The Perfect Dress

Whether your going to a themed birthday party or the prom, a masquerade dress can make you the spotlight of the event. Usually for a prom, the dress would be elegant, sort of modernized and classy with bright colors. But if someone were hosting a Gothic themed birthday party, you'd use dark colors (mainly black mixed with another color), and you'd have Gothic accessories like lacey corsets and a stylish mask. Masquerade balls are fun for those who like to dress-up and put on display either their handy-work (if they enjoy making clothing as a hobby), or excellent style in apparel.

The History

If the people at the party wanted a truly genuine masquerade party, they'd use Venetian style outfits that can be elaborate and maybe a bit excessive. During the Renaissance beginning in Florence, Italy, masquerade balls took flight and became an event the upper-class members of society frequented. They later expanded to other European countries, with each modifying the style a bit for their region. They also became events that were open to the public because the masks would hide the identity of the guests, allowing for common folk and nobles to mingle together.

Expanse in England

masquerade maskCredit: Anu-Liisa Varis

In England, masquerade balls were popular from the Elizabethan era to the Victorian era. The Elizabethan and Victorian dresses were allegorical in nature. Women would dress up in thematic ways to represent something else. They could dress as something found in nature like the ocean, with a blue masquerade dress, or a rose all dolled up in red attire. The Brittish loved storytelling and thematic events in these earlier days. The Eliabethan era is one of the most prominent eras in the Brittish culture - it's where Shakespeare and theater exploded. The Victorian era was also a peaceful time for the Brittish people. These events became less popular in the 20th century, but are now experiencing a resurgence. Hosting a sweet 16th birthday party with a masquerade ball theme isn't uncommon today.

Masquerade Parties

Mardi Gras is probably the most likely time you'll find a masquerade ball since these dances are linked to the Carnival season. There are your Mardi Gras parties with scantly dressed women and unbridled alcohol drinking, but if you wanted a bit more refinement, you'd search out one of the many masquerade balls that are sure to be held. They often have an upper-class appeal attached to the events, but anyone is welcomed. If you don't like some of the lewd behavior that occurs during Mardi Gras parties, a masquerade ball is your event.

Where to Find

So when choosing your masquerade dress, you have a number of time-periods you can use to gather inspiration. And there are also many different styles you can choose from. Being able to go to a party with a nice theme and mystery adds a bit more fun to the event than if it were a traditional dance. There are plenty of online retailers that offer masquerade dresses that'll are sure to fit whichever theme the masquerade party is being held in.

mask image by Anu-Liisa Varis/stock.xchng