    • Reference photo of Max's sneakers
  • How To Do It:

    1. Protect your workspace: Cover your work area with newspaper or plastic.
    2. Sketch the design (optional): Lightly sketch out the sneaker's color blocks using a pencil.
    3. Paint with flair: Using a reference photo of Max’s sneakers, fill in the blocks with your chosen colors. Layer for opacity as needed! Allow to dry fully between coats.
  • Bonus Tips:

    • We love the classic side stripe, but Max's sneakers have a more freeform design, so get creative!
    • For extra precision, use masking tape to define the edges of your color blocks.

The Yellow Wristwatch

  • What You Need:

    • Yellow spray paint
    • Cheap digital watch (ideally with a plastic or rubber strap)
    • Newspaper or masking tape
    • Gloves and a well-ventilated area
  • How To Do It:

    1. Prep and protect: Remove the watch strap. Cover the watch face with newspaper or tape. Wear gloves and work outdoors or in a well-ventilated area.
    2. Spray away: Following the spray paint instructions, apply light, even coats of yellow paint to the watch strap, allowing it to dry completely between coats.
    3. Reassemble: Once fully dry, reattach the watch strap.
  • Bonus Tips:

    • Can't find a yellow watch? This is a perfect thrift store hunt!
    • If spray painting is tricky, consider using yellow acrylic paint and a brush.

With these DIY tricks, you're well on your way to capturing Max's signature style! Next, we'll dive into how to embody her bold attitude and personality.

Max Mayfield Cosplay

Max's tough exterior and quick wit are just as iconic as her clothes. Embracing her attitude will take your costume to the next level and make you feel like a true Hawkins local.

The evolution of Max Mayfield over the years
The evolution of Max Mayfield over the years

How to act like Max Mayfield at the Halloween Party:

Skateboarder Swagger

  • What To Do: Max is always on the move, especially on her trusty skateboard. Even if you don't actually ride, carry yourself with that skater confidence.
  • How To Do It:
    • Walk the walk: Relax your shoulders, project confidence in your stride, and keep your gaze level. Imagine you're coasting down the street on your board.
    • All in the hands: Skateboarders often sling their boards under one arm. If safe to do so, carry a (non-functional) skateboard prop to add to the effect.
  • Bonus Tips:
    • Observe actual skateboarders and try to emulate their casual, relaxed posture, even when standing still.
    • Max's defiance sometimes translates to body language – try standing with slightly crossed arms to channel her defensive side when needed.

The Eye-Roll of Champions

  • What To Do: Max has perfected the eye-roll as an art form. It's her go-to move when unimpressed or annoyed (which, let's be honest, is a lot of the time).
  • How to Do It:
    • Start subtle: Don't overexaggerate. A slight tilt of the head and a quick upwards shift of your eyes conveys plenty of sarcasm.
    • The power of timing: Pair the eye-roll with a sigh or a scoff for extra impact, just like Max does.
  • Bonus Tips:
    • Watch clips of Max for inspiration! Sadie Sink's expressions are hilariously on point.
    • This one takes practice! Use a mirror to refine your own unimpressed eyebrow raise.

"Zoomer" Lingo

  • What To Do: Max loves '80s slang that makes her sound totally rad (or in her case, a bit of a dork).
  • How to Do It:
    • Hit the rewind: Familiarize yourself with words like "tubular," "gnarly," and "totally." Drop them into conversations sparingly for comedic effect.
    • Channel your inner Lucas: Remember how Max playfully makes fun of Lucas for using these terms? Adopt a slightly mocking tone when you use them to keep it authentic.
  • Bonus Tips:
    • Online resources like 80s Slang Dictionaries abound! Use them, but don't overdo it, or you'll sound like you're in a time warp.

Protective Instincts

  • What To Do: Beneath her tough exterior, Max is fiercely loyal to her friends. She won't hesitate to stand up to bullies or anyone who threatens her inner circle.
  • How To Do It:
    • Stand your ground: When you're with your "Party," embody Max's bravery. Place yourself slightly in front of them as a subtle protective gesture.
    • Speak up with conviction: Practice phrases like, "Hey, back off!" or "Leave them alone!" Project your voice with authority.
  • Bonus Tips
    • Remember, Max's courage comes from her deep care for her friends. Channel those positive feelings to fuel your protective instincts.
    • This trait translates even in non-confrontational situations. Offer support to your "Party" in small ways, just like Max does.

Master these attitudes, combine them with your killer costume, and you'll nail that Max Mayfield essence. Don't be afraid to experiment and have fun bringing this complex and awesome character to life!

Couple, Group and Family Costume Ideas

Get ready to expand your "Party" with these creative costume combos inspired by Max's world and beyond!

Nina Dobrev and Shaun White as Vecna and Max
Nina Dobrev and Shaun White as Vecna and Max

Couple Costume Ideas

  • Idea 1: Max & Lucas – From Bickering to Besties (Difficulty: Easy)

    • Why it works: This dynamic duo starts with playful rivalry and evolves into a sweet, slightly awkward romance. Their iconic 80s styles also complement each other perfectly. This one is my favorite couple costume idea.
  • Idea 2: Max & Billy – Clash of the Siblings (Difficulty: Moderate)

    • Why it works: Their relationship is fraught but undeniably complex. Max's defiant spirit against Billy's intimidating presence makes for a visually striking and attention-grabbing pair.
  • Idea 3: Max & Ramona Flowers – Skater Girl Power (Difficulty: Challenging)

    • Why it works: Max (from Stranger Things) and Ramona Flowers (from Scott Pilgrim vs. The World) are both fiercely independent, skilled on wheels (skateboard vs. rollerblades), and have unforgettable multi-colored hair. Channel their shared cool-girl vibes!

Group Costume Ideas

  • Idea 1: The Hawkins Middle School AV Club (Difficulty: Moderate)

    • Why it works: Instantly recognizable! Grab your nerdy best friends and assemble as Dustin, Lucas, Mike, Will, and of course, Max. Bonus points for adding Eleven in her classic 80s dress and blonde wig.
  • Idea 2: 80s Mall Rats (Difficulty: Easy)

    • Why it works: Celebrate Max's love of the Starcourt Mall. Dress as iconic '80s mall archetypes: the preppy girl, the jock, the punk rocker, etc. Robin Sparkles from HIMYM is an awesome choice for this one.  Don't forget the big hair and neon accessories!
  • Idea 3: Girl Power Heroes (Difficulty: Varies)

    • Why it works: Max joins forces with other awesome female characters like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Wonder Woman, and Princess Leia. A mix of eras and genres, but united by strength and attitude!

Family Costume Ideas

  •  Idea 1: The Sinclairs (Difficulty: Easy)

    • Why it works: Perfect if you've got a younger sibling! Max and Lucas's bickering dynamic is hilarious, and their outfits are super achievable. Parents can join in as Joyce Byers (bonus points for Christmas lights!) or Hopper!
  • Idea 2: Supernatural Summer (Difficulty: Moderate)

    • Why it works: Channel those summer in Hawkins vibes! A parent can be Steve Harrington  and Robin with their iconic Scoops Ahoy uniforms, another as a menacing Demogorgon, and the kids as Max, Eleven, or members of the Party.
  • Idea 3: Sadie Sink's Characters

    • Why it works: This idea is for true Sadie Sink fans! Have each family member dress as one of her iconic characters - Max from "Stranger Things," Ziggy from "Fear Street," or even her Broadway role as young Annie.

About Max

Max Mayfield is more than just her skateboard and quick wit. She's a complex and fascinating figure whose influence resonates both within the show's narrative and with its dedicated fanbase. Let's uncover what makes her tick!

Max in Season 2
Max in Season 2

Character Overview

  • Role in "Stranger Things": Max arrives as the 'new girl', shaking up the established dynamics of the Party. She serves as a catalyst for change, a foil for Eleven, and ultimately, a fierce protector of her friends.
  • Played By: Sadie Sink

Background and Personality Traits

  • Personality: Max is tough, guarded, and fiercely independent. Her sarcasm and defensiveness mask a deep vulnerability born from her troubled family life. Loyal to her core, she's hesitant to trust but will fight tooth and nail for those she loves.
  • Appearance: Max's style embodies '80s skater-girl cool. Think colorful shirts, denim, sneakers, and her signature fiery red hair which reflects her fiery personality.

Role in the Story

  • Major Plot Points:
    • Max's arrival in Season 2 disrupts the Party's balance, leading to conflict and also sparking new friendships.
    • Her bravery and quick thinking are instrumental in fighting the Mindflayer and protecting her friends.
    • Her tragic struggle against Vecna in Season 4 highlights her unwavering courage and deep bonds with those around her.
  • Impact on Narrative & Characters: Max adds a new female perspective to the group. Her rivalry-turned-friendship with Eleven is a highlight, and her bond with Lucas adds sweetness and depth to both characters.

Cultural Impact

  • Fan Reception: Max is a fan favorite, praised for her relatable struggles, unwavering loyalty, and awesome '80s style. Her skateboarding skills make her a popular cosplay choice.
  • Thematic Significance: Max represents the complexities of adolescence, the challenges of fitting in, and the strength derived from true friendship. Her resilience in the face of trauma makes her an inspiring figure for many.

With this deeper understanding of Max Mayfield, you're well-equipped to bring her to life—whether through your costume or by channeling her captivating spirit.

Further Reading


You've got the DIY tips to nail Max's iconic style, an understanding of her attitude, and ideas for bringing even more "Stranger Things" fun into your costume experience. This guide has given you everything you need to channel Max's skater-girl cool and embody her fierce spirit. Now get out there and rock Hawkins, California with your best Max Mayfield impression!

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