Humpty Dumpty Costume

How To Win A Costume Contest

Costume contests are great fun, and entering them is even better. What’s that? You want to WIN!? Well here are some tips and suggestions to help you put together a winning Halloween costume:

Get ready....

  • Before you begin planning for the costume contest, you’ll want to know how you’re going to be judged. What are the categories? Will the audience determine the winners or will there be a panel of judges?
  • Can you get your hands on pictures of winners from previous years? That can give you an idea of what kinds of costumes are likely to be winners this year.
  • For school costume contests it’s really important to know who’ll be judging. Kids and teens are probably going to choose differently than parents and teachers. For contests at work, think about what is going to make people laugh. And for contests at bars and parties, something outrageous or sexy is probably going to shine.
Get set....
  • Now it’s time to brainstorm. Once you have an idea for a costume, research it on the web, sketch it out, and ask your friends for ideas and input.
  • Know your strengths. If you are handy with tools, you can create a complex homemade costume with bells and whistles. If you know how to sew then you have a leg up in that arena. But nonetheless you’d be surprised what you can do with a glue gun and stapler!
  • Have a budget. Don’t forget about extras like jewelry, make-up or accessories.
  • Be careful not to pick a character or idea that is too obscure. You probably won’t have a chance to “explain” your costume when you’re up on stage.
  • Use your judgment before choosing a costume that is risqué or politically incorrect. With the right audience, these can be sure winners…but…your boss might not be amused. And they’re probably not a good idea for the school carnival!
  • In any case, try to implement an element of surprise: funny, cute, outrageous, sexy, etc. Originality always wins points and garners votes.
  • Try out your costume, including make-up, ahead of time.
  • If the audience is selecting the winner then you have a great opportunity to drum up support before the contest even starts. Make sure you enter the event in full character and try to make contact with as many people as possible. People will be more likely to cheer for you if they interacted with you before the contest.
  • Originality is usually the key to winning most costume contests. This doesn’t just mean what you wear, but HOW you wear it. Get into character and stay there.
  • It’s your turn on stage? Elvis, be ready to shake those hips and pout those lips! Marilyn, start twirling. Do what you need to do to stand out in the minds of the audience and judges.
Hopefully these tricks will help you win the big prize. If not, you’ll still have a blast. Just make sure you notice what made the winning costumes great--and you can come back with a winner next year!
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