Day of the Dead Costumes
Did you know traditional Day of the Dead costumes are inspired by an etching done by Jose Guadalupe Posada in 1910? His La Calavera Catrina was satire to poke fun at politicians and members of the greater community that had ascribed to a snooty, high-society behavior. The image meant to mock while reminding viewers that materials and status didn’t really matter to their culture; all people are equal in death. The elegant, skeletal Catrina became the most recognizable image associated with Day of the Dead with time and became a major part of traditional Mexican celebrations.
So, how do you get ready for Day of the Dead festivities? Well, when it comes to getting dressed, start with make-up! Painting your face like the traditional La Calavera or the festive sugar skulls that adorn family alters, will get you in the spirit of the holiday. Creating a foundation of white on your face is the first step, from there it’s a simple matter of accentuating the contour of your own skull with black. After that, you’re free to decorate with elaborate and colorful designs that pay tribute to the loved ones you’re celebrating. Or you can leave your skull make-up simple. When you shop our Day of the Dead costumes, you’ll find the make-up set that’s best to get you started. Or, save a little time and don a Day of the Dead mask.
Make-up done and it’s on to the wardrobe! Posada’s La Calavera Catrina is depicted wearing a large French-style hat decorated with flowers and feathers. Her image was inspired by another Catrina figure in fancy European-dress done by Diego Rivera. The over-the-top, layered, and embellished outfit of both Catrinas became the standard style for Day of the Dead costumes.
You’ll see most of our Day of the Dead costumes are offered in red, black, and white. The three colors hold meaning for the celebration. Red illustrates love for the departed. Black and white speak to the cycle of life and death, more specifically mortality and ghosts. So, if you’re sticking to tradition, you’ll find plenty of costume gowns and suits for you and yours that are perfect for the celebrations. Pair your gorgeous costume with a hairpiece or hat that gives another nod to tradition.
When you’re getting ready for Day of the Dead, the most important thing to keep in mind is that the holiday is a celebration of life and death. It is not a scary holiday and you should not add scary elements to your look. It is also not Halloween, so leave your superhero, animal, and monster costumes at home. Instead grab your favorite dress or two-piece from our selection, a bouquet of marigolds, sweets, drinks or other offerings for your departed loved ones, and join the party!