When Halloween comes around, one of the most enduring options in terms of coming up with a costume is to portray a gypsy. Gypsy costumes don't need to be complicated in order to look convincing. What's more, they are an ideal choice for families who want to dress to a common theme.
Basic gypsy costumes can include many elements that might be found in the closet already. Indeed, there's no need to wait for Halloween; gypsy costumes can make great playclothes. For girls and women, long, vibrantly colored skirts are perhaps the most important component, along with a matching, loose-fitting shirt. A thrift store may be a good place to look for such items if they are not at one's disposal. Those handy with a sewing machine may prefer to make their own clothes, which would allow for especially wide creative license.
For men or boys, old-fashioned looking pants, usually brown, are a good bet, along with a puffy shirt. Both male and female costumes can benefit from the inclusion of a bandana, and jewelry such as long strings of beads and large earrings will make gypsy costumes look more authentic. For the musically inclined, a tambourine or similar instrument can be a fun addition. In any event, loose layers and bright colors are a good starting point.
The term "gypsy" encompasses a wide variety of people. A gypsy fortune teller costume might be best served by the inclusion of a prop such as a crystal ball. A large bouncy ball might do the trick, especially one that lights up. Some gypsy costumes might want to draw inspiration from specific characters, such as the seductive Esmerelda in "The Hunchback of Notre Dame" or the explosive Stromboli in "Pinocchio". Gypsy costumes for some of these particular characters may be on sale from costume stores, though the look will probably be more authentic if the costume is built from scratch.
Many gypsies throughout history have gone barefoot, so shoes are one element of the costume that may not be an issue, though for late-night trick-or-treating, some kind of foot protection is probably warranted. In this case, sandals are a solid option. Another possibility is to cover existing shoes in cloth so that they look more natural and antiquated.
For a more complete imitation, depending upon the type of gypsy being depicted, one might consider reflecting that in the way one moves. Some gypsies are noted for their fluid grace; this may be a good time to brush up on the dancing skills. Another way to enhance the costume might be to adopt an accent, such as Irish or Romanian. Though Romanian gypsies tend to be very different than Irish gypsies, both are fascinating nomadic people and worthy subjects of a Halloween costume.
Gypsy costumes allow plenty of room for creativity and flexibility. The creator can pull together a very basic costume using everyday materials without having to spend much money at all, while someone with an eye for costume contest prizes can create quite a masterpiece with a little research and a few extra dollars.