With the release of Disney's "Alice in Wonderland" in 2010, Alice-themed parties continue to grow in popularity. One of the more popular themes is the Mad Hatter's Tea Party. Whether you are planning a party for children or adults, costumes drive the theme home. Knowing a few costumes ideas helps you decide on the right look for you and your guests.
Before you can decide who will dress as which character, you need to decide what version of the story you want to portray. Aside from the recent Disney movie, there is the classic animated Disney movie, countless film and television adaptations of the story, children's animated features with different characters such as Mickey Mouse or the Wonder Pets, video games and, of course, the original book's illustrations and written descriptions. Deciding which version to focus on gives a clear direction for costume choice. Whichever directions you choose, either make your costumes from scratch or visit your local thrift store for appropriate items.
The Hatter, deemed mad by the Cheshire Cat prior to Alice meeting him, is dishevelled and wild in appearance. When choosing your costume for the Hatter, either include a wig that sticks out in many directions or use mousse to achieve the look with your own hair. Your suit should be brightly coloured and mismatched. Hatpins stuck in your clothing add to the look. Regardless of what other accessories you have, the iconic image of the Hatter is his hat. Wear a large top hat with a card that says "10/6" on it. Hold the card in place with a band of ribbon tied above the brim of the hat.
The Hatter's friend at tea is the March Hare, who is equally as mad. Costumes for the March Hare are straightforward. Large rabbit ears cocked in different directions help indicate that the character is insane. For the costume, either choose an oversized suit with a rabbit tail or wear a full-body rabbit costume and add a dress suit over top. Carry a teacup and saucer to make the costume easier to identify.
Alice's costume is usually a blue dress with a white pinafore over top. She wears white stockings and black dress shoes. However, different versions of the famous story imagine Alice in a number of different outfits. In the recent live-action film, for example, she wears several costumes, one of them a red dress the Queen of Hearts gives her. Regardless of the costume you choose, one of Alice's distinguishing features is her blonde hair. If your hair is not blonde, wear a wig to finish your look.
Although the only other characters at the Tea Party in the book are the Dormouse and the White Rabbit, any character from the story would make an appropriate costume. The more popular characters, such as the Queen of Hearts, the Cheshire Cat and Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum, or lesser thought of characters, such as the cards, the talking flowers, the Dutchess, Dodo or even Bill round out the costumes for the party.