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.
Letter and Alphabet-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 "H," 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!
1. Harry Potter: Harry is the famous child wizard from Hogwarts in the Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling. Wear black-rimmed glasses, a lightning scar on your forehead, and a black robe. Licensed robes, glasses, broomsticks, owls, and wands are all available to purchase.
2. Harpo Marx: Harpo is one of the members of the famous Marx Brothers comedy group from the 1930s. He was known for being completely silent and communicating with a motor horn when necessary. Wear a long, light-coloured coat, reddish-pink hair, and a top hat.
3. Hansel: Hansel is the woodcutter's son from the folk tale, Hansel and Gretel, in which two siblings are deliberately abandoned in the woods and are almost eaten by a witch. Wear a German or Austrian outfit with lederhosen, long socks, and a Bavarian hat. You could also base your costume on the updated and more action-orientated Hansel from the 2013 film Hansel & Gretel: Witch-Hunters.
4. Harem Girl: Wear a belly dancer costume using veils if you want to look more alluring. Use eye makeup that is dark and smouldering.
5. Harlequin: Also known as Arlechinno, the Harlequin is one of the characters from the Italian Commedia D'ellarte street theatre. He is the hero of the Harlequinade and lover of Columbine, which is Italian for dove. Wear a one-piece body suit decorated in a diamond pattern, a black bi-corn hat, and a black eye mask.
6. Harley Quinn: Harley Quinn is a character from the Batman cartoons and the partner and confidante of The Joker. Traditionally, she wears a black and red jester-style costume with matching headwear, although some sexier corset-based outfits have been seen at conventions. In addition, she has a whitened face with a painted smile and a black eye mask that can either be painted on or created with a domino flyaway mask. Her weapon of choice is a large cartoon-style hammer.
7. Hannibal Lecter: This character is probably best known from the film Silence of the Lambs and its sequels starring Anthony Hopkins. Wear an orange boiler suit (prisoner uniform), and a mask with a mouthguard. You can also use a straitjacket.
8. Hamlet: Hamlet is a prince of Denmark and the main character in Shakespeare's play of the same name. Wear a medieval doublet and tights. You might also consider carrying a skull, which is associated with the scene in which Hamlet mourns the passing of a court jester remembered from his childhood.
9. Han Solo: Han Solo is a Star Wars character played by Harrison Ford. Wear light brown trousers, a tunic, and a dark brown hooded cape. Licensed costumes are available for this character.
10. Hangman: Wear a black tunic and trousers with a full face hood (with eye holes) or a mask. Accessorise with an axe or sword.
11. Hot Dog: This is a great novelty foam costume which will get a lot of laughs throughout your day or night. You can also use the basic hot dog costume with a mascot dog's head or face bop and make a very fun pun.
12. Handel, George Frideric: Handel is a famous musician from the late 17th and early 18th century. His music was used frequently for royal occasions in Georgian times, notably fireworks displays and river processions. Wear a Georgian costume with a full wig.
13. Heathcliff: Heathcliff is a character from Emily Bronte's novel Wuthering Heights. He is typically portrayed as a dark, brooding character with a gypsy look. Your hair should be messy, dark, and shoulder-length.
14. Heavy Metal Fan: This is a costume idea suitable for both men and women. Wear black clothing—preferably leather—with ripped jeans, spiked or gelled hair, and heavy dark eyeliner. Fake tattoos are also a nice touch.
15. Heidi: Heidi is the alpine heroine from Johanna Spyri's novel of the same name. Wear a Bavarian-style or short gingham dress and blonde hair in plaits.
16. Hello Kitty: Hello Kitty is a cartoon icon of Japanese origin. Costumes are available to purchase, but they're usually only in children's sizes or in the large-head mascot style, which is expensive.
17. Helen of Troy: Helen was the wife of King Menelaus and reputed to be the most beautiful woman in Greece. She eloped with Paris, son of King Priam and Queen Hecuba of Troy, a marriage that reportedly caused the Trojan War. Wear a Grecian-style dress, many of which are available to purchase.
18. Helga: Helga is the assistant, secretary, and lover of Herr Flick, the Gestapo officer in the popular UK comedy television series 'Allo 'Allo. Wear blonde hair rolled up into side plaits, and a German uniform. Alternatively, she has also been known to just wear a basque, or corset, and stockings in the line of "duty."
19. He-Man: He-Man was a cartoon hero of the 1990s and the alter-ego of Prince Adam of Eternia. He-Man is a very muscular chap with bulging biceps—a muscle chest is available to purchase if you are lacking in this department. His costume consists of red shorts and boots with a leather chest piece and blond, bobbed hair.
20. Henny Penny: More commonly known as Chicken Little, Henny Penny is the well-known fairy tale character who believed the sky was falling. Wear a chicken costume.
21. Henchman: A henchman can be anything from an Igor-style hunchback to a gangster goon. In general, however, they are the faithful and usually dumb servants of evil masters. Dress according to the style you want.
22. Hermoine Granger: The leading female character in the Harry Potter series of books and films, Hermoine is known to be the smarty pants of the bunch. Wizarding robes, wigs, and wands are available to purchase.
23. Herr Flick: Herr Flick is another character from 'Allo 'Allo who is both a Gestapo representative and Helga's boss. Wear a long black trench coat, wire-rimmed glasses, and a trilby hat. Herr Flick also carried a walking cane, but it was more for appearance than for functionality.
All Things Hawaiian!
This is normally a summer theme in the UK in the everlasting hope that it may stay dry for an outside barbecue or party! Furthermore, it is an easy theme to put together as you can purchase leis, grass skirts, coconut bras, and other accessories very cheaply.
Costumes for both men and women are available on the market, but most people tend to just accessorise their own beach or summer wear. Here are some costume ideas:
24. Hawaiian Chief: Use fake fur, bone necklaces, a grass skirt, and face paint to create a Hawaiian chief or witchdoctor character.
25. Hawaiian Tourist: Wear an ugly aloha shirt and shorts, a sunhat, and an obnoxiously large camera. Use face paint to create a sunburnt look, or cover your nose in copious amounts of white paint.
All the Henrys
26. Henry Cooper: Cooper was a British heavyweight boxer during the 1960s. To get the look, just buy a pair of boxing gloves and add some over-sized shorts.
27. Henry Ford: Ford was one of the first inventors of the modern-day car who also revolutionized manufacturing. Wear a Ford label and a 1920s-style suit.
28. Henry II: Henry II fathered Richard I and King John and ruled England in the 12th century. He is best known for ordering the murder of Thomas Becket, who later became a saint. Wear medieval dress.
29. Henry VII: Henry was King of England and Lord of Ireland in the late 15th and early 16th century. Wear a typical Tudor-style costume.
30. Henry VIII: This Henry is probably the most famous (or should that be infamous) of the bunch. Wear an ornate tunic and overrobe with a hat and a ginger beard.
31. Hiawatha: Hiawatha is a character from Longfellow's romantic poem, "The Song of Hiawatha." Wear a Native American Indian brave costume and Indian brave headdress.
32. Highlander: Although there was a film series by the name of Highlander, this name is usually associated with a Scotsman or the Mel Gibson character, Braveheart from the movie of the same name. Strictly speaking, an authentic Braveheart costume would not have had the traditional Scottish tartan since this was actually imposed by the English much later. Scottish garb at that time was much less colorful and more earthy. Also, the blue face paint (or woad) seen in the film was not contemporary but is a popular feature.
33. Highwayman or Woman: Aside from Adam Ant's impression for his music video of "Stand and Deliver," Dick Turpin is probably the most famous highwayman with Moll Cut-Purse being a notable female in this field. The trademark highwayman look is a frock coat, cape, jabot, shirt, tricorn hat, and pistol. You can also wear an eye mask or a handkerchief covering the lower part of your face. As previously noted, highway robbery was an equal-opportunities activity. Ladies would have dressed as the men for a disguise, although you'd never know it given some of the shorter styles available from costume stores!
34. Hilda Ogden: Hilda is a character from the long-running British soap opera Coronation Street. Wear a housewife apron, overalls, and hair in curlers covered with a headscarf or net.
35. Hulk (The): The Hulk is a green sci-fi character from the television series and film of the same name. There are official costumes available to purchase. If you want to do a DIY version of this outfit, please use proper makeup products. Improvising with green food colouring can leave you green for longer than you planned!
36. Hippolyta: Hippolyta is the Queen of the Amazons from Shakespeare's play A Midsummer Night's Dream. A Grecian dress will suffice for this character, although traditionally she doubles with the role of Titania, the Queen of the Fairies, so you could also incorporate aspects of her ethereal alter-ego.
37. Hippie: The hippie era lasted from the '60s to the early '70s and had a lot of trends that are very fun to play around with. There are many costumes on the market for both men and women, and a huge range of accessories with which you can make your own outfit. For a hippie costume, you should have
- long, unkempt hair;
- peace and CND medallions;
- ridiculously large spliffs;
- wacky weed;
- flared jeans;
- and patterned clothing (especially with flowers).
38. Hobbit: A hobbit is a type of creature from JRR Tolkien's universe he created and explored through The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. Wear a basic Saxon or medieval costume with a dark cloak. Big hairy feet are a must. There are hobbit feet available for purchase, but you could also go for a pair of novelty slippers and cover them with theatrical hair. Of course, official costumes and accessories can be found as the movies were and continue to be extremely popular.
39. Holly Golightly: Holly is the call-girl character played by Audrey Hepburn in the classic 1962 film Breakfast at Tiffany's. Wear a black beehive hairstyle, an elegant black gown, and a choker. Finish off the costume by carrying a cigarette holder.
40. Hollywood Starlet or Film Star: For a straight-on interpretation of this topic, you could choose an iconic actor or actress and mimic their style of dress. Marilyn Monroe's white halter neck dress or Richard Gere's white naval officer uniform from An Officer and a Gentleman are both good examples.
41. Homer Simpson: Homer is the dad figure from the long-running American television show The Simpsons. Homer wears a white collared shirt and light blue jeans with black shoes. Overhead masks are available.
42. Horatio Nelson: Horatio Nelson was a British flag officer in the navy and a renowned naval hero. Wear a frock coat, a shirt, a cravat, breeches, and a bicorn hat. You might want to consider hiring this costume.
43. Horseback Rider: The stereotypical posh horseback rider wears white breeches, dark riding boots, a black helmet, and a dark-coloured coat. You could also opt for a jockey look with this costume.
44. Huggy Bear: Huggy Bear is a character from the 1970s television series, Starsky & Hutch. His most well-known look is a purple pimp costume. Get the look by wearing any pimp costume.
45. Hula Dancer: Hula is a traditional dance from Hawaii. Dancers are often depicted wearing grass skirts, garlands, and coconut bra tops as well as flowers or other greenery in their hair.
46. Horse: One-person horse costumes are available, and horse masks have recently become popular on YouTube and social media and are now easy to find in stores. A two-person pantomime horse may be preferred, but quality varies, and someone has to be the backend!
47. Hunchback of Notre Dame: This character is best-known from the Disney movie of the same name. He wore a green tunic and had khaki pants. Wear stuffing in the back of your costume to create the hunchback.
48. Humphrey Bogart: Humphrey Bogart was an American film star who featured in such films as The African Queen and Casablanca. Wear a dinner suit or trench coat with a fedora hat and carry a (fake) cigarette for an easy costume option.
49. Humpty Dumpty: Humpty Dumpty is a nursery rhyme character who also appears in the 1998 film Alice Through the Looking-Glass. This is a difficult costume to make as it will require a fair amount of padding to create the round egg shape. There are commercially available costumes that solve the problem by incorporating a wall into the outfit, but they may be impractical for some party environments.
What do you think?
J Miller on September 04, 2019:
The English did not impose Tartan on Scotland, go do some research.
HermioneG on May 25, 2018:
You spelt Granger wrong, ut otherwise very useful
Hannah on September 13, 2016:
I really liked the ideas! It really helped me to decide my costume!
helen on August 02, 2012:
what's a good website for costumes?
grace on October 08, 2011:
good ideas u need to have more fun and colorful but other than that its ok
hannah on March 15, 2011:
you could also dress up as halow kitty i like the hippy
hvgeff on March 01, 2011:
hermionie from harry potter
Rose on December 30, 2010:
You could also dress up as harry Houdini!
sun protection hat on June 18, 2010:
Hahaha, looking at the hawai tourist I instantly know why we're so unpopular in some countries ;)