Whether your group consists of your family, co-workers or friends, group costumes can create visually striking effects, as well as provide an opportunity for group bonding. People of all ages and types will enjoy putting together costumes that play off of their groups' values, relationships and identity. Children will get a kick out of transforming themselves into a pack of wolves, a school of fish or a gang of zombies, and adults will have fun fighting over who gets to be whom when dressing up as a famous ensembles, such as the cast of "Friends" or the Rolling Stones. If arguments over costumes become heated, keep in mind that a gang of identically dressed people is just as funny as a gang of people dressed up as members of a famous group. In other words, if all the people in your group want to be Han Solo or Cleopatra, let them!
Famous Television or Movie Ensembles
The history of television and film is rich with various iconic groups, so groups of all ages should have no trouble finding suitable costume ideas. Children can go as members of "The Little Rascals," the Muppet gang from "Sesame Street" or characters from " Peter Pan." Families can go as famous families, such as the Addams Family, the Partridge Family or the Brady Bunch. All-female groups can dress up as the "Sex and the City," "Golden Girls" or "Steel Magnolias" casts, and all-male groups can dress up as the casts of "The Dirty Dozen" or "Ocean's Eleven." Groups of mixed adults can dress up as the casts of "Star Wars," "Twilight," "M_A_S*H" or "Gilligan's Island."
Uniform costumes ensure that your group's costume concept will be instantly recognizable. Your group could dress up as a sports team, army troop, firefighting division, police squad, pirate crew, cowboy gang or bowling league.
Your group also can dress up as a famous historical group, or as people from a specific era or cultural movement. Historical group costume ideas include dressing as political protesters, famous explorers, hippies, founding fathers, punks, Renaissance gentry and peasantry, 1920s flappers and bootleggers, beatniks and monks.
Comic books provide a fertile source for amusing group costume ideas. Your group could choose to go as a famous superhero team, such as "The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen," "The X-Men," "The Incredibles," "The Super Friends" or "The Justice League." Group members also could go as characters from a specific comic-book universe, such as the worlds of "Batman" or "Superman." Other comic-strip characters can provide costume ideas. Families could go as the "Family Circus" crew, or children could dress up as the "Peanuts" gang.
Famous Literary Characters
Groups of children might enjoy dressing up as characters from "Winnie the Pooh" or "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory," and adult groups can dress up as characters from "Little Women," "A Christmas Carol," "Pride and Prejudice" or "Arabian Nights.”
Famous Bands & Musical Ensembles
Bands and musical ensembles usually have flamboyant, easily recognizable looks and costumes, which make them good costume inspirations for groups. All-male groups can dress up as the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, the Monkees, Guns N' Roses, Run-DMC or the Jonas Brothers. All-female groups can dress as the Runaways, the Supremes, the Marvelettes, En Vogue, Bikini Kill, TLC, Destiny's Child, the Spice Girls or the Pointer Sisters. Mixed groups can dress up as such acts as the Mamas and the Papas or the Carter Family, or as characters from musicals such as "West Side Story," "South Pacific" or "The Rocky Horror Picture Show."
If your group enjoys crafting, you can make your own costumes. Costumes that mimic objects are simple and fun to make. Members of your group could wear similarly-colored leotards, to which they could attach headdresses that resemble objects such as flower blooms, tree tops, animals heads or planets. Your group could resemble a bouquet, a forest, a pride of lions or a planetary system.
Figures from Myth & Folklore
Myth and folklore contain many iconic figures, from fairies and ogres to vampires, werewolves and zombies. A gang of elves or unicorns can make an exciting entrance at a costume party. Your group could go as a mythical group, such as the Three Fates, the Three Billy Goats Gruff or the Sirens.