The Best Adult Costume Ideas [2021 Picks]

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Halloween is not just for kids because grownups also look forward to dressing up and having fun on this day. As a matter of fact, a lot of adults find wearing costumes so exciting that they don’t even wait for Halloween anymore. Many people drive long distances to cosplays and comic cons just so they could dress up as certain characters. Even Christmas parties, birthday shindigs, and weddings are becoming themed events that give people an excuse to come in costumes.

Indeed, costume parties are a great way to showcase your creativity and imagination and go all out. It’s also an excellent way to let your hair loose, be somebody else, and just have a grand time.

And the good thing about picking an adult costume is that you can take it towards any direction you want. You can create costumes depending on the theme, the people you’ll be going with, or the event. You can also work within your budget, your interests, and your personal preference.

As such, you can go cute, scary, sexy, dirty, wild, mysterious, trending and popular, historical, or funny. Plus, what adds to the fun factor is that you can dress up as any character and others will get the reference, or at least enjoy guessing.

But what if you’re short of costume ideas? Or overwhelmed with too many choices you just can’t decide what to go as? You may also want something unique and different this time but you just don’t know what it is yet.

Well, read on as we help you figure out what your next adult costume will be. We have tips on how to make a shortlist of costume choices in case you’re at a loss. We can help you narrow down your options if you have too many. We have also come up with a few ideas in case you’re feeling uninspired.

How to Come Up With Adult Costume Choices

If you are trying to decide on the right adult costume to wear, planning is always the first step. You start by making a list of costumes you want to wear. Whether you have a lot of ideas in your head and would need to trim your list down, or you don’t know how to get started on your selection, you just need to ask yourself a few questions. Here are some of the considerations to help you decide on a costume.

Budget

How much are you willing to shell out for a costume? You should set limits on the amount you’ll be spending, lest you get carried away and go beyond your budget. Doing this gives you a better idea of whether you can go big and elaborate or to go for something simple and low-key. This will also give you an idea of whether you ought to brush up on your DIY skills and look for something you can reuse and recycle.

What’s more, having a clear budget will help you plan for things better. Do you have access to a 3D printer? If you have an intricate costume with some parts needing to be 3D printed, then you should earmark enough money to do it. Even if you owned a 3D printer, you will need to budget for things like the resin, the filament, and other materials.

Theme

Is there a theme for the costume party? If there isn’t, perhaps there is a theme you’d like to stick to. You can go for a hit TV show, like, say, one of the Game of Thrones cast, a cartoon character, a quirky celebrity, a ghoul, or even a food item. You can go for a period costume if you love history, or something that represents the latest issues and trending news if you are into politics and current events.

You can even use your costume as a message about an advocacy that you have or as a way to tell people your political stand. However, remember to be cautious and sensitive when you do this and make sure you are in the company of people who are accepting of potentially conflicting views.

Deciding on a theme for yourself helps you focus on a more definite set of ideas, as well as streamline your options. You will also be able to easily eliminate costume choices that you’re not very keen about.

Your Personality

Your personality and your interests should have everything to do with your costume choices. This way, you could easily commit to your character, be comfortable about what you’re wearing, and actually get excited to dress up. You won’t be enjoying much of the night if you are dressed as a character or as an object that you didn’t even like in the first place. Friends who know you well enough will think you only grabbed the first thing you saw on the store rack.

Factoring in your own likes and your personal preferences into your costume choices, on the other hand, will let people know that you really put a lot of thought and care into what you’re wearing.

On the other hand, be very careful that you don’t go as yourself, but only dressed differently. For example, if you are golfer, going as Tiger Woods might not be the most imaginative thing you’d ever do.

What Reaction Are You Going For?

You can further narrow down your list by knowing what exact reaction you’re going for. Are you going for something unique and you know for sure others will never dress as?

Or do you want your friends to go, “why didn’t I think of that?”

You might also want to impress the people at the party and come up with something totally unique, creative, and intricate. The wow factor and the sight of jaws dropping might be what you’re aiming for that costume. Or go for something that would completely hide your face and make people wonder who you are.

Anticipating other people’s reactions to your costume is a big part of why such parties are really exciting.

Comfort

You should never forget about comfort when picking your costume. Remember that you would be wearing it for several hours or for the entire night, so make sure it’s not too tight or too heavy that it would restrict your movements. Your goal is to have fun, and you would not be able to have fun if you are in pain and discomfort, or if you couldn’t even dance.

Moreover, make sure your costume doesn’t cover your eyes and if it covers your mouth, you should be able to take it off easily. You would want to enjoy your beer or your cocktails at the party.

Your costume should also allow you to bend your body so you could sit properly. It wouldn’t be fun to dress in solid cardboard that requires you to stand all night long. And most importantly, if you need to run to the bathroom, your costume should be easy to lift up or partially take off.

The Best Adult Costume Ideas

If your mind is still blank and you need more help with costume ideas, here are some of them.

The God or Goddess of Something

You can dress as a god or goddess. Whether based on mythology or a god or goddess of something you just made up. Take for example the goddess of wine or the god of wine, the autumn goddess, the Japanese god of the harvest moon, and many others, be creative!

Budget-Friendly Ideas

There are so many costumes ideas you can whip up even with a limited budget. Sure, some store-bought costumes can be affordable, but they tend to look generic. So scour for whatever you have at home or just head to your nearest crafts supply store and put your imagination and creativity to work.

Carnival

If you have a chest full of blings and accessories, like colorful feathers, you can gather them all up and get ready to go to the carnival. Nobody will know it’s a costume on a budget if you show up sexy and looking like you’re ready to take the streets of Rio de Janeiro or an African take.

Pop Art

With some face paint and makeup, you can transform into a living pop art character. What’s great about this is that you can just grab a dress or a suit from your closet and you’re ready to go.

Zombie

If you are into blood and gore, a zombie costume never gets old. You don’t have to spend a dollar on anything other than fake blood, some glue, and cheap makeup. For sure, you have clothes in there that you wouldn’t mind ripping off.

Food

If you are a foodie, you can come as spaghetti and meatball. We’re talking about a homemade dish! You can just get a colander as a cap, strings of yellow yarn draping down your head and shoulders, and some brown balls and forks pinned on your body. You can even pair your spaghetti with a salad made of green tissue paper and some other paper fruits and veggies. Going as a tub of popcorn is another idea, all you need are some cardboard, crumpled paper, and paint or perhaps some wonton noodles if you love Chinese food.

Modernized Fairytale Character

Try a modernized version of your favorite fairytale character, like this Year 2020 version of Belle an updated Aurora, or who says you always have to be a princess, when you can be a hot Ursula?

Characters from Your Favorite TV Show or Movie

If you love Game of Thrones, this is your chance to dress as one of the characters like Daenerys, Brienne of Tarth, Arya, or as the Night King. Are you a Big Bang Theory fan? Amy Farrah-Fowler is pretty easy to put together. If Narcos is your thing, go ahead and be Pablo Escobar for a night. You can also do Water White of Breaking Bad, Darth Maul from Star Wars, Alexander Hamilton, or be Jonathan Groff’s King George III

More fun ideas here:

Period or Historical Costumes

Are you fascinated by the good old days? Relive your favorite era through your costume. The Middle Ages, as a Viking or you can show the New Orleans opulence:

A Work of Art

It would also be unique if you dress up as a famous masterpiece or painting. Like “The Scream” by Edvard Munch, Leonardo da Vinci’s Monalisa or as one of Picasso’s artworks

Weird

Another idea is to go for something weird or an abstract concept. This means not following any particular character or object. Like an anything-goes polka dot costume, or like a costume showcasing your utensils, an impressive stash of googly eyes, or well some costumes just are electrifying.

Colorful

Do you love colors? Then do away with all the black, purple, bloody red, and pumpkin orange of the season. Why not dress up as a rainbow fairy?. You can also dress in honor of the dead, but in a fun and colorful way. Just take the cue from Dia de los Muertos

Cultural

Are you biracial or multiracial? You may also take this as a chance to showcase your culture or your ethnicity. You can do it by dressing in your traditional costume. Try a gorgeous Kurdish attire, a Mexican costume, if you are German or have German roots, grab a mug of beer and put on your dirndl or lederhosen or if you’re Chinese, show them how beautiful your traditional costumes are, such as a Qing Dynasty-inspired robe

Celebrity

Why don’t you play a guessing game by dressing up like a celebrity? Sia, Mr. T, Donald Trump, or Perhaps you like Beyoncé? Then you should put a ring on it.

Maybe a Mask Will Do

You can also just dress like your usual self and put a mask on. There are trendy origami or 3D paper animal masks available that look really cute, Geometric cat faces work too and they’re not yet too common. A Plants vs. Zombies mask is also adorable, so perhaps you can make a papier-mâché version of it for yourself.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some of the most common questions people ask when it comes to preparing a costume of Halloween or for any costume party:

How Much Do Costumes Typically Cost?

Costumes have a very broad price range. Ultimately, the cost of your entire ensemble will depend on the design and the material used. You can buy simple costume masks on Amazon for as cheap as $14 and $19. Collector masks, meanwhile, are a lot pricier. Like this Star Wars B7097 Imperial Stormtrooper Electronic Voice Changer Helmet.
Amazon also has fairly cheap adult Halloween costumes, with some costing less than $20. These are usually the ones with pretty generic designs and are made of simple materials.
However, it is a different story if you get something that’s tailor-made for you, or if it is something you get from people who make realistic cosplay costumes.
You can, however, get away with something from your closet, paint, and some arts and craft supplies, then just use whatever makeup you have at home.

What Paint Can Be Used for the Face?

There are water-based paints that you can use for your skin. And these paints are easy to wash off and don’t leave discolorations on your face. You can also make your own paint.
Here’s a homemade face paint recipe that you can try:
Ingredients
1 cup water
1 cup flour
1 cup cornstarch
1 cup lotion
1/4 teaspoon vegetable oil
Food coloring, in desired colors
Bowl
Spoon
Airtight container
Put water, flour, cornstarch, and lotion into the bowl and mix them together, making sure the consistency is just right for you. You can make it thicker by simply adding more cornstarch, or make thin it out by adding water. Add the color you want using food coloring and store it in an airtight container.

Can I Return a Halloween Costume If I Change My Mind?

Unless it is a costume rental store, it would depend on the store policy. Most stores only allow returns if the costume is defective or if it is still new and unopened.
With online sellers, most accept returns if the clothing item is unwashed and unworn, provided that it is returned within a specific number of days after delivery.

When is a Costume Considered Inappropriate?

A costume would be considered inappropriate if it is obviously racist or lewd. The line between being racist or lewd and just being fun and crazy can get blurry for some people. However, for others, it can be very clear.
So it is always a wise decision if you stay away from themes that you think could get misinterpreted or that could potentially offend a group of people. Sure, this is a free and democratic country, but that should not be an excuse for you not to exercise good judgment, sensitivity, and compassion when choosing a costume.

Choose Your Costume Well

It is easy to get carried away with your costume ideas because there are just so many great ones out there. Pick the best you can get and save the others for next time, because, yes, there’s always the next year. And as much as you would want to impress people with your concept, you would want to make sure it is comfortable, both physically and personality-wise. Keep in mind that comfort is an important key to having fun at the party.

Your costume should also be something you could afford. After all, you’re only going to wear it once, or maybe twice. So don’t consider it an investment. Moreover, if you can get away with spending less, then do. The more you have to create your costume yourself, the more you get to exercise your imagination, as well as hone your crafting skills.

So have fun getting your costume ready and enjoy the experience of wearing it.

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