What Makes a Great President

  • January 28, 2014
  • Jenna Maxwell

Presidents Day Costume IdeaSorry folks, if you came here hoping I would be spewing my political views all over the page, you might be disappointed.  This is, after all, a costume blog.  Today, however, with President's Day coming up in February and in the spirit of all things “presidential,” I am going to give you some great tips on how to put together an amazing presidential costume look just in time to celebrate President’s Day, a school history dress up day, or any other occasion that might require you to put together one of these classic costume looks.

You might remember this commercial from last year: 

Now, I don’t know how things work at your house, but this seamless, last minute (and admittedly quite amazing) costume would not have been possible for me to put together (in minutes no less), even with the magic of Google.  If you want to be a costume hero this year when it comes to putting some life into your child’s history lesson, there are far easier and less stressful ways to go about it!

More and more schools are holding special dress up days in order to honor the forty-four men that have led our country.  George Washington and Abraham Lincoln are usually the quintessential favorites when it comes to presidential costumes, but certainly if you want to create a different look, there are plenty of ways to become your favorite commander in chief.

Wigs and Facial Hair:  Wigs and facial hair are some of the easiest and most important tools you can use to recreate some of the distinctive features of your chosen president.   Look at photographs of your character and note the distinguishing parts of your president that seem the most unique to his persona.  Costume implements such as a white colonial wig, an Abraham Lincoln-style beard, or some tacked on Martin Van Buren mutton chop sideburns can transform your child into character quickly and with little effort involved.

Costumes:  When it comes to presidential costumes, you have lots of choices.  The easiest thing to do obviously is to buy a ready-made costume that has all the essential costume pieces already in it; that makes putting together your kid’s costume a real no-brainer!  Sometimes, buying a readymade costume isn’t practical. If you are looking for some D.I.Y. options, then with a little effort you can probably put together a really great look yourself that works equally as well.  For example, any plain black suit and bow tie can work as the base for an Abe Lincoln costume.  The important part of this look is to get the Abe beard and top hat just right!  For a simple George Washington costume, you can use an old pair of baseball pants worn with white knee socks and a woman’s front ruffled or bow blouse with a vest over the top.  If you are creating your own costume, keep the costume part fairly simple and focus your biggest effort on a couple of key accessories that will really set your look apart.

Hats and Accessories:  When all else fails, getting the right hat and accessories can be all you really need in a pinch to pull one of these presidential looks together.  A colonial tricorne hat, for example, can instantly give your child a legitimate George Washington look; add a white ponytail style wig and suddenly you have that perfect “Father of the Country” look!!  The important thing to remember is to put your focus on the most unique parts of the character look, emphasize those and keep the rest of the costume fairly simple.

Bringing history to life with a costume is a fantastic way for your child to learn about important people and events from the past.  Don’t miss out on this wonderful opportunity to recreate one of these amazing historical figures for your self!