I'm not of much help regarding the costume construction but I can say that I dig this idea! It sounds really cool/unique and still recognizable! I can't wait to see photos if you decide to do it!
*~Cosplays in progress~*
Sanosuke Harada - Hakuōki: Shinsengumi Kitan
Kojirō Sasaki - Iza, Shutsujin! Koi Ikusa
Kenshin Himura - Rurōni Kenshin