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 and Letter-Related Parties
In costume party season, 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:
- Allow 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 "N," some based on famous characters or people.
If you have any other ideas, please put them in the comments section so you can help other people too.
Have a fantastic party!
1. Nancy: Nancy is the doomed lover of Bill Sykes in Charles Dickens’s book, Oliver Twist. In the story set in Victorian London, Nancy is described as a strumpet with a heart of gold. Her costume is similar to the tavern or serving wench, with a mop cap, full skirt, blouse, and shawl. You could also go with a more upper-class take on the character (as seen above).
2. Nacho Libre: Nacho Libre is a luchador character from the 2006 film of the same name. Dress as Nacho with a long red cape, blue tights under red spandex underwear, tall red wrestling boots, and a curly wig.
3. Nā-maka-o-Kahaʻi or Nāmaka: Namaka is the Hawaiian goddess of the sea. Her cruel, tempestuous character can be reflected in a wild costume with blue and green fabric or fantastic body and face makeup design. Be sure to use sea-oriented accessories to capture this tropical character!
4. Nanny McPhee: One of the most famous nannies from popular culture, Nanny McPhee is known for wearing a black Victorian dress, and a hat with a feather in it, as well as for having some rather interesting facial characteristics which include a unibrow and a bucktooth.
5. Nantosuelta: Nantosuelta is the Celtic goddess of rivers, fertility, and abundance, though historians aren't certain of her exact role. Her name either means, "she of the winding river" or "she of the sun-drenched valley." Wear earth tones, including blue, green, and brown, and carry a representation of a house on a pole to demonstrate her domestic aspects.
6. NASA Astronaut: Wear a spacesuit, helmet, and boots, which can all either be white or orange.
7. Napoleon Dynamite: Napoleon Dynamite is a teenage character from the 2004 hit film of the same name. His most iconic look in the film was a baseball tee that said "Vote for Pedro" which he tucked into khaki pants. He also wore dark boots and gigantic '70s-style glasses and had a red afro.
8. Narcissus: In Greek legend, Narcissus is a beautiful youth who falls in love with his own reflection in a pond and drowns chasing after it. To get his look, wear Greek-style robes and an over-the-top curly wig, and carry a mirror with which to admire yourself constantly.
9. Naval Officer: More up-to-date than sea heroes such as Nelson and Hornblower, a naval officer outfit can cover everything from personnel on the Titanic to Richard Gere's look from An Officer and a Gentleman. Typically, the naval uniforms are all white with some badges or medals, white gloves, and a smart white hat.
10. Native American Indian: The stereotypical Native American has long dark hair worn in braids and wears face paint, beaded leather clothing, and moccasins. Headdresses with feathers are also a frequent accessory.
11. Nearly Headless Nick: This character is from the Harry Potter books by J.K. Rowling. True to his name, Nick is a ghost who did not quite lose his head when he was executed. To get his look, wear an elaborate Tudor costume, white face makeup, and a mustache.
12. Ned Kelly: Ned was an Australian outlaw, famous for his improvised metal armor which he was wearing when he was captured by the police. He was hanged in 1880. Wear a long beard, coiffed hair, and a highwayman outfit (including a black jacket and a white shirt).
13. Nefertiti: Queen Nefertiti is one of the most famous Egyptian queens who was known for her legendary beauty. Wear an ancient Egyptian robe, sandals, and a tall headdress to get her look.
14. Nephele: Nephele was an ancient Greek cloud nymph. As clouds come in all shapes, sizes, and colours, this costume is open to your own interpretation but do remember that cotton wool is flammable!
15. Nell Gwyn: Nell was one of the first English actresses and the longtime mistress of Charles II in the 17th century. Before treading the boards at Drury Lane, she earned her living as an orange-seller girl. The costume for Nell Gwyn is based on the Restoration fashions of the late 17th century. Lace was very much in fashion, and the usual look is one of a buxom woman wearing a two-toned dress with elasticised sleeves. She may also wear a mop cap and carry a basket of oranges.
16. Neo: Neo is the hero of The Matrix. His costume consists of a long, black coat with a high collar, black pants, and dark glasses.
17. Neptune: Neptune is the Roman god of the sea, typically depicted as a bearded elderly man with a trident riding on a dolphin or a sea-horse. Carry a trident and wear sea-colored floaty fabrics, a beard, and a crown.
18. Nereid: Nereids are sea nymphs that, like mermaids, wear sea colors and sea-themed accessories but don't necessarily have a tail.
19. Newspaper: Dress to impress with a costume fashioned from either genuine or fake fabric newsprint.
20. Nicole Kidman: Nicole Kidman is an Australian film actress who first came to the public’s attention in the 1989 film Dead Calm, going on to star in Batman Forever, Billy Bathgate and Eyes Wide Shut. Perhaps her most iconic role to date is that of Satine, the singer and courtesan in the 2001 film Moulin Rouge. To get her look in that film, wear a red ballgown.
21. Nutty Professor (The): To get the look of this well-known character portrayed in several different films, wear a lab coat, a button-up shirt, a bow tie, and glasses.
22. Nite Owl: Nite Owl is a character from the graphic novel and film, Watchmen. He dresses similarly to Batman, though the coloring of his costume and the positioning of his ears is more reminiscent of an owl than a bat. A licensed character costume is available.
23. Nigel Molesworth: Nigel is a fictional character created by author Geoffrey Willians in The Molesworth series of books. To get his look, wear a scruffy schoolboy outfit with a jacket and hat and messy straight hair.
24. Nightclub Singer: Liza Minelli’s character, Sally Bowles, in the film Cabaret (1972) might be a good role model for this costume. In the film, Liza wore bobbed hair, heavy eye makeup, a strapped leotard, suspenders, and fishnet stockings plus, occasionally, a bowler hat. You could also look to Las Vegas-style lounge singers or celebrities such as Shirley Bassey, Amy Winehouse, or for males, Frank Sinatra.
25. Nightmare: You can either reuse something from your Halloween collection to create something scary, or you can go as one of your own worst nightmares, like the one where you found you’d worn odd shoes, were dressed inappropriately for work or found you were naked in public. Dig deep into your imagination!
26. Nightwing: Robin becomes Nightwing after leaving Batman to be his own boss in the Justice League. His costume is essentially the same as the black and red outfit seen in the film Batman and Robin.
27. Ninepin: Ninepin is another name for a skittle as used in bowling. This would be a great partner costume if you could find someone to go as a bowling ball!
28. Napoleon Bonaparte: Napoleon was the first emperor following the French Revolution and the architect of many aspects of the laws and infrastructure of modern France. He is usually seen wearing the military uniform of the late 18th and early 19th century, with a blue and gold jacket, white trousers, and a red sash, topped with a bicorne hat.
29. Nineteen-Eighties Yuppie: Due to the economic boom, a new breed of trader flourished both in the city and the new frontier of the renovated London Docklands. Wear a designer suit and shoes, red braces, a loud tie (cartoon characters were popular), and be sure to carry a brick-like mobile phone if you can find one!
30. Nineteen-Fifties Boy (in the style of Grease): Wear a studded leather jacket with a T-Bird insignia, a white t-shirt, and jeans.
31. Nineteen-Fifties Boy (in the style of a Teddy Boy): Wear a long, coloured frock-coat with velvet facings in the Edwardian style, along with drainpipe black trousers, coloured socks, a boot-lace tie, and appropriate winkle-picker or brothel creeper shoes.
32. Nineteen-Fifties Girl (in the style of Grease): Wear a white blouse and a pastel sweater, a poodle skirt, and your hair in a ponytail.
33. Nineteen-Fifties Girl (Teddy Girl): Wear either a two-piece blouse and a full skirt worn with petticoats or a brightly coloured or patterned dress, also worn with petticoats.
34. Nineteen-Thirties Film Star: Wear a full-length backless gown cut on the bias, with gloves and costume jewellery.
35. Nineteen-Thirties Golfer: Wear plus-fours, long patterned socks, a golf shirt, a colored tie, and a golfing jacket and cap.
36. Ninja: A ninja was a covert agent or mercenary in feudal Japan, a character which has been converted into the well-known pop culture image of a black-clad, masked fighter with intimidating hand-to-hand fighting skills. Wear loose-fitting black clothing and a mask.
37. Ninja Turtles: The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles were comic book creations that lived in the New York sewers, and were named after Renaissance artists. They've become a well-known fixture of popular culture. Wear a green turtle-like suit and a colored mask over your eyes.
38. Nixie, neck, or nicor: These are all different names of German shape-shifting water spirits who usually appeared in the forms of other creatures. Wear flowy water-coloured garments.
39. Noah: Noah is a biblical character known for building an ark to save humankind and animals from destruction in a great flood. Wear a robe, a long grey wig and beard, sandals, and carry a staff.
40. Noddy: Popular hero of children’s books written Enid Blyton, Noddy is a wooden toy who wears a red top, blue shorts, large red shoes, and has a large blue pointed hat with a bell at the top.
41. Noddy Holder: Noddy Holder is the lead singer of the British glam-rock group Slade which is principally associated with the 1970s, though their music endures (notably the perennial favorite "Merry Xmas Everybody"). Wear a vest, pants, and a top hat all in plaid with a loud shirt and a long, very curly wig.
42. Nudist: Wear a skin-coloured bodysuit or morph suit. At a recent event with a beach party theme, I saw the naturist version of a well-known seaside entertainment, Punch and Nudie! (A take on Punch and Judy.)
43. Noel Coward: Noel is an actor, playwright, and raconteur, best known for the play Blithe Spirit. He is usually depicted wearing a smoking jacket and a loose scarf with slicked-back hair and holding a cigarette holder.
44. Noggin the Nog: Noggin the Nog is a British children’s TV cartoon character from the 1950s and '60s. His costume is essentially a Viking-style outfit with a purple cape, red pants, and a gold helmet (no horns).
45. Nun: A nun's garments can vary in colour, but black and white seems to be a habitual favourite. Your hair should be hidden by the wimple headdress used by most nuns. Costume variations might include the pregnant nun and the saucy nun.
46. Nosferatu: Nosferatu is a 1921 unauthorized adaptation of the film Dracula. Because it was unauthorized, all details needed to be changed in order to avoid prosecution—e.g., the name Dracula became Nosferatu. Wear a Dracula costume.
47. Nurse: There are a number of nurse costumes on the market, both of the conventional and more creative kinds. Wear scrubs and a stethoscope, or a white jacket with a red cross and a nurse's hat.
48. Nut: Nut is the Egyptian goddess of the sky. Wear a dark blue or black cat suit with fairy-lights or UV dots to represent the stars. She is also depicted as a star-covered cow. Wear stylised Egyptian makeup and a headdress to complete the ensemble.
49. Nutcracker: This holiday staple was made even more famous by the Tchaikovsky ballet story usually performed around Christmas time. Nutcrackers are typically dressed as toy soldiers with a standard red coat, beard, and a black bucket hat.
50. Nymph: Nymphs are pastoral spirits of Greek legend with several different types belonging to different topographies: Dryads are associated with the woods, naiads with fresh water, nereids with sea water, and oreads with the mountains.
51. Nymphadora Tonks: This character from Harry Potter is a shape-shifting wizardress whose hair changes color. To get her look, you should wear a long, dark purple cloak-like jacket, with a grey ruched shirt, black boots, and a colored wig. Whilst there are not many wigs which can change colour, there is one that changes from pink to white in sunlight!
Have comments? Questions? Other costume ideas? Leave them here!
Brandon Spaulding from Yahoo, Contributor on January 17, 2012:
I love costumes. I love costume partys even though I've never been to one. Maybe I will throw a costume party. This could be very fun.