Have you been invited to a Spanish theme party or are you hosting one yourself? Throwing a Spanish fiesta is a great way to celebrate the best things in life: family and friendship, health, wealth and happiness and good food and wine. And on top of that you get to dress up beautifully, listen to gorgeous music and dance your heart and soul out! Before I get too carried away, let’s sort out what you will wear for the party 🙂
A Spanish theme costume can be assembled at any budget and is very flattering to all body types. While distinctions between what men and women wear are traditionally very clear, I say break traditions and mix and match elements according to your style and preference if you like!
As for colours, of course red is the colour associated with Spanish theme parties and personally I love it. But as you’ll see, you have many more options for creating beautiful Spanish theme costumes.
On this Pinterest board I am collecting images to inspire your own creations and all of the ideas below can be seen there. And now: let’s dive in and explore the many costume options.
Wearing a Flamenco dress
The traje de flamenca is an investment for life. If you love Spain, you can take it to the famous ferias of Andalusia and dance the Sevillanas in it for years to come. While you can buy cheap polyester imitations online, I don’t recommend those as they will be of poor quality and not ethically made. If you’re going down this route, do it right and invest in a quality garment you’ll be happy to have for a long time. Alternatively, keep reading for a recommendation for hiring a traditional Flamenco dress here in the UK.
Styling a skirt and blouse
A more affordable option is to take any wide, long skirt and blouse you have or that you can find in a car boot sale or charity shop and to “flamenco” it up with accessories 🙂 which I write more about below. This can be just as authentic, but won’t break the bank and you’ll be able to recombine the elements in your everyday outfits or for other fancy dress parties.
Dressing up as a bullfighter
A full matador outfit, the traje de luces, similarly to a Flamenco dress, is an investment. Unlike the dress, it’s not typical attire for Spanish ferias, so you may not be able to use it again often. It’s understandable you may want to opt for a cheap version. To make it last, why not donate it to a local school or pass it on to a friend after your party? The more often it’s being passed on and used, the better for the environment.
Dressing up as Salvador Dalí
This is a more unusual idea. But why not transform yourself into Salvador Dalí whose moustache was very characteristic? He had an eclectic sense of fashion and you can use pieces of clothing you already own or that you can borrow from friends to assemble an eccentric costume. This article published in GQ Magazine shows Seven of Salvador Dalí’s sharpest (and wildest) outfits. I’m sure it will be a good starting point.
Accessorise to your heart’s delight
This is where you can get creative! Choose from a mantón, a cordobés hat, a fan, a mantilla and high comb, a cape, a waistcoat, necklaces and earrings and flowers or combine them. ‘El Mundo Flamenco’ just off London’s Oxford Street is a great place to get beautiful Spanish accessories from in the UK. They also have an online shop.
These elements will make any outfits extra stylish and unique. A mantón is a shawl which you can wear over your shoulders or on your hips. It’s available in many different colours, so you can match it up with your favourite skirt and blouse. The Cordobés hat is traditionally worn in Andalusia. Fans are not just pretty, but very practical for hot summer days. I always carry one with me when taking the tube during summer. The mantilla is a lace shawl draped across a high comb. The cape is the matador’s tool for the dance or fight with the bull. The other elements can be layered to create an individual gipsy-inspired style.
Spanish costume ideas for children
Children can basically wear the same as adults. Just make it colourful and comfortable and don’t include fiddly accessories that can become cumbersome on a long day. It’s fun to look at pictures together and involve them in the creation of the costume.
Shoes to wear at a Spanish theme party
Flamenco shoes have nails hammered into the sole to amplify the sound of the characteristic footwork. I don’t think it’s necessary to invest in such specialist shoes. Instead, wear comfortable shoes that match the spirit and style of the rest of your outfit and, most importantly, that you can dance the night away in!
Hiring a costume for your Spanish theme party
The lovely May from ‘Flamenco Rocks’ has recently opened a shop in Margate. You can also rent costumes individually and for entire groups via her website.
Making your costume last and thinking about the environment
For any costume, I think it’s important to think about its afterlife as you create it. The day of the party is important and it’s great to create something unique or invest in something special. But don’t let your costume die afterwards and add to the problem of fashion waste. Use what’s in your warddrobe already creatively and buy new items at charity shops. Think about how you’ll recombine the elements after or pass them on to others if you won’t use them again. Schools, charity shops, friends and family may all be able to give them a new life. This fancy dress blog shares 5 ways of recycling your costumes which might be helpful as well as lots of DIY costume ideas.
I hope this post has given you helpful and inspiring ideas for dressing up. If you have any questions, pop them in the comments and I’ll be sure to answer.
With warm wishes for fun Spanish parties,
Lucia, the Flamenco dancer
If you’re planning a Spanish theme party and are looking for Flamenco entertainment, have a look at my shows and get in touch.
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