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Actors in samurai costume at the Kyoto Eigamura film set
Yarkand ladies' summer fashions. 1870s

Costume is the distinctive style of dress of a particular people, class, or period. A costume can be a particular style of clothing worn to portray the wearer as a character or type of character other than their regular persona at a social event such as a masquerade, a fancy dress party or in a theatre performance.

Major categories[edit]

Theatrical costume[edit]

Main article: Stage clothes
Costume used in yakshagana, a theater art from India
Costumed performers from the 2006 Bristol Renaissance Faire

One of the more prominent places people see costumes is in theatre, film and on television. In combination with other aspects, theatrical costumes can help actors portray characters' age, gender role, profession, social class, personality, ethnicity, and even information about the historical period/era, geographic location and time of day, as well as the season or weather of the theatrical performance. Often, stylized theatrical costumes can exaggerate some aspect of a character; for example Harlequin and Pantaloon in the Commedia dell'arte.

National costume[edit]

National costume or regional costume expresses local (or exiled) identity and emphasises a culture's unique attributes. It is often a source of national pride. Examples of such are a Scotsman in a kilt or a Japanese person in a kimono.

Holidays and festivals[edit]

A traditional, European-style Santa suit

The wearing of costumes has become an important part of such holidays and festivals as Mardi Gras and Halloween (see Halloween costume for more information), and (to a lesser extent) people may also wear costumes in conjunction with other holidays, such as Christmas and Easter. Mardi Gras costumes usually take the form of jesters and other fantasy characters, while Halloween costumes traditionally take the form of supernatural creatures such as ghosts, vampires, pop culture icons and angels. In modern times Halloween costumes sometimes also include fashion show type costumes. Christmas and Easter costumes typically portray mythical characters such as Santa Claus (by donning a santa suit and beard) or the Easter Bunny by putting on an animal costume. Costumes may serve to portray various other characters during secular holidays, such as an Uncle Sam costume worn on the Independence day for example.

In Judaism, a common practice is to dress up on Purim. The Jews celebrate the change of their destiny. They were delivered from being the victims of an evil decree against them and were instead allowed by the King to destroy their enemies. A quote from the Book of Esther, which says: "On the contrary" (hebrew: ונהפוך הוא ) is the reason that wearing a costume has become so popular among the Jews on this holiday.


Costumes also serve as an avenue for children to explore and roleplay. Children can dress up in various forms; for example characters from history or fiction like pirates, princesses or cowboys, common jobs like nurses or police officers, or animals such as those seen in zoos or farms.


Another very popular situation where costumes are employed are for sporting events, where people dressed as their team's representative mascot help the club or team rally round their team's cause. Animal costumes which are visually very similar to mascot costumes are also popular among the members of the furry fandom where they are referred to as fursuits that match ones animal persona, or fursona.


Cosplay, a word of Japanese origin that's short for "costume play", is a performance art in which participants wear costumes and accessories to represent a specific character or idea that is usually always identified with a unique name (as opposed to a generic word). These costume wearers often interact to create a subculture centered on role play, so most time they can be seen in a play group, gathering or convention. A significant amount of these kinds costumes may be originally designed or homemade and unique, depending on the character, idea, or object the costumer wearer is attempting to imitate or represent. The costumes themselves are often artistically judged to how well they represent the subject or object that the costume wearer is attempting to contrive.

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Costume — Please support Wikipedia.
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312617 news items


Tue, 19 Aug 2014 16:10:19 -0700

New Smash Bros. Costume for Samus Reveals a Lot More Skin on 3DS/Wii U. Zero Suit Samus gets an alternate costume for Super Smash Bros. that's a throwback to her GBA adventures. justinhaywald ...
Tue, 19 Aug 2014 04:01:47 -0700

Now let's go deeper into one of the creative areas in the filmmaking ecosystem, the costume department, where professionals work long hours day after day, taking meticulous care to create wardrobes for films like “The Social Network,” “American Hustle ...
The Ann Arbor News
Mon, 18 Aug 2014 14:00:00 -0700

A costume sale will take place 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 21, and Friday, Aug. 22, and 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 23. inside the theater, located at 805 N. Hamilton. The sale will include women's and men's clothing, both vintage and modern.
Tue, 19 Aug 2014 16:23:27 -0700

Thieves steal Wichita Children's Theatre costume trailer. POSTED: 06:22 PM CDT Aug 19, 2014. Small Text; Medium Text; Large Text. Print; Email. Tweet. Comments. The views expressed are not those of this company or its affiliated companies. Please note ...

Daily Mail

Detroit Free Press
Tue, 19 Aug 2014 13:35:04 -0700

Monogrammed shirts are apparently back in. Henry Cavill was spotted Monday outside Detroit's old Wayne County Building wearing a dark cape that revealed a glimpse of the big old “S” from his costume for “Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice.”.
Entertainment Weekly (blog)
Tue, 19 Aug 2014 09:18:45 -0700

“He's one of the most fascinating characters I've ever studied,” says Christian Bale of Moses, the Old Testament prophet he plays in Exodus: Gods and Kings. “All of his trials, his troubled life and his doubts, his rages and his extremes.” The actor ...

International Business Times AU

International Business Times AU
Tue, 19 Aug 2014 21:30:00 -0700

Hugh Jackman is all set to reprise his role in the seventh instalment of "X-Men: Apocalypse". The actor would begin the shooting of "X-Men: Apocalypse" in the summer next year. Simon Kinberg is writing the film and he suggested in his recent interview ...
Tue, 19 Aug 2014 06:18:45 -0700

YouTuber Mike Hecxz captured the moment when members of the awesome Pro Voltage cosplay group are assembling their Metal Gear REX costume at Otakon 2014. As you can see it's so huge they need more than one people to help: ...

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