Costume Party Themes and Ideas

costume party themes and ideas

Looking for a way to liven up your next party? Have everyone dress up! Costumes can help turn a good party into a great one. Here are some of our favorite costume party themes and ideas to help you host a fabulous event!


1. Pick a Theme — The first step in throwing a great costume party is picking a theme. There are so many amazing themes you can choose from…you are limited only by your imagination. (Check out our favorite costume party theme ideas further down the page.)

2. Send Some Great Invitations — Next, mail your guests some traditional invitations. These days, people send out Evites and, while it is exciting to receive an an emailed invitation, it is much more exciting to receive one through the good old fashioned mail. It shows your guests that you are really going the extra mile to plan your event and that it is going to be fabulous. Since you definitely want everybody dressed up at your party, be sure to explain that costumes are mandatory, and that cool prizes will be awarded for the best outfit.

3. Make Sure You Have a Great Costume –If you want your friends dressed up, you have to be committed. Make sure your costume is very funny, very good, or both!

4. Plan Your Decorations and Food — This is where having a theme is a huge help. Base your decorations and menu around your party’s theme. For example, if your theme is based on a time period, use things significant to that era. If your party is based on a favorite movie or place, think of decor and foods that go with those themes. Some other things to include in your costume party decorations are:

  • Bowls of disposable cameras set out on tables (to capture all the outstanding outfits and party fun)
  • A vanity area with extra makeup, wigs, hats, and accessories for those who want to add onto their costumes
  • A designated dance floor area (having a place set up for dancing is both decorative and can also set the stage for a great party activity)
  • Consider hiring a photo booth (since everyone will be decked out, a photo booth can be fun. It can also provide everyone with a super souvenir.)


5. Come Up With a Signature Drink — Create a cocktail (or mocktail) based on your costume party theme. A signature drink is something that is sure to be tried and remembered long after the party is over. Base your drink on your theme and give it a fun name. Are you having a vampire party? Make a blood red drink and call it something like “Dracula’s Downfall.” Beach party? Make something tropical and call it “Paradise Punch.” You get the picture.

6. Think of a Few Activities — Dancing, karaoke, and a costume contest are all good options. Whatever you choose, make sure you have some great music at your event.

7. Give Out Some Favors — If you have a photo booth on hand, you already have a great souvenir option. You can also give out different awards for costumes (funniest, most realistic, scariest, etc.) A third option is to go with something tied into your theme.


The list of potential costume party themes is endless. Choose something that speaks to you. Here are some ideas:

Seasonal Costume Parties — You can’t go wrong with a traditional Halloween party, but you might also consider an ugly sweater Christmas party, a Hollywood theme party during awards show season, an all green St. Patrick’s Day bash, a Mardi Gras Costume Ball, or a summer luau.

Decades Parties — Decorate your place as a speakeasy for a Roaring 20s party, rock around the clock at a 50s Sock Hop, get your groove on at a 70s Party, or bang your head with an 80s theme.

Great Couples Parties — If your event is for couples, why not have them come as a famous couple from history. Bonnie and Clyde, Anthony and Cleopatra, Scarlet and Rhett, there are so many to choose from!

Come as You Were Party — Ever wished you could’ve lived in a different era? Have everyone dress as someone they might have been in a past life.

Costumes From Other Cultures — Maybe you want to have an Italian theme party. Have everyone come as their favorite Italian. You might get anything from gangsters to the Pope. Other costume party ideas in this category might include an Arabian Nights theme or a fiesta!

Parties Based on your Favorite Book or Movie — Do you and your friends love Star Wars? Harry Potter? Alice in Wonderland? Twilight? Turn any great book or movie into a costume party theme. Better yet, let everyone come dressed as a character from their own personal favorite.

Superhero Party — Everyone has a superhero (or villain) who they secretly wish they could be. The ladies might choose Wonder Woman, Bat Girl, or Cat Woman. The guys might relate to Spiderman, Superman, or the Hulk. Can’t think of anyone? Make up your own Superhero and have people guess your talent!

Fairy Tale Theme — There are many ways to go with this theme. Prince or princess? Dragon? Witch or wizard? Maybe even a gingerbread man…

Pirate Party — Ever since Johnny Depp became Jack Sparrow, pirates have become a pop culture phenomenon. One thing is for sure — they were snappy dressers. This makes a fun costume party theme.

Disney Theme Party — No one has produced more well-known classics that lend themselves to great costumes than Walt Disney. Have your guests come dressed as their favorite character.

High School Stereotypes Party
— Geek, freak, sporty or chic? Let your guests choose their favorite high school stereotype costume for this fun-filled costume party theme.

Want some fun costume inspirations? Take a look at our Costume Board on Pinterest!

Follow Creative Party Themes’s board Halloween costumes on Pinterest.

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