Brazil Carnival Costumes
The grand tradition of the Carnival of Brazil is celebrated every year starting forty-six days before Easter. Dating back to the Rio de Janeiro Carnaval in 1641, elaborate Brazil carnival costumes have been a large part of the many parades, balls and festivals associated with the week long jubilation.
In the earlier centuries, the costumes were themed, often invoking the mystique of the Pierrot costumes, which gave way to the glamour of masquerade balls with full face masks and elaborate gowns. As the decades progressed, and acceptable social styles progressed, so too did the Brazil carnival costumes. Eventually the masks were shed, as were much of the covering clothing.
Women began wearing shorter skirts, and eventually ornate swim wear. Men went from fully dressed shirt and pant ensembles to shorter pants, eventually forgoing any shirt at all and wearing light cotton shorts or dress pants. Some say it was the rising Brazilian heat that brought about the current trend of scanty Brazil carnival costume designs.
The themes, however, can still range from sappy to sultry, and some even take on a more demonic feel. One thing that remains true amongst all Brazil carnival costumes is of course, the flamboyant use of color, jewels and feathers to bring the festival to life.
Women of today’s carnival adorn themselves with jewelled bikinis, using gems, pearls and shiny beads to create their costumes. Rainbows of brightly colored feathers are seen in costumes, as well as arm bands and to accessorize shoes. Bright plumes can be found on boas or elaborate, multi-tiered head dressings that would rival any Las Vegas showgirl.
Other themes include longer gowns, embellished with peacock feathers to create the allure of ancient Egyptian queens. Many men also join in this theme, adorning themselves with the elaborate Brazil carnival costumes of Roman generals complete with feathered helmets of the guard. You might also find men who are dressed in King Tut inspired costumes, with gold painted faces and bodies.
The dazzling array of shimmering costumes can range from scantily clad Samba dancers to the mysterious elegance of an empress of the night.
Some Brazil carnival costumes still make use of masks, either for the entire face or a simple feather mask about the eyes.
Others make use of face paint and detailed make up, while some prefer to use a little body and face glitter to complement the radiance of their costumes.
Whichever type of costume you prefer, modern, traditional, or barely even there, Brazil carnival costumes can fit any personality. Whether you choose to be silly, sexy or dangerously mysterious, there’s a design and a theme that will fit your style.
Buy Brazil Carnival Costumes
While it’s best to make these yourself, you can always get a head start…