Hi, I am Adele, and I have run a large fancy dress shop in Essex, England, since 1998. I'm happy to pass on my knowledge to help others.
Alphabet or Letter-Related Parties
The pressure is on to host a fun, unique party. One idea for a fun party theme is encouraging your guests to choose a costume that starts with a specific letter of the alphabet.
Here are some ways to do that:
- Ask guests to dress up in a costume related to their initials (or just their first names if you want to narrow 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.
When you first send out invitations, it's possible that your guests will be confused about what you're asking them to do. To avoid confusion, be sure to explain the idea thoroughly since if your guests are confused, they might not dress up. Even worse, they might skip your party altogether.
This article will give you some ideas for costumes that start with the letter "J," 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!
Costumes Starting With J
Jabba the Hutt — This villainous, slug-like criminal is from the original Star Wars films, remembered for his grotesque appearance as well as for capturing and imprisoning Han Solo and Princess Leia. To get his look, you can find inflatable costumes on the market. Princess Leia and Jabba the Hutt make a popular pair if you have a willing companion.
Jack and Jill — This is a well-known twosome from the British nursery rhyme in which siblings Jack and Jill climb a hill to fetch some water. After they both fall down, Jill has to improvise a bandage from brown paper to patch Jack’s wounds. To get the look, Jack should wear overalls, boots, and a bandage, and Jill should wear a cute dress and pigtails with ribbons.
Jack Frost — Jack Frost is the anthropomorphic entity of Winter. Wear silvers, blues, and whites with sharp features and spiky edges. Cloaks and capes are a perfect addition to this costume, and makeup and hair should also add to the frosted element through color and style.
Jack in the Green — Jack in the Green is a walking and dancing bush seen at ceremonies for May Day performed by British Morris men. At dawn on May 1st, traditionally considered the first day of spring, the Jack is woken by Morris music and accompanies other characters such as the Green Woman, jesters, and chimney sweeps in a parade. Wear all green, including green face paint, and cover yourself in leaves and branches.
Jack Ketch — Jack Ketch was a notorious executioner in 17th century England, known for botching his work and causing suffering to those about to be executed. His name has passed on into collective memory as a synonym for death, Satan, or executioner. Wear a hangman's costume.
Jack the Ripper — This infamous East End murderer's identity has never been conclusively established. You can achieve a somewhat tasteful rendition of this character with a black Victorian frock suit with a cape, a top hat, and a cane, plus a carpet bag concealing certain fake instruments such as a giant saw.
Jackson Five, The — The Jackson Five is a well-known Motown pop group of the 1960s and 1970s which included Michael Jackson before he went solo. This is a great group costume! Wear '70s stage outfits in white or pastel colours with glitter or rhinestone motifs.
Jockey — A jockey is a someone who rides horses in horse racing or steeplechase racing, primarily professionally. Known for their short stature, jockeys traditionally wear tall black boots, white pants, a colored or checked long sleeved shirt, and a riding helmet. They also carry riding whips.
Jackson, Michael — Jackson is a legendary star of the pop world who continues to be successful even after his death. You can find a number of his looks available on the market, including his "Billie Jean" look, the black outfit he wore for "Bad," and the red jacket ensemble from "Thriller."
Jacqueline Onassis — Commonly called Jackie O, Mrs Onassis was the wife of both the assassinated US president John F. Kennedy and Greek millionaire and tycoon Aristotle Onassis. She was known as a major fashion icon, and you can find several costumes based on her outfits. Perhaps the most iconic of these is the pink two-piece Chanel suit with a matching pillbox hat.
Jaguar — This large jungle cat has a beautiful spotted coat, though it is occasionally found to have entirely black fur. Wear cat ears, a tail, and patterned clothing to get the look. Body paint can also be used fairly effectively and through the help of online tutorials.
James Bond — This secret agent hero originally appeared in a series of books by Ian Fleming, but Bond is now best known from the twenty-three Bond films that have been made. His classic look is a black suit or a white tuxedo, often with an exceedingly attractive woman on his arm.
James Dean — James Dean is an iconic American actor from the 1950s, symbolic of teenage rebellion and disillusionment. Due to an early death by car crash, he only made three films which became instant classics. His most well-known look consists of blue or black jeans, a white t-shirt, and a red jacket.
Jason the Killer — The serial killer character from Friday the 13th films, Jason's main symbol is his use of a hockey mask to disguise his face. In addition to the hockey mask, wear tatty dark clothing. Use of a fake weapon is optional.
Jason the Hero — Jason was a Greek hero known for his association with the Argonauts and finding the Golden Fleece. Wear ancient Greek dress.
Jane Porter — Jane was Tarzan's female companion in the books by Edgar Rice Burroughs. In the 1999 Disney adaptation, Jane wears a yellow dress with a white collar and a blue bow for much of the movie. You can also opt to wear an animal fur outfit to depict her look after she moves to the jungle.
Jane Seymour — Jane was the third wife of Henry VIII, and the only one to bear him a son. Wear a gabled headdress, a Tudor gown with angel sleeves and a square-cut neckline, and heavy jewellery.
Janus — Janus is the twin-faced Roman god of beginnings and transitions, after whom January is named. His two faces symbolise reflection on the past and anticipation of the future. A costume inspired by Janus could include a Roman toga with two masks on your head, one facing forward and one facing back.
Jaws the Man — Jaws was one of the henchmen seen in the Bond movies The Spy Who Loved Me and Moonraker. A large, imposing character, his nickname is due to his mouthful of metallic teeth, a key element for this costume.
Jaws the Shark — Jaws was the infamous man-eating great white shark from the film of the same name. There are several types of shark costumes available on the market, as well as many ways to make your own to get this look.
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Jeannie — Jeannie was a character in the 1960s TV comedy I Dream Of Jeannie. Typically she wore a fanciful harem-style outfit reminiscent of something from the Arabian Nights.
Jedi Knight — Jedi Knights are a group of characters in the Star Wars saga who fight for peace and justice through their use of the Force. Some of the most well-known Jedi Knights include Obi-wan Kenobi and Luke Skywalker. Jedi costumes resemble adapted judo suits and include a hooded cloak and light sabre.
Jelly Baby — Jelly Babies are a popular kind of candy that consist of gelatin shaped like babies, similar to a gummy bear except with a harder surface and a softer center. They come in all different colours, and thanks to the new generation of morph-suits, you can now dress as any jelly baby you want. Sweet!
Jellyfish — This is a fun, ethereal costume to create. You can get the look by attaching strands of bubble material over an umbrella. Be sure to be careful, because bubble wrap can be flammable!
Jemima Puddle-duck — Jemima Puddle-duck was a duck character created by Beatrix Potter in a children’s book of the same name. Wear white fur or a feathered duck suit topped with a blue bonnet and a red cape.
Jess — Jess the cat is the black-and-white companion to Postman Pat, a popular British children's TV character from the eponymous television show and movie. Wear cat face makeup, a tail, and cat ears!
Jessie — This cowgirl is Woody's companion in the Toy Story movies. Wear a red cowgirl hat, cow skin pattern chaps or pants, jeans, cowboy boots, a western shirt, and a red braid.
Jessie J — Jessie J is a popular modern British singer, known for her streetwise attitude, onesie stage suits, and her collection of coloured wigs. Her black shoulder-length bob was a key element of her style until she shaved her head and went with a blonde buzz-cut. Wear dramatic makeup, one of her characteristic hairstyles, and a bodysuit.
Jessica Rabbit — Jessica Rabbit is the well-endowed cabaret artist and wife of Roger Rabbit in the 1998 film Who Framed Roger Rabbit?. Her style is based on the screen siren Veronica Lake and includes a long sparkly red dress with an equally long slit up the thigh, and long red hair. Costumes recreating the look are available.
John Bull — John Bull is the national personification of Great Britain in general, and England in particular (similar to Uncle Sam in the US). Wear a blue frock coat, black trousers, a black hat, and a Union Jack waistcoat.
John Lennon — John Lennon was a member of The Beatles who was assassinated in New York on December 8th, 1980. In addition to his music, he is best known for his anti-war stance and relationship with Yoko Ono. He has a couple of memorable costumes, but the small wire-rimmed glasses are a trademark look.
Joan of Arc — Joan of Arc was a French patriot and martyr who led French forces against the English but was later tried and burnt at the stake in 1431. She is alternately depicted as wearing a suit of armor and a long skirt, or a long white dress (for when she was burned at the stake).
Johann Sebastian Bach — This well-known classical and baroque composer was most often depicted wearing a periwig, a frock jacket, a waistcoat, breeches, and stockings. For Halloween, the above costume plus zombie makeup and styling can create the costume for a 'de-composer.'
Jesus Christ — Christ is a well-known religious figure most frequently associated with Christianity, though other religions such as Islam and Baha'i also acknowledge him in different ways. Usually costumes consist of a white robe, a short beard, sandals, and a crown of thorns, but variations do exist.
Jethro Tull — Jethro was originally the inventor of the agricultural seed drill and one of the fathers of the British agricultural revolution. More recently, the name is known in reference to a folk rock group of the 1960s and '70s fronted by bearded singer and flautist Ian Anderson, known for hits like "The Witch's Promise" and "Living in the Past." For this concept, you could either wear late 17th century British agricultural wear or beard and folk rock costuming.
Jezebel — Jezebel is a biblical character known for her scheming ways and her love of heavy makeup, and her name is now synonymous with a shameless woman. Wear something low-cut and daring.
Jimi Hendrix — This legendary guitar hero was born in Seattle but found fame in the UK as an innovative rock guitarist in the psychedelic 1960s. His basic costume includes an afro, flared jeans, a psychedelic shirt, a pseudo-military jacket, and of course a guitar.
Jinx — Jinx was a character played by Halle Berry in the James Bond film, Die Another Day. Her most famous outfit from the film was an orange bikini with a white belt.
Joker, The — The costume for this villain from Batman varies, but usually involves a brightly coloured tailcoat and trousers, a painted white face with a wide red mouth, and green hair. In later cartoon stories and some Batman spin-offs, he is partnered by Harley Quinn, a woman in a red and black jester outfit and mask-like makeup.
John McClane — Bruce Willis played this hero in the five Die Hard films. Although his outfits vary, the best-known John McClane look is probably a bloodied and dirty white muscle shirt and black pants.
John Steed — John Steed was the hero of The Avengers TV series and always dressed impeccably in a suit and bowler hat and carried an umbrella.
Jonathan E — Jonathan E is a main character from the dystopian film Rollerball. Get Jonathan's look with a numbered orange shirt (American football style), a helmet, a mouth-guard, and studded gloves and knee pads.
Johnny Kidd and the Pirates — To get the look of this 1960s pop group, wear a striped top, a plain waistcoat, and straight legged trousers. If you're going with a group, make sure there's a lead singer in a frilly shirt and an eye patch.
Joseph (1) — Joseph is a well-known biblical character that thousands of years later became the leading man in the Rice and Lloyd Webber musical, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat. You can get his look with a multi-stripe full-length Arabian-style robe with a simple tunic and linen pants underneath.
Joseph (2) — Joseph was also the name of Mary's betrothed husband-to-be, though according to the Bible he is not the father of Jesus Christ. Nevertheless, Joseph is an important figure in nativity plays and scenes. Wear a headdress, a robe, and a beard.
Jester — A jester was a court entertainer of medieval and Tudor times, also called a fool. The traditional costume involves a loud two- or three-colour outfit with a coxcomb headdress, a tunic, trousers, and shoes which often had bells on them as did the headdress.
Josephine de Beauharnais — Josephine was Napoleon's wife and the French Empress from 1796 to 1809. She was noted for popularising empire waist dresses. Dress as the Empress with a late 18th century empire waist dress and a crown.
Judge — Judges are fixtures in almost every country with criminals. To go with an English judge look, wear a full-length grey periwig and a black full-sleeved gown, worn over a dark suit.
Juggler — Any bright, colourful outfit (plus juggling accessories) will do for this costume, although style may depend upon circumstance: A busking juggler would not wear the same thing as a juggler in the Chinese circus or as one in the Cirque du Soleil. Dress accordingly!
Juliet — Juliet was the well-known tragic lover of Romeo in Shakespeare’s play, Romeo and Juliet. Wear a traditional medieval Italian costume with a cap or circlet headdress. If you can, find a Romeo to go with.
Julius Caesar — Caesar is a well-known historical figure from the Roman Empire whose life was ended early by a knife in his back. Get his look with a toga, sandals, and laurels. You could also make this a bloody costume.
Justice — Justice is typically portrayed wearing a blindfold and a classical robe or toga with one hand carrying the Scales of Evidence and the other, the Sword of Justice.
We'd love to know what you think, or if you have some great costume ideas that we can add to this information page
Party Girl (author) on June 06, 2012:
Give us a call on 01245 327156, or email me directly via the website
chris marjoribanks on May 07, 2012:
hi do you know where i can get jump on my back costume? and if it can be shipped or bought in Australia? thanks
Jess on April 19, 2012:
anywhere I can find Jessica rabbit costumes??
Jae on March 15, 2012:
How do I purchase the jive dress & what sizes does it come in?
The Blagsmith from Britain on October 04, 2011:
I always find something interesting searching HubPages for hublinks that will enhance mine. Though I cannot link it (as I was looking for jellied eels) it has been a treat to find.
Thank you - voted up and interesting.
Party Girl (author) on June 06, 2011:
You will find belly dancer costumes on the props-n-frocks website that can be used for Jasmine. If you are able to hire, we do both costumes. Give us a call on 01245 327156
Kanya on June 05, 2011:
hey i need a jessica rabbit.. or Jasmine off aladin costume but couldn't find any on your site. do you have any suggestions?
Party Girl (author) on May 23, 2011:
Hi Sammie, we stock this costume, so check out our website http://www.props-n-frocks.co.uk - thanks for looking at this page - Adele X
Sammie on May 22, 2011:
i like jive dance on this website, do you know where i could get it from?