Joe Exotic Costume Guide

Men's Tiger Trainer Costume

Joe Exotic Costume Guide

Joseph Allen Maldanado-Passage, or better known as Joe Exotic the Tiger King, stars in the Netflix docuseries Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness.

Joe is former owner of G.W. Zoo in Wynnewood, Oklahoma. He’s known for his zoo filled with exotic animals, unorthodox lifestyle, eclectic fashion sense and of course hating Carole Baskin. Joe Exotic is not your average Joe, especially when it comes to his taste in fashion.

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I’m going to break down Joe Exotic’s look and teach you how you can become a DIY Tiger King.

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How to Dress Like Joe Exotic AKA the Tiger King


Joe’s hair is a staple if you’re looking to become Tiger King yourself. He sports a platinum blonde mullet while keeping the short sides of his hair dark.

I’m sure your hairdresser will be thrilled to give you this look if you asked, but if you’re on a budget, I’d opt for purchasing a wig. If you can find an exact wig that replicates Joe’s unique hairstyle that’s great. If you’re having trouble finding a two toned blonde mullet, I would purchase either a regular blonde mullet wig and spray paint the sides dark brown, or get crafty and DIY that mullet yourself. You can find a blonde bob wig with bangs either at your local hair supply or party store.

For this DIY wig hairstyle, you can shave or cut the sides of the wig and spray paint the sides dark brown, thus creating the key item to becoming Joe.


The hat that you need to become Joe Exotic depends on which Joe Exotic persona you’re trying to become.

If you’re going for Joe Exotic country singer, I would wear a cowboy hat.

If you’re looking to become an everyday casual Joe Exotic, I’d go for a random neutral colored baseball cap. If you’re wanting to portray mugshot version of Joe Exotic, you’re in luck, you don’t need a hat, just stick to showing off your mullet.


From the looks of it Joe Exotic is a fan of jewelry. He has 6 ear piercings, an eyebrow ring and seems to wear some kind of necklace majority of the time.

If you already have pierced ears, I’d purchase small to medium sized hoops. If you don’t have any piercings on your ears or don’t have as many as Joe has, an option is to search for faux ear hoops or cuffs and use those. Joe also wears a rather large hoop on his eyebrow. Again, if you have an eyebrow piercing already, I would go to your local tattoo shop or jewlery store that sells body jewelry for your hoop.

If you don’t have your eyebrow pierced, there are faux eyebrow rings you can purchase online or in store. I’ve noticed Joe does wear necklaces from time to time, anything beaded, leather (faux or real) and gaudy will do.

Top / Jacket:

Joe really enjoys button down shirts. Plaid printed or sequin patterned seems to be his favorite. I’ve seen similar shirts like these at my local thrift store. If you don’t have luck in the mens section I would check the women’s section for your sequin options and patterns.

An important thing to think about when wearing your button down, is to make sure the top four buttons remain unbuttoned. Joe really likes the deep V look. Joe doesn’t wear a jacket all the time, but if you can find a fringed leather jacket it’s a bonus.


For this costume pants shouldn’t be an issue to find. Luckily he wears regular blue jeans or khaki pants. Most people have these already at home.

If you’re really trying to go the extra mile, it wouldn’t hurt to search for black leather pants. These would go great with your casual sequin patterned button-down leather jacket with fringe.


This is probably the most basic piece of the Joe Exotic costume. Plain brown work boots or shoes should complete the look. After all why wear fancy shoes if you’re walking around a zoo all day.

Overall have fun with the Tiger King outfit. Joe Exotic isn’t one to follow the wave of trends so neither should you. Even if you don’t exactly get the look right, you can blame it on Carole Baskin!

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