Creative Costume Ideas for Couples and Groups Straight From the French Quarter
Vamp and the Wolfman
Dress Up by Two's and Three's
The people of Louisiana love to celebrate and have fun. To us, masking and putting on a costume is an art form. So every Halloween and of course on Mardi Gras, too, adults and children alike take to the streets and go to parties dressed in some very imaginative costumes. Many are homemade or "put together" from years of masking, but even the purchased ones show some individual touches that make the character it portrays really stand out.
Basically, I guess Louisianians (especially those who live in New Orleans) are hams at heart, with a bit actor and model thrown in, because they also love to pose for photographs.
Down here, we like to celebrate as couples or in groups 3 or more dressed in the same theme. The pictures here show the top 14 most creative G-rated group costumes and one of an odd couple that has yet to be named. I have included links to some ready made attire with the same theme and also some of the miscellaneous items, in case you'd like to join in the fun but don't have time to construct the apparel.
So come join us on a tour through the years of New Orleans dress-up celebrations. The people of South Louisiana love to mask and many spend months designing and making their outfits from scratch. I hope you'll enjoy the photos of people as they "pass a good time" in the Big Easy.
1. Wizard of Oz
If ever ever a Wiz there was... This family was photographed long ago, enjoying one Halloween in the New Orleans. Everyone is here, Dorothy, the Tin Man, the Scarecrow, the Lion and even the little dog Toto, too. These outfits were so well done that the characters could have stepped out of a movie set.
Today, with the click of a mouse, you can find all these and more. Sometimes it's easier and more effective to buy a ready-made costume. The Wizard of Oz characters are a great group costume for a family. You must get Dorothy's ruby slippers, too.
Some additional characters to consider are:
- Wicked Witch of the West
- Glenda the Good Witch
- Munchkins including the Lollipop Kids
- winged monkeys
- Wicked Witch's Castle Guard
- The Wizard
- Guard at Emerald Castle
- Auntie Em
2. Tarzan and Jane
For those who are young at heart and in shape and the weather isn't too nippy, Tarzan and Jane or Cave people outfits are a fun choice. These young people were parading at one of the late, warm weather Mardi Gras sometime in the 1980s and were certainly putting on a show. Today people go to the grocery with not much more on.
It looks like the construction of both male and female attire involved a pair of scissors, some leather and an old dress... voila'. Things were much simpler then. I wonder what they look like today.
- Caveman and Woman
3. Wolfman and Crone
A wolfman or other hairy monster and a crone make a perfect couple. On Halloween in the Quarter you'll run into plenty or Weres. This wolfman was excellent from head to toe. The lovely robes of the crone and her silvery hair made this couple stand out in the crowd. The large mole on her face was a nice touch.
Other Werewolf pack characters and variation on a theme include:
- True Blood
- Teenage Werewolf
- Twilight Saga
- Witches or Sorceresses stories
4. Wizard Family
One Mardi Gras we met this delightful family of wizards who had just returned from Diagon Alley after completing their back to school shopping for the new year at Hogwarts. They materialized with their shopping card in the midst of the celebration and promptly filled it with beads, doubloons and other throws. A good time was had by all.
The robes and hats were probably made by Mom for the whole family. Even the baby was dressed to a tee. The beards on the children were hilarious.
Many book character groups could include wizards, such as:
- Harry Potter series
- Lord of the Rings
- Conan the Barbarian
5. Toothpaste Tubes
Very good dental hygiene here. Brusha, brusha, brusha.... this pair of tubes was a hit with the crowd. The bag-like costumes were home made, from white sheets and material attached with press on pelon webbing, I think. The 'caps' look like small lamp shades. He completes the ensemble by carrying a healthy drink which I'm sure builds strong teeth.
Other Good Product Pairs:
- Ketchup and Mustard
- Hot dogs
- Fruit of the Loom
- M & M's
- Grapes (Heard it through the grapevine)
- Apples and Oranges
- Mixed Nuts
- Chocolate Bars (with and without nuts)
6. Viking and Dark Fairy
This Viking had authentic antlers and skins and the dark Fairy girl looks like she was ready to change him back into a stag after he made the rounds on Halloween. I love his Viking ensemble. He must be a hunter because the viking helmet is made from antlers of a buck deer, painted silver and his toga from the deer skin. The cape, shield and leggings completed the look. The dark fairy or sexy witch outfit of his partner was easy to put together with a leotard, a pair of wings and a headdress.
Other Viking and Dark Fairy themes include:
- Other Norse Legends
- Irish Fairy Tales
Wow, a really BIG butterfly. Where's the net? Amazing what some wings, ribbon and body paint can do. There were actually 3 more like this one that day. I believe they were in a marching parade.
This variation on the butterfly theme was created with glitter, body paint, ribbon and a wonderful pair of gold wings. If you add a leotard or tunic to go under the basic design, a more child-friendly outfit would be the result. I really like the way he did the head dress and mask with the long butterfly-like antennae. He was donned from head to toe.
Butterfly and Fairy themes include:
- Very Hungry Caterpillar
- Tinkerbell of Peter Pan
- Tooth Fairy
- Sleeping Beauty Fairies
- Celtic legends
- Dark Fairies
Make Your Own Wings
The video gives step by step instructions about how to make a nice pair of wings which can be used for fairies, butterflies or any other winged creature.
How to Make Fairy or Butterfly Wings
8. Southern Belle and Union Soldier
Period Costumes are great for couples. These show that all is forgiven with the north and the south united at last. The Union and the Confederacy really come together in this ensemble. Some southern girls have ball gowns that would fit the bill, but not many have union soldier uniforms. Both are available online, ready-made. Some dresses even have hooped skirts like this one.
The most obvious group would be the characters of Gone With the Wind such as:
- Scarlet O'Hara
- Rhett Butler
- Ashley Wilkes
- Melanie Hamilton
- Confederate Soldier
9. He and She Man
Woot, Woot, Woot! Don't mess with this muscle packing Mama or her man. They could wear green jumpsuits or spandex and be the Hulk and Hulkette. These muscle pads are readily available. This couple made a strong showing and appear to be thoroughly enjoying themselves. The Hulk also made an appearance later.
Muscle pads for the legs are also available. This costume is so versatile that it's a good one to go into the "costume trunk". All you need to do is add a super hero leotard over it and you'll look like you can jump tall buildings in a single bound.
Besides He Man and the Hulk, more muscle men characters include:
- Fantastic Four
- The Terminator
- The Scorpion King
- Marvel Super Heroes
- Superman and any muscle man
10. Ghouls and Dark Wizard
All manner of Night Creatures come out on Halloween. A black hooded robe are very versatile and can be transformed into any number of Scary beasts depending on the make up you use. Paint your face white and blacken your eyes and you are a ghoul.
With other make up and masks you can dress as:
- Dark wizards
- Ring Wrath
11. Scarecrow Pumpkin Head
Scarecrow Looses Head - Funny
Pumpkin Head Scarecrow and Farm Girl
Good old Pumpkin Head Scarecrow and the Cute Little Farm Girl are delightful costumes. He appeared to use a real pumpkin. If you want to go gory, there are pumpkin masks with the yucky brains showing or you could have the pumpkin head fall of, like the one in the video.
12. Vamp and Mummy
Vamp and Mummy
You can't go wrong with Vampires and Mummies. They are an old standby. This one is a bit undone and appears to have had a hard night of partying in the Quarter. The vamp is another easy to do costume using a hooded robe or dress. They make a very unique couple.
What about a Gothic vampiress? How cool is that? Or maybe add some other fanged wonders to form a vampire family? Vampires and werewolves together and you could be book characters from Sookie Stackhouse or New Moon. The possibilities are endless.
Group costumes that spell out a message are always fun. The Q-Tips quartet is truly unique and funny. These would be easy to make. With some blue material and white cotton batting someone created an outstanding group of fun. Perhaps a different type of batting would wear better especially if big guys like the ones here are going to don the threads.
14. Popeye's Chicken
Creativity abounds in New Orleans. This couple makes a meal of themselves. They should certainly take the prize for originality... and courage with this Popeye Chicken display, complete with checkered tablecloth. The chicken looks real. The crowd is hungry and they are circling. They'd better get those chicken legs moving! Run away, run away!
I wonder if they got free chicken for a year from Popeyes for those costumes..
Favorite Costume Poll
Which couples or group outfit was your favorite?
What Is He Supposed to Be?
I'm open to any guesses, conjectures, funny stories, etc. My first thought was a character from Dune.... or a puppet master? What do you think? Please comment below.
What Is It? Mystery
More great costume ideas from "The Big Easy".
© 2009 Yvonne L B