Halloween Drag Queen Costume Ideas

Updated February 21, 2017

Halloween is a night when you can be anyone or anything. A favourite holiday of those who like to dress up in style, Halloween allows you to experiment with looks that you wouldn't dare try on more mundane days of the year. You may not want to be a drag queen any other day of the year, but Halloween presents an opportunity to dress up in the high style of the opposite gender and get a great costume out of it if done properly.

High Camp

High camp drag queens are perhaps the most recognisable by the general public. They are extremely exaggerated, clownish performers who do everything to the most feminine extreme possible. For a high camp drag look you will need excessive amounts of make-up (particularly on the lips and eyes) as well as padding to give yourself a highly feminine form. Look for accessories that are large and exaggerated as well, such as huge hoop earrings and bracelets. Massive wigs and heels hammer the look home.

Ultra Femme

Ultra femme drag queens are a step below high camp on the camp scale. They are still exaggerated expressions of femininity. However, they are somewhat more natural in their appearance. The performer RuPaul is a good example of this style, as she is exaggeratedly feminine, but not entirely over the top. You will want exaggerated (but not cartoonish) make-up, clothes and accessories for this look, as well as more naturalistic (but still exaggerated) physical proportions.

Female Impersonator

Female impersonators don't go for a look of their own. Rather, they copy the look of an existing woman performer, usually one who is popular in the gay community such as Cher, Dolly Parton or Madonna. This look requires the least amount of guess work. You think of a woman that you would like to impersonate, find specific elements of her look and copy them as best you can.

Elegant Queens

Elegant drag queens go for a naturalistic and classy look. This look will require glamorous but not exaggerated levels of make-up, as well as classy attire such as an evening gown and stylish heels. Look for simple, classy costume jewellery to round out this look for Halloween. This look is perhaps the closest to a real woman of all the styles that do not directly copy an existing woman.

Alternative Queens

Alternative queens are drag queens who dress in the styles of punk rock, goth, and other out-there subcultural styles. Many who engage in this look (such as the Sissyboy troupe of Portland, Oregon and San Francisco) don't bother with things like hair removal, so this can be a good costume for a man with a beard who isn't willing to shave. Flashy colours, torn up clothes and punky accessories are the hallmarks of this drag look.

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About the Author

Nicholas Pell began writing professionally in 1995. His features on arts, culture, personal finance and technology have appeared in publications such as "LA Weekly," Salon and Business Insider. Pell holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.