Masquerade Halloween Costumes
Bear with us as we start this fascinating page on masquerade fashions with a quick history lesson. When kings and nobility were the norm, there were a lot of restrictions put on the wealthy and powerful. If you were well-connected and well-dressed, you were watched wherever you went. You married who the people in power told you to marry and went where they told you to go. These rules applied to everyone from the king sitting on the throne to a simple Viscount. After all, if you’re caught breaking the rules, it looks bad for the rest of your buddies. All this is to say, if you wanted to go out and let loose back in the day, you had to go out in disguise.
In Venice, Italy, they caught on to the noble class’s need to party during their Carnival season. Soon, the richest of the rich began flocking to the city of canals to don famous Venetian masquerade costumes and magically become rich, powerful, and, most importantly, free to act as they wished! The costumes were elaborate with lush material, jewel-encrusted bodices, and of course, hand-painted masks. It's no surprise that these disguised fashions have inspired revelers throughout the centuries. Check out the ideas for masquerade dresses and masks that we've featured on this page so you can get in touch with the rich, beautiful, and sometimes scandalous traditions of the masquerade ball!
Masquerade Costume Ideas
When we hear "Masquerade Ball", we think about old fashioned clothing. You know, literal big wigs, ball gowns, and fancy suits. But in the modern era, a masquerade costume is anything that makes you feel elegant and mysterious when it's paired with a mask. Popular masquerade costumes include circus costumes such as a ringleader costume or costumes that represent popular historical characters. Initially, the royals who dressed up for masquerades would dress up as Roman or Greek gods and goddesses and iconic kings and queens such as Cleopatra, King David, and Queen Elizabeth the 1st. You can either take one of these ideas or create your own. Consider putting together a DIY costume with sparkly bodysuits, tutus, and wigs. The options are pretty close to endless. Just be sure to complete your ensemble with an identity obscuring mask.
Masquerade Ball Dresses
The infamously fashionable Marie Antionette has inspired masquerade costumes for hundreds of years, now. From Mardi Gras dances that were thrown as early as the late eighteen-hundreds to masquerade style dances in the 1920s, this historic queen continued to reign over costume parties. Of course, any other costumes that allow you to rock a full skirt and a tight, dramatic bodice. This opens up all sorts of themes from fairy tale costumes such as princesses, fairies, and mermaids to scarier costumes such as vampires and witches. From historical gowns to costume dresses, you can find your mask first and complete your costume from there.
Elegant Masquerade Masks
As we know, the mask is the most essential part of the masquerade costume. There are plenty of masks to choose from, but we're going to focus on the traditional "Mardi Gras mask” throughout most of this page. These are half masks that allow you to speak freely and partake in refreshments.
However, traditional Venetian masks are worth mentioning. Hand-painted and designed according to tradition, the masks featured above are called Volto. It's a style that's been worn by the common people since ancient times in Italy.
These masks are only one of the many traditional Venetian styles. Venetian masks represent all sorts of characters that were used in the theaters and recreated for street fashion afterward. In Italian masquerade tradition, you might find the plague doctor mask or the Columbia, which is a mask that only covers the eyes like your typical Mardi Gras mask and would represent the pretty female love interest. As you can see, the masquerade mask has a varied history so you can choose from the traditional looks or venture off into uncharted territory, it’s up to you!
Men’s Masquerade Costumes
No offense to our jeans and t-shirt culture, but men back in the day really knew how to dress. It's not very often that we get to see a guy wearing a cape these days. Masquerade costumes for men usually sight historical figures. For instance, the Louis XVI costume that we featured above allows you to bring the luxury of Versailles back to life. But when we’re talking a dark, gothic style that’s worthy of a New Orleans vampire party a costume like the Phantom Costume. Simply choose the vibe you want to go for, find a mask you like, and choose your costume from there!
Masquerade Costumes for Women
In the practical side of our brains, we’re glad that whalebone corsets and full skirts are out of style. But looking back on the costumes of the past, we can’t help but sigh when we see something as extraordinary as the embroidered skirts of a dress with hoop panniers or something as simple the pleated silk ruffles along a square neckline. Instead of getting back into the whalebone corset industry, we can indulge the longing for the over-the-top fashion of yore when we slip into a luxurious masquerade costume.
While a women's masquerade costume doesn't have to consist of a full-length gown, if you want that ball entrance experience, a silky gown can be a magical choice. If you really want to get in touch with your inner Versailles spirit, then complimenting these costumes with little details such as pearls, silky gloves, and even a beauty mark or two. Adding colorful stockings ala Marie Antionette will add even more of a fun, 1700s look to your costume. Coming up with your dream-masquerade costume is easy. Simply keep your mind open to adding details and your own touches and scroll through these luxurious looks!
Most people want a masquerade dress that will let them twirl, curtsey, and waltz-like royalty. This usually means a full, long gown with soft material and full sleeves like the princess gown that’s featured above. If you want something a bit different that’s ball ready, check out our Elite costume section for full, high-quality costumes that are meant to last. Just like the nobles that roamed the streets of Venice behind your mask, you'll need the right accessories to compliment your masquerade costume. From long gloves to wigs and even crowns, these costumes are even more special when they’re tweaked to suit your personal character!
Plus Size Masquerade Costumes
As we’ve said again and again, a good masquerade costume is all about color and drama. This featured Fairy Queen costume has it all with a bohemian style twist. This costume doesn’t have to be complete if you don’t want it to. Once you pair this with a lovely white and gold mask and a lovely pair of fairy wings, this magical look is sure to make an amazing entrance!
Sexy Masquerade Costumes
While most of the costumes we’ve featured so far featured layered skirts, pleats, and poufs, you can wear whatever you want when you’re dressing up for a masquerade ball. The most important part is the mask, after all. From Mardi Gras Harlequins to showgirls, and Wonderland characters, finding the party-ready Masquerade costume is easy, just remember to have fun with it!
Masquerade Masks for Women
Top off your costume with a fantastic mask that matches your gorgeous gown. For instance, if you're rocking a gloomy vampire look, a black masquerade mask trimmed in filigree as well as accessories like a choker and long, silky gloves. At the same time, a Marie Antionette costume can be complemented with a gold masquerade mask, pearls, and a charming fan to peep over while you curtsey and spin through the night!
If you’re headed to a masquerade, you can choose to compliment your costume with metallic scrolling piping, feathers, and lace. Each mask will help your costumed persona come to life. Now that your face is covered, it’s about time for your grand entrance!
The masquerade isn't going anywhere. That's because it's a great theme! From weddings to proms and even a special birthday or two, the masquerade is a great way to get guests to dress up, get fancy, and dance. If you're considering having a masquerade event, the masks are an essential part. While you can rock your own style of mask, perhaps one featured below, you can also have a few basic masks on hand just in case someone didn’t bring one. For instance, check out the black cloth masks to help your guests transform. Check out the different styles to find a mask that suits your event and your style.
Masquerade Masks for Men
The Phantom of the Opera opened up the world of masks for men in the modern era. Now, you're not limited to the half mask that the Phantom wore during the musical. Guys choose from all sorts of looks, such as full-face masks with blank and mysterious features or a sparkly devilish look. Whatever you choose, you might find yourself that much closer to playing the piano in the basement of an opera house while candles cast an ominous glow around you.
Lace Masquerade Masks
Lace is the perfect way to add a lush touch to your ensemble. You can choose the simple ,black lace eye mask or something that’s a little more complicated and covers more of your face. Think about what works best for your costume and style.
Venetian Masquerade Masks
When we went into the intricacies of Venetian masks under the elegant mask section, we covered the hand-painted masks that were steeped in history and stemmed from Italian theater. However, not everyone can venture to the canaled streets of Venice to find an authentic mask art-piece. And if you did, you might hesitate before wearing your masterpiece to a party. Instead, keep the tradition of the Venetian mask in mind when you're picking out something to go with your costume. We've featured three masks above. The lace-number is in the style of the Columbia character (a.k.a, the love interest). The blank number represents a mask that was treasured for full anonymity in Venice, the Volta. And the horned mask brings to mind the tradition of the Zanni, who was a trickster. These are not the only masks inspired by Venetian culture, scroll through the rest of our collection and you’ll find an ancient influence in many of the Mardi Gras and Halloween masks!
Masquerade Ball Costume Ideas
Can we talk about the Phantom of the Opera one more time? That scene! You know the one. The one where everyone at the Opera Company was dressed to the nines for the Masquerade Ball. If you were a theater kid when you saw the Hollywood musical, then Masquerade Ball become the ultimate party. If you were one of these kids, then you were truly let down when it came to prom night.
However, if you are really attending a masquerade, then this scene can inspire you! Over-sized fans, big hair, and sparkling costume jewelry can top off whatever costume you choose. A masquerade costume can feature any character but with a dramatic, curtsey-ready, mysterious twist!
Masquerade Jewelry and Accessories
Masquerade parties are all about creating a lush, dramatic costume. Now, you might already love the base of your costume, but you can take this costume to the next level when you look into lush accessories. Each prop will help you add to your dramatic entrance. For instance, fans that will help hide your face and add to the mystery. Fancy, ball-worthy costumes can be topped off with a hoity-toity 18th Century style wig for both men and women. Any antiquated props such as long, silky gloves, lace parasols, and costume jewelry will help round out your masquerade costume that will make your picturesque ball scene come to life.