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Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Ideas for Cinco de Mayo Costumes and Costume Accessories- Let the fiesta begin!

Cinco de Mayo, the beloved Mexican holiday is almost here! With parades and parties abound, it is often considered to be the St. Patrick's Day of Mexicans. The day is celebrated with lots of vigor by the Hispanic population and of course by me, no surprises there! I mean, what is there no to like? Plenty of drinking going on, colorful parades everywhere, food stalls selling delicious Mexican food and beautiful women doing their traditional dances, the festival is truly one of a kind. While I was not aware of the origins of Cinco de Mayo, I did do some research prior to writing this article. Okay, I just read the Wikipedia article, I am laziness impaired! The whole Mexican army defeating the larger French forces at the Battle of Puebla is pretty awe-inspiring.  Unfortunately, the historical origins have been forgotten and the day is really about the celebration of Mexican culture and heritage. Not that there is any wrong with it.

Whether taking part in a parade (and kudos if you're) or going for a costume party, you will need some kick-ass costumes to make you stand out from the herd. Considering that Cinco de Mayo is most popular among Mexicans and Latinos, any clothes with Spanish tones will work. The outfits need to boast of some sort of Spanish connection, be it movie characters or Spanish music or food. Let's take a look at the kind of costumes you can go for.

Adult Cinco de Mayo Costumes

Flowing Mexican Fiesta Dresses, ponchos and movie character inspired outfits, there are a variety of looks to go for, this coming Cinco de Mayo. For women, it is the perfect opportunity to go for bright, flowing dresses that accentuate your curves. Mexican fashion is all about seduction and opulence, there is no place for subtlety. For men, there are Mexican ponchos and capes to go for. Arguably the costumes for men are less glamorous than those of the women but then they're low- maintenance, something that I am sure the men would appreciate!

Glamorous and seductive, that is the motto to go for ladies. Cinco de Mayo is all about bright colored dresses, cool hats and edgy designs. Take a look at some of these popular costumes for women:

The first costume is obviously inspired by the most popular Mexican hero of the movie, book and novel series, Zorro. This costume is fierce and sexy and is perfect for any Cinco de Mayo celebration. Although ladies, be careful, such outfits are more suited to those that have toned midriffs to flaunt. For those women, who have better things to do than workout in a gym all day (my kind of gals!), there is no need to worry. Sexy Mexican Dresses with their flowing silhouettes tend to hide most of the human flaws. Moreover, they come in a variety of bold colors, so there is no compromise in the looks department.

Coming to the men's costumes, I would say that simplistic and practical is the mantra to follow. Considering that I myself don't like wearing over-the-top costumes, I won't recommend them as well. Check out these 2 costumes I found online:

A Zorro costume and a Mexican Poncho outfit. The Zorro costume is a great choice for any Cinco de Mayo celebration. After all, Zorro is the most popular and well-known Mexican fictional character. Moreover, the costume looks super stylish with its cool cape and belt (I should know, considering that I've worn one myself). On the other hand, if you prefer comic tones over sleek style, then something like a Mexican poncho is a safe bet. The Mexican poncho with the sombrero hat is a traditional costume and can be made into a funny costume if you add a big moustache to the look. It is kinda perpetuating stereotype but hey, one can be sporty about it and not end up offending anyone.

Cinco de Mayo Kids Costumes

Like any other festive holiday, Cinco de Mayo should also be celebrated with family. Make your kids part of the celebrations and I can assure you that you will enjoy more and so will your kids (no kid likes to be stuck with a nanny, period!). You can choose from a range of child costumes available online and most of them are pretty cheap, so no need to worry about spending too much on something that your kid would probably wear once or twice only.

When picking something for your little girl, remember that the prettier and dazzling it is, the better it is. Red, pink and black are the colors to go for. Take a look at this outfit:

A Spanish dancer costume with its frilly skirt and ruffled accessories is something that you really can’t go wrong with. Your little girl would absolutely love such an outfit.

If your little girl is tomboyish and one who is not for frilly dresses, then a simple top and pants is the way to go. Once again, bright and fun colors should be the norm. Take a look at this unique Matador costume for girls:
First of all Matadors were historically, always men. So, I think it sends across a good message of universal equality if you allow your little girl to dress up as one. Secondly, the entire look is perfect, right from the cape, the printed top to the hair accessories. This is the ensemble you should most definitely be putting together for the apple of your eye!

Now, I haven't forgotten the boys. Considering the costumes that I have recommended for the adults, it should come across as no surprise when I pick Zorro for the boys. I mean, as a popular TV and Movie character and comic book superhero, is there any question that young boys find him appealing. In fact, both father and son can go for the parades dressed up as Zorro. Nothing makes father-son bond stronger than dressing up in similar costumes, that too as masked heroes! Check out this costume:

Identical to the adult version, this kid costume with its cool belt, cape and mask would definitely appeal to your little boy.

Cinco de Mayo Costume Accessories

Lace fans, sombrero hats, costume jewelry and what not? When it comes to Cinco de Mayo, there are a lot of accessories to choose from. Depending upon the outfit you have chosen, you can accessorize it accordingly.

For all the women going for luxurious Mexican Dresses, a lace fan is the ultimate accessory. I mean, not only does it do what a fan is supposed to do, that is keep you cool (although some hand exercise is involved), it adds a touch of elegance to your entire costume ensemble. You can go for a variety of colors:

I would say, go for black as the dresses I have recommended for the Cinco de Mayo celebrations are all bold and dark colored. You do not want your fan to clash with your outfit now, do you?

Mexican sombrero hats are the quintessential costume accessories, when it comes to Cinco de Mayo celebrations. You can save your money and create one for yourself; simply read my previous article (here is the link). If your handicraft skills are a bit rusty or you couldn't be bothered, simply buy one.

Don't go for flamboyant colors when picking the hat. A simple dull color like black or brown works best. You can go for one with some beautiful intricate embroidery, like the one shown in the picture.

Fiesta Bead Necklaces are an absolute must if you're going anywhere near a parade procession. I for one, love throwing bead necklaces from the top of a float (okay, I did it only once but it still counts). In shades of red, purple and gold, these necklaces reflect the party mood and they're pretty cheap, so no tears have to be shed when you invariably can't find them after the parade.

More the number of necklaces, the better it is. Go for small lightweight ones, so that no one is likely to get injured when you throw them around!

I declare you ready to start your Cinco de Mayo shopping. You have my blessings children, go forth and try to find good costumes for yourselves and your loved ones. Okkk, that was way preachy; my grandfather was a priest so it slips out from time to time. Anyways, you now have a general idea on the kind of costumes and accessories to go for. I wish you luck in your costume endeavors and hope you've lots of fun this coming Cinco de Mayo (I know I will!).