The homemade gypsy costume is one of the oldest and most enduringly popular costumes. Easy and inexpensive to put together, it's a costume that can be thrown together at the last minute or made with time and care. Either way, you'll look exotic.
Making a Gypsy Costume
The gypsy costume look is bright and rag-bag. Whatever you like is acceptable, so it's mostly a matter of having fun. Traditional costumes can be easily put together for men or women who want to show off their colors for the night.
Securing the Costume Pieces
You may find the best luck at thrift stores; many gypsies lived nomadic lives that were hard on their clothes. Ripped, stained or dirty clothing will only add to your costume's credibility. Because the clothes should fit loosely for comfort, as well as in several layers, purchase clothing a size or two up from what you would normally wear to get the best fit.
Costumes for Women
A traditional gypsy costume for a woman includes multiple layers, perfect for an eclectic personality. Colors of the clothes should be bold and bright, including lots of red and yellow whenever possible.
- Low-cut top, such as a peasant blouse, loose ruffled blouse or a square-cut top.
- Large, jeweled or colorful pins
- Brightly patterned tights or leggings
- Petticoat (optional)
- Wide, full ankle length ruffled or wool skirt
- 2 scarves
- Gold hoop earrings
- Gold bangles and bracelets
- Ankle boots
- Layer the clothing so the camisole and leggings are the closest to your body. Top this with the petticoat, skirt and finally the blouse.
- Tie one scarf tightly around your waist, just above your hips, over the blouse. The blouse should cover your hips and the top of the skirt beneath the scarf. This will help widen the skirt to flair out from your legs. Secure the scarf in place with a jeweled pin.
- Fold the shawl into a long rectangle and drape it over your shoulders. Pull the two ends toward you in the front and secure them just below your bust line with a second pin.
- Tie or brush your hair back from your face and hold it in place with a tightly tied scarf. Let the ends of the scarf trail down your back. Loosen your hair beneath the scarf to be loose over your shoulders or, for shorter hair, tuck the ends up beneath the scarf.
- Finish the costume with hoop earrings and plenty of bangles.
Costumes for Men
Like the woman's costume, a man's gypsy costume consists of many layers in bright and bold colors.
- Baggy pants
- Knee high boots
- Loose shirt
- Loose vest in a contrasting color to the rest of the outfit
- Long, wide scarf
- Shorter, thinner scarf
- Gold chains, gold hoop earring and gold bracelets
- Tuck the shirt into the pants and pull it up slightly so that it balloons out over the waist. Tuck the pant legs inside the boots and tug them up slightly as well to make the pants appear looser.
- Spread long, wide scarf out and tie it around your waist, over the shirt so the tails hang off to one side.
- Layer on the vest over the shirt and scarf.
- Tie the second, smaller scarf around the neck.
- Finish with lots of gold jewelry.
Play Up the Exotic
Go over-the-top with your costume to get the best results. Bold colors, mismatched patterns, lots of gold and a flamboyant presence are the hallmarks of a good gypsy costume. Have fun putting your homemade costume together and get in touch with your exotic side.