Despite general touchiness about religious issues, from time to time costume themes with a religious flavour can crop up. We’re not really talking about the mundane Vicars & Tarts event, which, in fact, is not as common as it used to be, but more wide-range themes such as Heaven & Hell, Saints and Sinners and, the object of this piece – the Seven Deadly Sins. As with a lot of things, originality is everything, but here are a few guideline suggestions:
Lust – The obvious choice colour for this might seem to be Red for passion, hot love etc. – but this could conflict with others using red to denote the Sin of Wrath, so something in Purple (as in Purple Passion) could be an alternative. That said, there are far more red love/lust-based outfits on the market than there are in purple. Of course you could just don your sexiest outfit, but if you have the enthusiasm/daring, you might choose not to bother with too much of a costume at all, strip down to the basics and let the body language do the talking.
Pride – Obviously you need to look good – well made-up or groomed – in your smartest finery (or perhaps some ostentatious designer-wear) and primp and preen throughout the evening. A hand-mirror could be a useful accessory in case the venue does not offer sufficient facilities to admire yourself. The alternative is a Peacock costume. Just to confuse the issue, if there are a small group of you, you could all dress as lions (A Pride of Lions – geddit?). As a double pun, if you are all in good-looking lion outfits, you will, of course, be dandy-lions!
Envy – The colour choice is fairly obvious – Green. Whether you choose to go head to toe green – turning green with Envy, or you decide to try something a little more subtle, like a green-eyed goddess with the help of some coloured contact lenses is up to you. Additionally, if you want to be extra annoying you could start trying to borrow bits of other people’s costumes and possessions!
Greed – Because food forms a central basis to Gluttony (below), this sin is probably best depicted through the medium of Money. It may come as a surprise to some, but the photocopying (or digital copying/printing) of British (and probably other) banknotes is slightly illegal, so this might be why some of the money-orientated outfits on the market feature representations of the US dollar. These include a bunny-girl style outfit and a Lady Luck featuring a boa created with dollar bill lookalikes. Males might opt for the gambler option or, cutting out the middleman luck element, go for a Bank Robber.
Gluttony – If you are male, a large belly (your own or hired in!) might be the way forward, although if you have a large opera-singer-style ‘jolly wobbly’ or hooped costume, you can channel Mr Creosote (the diner who explodes from overeating in Monty Python’s ‘Meaning of Life’). For females or those wanting a more subtle approach. a food-orientated costume, something involving chocolate or the Candy Girl from the Katy Perry California Gurls video might be useful.
Sloth – To depict this, you could just turn up as normal and say that you couldn’t be bothered to find a costume, but that’s a bit of a cop out. Nightwear is an alternative, or just wear mismatched clothing along with a dishevelled or unkempt appearance. For a really obscure outfit, go for a fur-based animal outfit with three amphibians attached to it – The Three Toad Sloth!
Wrath – As noted above, the colour which springs to mind here is red, being associated with rage, but a male might equally favour The Hulk, who got mean and green when angry (Girls need not feel left out – the She Hulk is a valid alternative, although unlike Hulk, she retained rational thought and actions when in her green-skinned state). Equally, for the more adventurous, a depiction of the Hindu Goddess Kali might be an opportunity to push the envelope. She’s blue, with blood red eyes, has six arms, one of which wields a sword, and wears a belt featuring human skulls. It’s a challenge, and obviously the extra work involved on this might not be wasted as it could also come in useful for Halloween.
Meanwhile, returning to the red colour scheme, a Devil costume might suggest itself, although the Devil is associated more with guile and cunning than outright anger. That said, as this whole piece is about celebrating(?) sin, the Devil is probably the entity one would most associate with expertise in this field!