Costume Ideas for Groups
There are certain times in the year when people want advice not only on what theme to have for their party but also what costumes we recommend. These two elements particularly combine when people want to go as a themed group of characters, notably around the main party season leading up to Christmas and the New Year. Sometimes there is so much choice in terms of costumes it may be difficult to make a decision on what would be the best group.
Why not start by looking through our selection of themes on the left hand side to see if any of these ideas appeal?
There are lots of different groupings that you might choose or perhaps a theme has already been selected for you?
Novelty Groupings – For those seeking something different, one can find some unusual potential groups in the market. Amongst those we have seen Tetris coloured block costumes and Crayola pencils! On the other hand, you might be working towards a large group of people all in similar costumes for the purposes of, say, a world record attempt. Most notably this has been seen for Smurfs (there are records for both ‘Largest number of people dressed as Smurfs in a Single Location’ and for ‘in Multiple Locations’) but recently groupings have also been organised for people dressed as Superman and for Star Trek characters.
Leading on from this, a further specialist area of suggestions for groups can be for carnival floats, processions, etc.. Here the need is to kit out what might be a large number of people (often an adults and children mix) under a common theme or concept. A major factor may also be cost, so the group might have to be based around a few key costumed characters, with others improvising or creating their outfits with expertise and/or improvisation.
Here are a few suggestions on a range of themes:
- A pack of playing cards – Kings, Queens and Knaves with a cardboard tabard-based card courtiers – fairly easy to deal with!
- Cruella de Vil and a collection of Dalmatians – This one’s popular with brownie and cub packs.
- The Garden – Flowers and Gardeners, not to mention Gnomes, Frogs, Mice, Statues etc.
- Around the World – A collection of ‘national costumes’ (official or otherwise) from many countries.
- Circus – Not everyone likes clowns, and animals are less common now, but acrobats and circus skills still abound, controlled by a ringmaster/mistress
Some of our most popular groups tend to be based around storybook and film characters. It may also depend upon whether you have a mix of males and females, or if it is all based on one gender. You probably will not find too many males wanting to dress up as Disney Princesses and likewise a collection of Star Wars characters may be more male orientated. But, if you are having difficulty in deciding, here are a few additional suggestions.
Storybook & Pantomime Characters
Aladdin – The pantomime was set in China, whilst the Disney film was set in Arabia. Aside from the obvious characters such as Aladdin, Princess Balroubador (Traditional) or Princess Jasmine (Disney), the Genie and Abanazer (Trad.) or Jafar (Disney), for panto traditionalists there is Aladdin’s mother, Widow Twankey (opportunity for cross-dressing), the Emperor and Empress, plus a host of other characters.
Alice in Wonderland Characters – This is a popular grouping all year round, but particularly at Christmas and Easter where Mad Hatter Tea Parties can be great fun. The two books Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass offer a variety of characters. Some of the costumes from the 2010 Tim Burton film are available both online and in store. Here are just a few ideas.
• Mad Hatter
• Red or White Queen or Queen of Hearts
• Playing Cards
• Frog Footman
• White Rabbit
• March Hare
• Cheshire Cat
Animal Costumes – As well as being part of the natural world, these feature in some traditional storybooks such as Wind in the Willows, The Jungle Book, Tarzan, The Gruffalo, The Cat in the Hat, etc.. Films such as Ice Age and Madagascar also have some interesting specimens. (Link to animals section).
• Prince Charming
• Dandini (The Prince’s ‘male’ companion, but in panto, like the Prince, often played by a female)
• Ugly Sisters
• Wicked Stepmother
Harry Potter – Both the series of books and films based around the wizard Harry Potter have now come to an end and hence are perhaps not as popular as they once were. Many children grew up reading the Harry Potter books and are now perhaps the same age as their heroes. However, younger children are being introduced to the characters by their parents or siblings, so this can still be an interesting grouping, although costume choices may be a bit limited. For students there are the four houses Gryffindor, Slytherin, Ravenclaw and Hufflepuff.
Here are a selection of characters:-
• Harry Potter
• Hermione Granger
• Ron Weasley
• Draco Malfoy and various other students.
Teachers and professors from Hogwarts, include:-
• Albus Dumbledore
• Minerva Mcgonagall
• Severus Snape
Adversaries such as:-
• Lucius Malfoy
• Bellatrix Lestrange
• Death Eaters
• Lord Voldemort
Narnia Books – The first book in the series by C S Lewis was The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. This offers the best costume ideas. The main characters are the four children Peter, Susan, Edmund & Lucy. Other potential costume opportunities are Aslan the Lion, the White Witch, Mr Tumnuss the Faun (costume will probably need to be improvised and can be a bit cold in winter months), the various animals and characters from both Narnia and the real world of 1940s Britain.
Oliver Twist – Probably one of Charles Dickens’ best known literary works. Oliver!, the 1968 musical with Ron Moody as Fagin, Harry Secombe as Mr Bumble and Mark Lester as Oliver Twist is still seen as the benchmark.
• Oliver Twist
• Mr Bumble
• Artful Dodger
• Bill Sykes
Peter Pan – This can be a fantastic choice particularly around the Christmas period. Peter Pan himself can either be worn by a boy or (in the best pantomime tradition) by a girl. Here are just some of the potential groupings from J M Barrie’s books.
• Peter Pan – Green tunic, hat and tights
• Captain Hook – A red frockcoat, shirt with jabot, black trousers, belt, moustache, plus a wig. No pirate outfit would be complete without a cutlass or sword and the hook of course finishes it off.
• Captain Smee – Striped shirt, black breeches, small round glasses and neckerchief.
• Pirates (a popular group in its own right) – Various costumes available
• Lost Boys – Choose from our selection of poor Victorians – Also suitable for Oliver Twist and other Dickensian characters.
• Tinkerbell/Tinker Bell – The green fairy can be a favourite amongst the girls. She now has her own film series, the latest (2014) being Tinker Bell and the Pirate Fairy
• Indians – Various
Wizard of Oz – The series of books about Oz have been adapted for both stage and screen over the years. Munchkins, Witches and Oz himself (dressed as a wizard of course!) can add variety to the traditional grouping of Dorothy (complete with Toto and basket), Lion, Tinman and Scarecrow. Recent films & musicals (eg Wicked and Oz the Great and Powerful) have concentrated on the ‘back-stories’ to the Oz witches.
TV & Film Characters
Disney Characters - Offer a wide variety of ideas for groups. If you are going to a Hen party and want to go as a group why not check out the range of Disney Princesses? Also many of the costumes in our Disney couples section can be expanded upon and turned into groups.
Robin Hood and his band of Merry Men – We have a great selection of Medieval costumes, including Monks.
• Robin Hood
• Friar Tuck
• Little John
• Maid Marion
• Will Scarlett
• Snow White
• Wicked Queen
• Dwarf – There are seven of course, but in the original story they were not named. It was Walt Disney’s 1937 film Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs which named them Happy, Dopey, Sneezy, Grumpy, Doc, Sleepy & Bashful.
Scooby Doo and the Mystery Machine gang
• Scooby Doo
• Scrappy Doo
Star Wars Characters
The original six films lacked many female characters, but now Disney has taken over the franchise, this may change with the new films.
• Darth Vader
• Darth Maul
• Princess Leia
• Queen/Padme Amidala
• Jedi Knight (Luke Skywalker or Obi-Wan Kenobi)
• Bobba Fett, the bounty hunter
• Abba – Thanks to the popularity of 1970s parties and the film Mamma Mia there are a huge amount of Abba style costumes for both males and females. For those males who don’t want to go too far over the top, the white suit can be popular.
• Beatles – 1963/4 – Grey Beatles suit and wig or Sergeant Pepper uniform & longer hair for late 1960s. Paul McCartney (Blue with gold frogging) (John Lennon (Yellow with gold frogging) George Harrison (Red with gold frogging and red tricorn) Ringo Starr (Pink with military-style peaked hat)
• Bucks Fizz – The classic look is from the Eurovision hit ‘Making Your Mind Up’. White trousers and coloured sweatshirts/jumpers for the two males. Long skirt (with short skirt underneath) and coloured sweatshirts/jumpers for the two girls.
• Kiss – The four characters are Catman, Demon, Spaceman and Starchild.
• Slade – 1970s group famous for their outrageous stage costumes. Costumes for the Lead singer Noddy Holder are around. Other members – Dave Hill (glittery space suit), Jim Lea (red glittery 1970s suit) & Don Powell (1970s jumpsuit).
• Spice Girls – Geri (Union Jack Dress & Ginger wig), Scary (Leopard print two piece & curly wild wig), Baby (Blonde wig with pigtails and dress), Sporty (Tracksuit) & Posh (Tight black dress & dark straight Victoria Beckham wig)
• Supremes – Glittery long dresses or matching sixties style outfits, with high bouffant beehive wigs.
• Village People – An opportunity to get out the uniforms collection. Policeman, Native American, Construction worker, Soldier, Cowboy & Leatherman (Biker).