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A costume is a type of clothing, dress, or apparel that a person or group uses during specific events and occasions such as Halloween, dance and theater productions, folk activities, and religious ceremonies. They are also worn to represent a certain period, class, profession, tradition, gender, or nationality.
See the fact file below for more information on a costume or alternatively, you can download our 25-page Costume worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
Key Facts & Information
- The term costume is Italian in origin. It means “custom” or “fashion”.
- A costume can be representative of a class, religion, period, ethnicity, or profession.
- It is also be a particular attire worn for an activity or occasion.
- At first, costumes were made by hand.
- Costumes were then made ready-to-wear and were sold commercially at the beginning of the 20th century.
- At that time, women who put up businesses to cater to the demand for female costumes were called costumiers.
- Costume design is the process of planning how a costume would turn out and how it would look on the individual or group wearing it.
- A costume party is a kind of party where people dress up and wear costumes to the event.
- In the Western world, costume parties usually take place during Halloween.
- Factors taken into consideration when making costumes are color, material or fabric, pattern or design, and construction.
- Costumes also include footwear, accessories, jewelry, and other garments aside from clothing.
- There are different types of costumes depending on the occasion or the activity: national costumes, dance costumes, theatrical costumes, religious costumes, Halloween costumes, cosplay, mascots, parades, role play, and other forms of show business, entertainment, or the arts.
- Costumes can be homemade, rented, or bought in retail stores.
National Costumes of the World
- National costumes are used to represent a country’s identity.
- They are associated with a period in history or a geographic location.
- There are costumes worn seasonally only in traditional ceremonies and there are those that can be worn everyday.
- Some national costumes should be worn because the law states so, like in Bhutan where Tibetan clothing should always be worn.
- In the USA, national costumes are mainly worn for special events.
- In Mexico, a man wears a sombrero and a Charro suit. A woman wears a huipil, which is a rectangular dress.
- The lederhosen (for men) and dirndl (for women) are the national costumes in Germany and Austria.
- Russian national costumes are elaborate embroidered dresses for women and embroidered wool coats for men.
- The pleated kilt is a popular national costume in Scotland.
- The hanbok is Korea’s national costume.
- The kimono is Japan’s national costume.
- The cheongsam is China’s national costume for women.
- The parka is the national costume for Aleuts in Alaska.
- The sari is the national costume for women in India.
Costumes for Dance and Theater
- In theater, costumes are worn to help actors fully portray characters.
- This also applies to film, television, and other performances.
- Another purpose of a costume in performance arts is to illustrate the season, location, and event occurring.
- In dance, dancers wear costumes according to the dance genre or the theme of the event.
- Dancers can wear costumes to emphasize their movements or enhance their body shapes.
- They can also be worn to enrich the choreography and complete the artistic vision of the performance of the group or individual.
Costumes for Halloween
- One of the most famous days when costumes are worn is Halloween, which happens every October 31.
- The earliest record of this tradition was in 1585 in Scotland.
- Celtic countries such as Wales, Scotland, and Ireland upheld the costume tradition in the 18th and 19th centuries in Celtic festivals such as Samhain (Ireland, Scotland, and Mann) and Calan Gaeaf (Wales).
- The tradition carried on until the Christianization of Ireland and All Hallows’ Eve began to be observed.
- Costumes were worn to imitate supernatural beings or dead souls in traditional folklore.
- Some popular costumes were vampires, zombies, monsters, ghosts, and witches.
- Now, halloween costumes have included more categories such as fictional characters and popular celebrities.
- Non-scary characters are also portrayed now, like fairies, princesses, cowboys, animals, famous celebrities, and different professions including doctors and dentists.
Other types of costumes
- Cosplay, short for costume play, originates from Japan and is a performance art combining costumes and role play.
- Cosplayers usually imitate specific fictional characters and strive to achieve detailed and exact looks.
- Mascots are costumes worn at sporting events, children’s parties, parades, and festivals.
- Costumes worn in a festival called Mardi Gras are commonly jesters.
- Easter bunny costumes are worn during Easter.
- Santa Claus costumes are worn during Christmas season.
- A costume for the Lion Dance is made for Chinese New Year celebrations.
This is a fantastic bundle which includes everything you need to know about Costume across 25 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use Costume worksheets that are perfect for teaching students about the costume which is a type of clothing, dress, or apparel that a person or group uses during specific events and occasions such as Halloween, dance and theater productions, folk activities, and religious ceremonies. They are also worn to represent a certain period, class, profession, tradition, gender, or nationality.
Complete List Of Included Worksheets
- Costume Facts
- Background Checklist
- All Around The World
- C for Costume
- Costume or Just Clothing
- Costume Word Search
- What’s the Word?
- Name It!
- On Stage Memo
- Design Your Own
- Costume Gallery
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Link will appear as Costume Facts & Worksheets: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, October 22, 2018
Use With Any Curriculum
These worksheets have been specifically designed for use with any international curriculum. You can use these worksheets as-is, or edit them using Google Slides to make them more specific to your own student ability levels and curriculum standards.