Ladies' Christmas Costumes

Benna Crawford
carolers

Have a jolly holiday, decked out in a festive Christmas costume that you source online or assemble yourself. Angel or elf, you can rival Santa in rich red and green, or go celestial in a divine pair of wings, a shiny halo, or even modest pageant robes.

Christmas Caroler

Whether you are going Christmas caroling or playing the part onstage, wearing a Victorian style caroling costume is always fun.

Where To Buy

For those looking to purchase, check out online stores. Walmart sells a long Victorian Christmas caroler costume. The red velvet floor-length skirt, matching double-flounced cape and red hat come with a faux fur white muff. Add a shirt and shoes or boots and you're ready for a rousing chorus of Jingle Bells! One size (fits most) is available for about $36 and eligible for free shipping.

Make Your Own

white faux fur muff

Assemble your own caroling costume using items in your closet or from a thrift store. A typical caroling costume consists of a long gown worn over a petticoat. It may be made of velvet, wool, or cotton. It may or may not include a long cloak, hat, and muff. Once you've settled on the dress and cloak, make a faux fur muff to keep your hands warm on a chilly neighborhood sing.

Supplies

  • White faux fur (need 14" x 20" per muff)
  • Measuring tape
  • Scissors
  • Glue gun
  • Silk cord or 2-inch grosgrain ribbon

Steps

  1. Cut the faux fur to a 14" X 20" rectangle.
  2. Fold each of the long sides in 1 inch, wrong side to wrong side. Glue them down.
  3. Once the glue dries, overlap the short ends of the fur by 2 inches. Glue in place to form a cylinder.
  4. Measure the distance around the neck of the caroler, to the muff height (waist-length) and add enough extra inches to run through the muff and overlap by two inches.
  5. Cut the cord or ribbon to this measure, thread it through the muff, overlap the ends and knot or glue the ends together.
  6. Slip the cord over your head and your hands inside the muff.

Traditional Mrs. Claus

The traditional Mrs. Claus costume depicts a cute old lady with a smile and a warm plate of cookies for Santa. The UNtraditional Mrs. Claus is out to warm the North Pole with her more risque apparel. Go for your authentic self for your holiday fete.

Where To Buy

If you would like to purchase your Mrs. Santa costume, check out Costume Discounters for an extensive menu of Mrs. Clauses at varying degrees of hotness, including a plus-size version. Bright red-and-white costumes, trimmed in faux fur and lace, start around $26 for a knee-length classic Claus in faux velvet with a hat and cape, to about $130 for a fur-trimmed, full-length Granny Claus look with mob cap. A super-short curvy version with a net underskirt for extra bounce costs about $50 and goes up to women's size 26.

Free U.S. shipping on orders over $75 and $4.99 for three-day shipping. Go in with a friend or buy wigs and other accessories to qualify for free shipping on the economical costumes.

Make Your Own

To dress as the more mature Mrs. Claus, you can simply wear a long slip or long-johns under a red and white flannel nightgown with a shawl or a red bathrobe and a sleeping cap. Put together a traditional Mrs. Claus with a long red dress, or skirt and white blouse, a big white apron and a mob cap. Making a mob cap is simple -- choose plain white cotton or go for red velvet with contrasting white, green or red ribbon.

Supplies

mob cap on Mrs. Claus
  • 20-inch piece of heavy white cotton, faux taffeta, or red velvet
  • Contrasting 3/4-inch ribbon (velvet, satin or grosgrain)
  • Measuring tape
  • Scissors
  • Dressmaker pins

Steps

  1. Cut out an 18-inch circle from the cap material you selected. (Use a sharp scissors to get a neat edge.)
  2. Measure 2 1/2 inches in from edge and mark a circle with the dressmaker pins.
  3. Mark spots to cut along this line with pins, about 1 1/2 inches apart.
  4. Slash or cut the fabric at the pinned marks, using either a craft knife or pinching the fabric with scissors to make a small cut. The cuts should be perpendicular to the edge of the cap.
  5. Thread the ribbon through the cuts, all around the rim of the cap.
  6. Gather the ribbon loosely to begin creating the hat shape. Place the cap on the head of the Mrs. Santa and adjust the gathers, tying the ribbon securely once the cap fits.
  7. Tie the ends of the ribbon in a bow and trim the raw ends.

Mother Mary

If you are taking part in a Nativity play you may need to dress up as Mary, the mother of Jesus. Traditionally Mary wears a light blue robe or gown and a white or light blue head scarf and shawl.

Where To Buy

You can buy a Mary costume from Biblical Costume House. The pale blue full-length gown is about $26 and comes with a white rope belt and medium-length white headpiece in a single standard adult size. Shipping costs for costumes vary at this vendor, depending on the amount of purchase.

Make Your Own

Making your own Mary costume can be as economical and easy as wearing a light blue nightgown or a column of blue fabric stitched up the side with a hole for your head and two holes for your arms. Gather it at the waist with a piece of braided twine, a deep blue sash or a knotted length of white cord. Make a headpiece to shoulder-, waist-, or ankle-length from a simple square of soft white fabric.

Supplies

Mary costume
  • Square piece of white cotton, double-knit, soft linen or another light, plain fabric
  • Scissors (optional)
  • Glue (optional)
  • Needle and thread (optional)
  • Braided bolo cord or twisted elastic cord trim

Steps

  1. Measure and cut the fabric into a square that falls to your chosen length for the headpiece: short, medium, or long.
  2. Stitch 1/4-inch from the edge of the fabric to prevent fraying. However, this isn't absolutely necessary because slight fraying may add to the authenticity of the costume.
  3. Position one corner of the fabric on your head, allowing the rest to fall behind you.
  4. Fold back the triangular corner that hangs over your forehead or face. Secure the headpiece with hair pins or a circlet of faux leather braided cord or stretchy cord trim.
  5. Make a circlet by encircling your head with the trim, stretching the elasticized trim slightly, and marking a 3/4-inch overlap. Cut the cord at the overlap mark and stitch or glue the raw ends closed to make a circle.

Sugar Plum Fairy

A sugar plum fairy costume is usually worn during a holiday dance production of The Nutcracker. The sugar plum fairy is a sweet and spangly Christmas party costume as well.

Where To Buy

Knock yourself out with an authentic Sugar Plum Fairy pancake tutu and glittering bodice, just like those magical ballerinas wear in the holiday shows. Amazon has one in sizes XS to XL or custom for around $300, but order early. Regular sizes are available to ship within 2 days but custom orders could take as long as 27 days for creation and shipment. The good news, standard shipping can be as low as $4.49.

Make Your Own

armbands

If stage-worthy fairy garb is too rich for your budget, pick up a multi-layered net ballerina tutu, a spaghetti-strap stretch exercise top with a sweetheart neckline, wings (optional), tights, and ballet slippers (not pointe shoes). Those are available at dance supply stores, discount stores and even thrift shops. Make dreamy armbands to match your assembled costume and you'll dazzle your audience.

Supplies

  • 3/4-inch elastic
  • Gathered 2-inch wide net trim or tulle
  • Measuring tape
  • Scissors
  • Glue gun

Steps

  1. Choose net trim in two colors that complement or match your tutu and top.
  2. Measure the circumference of your arm at the midpoint between shoulder and elbow.
  3. Cut four lengths of gathered net or tulle trim using this measurement plus one inch -- two in each color.
  4. Cut two lengths of elastic to your arm circumference measurement and spot-glue one layer of gathered trim to each, leaving the last half-inch of elastic at each end unglued.
  5. Repeat the trim gluing with the remaining lengths of gathered trim, positioning them just above the first glued trim. The elastic should now be hidden.
  6. Wrap one armband around your arm, overlapping the elastic at the ends until the band is snug but not excessively tight.
  7. Glue the elastic ends, overlapping them to the fit you tested on your arm. Glue the ends of the trim down over the overlapped elastic ends.
  8. Do the same thing for the remaining armband and let both armbands dry.
  9. Pull the gathered net or tulle armbands up your arms to a point near the top edge of your bodice to complete your costume.

Angel

Angel costumes can be seraphic or sexy, to reflect your state of grace at a holiday bash. Go for the classic ankle-length tunic or the flirty fallen angel look, but don't forget the wings. And wear a halo, if you dare.

Where to Buy

For those wanting to purchase an angel costume, check out the following websites Costume Supercenter sells a long angel costume with halo that's perfect for Christmas. It comes in sizes from 6 to 14 and 16 to 22 and is priced around $20. Shipping is free for orders over $75 with expedited shipping available for a fee.

Make Your Own

angel costume

Simply wear a nightgown and robe of shimmery white and you are good to go. Or be a cherub and recycle your old Greek goddess toga from last Halloween. Wings are available year-round at most party supply stores and they'll telegraph your angelic status to your public, whether you're going as one of Gabriel's hosts or one of Lucifer's. Do your own halo. Custom halos are heavenly.

Supplies

  • Skinny hairband to match your hair color
  • Florist's wire or white pipe cleaner
  • Jeweler's pliers (optional)
  • Wire cutters (optional)
  • Scissors
  • Feather boa craft trim (1" wide)
  • Glue gun

Steps

  1. Wrap the wire or pipe cleaner around the dead center of the headband about four or five times, finishing with the raw ends sticking up an inch or so apart.
  2. Make a circlet from three twisted strand of florist's wire or one white pipe cleaner by twisting the ends together tightly. (If using wire, the circlet should be no more than 6 inches in diameter. Jeweler's pliers make a good tight wire twist painless.)
  3. Position the circlet over the headband horizontally so the two raw ends of wire/pipe cleaner stick up inside the circle. Wrap the wire or pipe cleaner around the circlet to suspend it about an inch above the hairband. (Cut the wire with the wire cutter or scissors if it is way too long to wrap easily, being sure to leave enough to secure the circlet.)
  4. Wrap the feather boa craft trim around the circlet until the wire is completely hidden and only the fluffy feather trim shows.
  5. Dot the feather trim strands with glue to stick them to the wire as you wrap. This may take several layers of trim, depending on how full yours is.
  6. Allow the glue to dry before wearing the halo.

Sexy Elf

The classic Christmas elf wears a green tunic and tights, with funky pointed shoes and an elf hat. Take this basic concept and turn it into a sexy elf for Christmas.

Where To Buy

Invest in elvish fabulousness at Party City with a super-sexy, satiny short red petticoat dress, and a green velour vest, trimmed in ruffles and faux fur. Emphasize the low-cut sweetheart bodice with a pert contrasting bow, slip on some red-and-white candy-cane tights, a buckled black belt and curly-toed shoe covers and a plush, fur-trimmed elf hat -- shoes and hat topped off with jingle bells. All for around $140 in sizes from S to XL with free shipping and your choice of home delivery or in-store pick up.

Make Your Own

elf hat

To create your own hottie elf costume, wear a little green mini skirt or shorts, suspenders over a clingy white shirt with a saucy red bow tie, high black boots, and DIY elf hat, from your own Santa's Workshop. Use the Pizza-Slice-and-Glue method for no-sew hat magic.

Supplies

  • Scrap paper
  • Measuring tape
  • Pencil
  • Scissors
  • Tape
  • String
  • Green and red felt (medium or heavy weight)
  • Tiny red or green pompoms
  • One jingle bell

Steps

  1. Measure an equilateral triangle on your scrap paper, 18 inches on each side, and cut it out.
  2. Tie the pencil to the string, stretch the string to the top of the triangle and tape it down. Put the point of the pencil on the bottom edge of the triangle's base.
  3. Draw an arc by holding the top of the string in place as you move the pencil from one end of the triangle to the other, along the base.
  4. Cut along the arc on the triangle's base to complete your pattern. It will look like a slice of pizza.
  5. Fold the green felt in half and place the pattern on it with one long straight side on the fold. Trace the pattern onto the felt with a pencil. Discard the pattern.
  6. Cut along the markings. Overlap the long cut edges slightly and glue them together.
  7. Measure the circumference of the open base of the hat and cut a 3- to 4-inch wide strip of red felt the length you measured plus an inch.
  8. Cut more-or-less even zigzags around the felt, about as deep as half its width.
  9. Glue the red hat cuff to the base of the cap so the open ends overlap in the back where the cap is glued.
  10. Trim the raw ends of the cuff, overlap them about 1/2 inch and glue down. Let the glue dry.
  11. Embellish your elf cap by gluing tiny pompoms to each zigzag point and a jingle bell to the tip of the cap. (You may stitch the bell on if it's too heavy for the glue to hold it securely.)

Get Into the Season's Spirit

There's no better way to get into the holiday spirit than to dress up. Costume dress-up is more fun than traditional formal wear or those Christmas sweaters with appliqued Scotty dogs or snowmen emblazoned across them. Throw a costume party for your friends or delight your kids with a costumed Christmas that could become an annual tradition.

Ladies' Christmas Costumes