How to Dress Like Carlton Banks

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Men's Stretch Chino
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Best Carlton Banks Costume Guide

Carlton Banks is a fictional character portrayed by actor Alfonso Ribeiro on the massively successful 90’s sitcom The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. Carlton is the son of Vivian and Phil Banks, and the cousin of Will Smith’s fictionalized version of himself who is shipped off to live with the Banks’ to get him away from the mean streets of West Philadelphia.

In contrast to Will Smith’s wise-cracking, smooth character, Carlton is almost a direct opposite, having been sheltered by his wealthy upbringing. He dresses in a preppy style, he is a strong Republican, trusting (usually to a fault) and appears to have very few friends or the social skills required to make them. All you need to become one of 90’s television’s cult figures, Carlton Banks you’ll need a Men Oxford Shirt, Knit Crewneck Sweater, Men’s Stretch Chino, Leather Dress Belt, and Lace Dress Shoe.

Carlton Banks Cosplay Costumes

The 90’s weren’t a great time for fashion, let’s be honest. The outrageous styles seen on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air are a great example of this, however our man Carlton didn’t conform to the trends of the time. His preppy appearance had the mark of a young man who was almost ready for middle-age before he even left high school.

If you want to go to your next costume party dressed in the country-club style of Carlton Banks, why not try to get some friends together and dress as some other characters from The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. Of course there is Will Smith with his funky style and sideways hats, his clueless friend Jazz, or the rest of the Banks clan – Hilary, Ashley, Philip, Vivian, or their loyal butler Geoffrey. Upload your photos here if you decide to step back into the 90’s as the lovable Carlton Banks!

Carlton Banks Costume Tips & FAQs

Step into the world of 90s sitcom nostalgia with our Carlton Banks costume guide FAQ from “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.” Known for his preppy style, distinctive dance moves, and earnest demeanor, Carlton is a beloved character who adds both humor and heart to the show. This guide will help you recreate his iconic look, perfect for fans who appreciate his unique blend of nerdy charm and classic style.

Carlton's outfit is the epitome of preppy 90s fashion. Key elements include a button-down shirt, often in bright or pastel colors or with distinctive patterns like stripes or checks. This is typically paired with a sweater vest or a pullover, often in argyle print or a solid color. Complete the look with formal khaki or dark-colored slacks and a pair of penny loafers or dress shoes. Carlton is also known for wearing blazers or sports coats, adding to his polished appearance.

Carlton has a clean-cut, short hairstyle, which is neatly combed and well-maintained. You can achieve this look with a short haircut, using a bit of hair product to keep it sleek and tidy. Carlton's facial features are defined by his wide smile and expressive eyebrows, so be prepared to flash a big, charming grin.

Carlton wears classic, polished dress shoes, such as loafers or Oxford shoes. These shoes should be in a neutral color like black or brown, and they should have a shiny, well-cared-for appearance to match his preppy and neat style.

Key accessories for a Carlton Banks costume include a tie, which is often boldly patterned or brightly colored, and a belt that matches the shoes. Carlton also occasionally wears a wristwatch, reflecting his punctual and responsible nature. For an added touch, carry a prop school book or a briefcase to emphasize his studious personality.

Adding Carlton's memorable quotes or mimicking his famous dance moves can bring an extra layer of fun to your costume. Here are a few ideas: Quotes like "It's not unusual to be loved by anyone," followed by his iconic dance to Tom Jones's song. "Dad, I need $300," His exaggeratedly polite and formal way of speaking, His enthusiastic and often comically over-the-top reactions to situations. These elements capture Carlton's quirky charm, his preppy demeanor, and his lovable, if sometimes overly earnest, personality.

About Carlton Banks

Carlton Banks is the eldest son of Phil and Vivian Banks in the hit television sitcom The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. He is portrayed by actor Alfonso Ribeiro and gained a cult following since the show aired, and maintained it long after the series ended. Carlton has many good qualities – he had a strict upbringing under the watchful eye of Uncle Phil, and he values good manners and sophistication. While he has a view of himself as a typical privileged young man, he is characterized as not quite being able to live up to his own standards because he is somewhat self-absorbed.

Regardless of his faults, we will always remember Carlton frequently dancing to Tom Jones’ “It’s Not Unusual”, showcasing dance-moves similar to fellow actor Courtney Cox’s dance in Bruce Springsteen’s “Dancing In The Dark” music video. The routine has become known as The Carlton, and is even featured in popular video game Fortnite.

Carlton Banks

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