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Pirate Costume Ideas: Dress Like You're From the High Seas

Updated on March 1, 2020
Yarrr! Here be some pirate costume ideas.
Yarrr! Here be some pirate costume ideas. | Source

Authenticity is Key

If you're friends with a pirate from the high seas (or are mortal enemies and you need to get on his good side), it's a good idea to give a gift. Or, alternatively, if you've got a kid who needs a pirate costume, here are some great things to add to the costume to make it truly authentic.

Pirates don't need the same traditional stuff as landlubbers, they don't celebrate paper anniversaries as we do on the mainland, so it's important to choose items that would meet a pirate's specific wants and needs.

Don't worry, pirates are actually really easy to buy for! Just use the following list as a guide for choosing the perfect gift for your pirate friend/enemy.

All the cool pirates have parrots.
All the cool pirates have parrots. | Source

Parrots, the Perfect Low-Maintenance High Seas Pet

Jobs on pirate ships have high turnover rates. Even the first mate may quit over workplace drama. Because of this, pirates can get pretty lonely. If you know a lonely pirate, you may want to consider getting him a pet.

A pirate will need someone he can talk to on those long sea journeys, so a parrot is a great option. Parrots make the perfect pets as they have no need for treasure maps or rum.

Pirates especially love parrots that previously belonged to other pirates, since they may share some secrets in exchange for crackers.

Oranges, Vitamins in Disguise

Both landlubbers and pirates love to find oranges in their Christmas stockings. Oranges are a special treat for anyone who sails the high seas for long periods of time. They taste great, are decent cannonballs when in a bind, and they're especially helpful in preventing and treating scurvy.

Pirates don't often spend time on land, so they're susceptible to scurvy (caused by a deficiency in Vitamin C.) Since oranges are packed with Vitamin C and grow in areas pirates love to hang out, they're perennial pirate favorites!

Of course, you could carry a bottle of vitamins, which take up significantly less space in cargo, but they make pretty worthless cannonballs.

A bottle is nice, but barrels are better.
A bottle is nice, but barrels are better. | Source

Avast! Here's What Pirates Don't Want

There are tons of awesome things that pirates love, but there are a few things that pirates wouldn't use and some things they would even find offensive.

Boater's insurance - Pirates don't need boater's insurance. If their ship takes a great deal of damage, they'll just obtain a new one via other means. Easy peasy.

Rum cake or fruit cake - Yarr! That be a waste of good drink!


Rum is the official liquor of piracy and is a staple in the diet of any pirate. Pirates aren't picky, so any brand of rum will do. Of course, they're not opposed to the good stuff!

Hoop Earrings and Other Treasure

Hoop earrings are all the rage in pirate fashion! Any hoop earrings should, at the very least, be made from silver, but gold jewelry is definitely preferred.

Jewelry is something great for a costume if you're stumped on what to add to make it look authentic. And of course, it'll add to your pile of treasure!

A Treasure Map

Pirates love treasure maps! It's arguably the best items a pirate owns aside from the treasure itself. If you have a treasure map, you've got your pirate costume down pat. By keeping a treasure map in your possession, you're risking great danger. So keep your treasure map close to your heart.

If you're lucky, you'll be able to go on a treasure hunting adventure of a lifetime! What could be more awesome than that?!

Maps in pristine condition (as pictured) are preferred over maps that have been torn and are missing key sections.
Maps in pristine condition (as pictured) are preferred over maps that have been torn and are missing key sections. | Source

Medical Equipment: Eye Patches, Hooks, and Peg Legs

Pirates are always getting themselves in trouble. If you've fought a pirate and have been injured on the high seas, you should really have some sort of prosthesis. That way, you can say, "___ gave me this hook/peg/patch."

Of course, you'll swear revenge, which gives your costume a bit of character development.


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    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish MS 

      7 years ago from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation

      Wonderfully entertaining Hub! Does that pirate up top look like Leonard Nimoy to anyone else, or do I need my spyglass adjusted?

      I'll take a parrot and a keg of rum, but I'll be makin' a cake with the rum.

    • Millionaire Tips profile image

      Shasta Matova 

      7 years ago from USA

      This is hilarious and useful. Off to go shopping for my favorite pirate....

      But first I might want to find that treasure on your map there!

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Hi Melbel,

      thoroughly enjoyed reading this hub and what a great title and idea. Not so sure about the parrot but definitely want a hoop earring. Thanks for writing and sharing. Voting up and all the rest,


    • Victoria Lynn profile image

      Victoria Lynn 

      8 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      This is great. You're so funny! Now I know what to get for my next pirate friend. Excellent!

    • cclitgirl profile image

      Cynthia Calhoun 

      8 years ago from Western NC

      Hehehe, I'm about to publish my pirate hub and funny, lots of things on this list are what I had to search for to make my crazy pirate video. My "beard" hid the gold rings, though. I didn't have a good sword, either. But, I'll have to plunder your hub and link to mine in my Blackbeard hub...soon to be published. :D

    • DeborahNeyens profile image

      Deborah Neyens 

      8 years ago from Iowa

      This is great! It's given me a really good idea for the Christmas grab bag gift exchange my friends and I do annually. They are all pirate lovers, too.

    • RunningDeer profile image


      8 years ago from Iowa

      The pirates do love their rum. Good point they won't want iTunes gift cards. I'll have to remember that one come Christmas time.

    • handymanbill profile image


      8 years ago from Greensburg Pennsylvania

      This is really inventive and funny. Great hub thanks, it gives me some good ideas for the pirate friends in my life.

    • ElvenaDracos profile image


      8 years ago from Far far away lol

      If I ever befriend a pirate I'll know what get for them for Christmas through I doubt I'd get anything in return lol. Very funny and entertaining hub.

    • ChaplinSpeaks profile image

      Sarah Johnson 

      8 years ago from Charleston, South Carolina

      Glad to know I wasn't the only one who received oranges at the bottom of the Christmas stocking!

      This hub is hilarious! Love it!

    • WD Curry 111 profile image

      WD Curry 111 

      8 years ago from Space Coast

      I know about pirates. They will not turn down a flask of good gin (Dutch courage, they call it). Why do you think they put a lime in a gin and tonic? That's right, melbel . . . it helps prevent the scurvy!

    • alissaroberts profile image

      Alissa Roberts 

      8 years ago from Normandy, TN

      Love this! I have always wondered what to give a pirate and you have given me so many good ideas. I think rum is definitely the way to a pirate's heart (and mine too!) Thanks for the laughs - voted up and over!

    • greeneryday profile image


      8 years ago from Some tropical country

      Like this hub, so creative...

    • RealHousewife profile image

      Kelly Umphenour 

      8 years ago from St. Louis, MO

      Well Mel - this just might come in handy some day!

      I went on a Pirate ship in Mexico (it was a mock cannon fight with the Black Pearl!). The pirates were all SO sweet! Now I'll know what to give them when I go back in 6 months!

      Very clever and funny!!

    • phoenix2327 profile image

      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 

      8 years ago from United Kingdom

      I have always been stuck at Christmas on what to get pirates. Thank you, melbel, for posting this. Now Christmas this year will be a snap. (snapping fingers)

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      My middle son loves pirates but this might be a little above his age level since he's 4 ha ha. I like this fun hub! Voted up! Kelley

    • cclitgirl profile image

      Cynthia Calhoun 

      8 years ago from Western NC

      Awesome! I will make a treasure map as a gift for the pirate in my life. Hahah. I love how oranges could double as cannonballs. That's *awesome* :D You actually gave me a great idea for one of my next hubs. Voted up and more. This is great!

    • Spitfire07 profile image


      8 years ago from Calgary


    • Global-Chica profile image


      8 years ago from New York, NY

      Hey Mel! I'm always short on ideas on what to give a good "pirate" friend. For his last birthday, I gave him a brass flask with a skull. Now you got me thinking what I should get him for his next birthday and I think I'll go with a nice bottle of rum. Thanks for the idea! Oh and thanks for the warning about not wasting rum on rum cake!

    • BRIAN SLATER profile image

      Brian Slater 

      8 years ago from England

      hi, well this is different and you got me hooked (ha-ha) by the title of this hub. I can see you with your patch on one eye looking down from the crows nest shouting Land Ahoy. Welcome to treasure Island hope you've got sun tan factor 30 with you. Voted up.


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