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Costume Ideas Starting With the Letter "C"

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.

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.

To go along with this idea, you could:

  1. Allow guests to dress up in a costume related to their initials (or just their first names if you want to keep it simple).
  2. Ask guests to dress up in costumes related to your initials.
  3. 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, it's a good idea to explain the idea thoroughly because 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 some ideas for costumes that start with the letter "C," some based off of 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!

Caesar costume

Caesar costume

CaesarThere were many Caesars in Roman history but Julius Caesar is probably the best known in modern times. Famed for his association with the Egyptian queen Cleopatra and for his conquest of Britain, he was murdered by an assassin on behalf of those who thought he was becoming too powerful. A range of togas and Caesar-style costumes are available to hire or purchase.

Cabaret Dancer — Liza Minnelli starred in the film of the same name but nowadays with the new interest in burlesque, the costume choice for this theme is wider. You should be able to put this costume together with a few items. For the Minnelli or Sally Bowles look you will need a tailcoat or leotard, a top hat, a cane, and fishnet stockings. Other outfits might involve a basque (or corset) and a tutu. Ostrich feathers can be purchased for a fan, and the makeup should be strong and theatrical.

Caesar's Wife — Calpurnia married Julius Caesar in 59 BC. You can use a toga costume to get her look. Julius and Calpurnia would also make a good couple costume.

Calamity Jane — She was a hero of the wild west. In a film of the same name, Doris Day played Calamity Jane and wore a two-piece buckskin outfit with a matching hat and rifle.

Calypso Girl — This is a colourful carnival costume that has a top and skirt with many multi-coloured frills.

Camel — As you can stand up in the humps, we do find that camels are far more comfortable than a two-man horse or cow! Camel costumes are usually only found to hire.

Can-Can Interest in this style of costume has intensified since the release of the film Moulin Rouge. Dresses tend to be plain but secretly stacked with lovely multi-coloured layers underneath that are revealed only when the dress is lifted.

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Cardinal — This is a religious costume that usually involves a long red robe and cap and is available to hire or purchase. For an original look, mix the costume with elements of one of the Seven Deadly Sins, like money for avarice, a fat stomach for gluttony, or condoms for lust, and go as a cardinal sin.

Ship captain costume

Ship captain costume

Various Kinds of Captain Costumes for Halloween

Captain America — Captain America is an American comic strip hero created in 1941 and most recently seen in Avengers Assemble. A licensed version of the costume is available to purchase.

Captain Hook — Captain Hook is the arch rival of Peter Pan from the JM Barrie book Peter Pan. You can either go for the Disney look, or Dustin Hoffman's dandified version from the movie Hook.

Captain Jack Sparrow — Another Disney success, Jack is the hero of the Pirates of the Caribbean films. Aside from an official costume, you can purchase many pirate accessories to get the look for this character.

Captain James Cook — Captain Cook is a famous explorer and known as the father of modern Australia. Wear a three-piece Georgian suit with a jacket, a waistcoat, pantaloons, a tri-corn hat, and buckled shoes.

Captain James T. Kirk — Captain Kirk is the commander of the US Enterprise in the Star Trek series, first seen in 1967. Star Trek tops are available to hire or for purchase.

Captain Pugwash — Captain Pugwash has been a popular children's pirate since the 1950s.

Captain Scarlet — Captain Scarlet is Gerry Anderson's indestructible hero from the television series Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons. Wear a red vest with a black long-sleeved shirt and a red cap with a clear visor.

Captain in the Royal Air Force — Royal Air Force uniforms are available to hire from fancy dress shops or for purchase from an army surplus store.

Captain in the Army — Army uniforms are available to hire from fancy dress shops or for purchase from an army surplus store.

Captain of a Ship — Wear a white naval uniform which you can either hire or purchase.

Minnie Mouse costume

Minnie Mouse costume

Cartoon Characters

Using cartoon characters as an umbrella term might be a bit of a stretch but it does give a good range of costumes to choose from.

Female cartoon characters include:

  • Minnie Mouse
  • Daphne (Scooby Doo)
  • Wilma (Scooby doo)
  • Wilma Flintstone
  • Betty Rubble
  • Betty Boop
  • Jessica Rabbit
  • Snow White
  • Cinderella
  • Tinker Bell

Male cartoon characters include:

  • Scooby Doo
  • Fred (Scooby Doo)
  • Shaggy (Scooby Doo)
  • Fred Flintstone
  • Barney Rubble
  • Pink Panther
  • Dangermouse (& Penfold)
  • Bananaman
  • Mr Incredible
  • Captain Hook
  • Peter Pan
Carnival costumes

Carnival costumes

Carnival Character Carnival is approached differently around the world. One of the most famous ones is in Rio de Janeiro where carnival goers dress in very elaborate (and often skimpy) costumes. In Venice, revelers wear elaborate masks and costumes that are traditionally Georgian or 17th century-style though nowadays many kinds of costumes are common.

Caribbean Man — You can interpret this as either a rasta, dreadlock, Jamaican-style costume or carnival-style attire.

Carmen Miranda — This famous Brazilian actress of the 1940s was most well-known for her fruit bowl headwear.

Carol Singer — This is an easy costume that can be put together using your own warm winter clothing, including gloves, a hat, and a scarf. Add a Christmas song sheet and voila! Elaborate Victorian costumes are also available to hire.

Carrie — Leading female character in a Stephen King novel of the same name, this is a popular Halloween costume if you don't mind the bloodied look. Dress up like you're going to prom, and then cover yourself in fake blood.

Carrie Bradshaw — One of the four major characters in the popular television series Sex in the City and subsequent films. Played by Sarah Jessica Parker, Carrie is a true fashion fan that favors trademark touches like large flower pins and name jewellery over retro and vintage styling.

Casanova Legendary lover of the 18th century, Casanova's real name was Giacomo Girolamo Casanova de Seingalt, which luckily for everyone was shortened to plain ol' Casanova! Wear a Georgian-style costume for this dreamy character.

The Cat in the Hat costume

The Cat in the Hat costume

Cat — There are a lot of different ways to be a cat. You could go as:

  • Puss in Boots - Wear a Georgian costume, a cat nose and whiskers, a musketeer hat, and overboots
  • Cat in the Hat - Wear a tall red and white hat and dapper bow-tie
  • Sylvester - Costumes are available to hire
  • Tom (from Tom & Jerry) - Costumes are available to hire
  • Sexy cat - Wear a black leotard, cattail, cat ears, cat whiskers, and fishnet stockings to create this sexy look
  • Cat-astrophe - If your improvised cat costume isn't all it could be, or your cat-face makeup doesn't quite work, there's always this idea!

Caspar — To portray this friendly ghost, you can throw on a white sheet. Costumes are also available to hire or purchase.

Castaway Robinson Crusoe and Ben Gunn are two good examples of a castaway. Abandoned by shipmates or attacked by pirates, a castaway style costume would normally consist of a ratty shirt and trousers or shorts with a beachcomber-style hat. Just add some stubble and a straggly wig to complete the outfit.

Cat Ballou — Cat Ballou was played by Jane Fonda in a western film. Wear a cowgirl costume to get her wild west look.

Cat Burglar — Wear a black and white striped top and a black eyemask but add cat whiskers, ears, a tail, and a sack with 'SWAG' written on the side. This costume is a people pleaser and a great play on words.

Caterpillar — This is a great choice for an ugly bug ball or garden party. However, it's difficult to find off-the-peg caterpillar outfits for adults. Children have better luck since there are costumes available based on The Very Hungry Caterpillar, a popular children's book.

Henry VIII with one of his many wives in Tudor costume

Henry VIII with one of his many wives in Tudor costume

The Wives of Henry VIII

Catherine Howard — Catherine Howard was the fifth wife of Henry VIII and was beheaded. Wear a Tudor costume and go as bloody (or not) as you dare.

Catherine of Aragon — Catherine of Aragon was the first wife of Henry VIII, who he eventually divorced. Wear a Tudor costume.

Catherine Parr — Catherine Parr was the sixth wife of Henry VIII and actually outlived him but died in childbirth after remarrying. Wear a Tudor costume.

For a fun twist, put on a fake head as well as a bloody neck stump and go as all three!

Catwoman Through the Decades

Catwoman Version One — This original Catwoman was the comic book foe of Batman in the 1960s. Her costume was based on a standard black jumpsuit with a black eye mask and cat ears on a headband.

Catwoman Version Two — In the 1992 film, Batman Returns, Michelle Pfeiffer wears a PVC costume with white stitch marks and a matching half-face mask. The look echoes a dominatrix with strong makeup behind the mask. Heeled pixie boots, gloves, and a long whip (a substitute for her tail) complete the ensemble.

Catwoman Version Three — Halle Berry took Catwoman to another level with an urban street fighter and bondage look. This Catwoman is not associated with the Batman franchise series.

Catwoman Version Four — For the 2012 Batman film Dark Night Rising, Ann Hathaway took on the role of Catwoman in a back-to-basics leather catsuit as a cat burglar. She also had a novel set of goggles-cum-ears as part of her ensemble.

Caveman costume

Caveman costume

Caveman — Many caveman costumes are available to purchase and tend to be very reasonably priced. You could also try something along the lines of The Flintstones costumes.

Cavewoman — Costumes are available to purchase and tend to be on the sexy side. A more primitive style can be achieved by channelling Daryl Hannah's warpainted look in Clan of the Cavebear or to go totally over the top, research the film, The Search for Fire!

Cavalier — Cavaliers is the term used for those who supported Charles I in the Civil War, which Charles ended up losing. The outfit is best described as a dandified musketeer and may be a costume that you will need to hire rather than buy off-the-peg as they tend to consist of rather ornate jackets, frilled shirts, pantaloons, overboots, and a large hat as well as a sword. A ringlet wig crowns the outfit (figuratively speaking).

Cavalryman — The style will change depending on the era and country. You could use most military-style costumes to suit this costume choice and it might be a good idea to bring along a toy horse.

Centurion — To become this Roman warrior, use a standard Roman soldier costume and wear a short sword for close combat fighting.

Ceres — Ceres is the Roman goddess of the earth and crops and also a character in Morris dancing. You can either go for a goddess-style toga (normally white), and hold seeds or flowers, or wear green and brown clothes with matching face and hair (use face paint and hairspray) and a headdress of ivy.

Chaplain — A chaplain looks after the spiritual side of prisoners, servicemen, and hospital patients. A vicar's costume would suffice.

Charleston costume

Charleston costume

Charleston Also called flappers, this style of dress was very popular during the 1920s. To be authentic, the hem should finish at the knee. Traditionally, Charleston dresses would have fringing or beading to emphasise dancing. Popular with the bright young things of the day, the outfit allowed girls the chance to show off their daring cropped or bobbed hair.

Charles I — The first king of the Stuart period, he opposed Parliament and was beheaded following the Civil War. As noted previously, his followers in the Civil War were the Cavaliers.

Charles II Following the Civil War and puritan Commonwealth under Oliver Cromwell, the monarchy was restored with Charles I's son. The Cavalier-style costume is ideal for this character, and you should add a cape if possible. He was famous for his relationship with Nell Gwyn, the actress and orange seller.

Charles Dickens — Charles Dickens is possibly the best-known British Victorian author. Wear any standard Victorian costume featuring a tailcoat.

Charlie Chaplin — Charlie Chaplin was a comedy film star who was very popular during the silent era of film history. He was most commonly known for his black suit, tie, bowler hat, cane, and thick black eyebrows along with a small moustache.

Charlie's Angels — Charlie's Angels are heroines of the cult television series by the same name from the 1970s and '80s, which has been adapted into recent films. The Angels would wear tight fitting catsuits with '70s style haircuts, the most famous being Farah Fawcett's volumised wave style. In addition, the trio dressed in all kinds of undercover outfits.

Cheerleader costume

Cheerleader costume

Cheerleader Though this is an outfit with American origins, it has become increasingly popular in the UK and is easily put together using a leotard or top, a short-tiered skirt, and pom poms. Complete costumes are available to hire or purchase.

Chauffeur — A chauffeur is a uniformed car driver, usually with a peaked cap. The most famous one is probably Parker, the chauffeur, servant, and accomplice of English agent Lady Penelope from the Thunderbirds television series.

Chef - You can easily find chef costumes available to purchase, or buy a hat on its own for a very simple costume. Bloody chef costumes are a big hit at Halloween.

Cher — This pop star had many hits with her partner Sonny Bono in the 1960s. Cher had a distinctive look with straight dark hair, both with a fringe and without, and a long afgan coat. More recently, Cher is known to wear very sexy clothes and change her hairstyle frequently.

Chewbacca — Chewbacca is a beloved wookie and Han Solo's co-pilot of the Millennium Falcon from the original Star Wars films. Costumes are available to hire and purchase.

Chick — Go as a baby chicken and be one of the cutest chicks at the party!

Hot chili pepper

Hot chili pepper

Chile Pepper — This spicy foam costume is available to purchase.

Champagne Bottle — This celebratory foam costume is available to purchase.

Chimney Sweep — This popular character is associated with the Victorian era and Mary Poppins as well as being good luck for newlyweds. The outfit is comprised of black trousers, a waistcoat, a shirt, and a neckerchief. The formal lucky sweep at a wedding will also wear a top hat and tailcoat. All types should carry a sweep brush. Though not easy to find, these can be improvised.

Chimp — Monkey face bops are available to purchase but you would normally have to hire this costume.

Christmas angel

Christmas angel

Christmas Angel Angel costumes can be hired or purchased although you can also make your own costume by using a white dress and buying some angel wings and a halo.

Chippendale Stripper — This is a simple costume that involves a variety of purchased items as well as things that you likely already own. Wear your own trousers and add a Chippendale set that includes cuffs and a bow tie. You can also purchase a fake chest if you haven't spent enough hours in the gym!

Christmas Pudding — This costume is available to purchase as well as hire.

Christmas Tree — This costume is available to purchase as well as hire.

Christopher Columbus — Wear a Tudor or Elizabethan costume with a doublet and hose to become this explorer of the New World.

Chubby Brown — Chubby Brown is an English stand-up comedian known for his loud checkered suits and flying helmet.



Cleopatra Cleopatra became the queen of Egypt in the year 51 B.C. This costume is fun because you can wear a plain gown and then spice it up with elaborate jewellery like necklaces and headpieces. Wear a bobbed black wig and dark elaborate makeup. Check out Elizabeth Taylor's interpretation from 1963 for a reference.

Cigarette — This fun, foam costume is available to purchase

Cilla Black — Cilla Black was a 1960s British singer and TV personality. Get her look with a '60s mod costume and a beehive wig.

Cinderella — You have two choices with this character. Do you dress up in rags, or do you dress up in riches? You can use a wench costume that is tatty looking for doing menial labour, or an ornate ballgown ready for the palace ball where she meets her Prince Charming.

Circus Performer — Choose from the following:

  • Acrobat - Wear a leotard and fishnet stockings
  • Clown - Many costume are available to hire or purchase, or you can make your own using a nose, wig, makeup, and an oversized tie
  • Ringmaster - Wear a tailcoat and a top hat and carry a whip
  • Strongman - Use a caveman outfit
  • Knife Thrower - Wear an Indian outfit

Clint Eastwood — This Hollywood actor was first seen in Rawhide and is famous for his portrayal of many western characters. You can use a standard cowboy costume or a Mexican-style poncho with a cowboy hat (such as a Stetson) if you prefer.

Chicken costume

Chicken costume

Chicken Chicken costumes are mainly available to hire. You can also purchase masks and face bops to help create your look.

Clown — Many varieties of clown costume are available on the market but it is also a costume that can be put together quite easily if you have some colourful clothing. Accessories that are available to purchase include: wigs, noses, ties, braces, shoes, and makeup. Be aware that there are some people who have a genuine phobia of clowns, so don't go too over-the-top.

Clyde Barrow — Clyde is one half of the notorious 1930s Bonnie and Clyde bank-robbing team. The film from 1967 starred Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty.

Colonial Lady — This costume is open to interpretation as it could be anything from a genteel lady during the last days of the Raj in India to an early American pioneer.