Halloween Masquerade Isn’t Just the Costumes

Halloween MasqueradeDoes this sound like you? It’s the day before Halloween and you’re scrounging in your closet for costume inspiration. And failing. Again. You end up wearing a mish-mash that could be a pirate or maybe a bad SNL skit. Either way, you haven’t exactly put together a unique Halloween masquerade costume. But, you think, maybe next year.

Hello. It’s next year. And you’re looking for inspiration again. Well, you’ve found it. Inspiration and a plan for a real Halloween masquerade costume you can enjoy and be proud of. And hopefully a character you can be comfortable with for more than one night.

That’s the point. You want more than the trendy flash in the pan superhero, movie villain costume. Not another Jedi, zombie, or Disney princess. Invest some time and energy into a *character* not just a costume.


A great Halloween character is well-rounded, with backstory, relationships, personality. History, but not necessarily historical. Any masquerade costume comes alive if you’re invested in the character it represents. It takes time and effort to develop that connection. But in the end, you’ll truly enjoy wearing the clothing of your alter-ego, and not just a costume.

Robert Downey Jr as Sherlock Holmes in Steampunk Costume

Find the Setting and Character for Your Masquerade Costume

You probably already have a favorite time period or fictional character that’s intriguing, or fun, or just feels right. Maybe you think you should have lived then, or could be that person. Perfect. Start your research there.

If you’re adventurous, here are two hot trends for truly creative Halloween costumes. Steampunk (Victorian plus fantasy, like Sherlock Holmes) and burlesque (the Cher musical or “Chicago”). Either genre works for men, women, couples, or groups.

Christina Aguilera in Burlesque Costume

Look for images that catch your eye and get a reaction. And begin to think like a person living in that setting, having that life, wearing those clothes. Like the saying goes, walk a few miles in those shoes…in your head.

Picture the Halloween Costume that Reflects Your Character’s Tastes

The masquerade costume you put together for your new character should reflect the time and lifestyle of your alter-ego. Think about every aspect of what to wear, from the skin out. You might need a hat, or special shoes, gloves, jewelry, weapons, makeup, even a wig. The more complete your design, the more real that character will become when you put on the costume.

Shop for Clothing, Not Just a Masquerade Costume

Let the costume you assemble reflect the effort you’ve taken to develop your character. Go for the best you can afford. A quality Halloween masquerade costume will last for years. You can make your own, but you may decide it’s easier and faster to start with a ready-made suit of clothes. Accessories make the outfit, as Coco Chanel used to say. Those final elements will turn a ready-made costume into your very own character.


Since you’ll be truly comfortable wearing your new masquerade costume, you’ll find many excuses to show it off, not just for this Halloween. Bring it out for other holidays, like Mardi Gras, or any masquerade party during the year. You’re familiar with the character it represents, so it will be easy to modify the costume for any holiday or celebration.

You can find other opportunities beyond holidays and parties. Fan conventions are held all over the world for just about every genre and time period you can imagine. If you attend an event of like-minded costumers, you could find a whole new group of friends.

Enjoy your new Halloween masquerade costume, and have fun with this new aspect of you.

Game of Thrones group costumes