This post is all about dress up party themes for adults.
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I cannot stand a boring adult party!
Seriously. Why do kids get to have all the fun with the bounce houses and the face painting and what not?
I mean, I may not be interested in those particular details, but I still like a lively event!
In our family, we’ve got some milestone birthdays and important celebrations coming up so I’ve been brainstorming up the best dress up party themes for adults.
Themed costume parties make for some seriously fun adult get-togethers, and they can be the highlight of your year if you choose the right one!
I’ve catalogued a whole list for you to pick through so if you’re planning the ultimate dress up theme for work or throwing a summer party for adults only (or anything in between), I’ve got you covered.
40 Dress Up Party Themes Even Adults Can Rock
Get ready to throw an unforgettable all-adult party!
Browse through these 40 adult dress-up party themes for inspiration. I tried to include creative ideas for all sorts of personality types and occasions.
1. The Classic Black and White Party
Most people associate a black and white party with formal attire, but you can take this fun theme in an entirely different direction.
From black top hats to black and white striped prison jumpsuits, literally anyone can find something fabulous to wear with this color theme idea for adults.
It’s an especially easy one for the person throwing the party thanks to the never-ending list of possibilities for decorations, foods (black and white cookies, anyone?), and costume options.
2. A Game of Thrones Party
This immensely popular adult party theme offers a wide range of character options. Dress up as John Snow, Ned Stark, Arya, Daenerys, or any one of the many other characters.
As for decorations, keep a medieval vibe with faux torches and a castle wall or two. Whatever you do, don’t forget a map of Westeros or these realistic banners of each of the houses and their sigils!
3. The Roaring 1920’s Theme
This is the decade known for pinstripe gangster suits for men and flapper dresses for women. Of course, the Roaring 20’s weren’t only about those types of fashion choices.
If you’re dressing up for a 20s party, you can also think plaid sweater vests, knickers, and newsboy caps for the guys.
Women can choose from sequined fringed outfits, dropped waist dresses, bobbed hair, pearl necklaces, and beaded purses — these all fit perfectly into this fun adult party theme.
4. The Disco Divas & Dudes Party
It’s time to channel your inner dancing queen (or king) with a 1970’s style disco theme.
Hot pants, bell bottoms, jumpsuits, and polyester everything were staples at the disco hall. Toss in some shiny metallic clothing and plunging necklines to set the stage for a night of dancing.
And don’t forget the mirrored disco ball and flashing lights to round out this party theme!
5. 1950’s Grease Party
The 1950’s was the decade of sock hops and greasers as well as soda fountains, drive-ins, and diners.
Dressing for a 1950’s party theme can be as simple as a pair of rolled jeans and bobby socks to poodle skirts and saddle shoes.
Guys should grab some hair gel and gel it up while ladies can sport high ponytails and bouffant hairstyles.
6. The “Out of This World” Star Wars Party
Who wouldn’t love to dress up as their favorite Star Wars character (even if you don’t want to admit it out loud)?
You can choose from characters such as Luke Skywalker, Darth Vader, Princess Leia or Boba Fett.
Pick your favorite character and accessorize with lightsabers, wigs, and helmets…all very easy to find locally or online.
7. The Patriotic Pair Party
A patriotic red, white, and blue theme is, of course, perfect for 4th of July, but it can be a hit any time of the year.
I love it because you can pull together dress-up attire quickly, easily, and without it costing a fortune.
Flag-themed decorations are everywhere, and who doesn’t have something that fits this color scheme?
Throw in some red velvet, classic white, and blueberry cupcakes, and you’re ready to call it a party!
8. The Rockin’ Rockstar Theme
Time to let loose with this all-adult party! Dress up as a popular rockstar like Keith Richards, Eric Clapton, Ringo Starr, Mick Jagger, or Jon Bon Jovi.
Of course, you can also create your own unique look with a wild hairstyle, headband, tight pants, electric guitar as well as plenty of other options.
Music takes center stage with this wild and exciting theme, so be sure to pick plenty of tunes to play in the background.
9. The Mysterious Masquerade Party
This dress up event can be a bit more elegant than some of the other themes we talk about.
Costumes can range from casual to formal, but a mask is the quintessential element. Consider trays of French pastries (or Little Debbie Honey Buns) and flutes for bubbly beverages.
Add some sophisticated decorations, such as a candelabra and touches of glittery gold, and you’ll leave guests with a night they’ll never forget.
10. The Beach Ball Party
Dress up in swimsuits, trunks, flip-flops, sun hats, and sunglasses. It doesn’t get any easier than that!
Plus, it’s easy to decorate with some inexpensive beach balls, sand toys, beach umbrellas, and an inflatable air mattress or shark.
Serve watermelon, ice cream, and fruity drinks to round out the beach theme.
11. The Bedazzled Mardi Gras Theme
Want to talk about fun? Mardi Gras is probably one of the best dress up party themes for adults.
Mardi Gras colors are traditionally gold and purple, so center your decorations around that color scheme.
Costumes are often outrageous, incorporating feathers, a variety of colors, and of course, beads and a carnival mask. Sequins, glitter, and tulle are also popular during Mardi Gras.
Don’t forget to serve a traditional King cake!
12. A Celebration of Culture Party
This party theme creates a great atmosphere for learning about new cultures.
Encourage everyone to wear attire that represents their culture and bring (or suggest) foods that do the same!
To make it festive, hang up different flags and mix up the music! Everyone will have such a good time enjoying the cultural diversity.
13. The Casino Night Theme
Dress up like your favorite Vegas performer for a Casino Night party! Other options include a blackjack dealer, high-roller gambler, or cocktail waitress.
Decorate with Las Vegas and Casino signs as well as playing cards and poker chips. Table games like blackjack and poker are always a hit for this type of celebration.
14. The Wild, Wild West Party
Take a step back in time to the days of the wild west with this party theme! Dress up as the town sheriff, a gunslinger, saloon gal, or even Annie Oakley.
Costume accessories can include boots, holster, cowboy hat, bandana, lasso, sheriff badge, or a fun feather boa.
If you really want to take it up a notch, try serving food and beverages from a chuckwagon!
15. The Zombie Bash
This scary adult theme can be as detailed (or as innocent) as you like. Costumes can range from a zombie bride to walking zombie monsters.
Decorations can include plenty of gauze, chains, black balloons, and grave markers.
There are a lot of different zombie props available to bring that gory and frightful feel to your party.
16. The Pillaging Pirate Party
Dress up costumes can include vests, coats, sashes, and eye patches as well as billowy skirts and blouses, swords, capes, and corsets!
Guests will love putting together their pirate costume because there are so many options.
Decorate with chests filled with gold coins, a pirate flag, and a treasure map. Easy peasy!
17. The Nautical Theme
A navy and white nautical theme is perfect for an adult dress up party. Anchors, life rings, ropes, and boat wheels all make great decorations.
Costumes can range from a ship’s captain to deck hands or sailor. Of course, a nautical theme can be as simple as dressing in blue and white with a pair of deck shoes.
18. The Country Music Party
Pick your favorite country music singer or put together a costume with country music in mind.
Cowboy boots, hats, denim jeans and skirts as well as plaid shirts, bandanas, and some country music are all you need to pull this adult-themed party off.
Decorations are easy, too, with horseshoes, stirrups, and bales of hay.
19. The Summer Camp Party
Most people have everything they need to create a summer camp costume. Some options include khaki shorts or pants, t-shirts, a brimmed hat, and hiking boots or sneakers.
Party decorations can include fishing poles, bottles of sunscreen, mosquito netting, canoe paddles, and even a fake fire pit.
S’mores would make a fun activity and nostalgic treat for adults!
20. The Hawaiian Luau Theme
A tropical theme centered on food and fun! Dress up in a grass skirt or Hawaiian print shirt with casual shorts. Footwear is typically open toe sandals or flip flops.
Of course, leis are always popular, and tiki torches help create that perfect atmosphere.
Decorations are simple with flowers, palm fronds, coconuts, and pineapples.
21. The Silly Circus Party
What could be more fun than a dress up circus party? You can choose from characters like a ring master, trapeze artist, clown, juggler, jester, or even one of the circus animals.
Decorate with colorful balloons, and make a circus “tent” from perfectly placed red and white streamers.
22. Star Trek “Trekkie” Party
Whether you choose to dress up as Captain Kirk, Spock, Lieutenant Uhura, or a Klingon, you’ll find this futuristic theme will be fun for everyone.
Decorate with a space theme by hanging black paper or plastic on the walls and adding some comets, planets, or a poster of the USS Enterprise.
23. The Terrifically Tropical Theme
Create a tropical island feel with palm trees, beach balls, coconuts, pineapples, and torches.
Costumes can be anything from swimwear and wraps to shirts or shorts with a flower print, sundresses, and other casual beach attire.
Linen slacks with a button front short-sleeve shirt and a fedora hat is a great option for men. Don’t forget accessories such as sunhats and sunglasses!
24. The Boho Chic Party
The Bohemian theme is perfect for those that are into embracing nature. An outdoor picnic setup and decorations from nature like flowers, twigs, plants, and vines all create the appropriate ambiance and set the tone for this cool party theme.
Costumes typically include natural fibers, soft tones, and comfortable styles. Flowing skirts and pants as well as flower crowns are all popular styles. Think Coachella… Think Indie rock band.
Put out some ottomans and throw pillows for casual lounging.
25. The Disney Villains Party
Anything Disney is a popular party theme, but throw in the villain twist and you’ve got the makings of a fun, adult dress up opportunity!
The nice thing about narrowing your theme down to villains is that there are so many unexpected characters to choose from. Consider Captain Hook, Ursula, the Queen of Hearts, Maleficent, or The Sheriff of Nottingham to name a few.
Each character will bring their own unique plot twist to your party!
26. The Tiki Bar Theme
Start with an impressive tiki bar and add tiki lamps for an authentic touch. Finger foods such as a pupu platter, fruit kabobs, or a combination of Hawaiian and Asian cuisine will keep your menu on-theme.
Costumes can include tropical shirts, flower print dresses, or casual beachside attire.
27. The Retro 1970’s Party
Dressing up in a 1970’s theme can range from typical tie dye t-shirts and bell bottom jeans to iconic figures like Richard Nixon.
Put together a playlist of 70’s music and serve fondu, quiche, and pigs in a blanket.
Decorating will be easy with plenty of peace and love signs, retro concert posters, lava lamps, shag rugs, and bean bags.
Don’t forget to clear an area for a dance floor!
28. The Greco-Roman Toga Party
This party theme is easy to put together and costumes don’t have to be elaborate to be fun.
A simple white bed sheet can easily be fitted into a toga with no sewing or alterations needed.
Just tie a cord around your waist and your costume is ready to go. If you want to go the extra mile, you can add a grapevine headpiece and a pair of sandals.
Decorate your party with inexpensive Greek-style columns using simple supplies like paper and a bit of ingenuity. Serve platters of cheese, grapes, nuts, olives, and various finger foods.
29. The Sporty Super Bowl Party
This theme doesn’t have to be modeled after a typical football party where fans gather to watch the game. A Super Bowl themed dress up party just means everyone wears their favorite jersey.
Costumes can range from fans to football players and cheerleaders.
Decorate with footballs, Super Bowl signs, and stadium cutouts. Serve traditional football fare such as BBQ, brats, and chips or choose a unique menu of your own.
30. The Sunny Safari Theme
Take a walk on the wild side with a safari theme! Amp up the jungle theme with lots of animal print, greenery and even sheer mosquito netting.
Trees, vines, and animal pictures can help set the stage. Dressing up is easy with animal costumes or safari gear, like khakis, brimmed hat, and binoculars.
31. The Star-Studded Hollywood Party
You can take this party theme in a number of directions. Make it a night at the movies, an Oscar celebration, or a film production in progress.
Some great costume ideas include dressing up as your favorite A-list actor, a movie producer, or makeup artist.
Add movie cameras, director’s chair, film reels, clapboard, and lots of gold and silver stars to set the theme for the party.
32. The Grand Royalty Theme
Everyone will love dressing up as royalty whether it’s a well-known king or queen or a more generic member of royalty.
Costumes can include elegant robes, crowns, and tiaras. Accessorize your costume with a sash, white gloves, costume jewelry, or a scepter.
You can even create a royal atmosphere with an assortment of chalices, thrones, elegant candelabras (or the fake ones from party supply stores), and plush drapes for the walls.
33. The Intergalactic Outer Space Party
Adults can dress up as an astronaut, alien, Captain Kirk, or one of their favorite space travelling characters.
Consider characters from Lost in Space, Star Trek, Star Wars, and more. Decorate with comets, spaceships, and stars.
34. The Science Fiction Theme
A futuristic sci-fi adult party theme leaves plenty of room for creativity. Guests can choose from alternate realities, artificial intelligence, future worlds, and superhuman capabilities.
The possibilities are almost endless.
Create a unique sci-fi costume or dress up as one of your favorite characters, such as Marty McFly, R2D2, Hal 9000, or Spock! I think it would be fun to put a robot costume together.
35. The Magic of Disney Party
Move over villains. Now it’s time for the fairy godmothers and Prince Charmings!
From Anna and Elsa to Nemo and Quasimodo, there’s sure to be a character that will appeal to every guest.
I especially love this idea for an adult couples party. Just think…Tinkerbell and Peter Pan, Mickey and Minnie Mouse, Aladdin and Jasmine…so fun!
36. The Political Party
Some people wouldn’t touch this one with a 10-ft pole, but others would have a blast!
Adults can dress up as any politician, past or present. From Abe Lincoln to George Washington, everyone has their favorite personality.
You’ll get lively conversation and lots of entertainment with this theme. Decorate with flags, donkeys, and elephants.
37. The Hogwarts and Harry Potter Theme
Magic takes center stage with this exciting party theme for adults. Costumes can be the classic Harry Potter, but other characters like Sirius Black, Amelia Bones, Vernon Dursley, and Luna Lovegood make excellent options as well.
Decorate with the Hogwarts school banner and this color themed balloon arch.
38. The Hippy Trippy Tie Dye Party
Tie dye shirts were popular throughout the 1960’s and 70’s, but they never actually lost their appeal.
Most adults remember owning tie dye shirts at one time or another, so this retro theme brings a touch of nostalgia.
Plus, this party theme offers a unique opportunity. Instead of everyone arrived dressed in tie dye gear, you can center the party around actually making tie dye shirts!
All you need are plain white tees, rubberbands, colored dyes, and plenty of gloves. It serves as a fun party activity and a take-home party favor!
39. The Ancient Egypt Party
It’s easy to create the perfect decorations that represent Ancient Egypt. Paint pyramids on poster board or light-colored cloth, then put up pictures of the sphynx, the Nile River, hieroglyphics, and other iconic Egyptian treasures.
Costume ideas include Pharaoh, Nefertiti, Cleopatra or even a mummy.
40. The Cartoon Characters Theme
Of all the adult dress-up party themes, this one can turn out to be a lot of fun! We all had a favorite cartoon character growing up. A dress up party is the perfect excuse to become a kid again!.
Costumes can run the gamut from Scooby-Doo, Bugs Bunny, Mickey Mouse, and Charlie Brown to Bart Simpson or Garfield.
Decorate with various cartoon character cut-outs and colorful party balloons.
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If you’re looking to throw an unforgettable shindig for your fellow adults, I hope these creative dress up themes help you plan the perfect party!
Did I miss your favorite costume theme? Let me know in the comments below.