Dress Up Ideas for an 18th Birthday

Updated February 21, 2017

The 18th birthday is an important milestone birthday that marks the transition from childhood into adulthood. Many celebrants choose to mark the occasion by throwing a costume party. These types of parties can symbolise the new adult status with grown-up costumes. Those who are still kids at heart might prefer to celebrate this occasion with a youthful theme. These parties are most fun when all guests participate by wearing costumes; creative costumes could win prizes.

Mardi Gras/ Masquerade

Mardi Gras and Carnival celebrations are common throughout the world, in countries like the United States, Brazil and France. A Mardi Gras or masquerade party allows plenty of room for creativity in costumes for your 18th birthday. You can simply wear regularly clothing with a glittery mask or you can dress in costume from head to toe. A popular symbol of masquerades is the harlequin, a jester-like costume that features a mask, hat with several points and a colourful costume with diamond patterns. To convey the look of a bird, wear a mask with feathers and a long beak. Complete the look by wearing a dress made of an airy material and a feather boa. Men can wear a tuxedo with a plain, white mask and top hat for an easy Phantom of the Opera costume. You can even paint your entire body one colour, such as gold for a bold, rich look.

Throwback Costume

If you are having a Throwback birthday party, the decorations, music and costumes will revolve around the year you were born in the early 1990s. There were several fashion trends from this era, so choose the trend that best suits your personality. If you want to go for the grunge look, baggy trousers, untied boots, a ragged T-shirt, long-sleeved flannel shirt and unwashed hair are essential costume elements. You can create the hairstyle by using hair grease and creating several messy twists throughout your head. Another classic option is stirrup stretch trousers, a long shirt or sweater and light-up sneakers. Hair should be straight and stringy in the back, with a curly poof of fringe.

Peter Pan

A Peter Pan costume party is ideal for birthday celebrants who simply don't want to grow up or who wish to hold onto childhood for one more night. Guests can dress as any of the characters from the story. A Peter Pan costume should consist of green leggings, pointy shoes, a long tunic with belt and a pointy hat with feather. To dress like Tinkerbell, you will need pointy shoes, a simple, short green dress, fairy wings and hair worn in a high bun. A Wendy Darling costume is simple with a blue dress, white tights and black Mary Jane shoes. Other Darling children costumes are as simple as long nightgowns and slippers. If adults are chaperoning, have them dress as pirates from Captain Hook's gang.

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About the Author

A former cake decorator and competitive horticulturist, Amelia Allonsy is most at home in the kitchen or with her hands in the dirt. She received her Bachelor's degree from West Virginia University. Her work has been published in the San Francisco Chronicle and on other websites.