Ptown Carnival Costume Ideas

Ptown Carnival Costume Ideas

No Sheets Allowed!

This year’s theme, Mardi Gras by the Sea, provides endless opportunities for creativity. Plan ahead – or decide that week.

  • Thrift store costume tips
  • How to’s for making No-sew costumes 
  • Inspiration from above: Cultural deities to consider

Need a Costume?

Order a costume: Amy Star – MFA in Costume Design, University of Hawaii – will make you stand out in the crowd (of 90,000). Email Amy for details.

Buy in Ptown: House of La Roux carries clothing and accessories curated for each year’s carnival theme. And they’re conveniently located in the center of town. Directions | Email

Costume Tips by Amy Starr

Finding Costume Inspiration

1. Search for physical descriptions of your chosen God or Goddess: Is a particular color palette mentioned? Are there recurring adjectives? Feathery, winged, dark, etc.

2. A quick online image search will reveal pop culture references, fan-art, historical depictions, or even cosplay interpretations.

3. Fuse concepts: silky, green-black crow feathers are described in celtic mythology but we were also inspired by traditional burlesque elements like sparkly pasties and sexy fishnets.

Costumes Made from Thrift Store Materials

Look in Linens for fabric remnants or upholstery—think brocade drapery not flimsy bedsheets. These rich, patterned fabrics make great capes or shawls and provide a color palette for your costume brainstorm.

Large thrift stores like Goodwill and Salvation Army sell bulk costume jewelry by weight. You won’t anger the fashion gods and goddesses with the sin of over-accessorizing at Carnival—layer multiple necklaces and bangles!

You can often find masks in Jewelry and Wall Art. We found inspiration for the African God costume from a repurposed wooden mask meant as a wall hanging.