Party Costumes

Tips and tricks for choosing the best for any party

In many circles, traditionally celebrated parties are a thing of the past. Children wearing their Sunday's best during birthday parties are rarely seen. Nowadays, the trend in celebrating an event, such as a wedding or even a company Christmas party, leans toward the fun and exciting world of costume-wearing. But how exactly does one determine the right costume to wear on any occasion? Similar to deciding what to wear to a friend's wedding, it takes a lot of deciding to determine which outfit to put on. There are many considerations – the theme, the age, and gender of the wearer, etc. – that come with it. But with the tips outlined below, choosing the right costume will be easier.

Determine the budget

In choosing a costume, it is important to ask how much one is willing to spend on an outfit. This will determine the materials to be used, such as fabric, jewelry (if any), make-up, and props. Ready-made costumes are usually a little more expensive compared to costumes that will be made by hand. But, of course, tighter budgets do not always equate to sub-standard costumes. With the correct details in mind, anyone can create or purchase a quality costume for the least amount of money. One way to do this is online shopping, which will be discussed further in the other points.

Note the details of the occasion

After determining how much one is willing to spend on a costume, keep the occasion in mind. Is it a children's birthday party? Is it a junior-senior prom? Is it a non-traditional wedding? Is it a Renaissance fair? Is it a costume competition? The answer to this question will determine the type of costume to buy. For example, for a children's birthday party, kid-friendly costumes like bees, butterflies, or Disney princesses would be the best choices to make.

If it is a party, take note also of the theme. A non-traditional wedding, for example, would have the event's theme indicated in the invitations. This kind of wedding is referred to as non-traditional because it does not conform to the commonly known standards, such as white gowns for brides and tuxedos for grooms. Couples who choose to celebrate their union in this way would usually share an interest and would like to make their day more fun. A couple who likes Star Wars, for instance, if they do not go the traditional route, might require their guests to dress up as Storm Troopers or Jedi Knights. This would, undoubtedly, make a wedding both unusual and memorable.

It is also important to ask when the occasion will be held. For example, costumes with thick fabrics should be worn for a children's birthday party held in the winter, especially if it is snowing on the day of the occasion. If a costume competition is being held in summer, think twice about wearing an astronaut's spacesuit. Though often overlooked, the weather, along with the time of day, should be indicators of what kind of costume to wear.

Lastly, find out where the event will be held. Additionally, keep in mind the method of transportation. Some competitors at costume contests, for example, would prefer to wear their outfits at home and then travel to the venue. Others would rather bring their outfits and dress up at the venue. The former might be the preferred method of those who own vehicles, especially if thick make-up and intricate styling are required for the costume. For the latter, well, lugging around a costume and its accompanying props takes a lot of work, but dressing up at the venue itself might prove to be more convenient. If one is at a crossroads, however, it is best to assess how easy it is to wear the costume. This will help one decide how to go to the venue.

Consider the personality of the wearer

Age is an important consideration when choosing an outfit. During Halloween, children age zero to twelve should wear kid-friendly outfits, such as cartoon characters and cute animals. Teenagers would usually go for the more adult versions, while twenty-somethings might prefer the sexier versions of the costumes. Older people might want to reconsider choosing a simple outfit. No one wants to see a thirty-year-old man in a caterpillar outfit. Gender might also be an indicator, though some would prefer to crossdress.

Crossdressing is a practice, especially in costume competitions, of females wearing traditionally male outfits and vice versa. For example, a grown man might decide to wear a dress or a blouse and skirt for the fun of it. Androgynous people would usually go for this option since their appearances are not gender-specific.

Finally, ask the wearer if he or she likes the costume. Wearing a costume is supposed to be fun. Still, if the wearer himself or herself does not like what he or she is wearing, then the purpose of wearing the offering is not fulfilled satisfactorily. For the best results, align the kind of costume with the interests of the one who would wear it. Or, in the case of a themed occasion, determine what kind of fabric or color the wearer would be most comfortable in, especially if the one who will wear the costume will not be doing the actual shopping.

Decide whether to buy or make

Now that the particular details of what the costume is going to look like have been decided, it is time to think about whether buying or making is the more convenient option. Professional cosplayers (costume players) would often make their outfits from scratch, gluing the parts and sewing the seams together piece by piece. Some costumes, including the accompanying props, could take up to six months to make. If making is the preferred choice, the date of the event should be put into consideration. As for the process of creating the costume, if the maker is unacquainted with it, there are tutorials on the Internet that discuss how to make helmets, shields, fake swords, and armors out of common household materials. Creativity and resourcefulness are requisites should one decide on this path.

The pros of buying the costume instead are, of course, numerous. Firstly, it is convenient, especially if one is going the online route. There are specialty websites and pages today that offer outfits with essential accessories such as wigs and jewelry for packaged prices. One only needs to go to the website, search for the desired outfit, pay for it via credit card or PayPal, and wait for the package to arrive. One can also guarantee that the costume will be available in time for the occasion, because, too often, people who decide on making their own outfits find that the time between the start of creation and the date of the event itself is not enough to result in a beautifully crafted costume. Additionally, a store-bought costume will be sturdier, compared to amateurishly built outfits.

Choosing a costume for a party will be a breeze if one knows what he is looking for. With these tips, hopefully, the search for the perfect outfit will not take too long.