Once thought to be a thing of the past, masquerade parties are slowly making a comeback in recent years as a whimsical way to party with friends and family. Guest of a masquerade, also sometimes referred to as a masque, dress up in lavish costumes that always include a mask. Men attending a masquerade also must dress appropriately, which can be simple with the right direction.
Picking Your Theme
Choose a theme to center your masquerade outfit on before shopping or putting your clothing together. If the person hosting the masquerade has a themed masquerade in mind, then selecting your costume will be much simpler as the theme has been set for you. If you are attending an open theme masquerade, you will have to come up with your own theme. Some popular masquerade themes through the ages include animals, day and night, theatrical characters, or even life and death. You can make your theme as specific or abstract as you desire.
Men going to masquerades almost always wear a tuxedo or dress suit of some kind. In modern times like today, dress slacks, a button-up dress shirt and a nice blazer jacket are acceptable to many private masquerades if it goes with your theme or the theme of the party. However, in some of the more grand or pay to enter masquerades, you may not be able to get away with less fanciful attire. Historically correct clothing, such as those found in Renaissance fairs, Civil War reenactments or even period-based living history facilities all can provide inspiration for a costume that will be more true to a traditional masquerade. Poet shirts, riding breeches, tunics, cloaks and vests make a whimsical costume for a masquerade.
Masks are one of the first things that come to mind when thinking about a masquerade and are a must for every costume. Without masks, you would simply be attending a regular formal-dress party. There are many different kinds of masquerade masks, so you will need to select one, or make one, that goes with your costume's theme. You can find many different styles of masks you can decorate yourself at the local craft store, or a local costume shop could yield the perfect masquerade mask to go with your outfit. There are full-face masks, half-faced masks like the Phantom's from "Phantom of the Opera" and masks worn just around the eyes like the Lone Ranger wore, so you are sure to find the perfect mask for your outfit.
Add accessories to your costume for that extra wow factor, such as a top hat, gloves, belt and even some props. Masquerades are a chance to go all out, and dress up as a character for a night. By adding some accessories to your get-up, you will put the finishing touches on a usually simple outfit. When attending grand masquerade balls, there may be a rule of gloves on the ballroom floor, meaning you are required to wear gloves if dancing. Another thing to keep in mind are your shoes. Heavy-duty boots may make a killer statement for a certain character, but a change of lighter dress shoes are a must if you will be hitting the dance floor. Look for little odds and ends to put the finishing look to your costume, so long as the touches flow with your theme.
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