Costuming: Why it isn’t as complicated as you think

Hey, y’all!  I’m sorry it’s taken me so long to get back to you guys about this.  I’m working on finding a date in June.  In the meantime, I decided to do a post about simple costume ideas.  Because they’re really not that hard.

Stories teach better than anything, so I thought I would simply share a few costumes I’ve made, starting with this one:

Spencer happened to have the three-cornered hat laying around, my grandma gave me the shirt, and I happened to already own a simple skirt.  So I just randomly ended up with the pieces for a simple costume, without even really trying.  Not hard.  (If you don’t have an older brother to get hats for you, I’m very sorry.)

Next, what Spencer and I wore to a Lord of the Rings themed English country dance*:

*Yes, that’s a thing.  And in case you were wondering, it was super fun!

Can you tell who we are?  Most people at the dance recognized us. 🙂

The idea of finding a Middle Earth costume for both of us was daunting at first, but it wasn’t actually that hard.  Both our shoes and most of our clothes are just carefully selected from our closets.  My cardigan was borrowed from Becca, the elf-ears were borrowed from a friend, I happened to have Spencer’s necklace already but you can buy one on amazon.com, and my crown (the only piece we bought specifically for the dance) is just a plastic one we ordered, probably also from Amazon.  It was rather expensive for a plastic crown, but it was the only money we had to spend and we could have gotten a cheaper one if we had gotten on it sooner. 😉

Spencer’s cloak might be a bit of an elephant in the room, and yes, that part was complicated.  That cloak is one of my favorite creations, and the result of a summer-long project, almost a hundred dollars spent on fabric, and lots of help from Mom (and I mean lots, because I have almost no experience sewing).  If you’re not a seamstress or don’t want to buy that much fabric, etc., (back to Amazon) I know there are plenty of hooded cloaks available there too if you look.  Most of them looked thinner and not super high quality, but they weren’t expensive and would work fine for a costume.  We bought one for Lucy for under $20 dollars, and it’s worked well for her and is quite lovely.

Sure, people could probably tell Spencer was in brown dress shoes, and I had a T-shirt on under the cardigan.  But you know what?  It doesn’t have to be perfect.  Like I said earlier, most of the people at the dance knew who we were, and we had fun.  There’s no right or wrong answer.

This is a simpler example (I’m sorry the picture’s poor quality):

Once again, just random things from my closet, but it reminded me of one of Sleeping Beauty’s first costumes in the Disney movie:

I’ve thought about adding my cloak to it, but you could really just use any nice piece of fabric and wear it like a shawl.  And a black headband wouldn’t be hard to find.  It doesn’t look exactly like the movie, but I’d say it’s close enough for me. 😉

In one of her blog posts about building characters, Savannah Grace talked about certain characters having “trademarks”.  She was talking about writing, but when you’re making a costume for a certain character, it can be helpful to think about what “physical trademarks” that character has.  Savannah’s example of Princess Leia’s hair was a good one.  Elsa’s hair is another: all you need is something blue and sparkly and a braid pulled over your shoulder and everyone will know who you’re trying to be.  Arwen/Aragorn’s Evenstar necklace is another example.  So is Jyn Erso’s necklace.

All you really need is a good “trademark” or one quality piece of fan-gear, and it’s easy to go from there.  Or (like in the Sleeping Beauty case) sometimes you don’t even need that.  Like I said, it’s not complicated.

What are simple costumes you’ve made?  What other neat character trademarks did I miss?

9 thoughts on “Costuming: Why it isn’t as complicated as you think”

  1. !!!!!!!!!!!
    I cannot began to DESCRIBE how much a loved this pooossssttt!!!!!!!!!! THIS. WAS. AWESOME. LITERALLY.
    I loved your first costume, you are SOOOOO pretty!!!!!!
    Is that the LOTR dance you were telling us about? That’s really awesome!! 😉
    Oooh…… do you mean the ‘costume party’ so to speak, at the park…..??
    Thanks for this post!
    Jaidyn Elise

      1. I’m so glad!! =D But, it’s seriously true, I loved this post SO. MUCH. !!!! <333333 *all the heart eyes directed at your post*
        Your welcome, I love making someone's day!! =D

        Sounds like FUN! =D We'll have to ask our parents! 😉 Thanks for asking, friend!
        Jaidyn Elise

  2. Aw, this was a great post! I love the costumes you made, the one you’re wearing for the dance is SO CUTE!!! My sisters love to dress up, blankets become Elsa’s dress and cowboy bandanas become Merlin’s scarf. =) I love the tip about trademarks, I’ll definitely have to remember that if I ever need to make a costume! =)

    Micaiah @ Notebooks and Novels

  3. Okay, I am so entirely sure that I commented on this yesterday. I even remember what the comment SAID, haha. Guess it was just my goldfish memory 😀 . But this post was awesome! (and thank you for linking to me, friend! <3 ) Love the costumes you came up with, they're epic.

    ~ Savannah @ Scattered Scribblings

    1. Thanks, friend. 🙂
      Of course, your posts are awesomeness! And that one about secondary characters is one of my favorites!

  4. Awesome post Hanna!
    A LORD OF THE RINGS THEMED DANCE?!?!?! What richness!! Your costumes are awesome!
    When are you doing your costume party? Nora and I would love to participate down here!

    -Cerra Cat-

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