Thursday, October 3, 2013

Halloween Masquerade: Marie Antoinette Costume Ideas

The Halloween season is one of my favorite times of the year. The costumes, the decorations, the abundance of pumpkin-themed food items... October is a very season! This year, I thought it would be fun to have a weekly Halloween post--every Thursday until the big 3-1!-- to share in the fun, unique and sometimes spooky Halloween spirit. 

This week: 

Are you thinking of dressing up as Marie Antoinette this Halloween? Whether you're having trouble deciding on what to wear or you're endlessly searching for a serviceable Halloween wig that doesn't look like a bundle of fake spiderwebs, this handy little guide will point you in the right direction!

First up: Where to get your costume! 
If you're the crafty type, you may want to look into the following patterns:

Simplicity 3637
Butterick 3640
McCall's M6139
Butterick 4485
Simplicity 4092

If you're purchasing your dress, you will likely find yourself with limited options. Most of the commercial "Marie Antoinette" costumes are of the adult/sexy variety, while the others tend to be either very flat and difficult to work with or rather expensive for one night of Halloween fun. If you do find yourself unable to purchase a dress to your liking, my personal tip would be to jazz it up with great accessories, a great wig and other personal touches to make it sound out out from the crowd!

As for wigs: Most "Halloween ready" 18th century wigs aren't quite up to snuff, no pun intended! But this wonderful tutorial from American Duchess can help turn your so-so wig into something you can be proud of! You may also try your hand at creating your own 18th century wig using this tutorial from Ambience Chaser. If you'll be using your own hair, there are a number of great tutorials easily found by searching "Marie Antoinette hair tutorial" on Youtube. Make sure to add appropriate accessories, like flowers, feathers or an entire ship!

Now: the theme!

The heart of any Halloween costume is the theme! What, exactly, do you want to wear? Marie Antoinette was a true queen of fashion, which makes it both easy and hard to decide on your ensemble! Do you want to flit about in a gauzy chemise a la reine? Or strut your stuff down Trick 'R Treat Lane in panniers that would get you stuck in even the grandest of doorways? Or get even more creative and take your inspiration from a film, a book, or theater? The possibilities are nearly endless! Here are some ideas to get you started:

"Petit Trianon."

A costume inspired by the Queen's favored fashions in her private realm might be just the rustic look you're seeking this Halloween. A flouncy, soft gown with romantic sleeves in white or other soft, youthful colors will give you the look of a country Lady. A bucolic straw hat and basket of garden flowers make perfect accessories--and don't forget a wide waist ribbon in your favorite color!

"Grand Entrance."  

If you're looking to really make a splash, then a costume inspired by the over-the-top court dresses of the Louis XVI era will definitely fit the bill. (Though you won't have the king to foot the bill!) Remember: The wider the pannier, the closer to heaven! High hair, plenty of feathers, dashes of diamonds and other shiny jewels, and a royal blue cape will make you sparkle well after midnight.


Marie Antoinette loved masquerades, so why not add a touch of mystery to your Marie Antoinette costume? You can indulge in pretending that you're the dauphine, hiding your true identity in Paris! The beauty of the masquerade is that you can suit your costume to your mood. Feeling sleek and elegant? Look for a black or dark-colored dress that will add mystery and allure to your appearance. Feeling wild? Look for a gown exploding in colors, jewels or feathers! A mask is definitely a must, unless you want to be rushed off to your private box early on in the night!

"Modern Queen."

Maybe you're looking for something a little less historical and a little more modern--but you don't have to limit yourself to those "Sexy Marie Antoinette" costumes lining the store shelves. To give the queen a modern twist this Halloween, take a nod from enjoy the fun, modern and brilliantly gaudy costumes from David Adjmi's Marie Antoinette--which are full of pastel colors, couture silhouettes, and more snazzy buckle shoes that you can shake a stick at! 

This is, of course, just a small sampling of what you can do to dress up as the queen of France Halloween. A nearly endless source of costume inspiration can be found in the many paintings, illustrations, movies, books and plays about Marie Antoinette--the sky is the limit!