Hi, I am Adele. I've been running a large fancy dress shop in Essex, England, since 1998. I'm happy to pass on my knowledge to help others.
Party Ideas Inspired by Letters of the Alphabet
In costume party season, the pressure is on to host a fun, unique party. One idea that can help you come up with a fun party theme is encouraging your guests to choose a costume that starts with a specific letter of the alphabet.
Along the lines of this idea, you could:
- Allow guests to dress up in a costume related to their initials (or just their first name if you want to narrow down their choices).
- Ask guests to dress up in costumes related to your initials.
- Choose one or two letters to inspire their costumes. These could be randomly or deliberately chosen.
Some guests who are unfamiliar with the idea of a letter-themed party may be confused about what you’re asking them to do when you first send out invitations. To avoid confusion, it's a good idea to explain the idea thoroughly and simply. After all, if your guests are confused, they may not attempt to dress up. Even worse, they might skip your party altogether.
This article will give you ideas for costumes that start with the letter "S," with some based on famous characters or people.
If you have any other ideas, please put them in the comments box so you can help other people too.
Have a fantastic party!
"S" Celebrity Costumes
Spice Girls — You can dress as any member of this '90s pop girl band.
- Baby Spice (Emma B): Wear a baby doll dress and group hair in bunches.
- Scary Spice (Mel B): Wear a leopard-print two-piece with a streaked afro.
- Ginger Spice (Geri H): Wear a Union Jack dress with blonde-streaked ginger hair.
- Sporty Spice (Mel C): Wear a black crop top or a two-piece tracksuit with a ponytail.
- Posh Spice (Victoria B): Wear a little black dress.
Sandie Shaw — An English pop star of the 1960s, Sandie Shaw married designer Jeff Banks and had her own boutique shop chain and label. You can create her look with simple 1960s smock-style dresses, long (shoulder-length) brunette hair, and a deadpan expression. If you really want to be authentic, go barefoot.
Shakespeare, William — To dress as the Bard of Avon—arguably the world’s greatest playwright—wear a doublet, breeches, and hose.
Shania Twain — To transform into this popular American singer, try a leopard-print dress or coat and hat to match the look in her music video for "That Don't Impress Me Much" or a top hat and tails, fishnet stockings, and heavy eye makeup to match the look in the video for "Man, I Feel Like a Woman."
Shirley Bassey — If you're feeling glamorous, try dressing up as this famous Welsh singer known for her glitzy dresses and brown curly hair. She was best known for singing several James Bond theme songs.
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Shirley Temple — This child film star of the 1930s was famous for singing such songs as "On the Good Ship Lollipop." Wear plenty of curls with bows in your hair, a short girly dress, ankle socks, and low heel tap shoes.
Sir Francis Drake — This knight was an Elizabethan naval hero best known for playing bowls at Plymouth Hoe before defeating the Spanish Armada. He wears a typical Elizabethan doublet and hose and is famed for his beard.
Sir Walter Raleigh — Another famous Tudor, Sir Walter Raleigh is credited with introducing tobacco and the potato to England. Wear a doublet and trunk hose over tights. Complete the costume with a cloak, a beard, and a beret with a feather.
Sonny and Cher — This couple from the 1960s went on to have their own show after starting their careers as musicians. Their trademark features are long hair and afghan coats with waistcoats.
Stan Laurel — Stan and Oliver Hardy were the classic little-and-large comedy duo of early cinema. Costumes usually consist of suits and bowler hats.
Stevie Wonder — To dress as this legendary performer, wear a black two-piece suit and dark glasses. Or, for his more recent look, wear a kaftan and beaded dreadlocks.
"S" Pop Culture Costumes
Superhero (e.g. Captain America) — Superhero costumes are always fun and have a lot of room for variety as well. You could do a whole party with just superhero themes.
Super Heroine — Superheroines and their costumes are slightly less numerous, although the situation is improving with new Marvel Comics films such as The Avengers with characters like Wonder Woman, Supergirl, Invisible Girl, and Silken Spider (from Watchmen). You could also use your own heroine idea here or adapt one of the male ones.
Santa Claus — Also known as Saint Nicholas (on the continent of Europe) or Father Christmas, Santa Claus wears a robe of dark red trimmed in white fur. However, his image has been overtaken by the Americanised version of the bearded jolly fat man developed by Coca-Cola in their corporate colours of bright red and white.
Saruman the White — Saruman is a character from The Lord of the Rings recently portrayed by Christopher Lee in the Peter Jackson films based on the books. A long, flowing white robe and beard make this character come to life.
Scarecrow — Famous scarecrows have included the "one without the brain" from The Wizard of Oz and the character Worzel Gummidge from the books by Barbara Euphann Todd. A more villainous scarecrow of the horror genre turned up in the relaunched film from the Batman Begins franchise.
Scarlett O'Hara — Scarlett O’Hara is the feisty heroine of Gone with the Wind. In the famous movie version of the book, Vivien Leigh played Scarlett, a role for which she won an Oscar in 1940. Her costume is best done as a classic American southern belle costume with a full-skirted dress and a sun hat.
Scooby-Doo — A longtime favourite of children of all ages on the small screen, Scooby is now a movie star as well. Scooby-Doo costumes (and ones for others of the Mystery Machine gang) are readily available.
Scrooge — Scrooge is a famous character from Charles Dickens's seasonal tale A Christmas Carol. His night attire consists of a long white nightshirt, matching nightcap, beard, and wire-framed spectacles.
Sergeant Pepper — The Sergeant Pepper look is based on the cover of The Beatles album of the same name. The Fab Four are pictured in militaristic suits, each with different color combinations. Ringo is in a pink and gold suit with a matching flat-top military hat; George is wearing a red and gold suit with a tricorne hat; Paul is in a blue and gold suit; and John is in a yellow suit with pink frogging decoration. Several versions of these outfits are available to purchase.
Snow White — Originally a character from Grimm's fairy tales, Snow White is now mostly associated with Disney. She wears a red, blue, and yellow dress and a short black wig paired with a red ribbon or headband in her hair. The costume is available with either a short or long skirt, and some come with a red cape.
Sheriff of Nottingham — The Sheriff was Robin Hood's foe and nemesis. To get the look, wear a fur-trimmed tunic, a gown, and a hat. A cape and gloves are also nice additions to the costume.
Sherlock Holmes — Legendary fictional detective of 221B Baker Street, Holmes was created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. His costume consists of a Meerschaum pipe, a deerstalker cap, a tweed coat with an attached shoulder cape, and accessories such as a magnifying glass or a violin.
The recent modern incarnation of Sherlock in a popular television series is less easy to portray through costume, although he is given a deerstalker in one episode to channel his famous namesake.
Shrek — This green ogre is from the films of the same name. A good Shrek costume consists of a grey woolen jumper, a short brown tied waistcoat, brown leggings, and a green head with ears sticking out. Official merchandise has been available in the past.
Spongebob Squarepants — This popular cartoon character has had a long-running show on Nickelodeon. His costume is usually available for purchase as a tabard.
Sleeping Beauty — Sleeping Beauty, also known as Aurora in the Disney version, is a princess who falls into a long sleep following a spell cast by a wicked fairy who is called Maleficent, according to Disney. Her costume is usually available for purchase.
Smurf or Smurfette — Originally comic strip characters from the Continent, these blue-skinned persons of small stature have stood the test of time and have now been brought to the big screen. The Smurf or Smurfette costume is quite simple and features dungarees (or a top and skirt) and a semi-conical hat. The part of the costume that requires the most effort is turning yourself blue!
Snow Queen — The Snow Queen is a character from multiple fairy tales, including the Narnia books by C. S. Lewis. The costume features a white fur coat and a tall crown covered in icicles and snowflakes with a matching sceptre. The 2013 Disney movie Frozen is loosely based on tales of the Snow Queen as well.
Sound of Music Character — Characters consist of Maria (the would-be novice nun), the Abbess and other nuns, Captain Von Trapp, and the children. For an off-the-wall outfit, go in a golden catsuit and be Ray, a drop of golden sun!
Spiderman — Spidey dons a distinctive red and blue spiderweb suit when he fights injustice. You can also be the evil Venom Spiderman with a black and silver outfit.
Starsky — To dress as this character from the popular 1970s US cop series Starsky and Hutch, go with dark curly hair and a big open-fronted cardigan that's tied with a belt.
Stig of the Dump — Stig is a British children's book character. Dress as him with a caveman outfit and a club.
Sucellos — Sucellos is also known as the hammer god in ancient Celtic religion. Create his look with a Viking outfit and a winged helmet. The official outfits for Thor from the Marvel comics might also be suitable.
Other Halloween Costumes That Begin With "S"
Stewie — Stewie is a character from the popular American television show Family Guy. His costume is usually available as a mask or fake head with his signature clothes.
Safari Explorer — Armand and Michaela Dennis were the first television safari naturalists in the 1950s. Nowadays, the role model for this look is more likely to resemble David Attenborough. Get the look with a safari suit (or khaki shirt and shorts with lots of pockets), a pith helmet or sun hat, and binoculars.
Sagittarius — Sagittarius is the Zodiac sign for people born between November 21 and December 2. The sign is traditionally depicted as a centaur with a bow and arrow. For that reason, a Robin Hood or William Tell outfit could be good choices to get the hunting spirit. In addition, there have recently been two female archers featured in films—Merida from Pixar's Brave and Katniss Everdeen from The Hunger Games.
Sailor — Apart from captains and officers such as Sir Francis Drake or Lord Nelson, one of the best-known sailors is Popeye, the spinach-eating cartoon hero. The Village People also had a sailor in their lineup. A blue two-piece uniform with bell-bottom trousers is the typical sailor's outfit. As a variation, the American sailor is distinguished by a white tunic and trousers and the round dough-boy cap, or an officer's uniform a la An Officer and a Gentleman.
For women, there are, of course, a number of sailor outfits on the market. You can also find female equivalents of the An Officer and a Gentleman outfit, which can be useful for movie parties based off of A Few Good Men.
St. George — To portray this patron saint of England, knight of the Crusades, and slayer of dragons, wear crusader-style armour or chain mail and a surcoat decorated with a red cross on a white background.
St. Trinians — St. Trinians are anarchic schoolgirls created by Ronald Searle and brought to life in a range of St. Trinian's films. For the traditional look, go with a schoolgirl outfit with a pinafore, fishnet tights, and a battered straw boater with a ST crest. You could also do a goth or emo take on the look.
St. Valentine — To go as the patron saint of lovers, your costume may incorporate symbols of love or romance, or be adapted from a Cupid or Eros costume.
Salander, Lisbeth — Lisbeth Salander is a cyber-goth hacker and leading character in the Millennium trilogy of books by Stieg Larsson that were also adapted into films. The look is tattooed, punky, and pierced, most notably featuring a tattoo of a dragon on the left shoulder blade. Lisbeth has black, spiky hair and wears a black jacket, T-shirt (with appropriate slogan), jeans, and dominatrix-style boots.
Saloon Girl — This is a popular female costume for a wild west theme, not dissimilar to the 1890s French can-can dancer. In general, saloon dresses feature a shorter front and a longer train.
Schoolgirl — The schoolgirl has always been something of a fantasy figure, sometimes for questionable reasons. Britney Spears's music video for "...Baby One More Time," featured the singer as a wanton schoolgirl with a short skirt and braids. You can watch the video for inspiration on how to achieve the look. (See also: St. Trinians.)
Scientist — The mad scientist is easily recognisable with a white lab coat, glasses, and a wild hairstyle.
Scorpion — The scorpion is the symbol of the star sign Scorpio. The costume can be made with black material or a PVC outfit with a stinger tail. Add reflective glasses to help create an air of mystery, which is symbolic of the Scorpio personality.
Scream — Extremely popular (and simple) horror outfit featuring a long black cape and cowl, a long-faced horror mask (based on Edvard Munch's famous painting of the same name), and a knife.
Sea God — This deity is known as Poseidon (Greek), Neptune (Roman), and Njord (Norse). His traditional image involves flowing robes, a long beard, unkempt hair, and a trident.
Seahorse — Seahorses are either sandy-beige or reddish-brown. The costume has a foundation of a basic S-shape but includes a curly, hook-like tail. The head looks like that of a horse, but the mouth is more of a funnel-like tube.
Sea Nymph — A sea nymph is similar to a mermaid but less fishy. The costume should be in blues and greens with a matching body and wig or hair colour. Adding touches like sea shells and kelp strands helps bring the effect home.
Sea Turtle — Adapt a ninja turtle suit or build a shell out of fabric, card, or fiberglass and use with a grey and green bodysuit. For extra fun, wear a diving mask and snorkel!
Shark — Shark costumes can be fun additions to any party. You can buy a ready-made costume online or make your own with a gray sweatsuit, cardboard, glue, and paint.
Sheep — The sheep is popular for nativity plays and is one of the 12 signs of the Chinese zodiac. Ready-made sheep costumes are available for children from a number of suppliers, but a white fur fabric body can easily be converted for an adult version. However, do not use cotton wool as part of a homemade fancy dress costume. There are too many reported incidents of costumes catching fire!
Sheriff — The sheriff is a classic character from the wild west. Most recently, Woody from the Toy Story series has reincarnated this old standby.
Skeleton — Skeleton suits to use alongside masks or makeup are easy to find. Death and the Grim Reaper are examples of well-known skeleton characters. Another variation is Baron Samedi, voodoo god of the dead, as seen in the Bond film Live and Let Die.
Snake — Become a snake with a patterned catsuit or body paint. If you have a friend or other half to go with as a charmer, this could be a fun couple costume.
Snakes & Ladders — Get this look with a snakeskin leotard coupled with laddered tights to resemble the board game.
Snow Tiger — A snow tiger is a white, grey, and black version of the normal tiger with a long, furry tail. Although the black and white face paint is a novel change from the usual orange and black, take care not to be confused with a zebra!
Snowball — A snowball is a simple costume that can be put together with some imagination. Avoid the temptation to use cotton wool, as it catches fire easily. Some versions include a snowy hat and a stuffed torso with snowflakes on the outside.
Snowboarder — This is a great costume if you already have some of the gear since an authentic-looking costume may be difficult to improvise without borrowing much of the equipment.
Snowman — A popular symbol of the wintertime—most recently, a snowman was one of the principal characters in the movie Frozen. You can easily purchase or make your own costume with just makeup, a carrot nose, a scarf, a hat, and a stuffed white sweatsuit with boots.
Soldier — Military uniforms from all nationalities and different time periods can be useful for this costume.
Sorcerer or Sorceress — Wear robes similar to a wizard or witch and bring some sort of magical prop like a staff, wand, or orb. Maleficent from the movie of the same name is possibly the best-known sorceress, so you can look to her for some style ideas.
South Park Characters — South Park is a popular American TV series featuring the four main characters of Stan, Kyle, Kenny, and Cartman. They typically dress in hats and winter jackets, and masks for them can be found online.
Southern Belle — Straight out of Gone with the Wind, get this look by wearing a flowing dress filled out with layers of petticoats and frills.
Space Girl — To achieve the space girl look, wear a costume in silver, lycra, or PVC, along with boots, a glitter or neon wig, and futuristic makeup. You could also dress up like someone from Star Trek, Star Wars, or a different planet altogether.
Space Man — You could do this costume the old-fashioned way with a fishbowl helmet or something similar and a silver space suit. You could also just be futuristic, mimic costume styles from Star Trek or Star Wars, or be from a different planet.
Spandau Ballet — Spandau Ballet is a British musical group of the New Romantic era from the 1990s that wore their hair gelled and donned buccaneer-style baggy shirts, leather or suede trousers, and waistcoats.
Sphinx — The Sphinx is a mythical, cat-like entity with a woman's face and a lion's body that wears a pharaoh's headdress, symbolising power. The best-known version of a Sphinx is from Egypt near the Great Pyramids in Cairo.
Spider — There are, of course, many different kinds of spiders. One possible take on this costume is to go as the nursery rhyme character from Little Miss Muffet. Create the look with a black leotard and a tabard. Otherwise, spider accessories based on a web cloak could also be used. This is also a popular costume for dogs.
Spiv — Become this shady character from 1940s Britain with a double-breasted two-piece suit and a pencil mustache.
Split Personality — This is a great possibility for a masquerade. The outfit could possibly be split into two halves, man and woman. You can find some off-the-peg outfits, too, like angel and devil, convict and cop, or Dorothy and the Wicked Witch.
Sports Athlete — There are obviously many sports to choose from in this category, such as boxing, football, American football, swimming, rugby, tennis, etc.
Spy — A standard spy outfit would include a wide-brim hat, a trench coat with a turned-up collar, and dark glasses. For retro spy action, women can achieve the look with a headscarf instead of a hat.
Safe Sex — Sometimes, a concept can be a fun costume idea to play with. And for adult parties, most everyone appreciates a slightly raunchy joke with a good punchline.
Star Trek — There is a wide range of possible outfits because of the various versions of the television show as well as the films, although licensing restrictions may limit availability. Spock and Scottie are both good choices for this costume theme.
Starfish — Become a starfish with five arms made of sandy or beige towelling fabric and a central hole for the face. For a fun twist, you can combine these elements with Elvis to create "El-fish Presley," star of the fish.
Starlight Express Skater — Get this look with a padded and decorated tabard worn over a catsuit or leotard and tights. Makeup and hair in high-tech cyberpunk styles—and maybe even some roller skates—complete the effect.
Statue — Any statue will work as a model for your costume, but the Statue of Liberty is probably the one most readily available. Become Lady Liberty with a green Grecian robe, a headdress with seven points, and a torch.
Stein Maiden — As an alternative to using the national costume for Germany, you could also wear a serving girl outfit to create a busty waitress look reminiscent of Oktoberfest.
Stepmother — According to Disney, stepmothers are supposed to be wicked. The Wicked Queen in Snow White and the stepmother in Cinderella are two of the most well-known stepmother characters and could be good models for a costume.
Spoon — For a whimsical idea, animating inanimate objects is always fun. This concept also really lends itself to a group costume.
Stormtrooper — To dress as the empire troops from the Star Wars saga, you'll need a costume consisting of rigid white armour with a helmet and visor, along with some Star Wars-era weaponry.
Sucker Punch — Sucker Punch is a 2011 film featuring five girls (Baby Doll, Amber, Rocket, Blondie, and Sweet Pea) in a mental institution who escape into fantasy worlds with surreal situations. Official costumes are available for purchase.
Suffragette — Suffragettes are fighters for women's rights from the early 20th century. Wear Edwardian outfits with appropriate badges, rosettes, and placards.
Sugar Plum Fairy — To portray this character from The Nutcracker ballet, you could wear a purple glittery costume or other various kinds of fairy costumes.
Sun — Wear a yellow costume and get as round as possible.
Sun Bather — Go as bare as you dare (depending on the weather, obviously!). The costume can just consist of regular swimwear and beach accessories.
Sunflower — You can create this look by making your body the green stem and your face and headgear the flower. You can wear a green lycra suit with green gloves or mittens as the leaves, brown face paint, and a hat.
What do you think about this article? Have any more idea for "S" costumes?
John trim on January 02, 2019:
Wow ideas I haven't thought of cool cheers from n.z
Dat guy on February 09, 2018:
Any more? We really are having trouble. We have an s themed dress up for school camp
Party Girl (author) on May 31, 2017:
Have a look at our website, Look at the Themes and Ideas tab (near the top) and choose, Alphabet parties, and then the letter S. You may find more ideas there,
Mr Savage on May 31, 2017:
I still have no idea what I'm coming for the school disco:):)
dylan baxter on February 21, 2017:
i had to do this in my school and a superhero sounds like a great idea thanks alot
nina on May 10, 2015:
Spoon would be best
party123 on November 05, 2013:
so nice and wonderful costumes
lolparty on November 05, 2013:
love the costumes
ella on June 05, 2013:
love the ideas keep it up
Dorothy on February 28, 2013:
Can you wear Scarlett o hara costume for world book day
charlotte on January 31, 2013:
How about a smurf costume?
terry a on November 11, 2012:
ahaving an s party in jan and you have given us some good ideas and will consider buying online
Colossal God of a Man on September 03, 2012:
you should all go dressed as me!
lala #11 on May 10, 2012:
what about a snake i mean i dont like them but other people do ... duh!!!!!!
Pamela on May 01, 2012:
My daughter has to dress in a costume that reflects the meaning of an adjective. For example: royal, dressing like a queen.
She has chosen "Sophisticated" or "triumphant". I am at a
mia101 on February 22, 2012:
thanks!!! helped so much!
Party Girl (author) on January 27, 2012:
Thanks for this, appreciate it!
Samantha Sagui on January 26, 2012:
You forgot Samantha Stephens (from Bewitched).
Matt on December 17, 2011:
Can we buy these
saif113sb on July 23, 2011:
very very nice and great hub. thanks
nsw on November 09, 2010:
how do i buy these??