Carnival costumes are an essential part of the whole carioca party, so here we tell you how to get your own! It all depends on what you want to do, either party on the streets or parade inside the Sambodromo It is your call!.
Costumes for the Street Carnival
Since 1870 costumes in Carnival have played a great role in the famous carioca annual party. It was the best way organizers found to take it up a notch and make a huge fuss around the celebration. Until 1930, costumes were pretty simple, people used old clothing that they dyed and decorated in a simple way, since building up a new costume would be really expensive in that time. However, it was in clubs and street parades that carnival bands started to dress uniformly.
Some costumes came to be most popular than others. The skull, the belly dancer, the doctor, the thief, any super hero, the devil, the prince, the showgirl, and the clown are some of the most chosen by Brazilians and expats.
Dressing up during Carnival is one of the best way to enjoy the party in its fullest. You get to be the character you choose and actively participate in the parade, engaging with others in costumes and taking the party to the next level. So you have to be smart when it comes to picking your outfit, it has to be fun and creative. Remember that you are now part of the show!
Babado Folia -Located at Rua da Alfandega, 365. It has a great variety of products from costumes, masks, wigs, feathers, sequins and fabrics in general. It is open from Monday to Friday, 9 am to 6 pm. Saturday from 9 am to 1 pm. (21) 2507-0598
Casa Turuna -Located at Rua Senhor dos Passos, 122/124. Offers bright fabrics, sequins, masks, hats, pearls, feathers and hair accesories. Open from Monday to Friday, 9 am to 6 pm. Saturday from 9 am to 1 30 pm. (21) 2509-3908
Silmer -With a wide variety of accesories and carnival costumes. Located on Rua da Alfandega, 171. It is open from Monday to Friday 9 am to 6 30 pm. Saturday from 9 am to 2 30 pm.(21) 2224-5104
Loja Rodrigão -The best for children costumes or for small people. Located at Rua Senhor dos Passos. (21) 2508-8230
Aidan -Costumes and party accessories. Located in Rua Senhor dos Passos, 193. (21) 2242-0353.
Big Saara -With incredible tiaras, wigs, crowns, helmets, masks, funny hats, glasses, necklaces that itch, bracelets that glow in the dark among other things. Located at Rua Senhor dos Passos, 107. It is open Monday to Friday from 8:30 am to 7 pm. Saturday 8:30 am to 3 pm. (21) 3045-3667
Maik Mik -With a wide variety of costumes. Located at Rua Regente Feijó, 110/ loja C. is open from Monday to Friday 9 am to 6 30 pm. Saturday from 9 am to 2 30 pm. (21) 2224-4833
Super Festas 153 -With Hawaiians accessories, tiaras, wings, hats, confetti weapons, masks, glasses, wigs and fun others. Located in Rua Senhor dos Passos, 153. The opening hours are Monday to Friday from 8:30 am to 7 pm1. Saturday 8:30 am to 3 pm. (21) 2215-0734
Costumes for the Sambodromo
The Samba Schools also have costumes, which are strictly related to the story told by the Samba music. They are coherent with the main subject and give a sense of total harmony as a whole. The Samba Schools divide their participants into different groups, each of them have a specific set of costumes and participants have to respect what has been chosen for them.
Costumes can either increase or lower the total score given by the judges. Let`s not forget that Samba Schools parades are in fact a competition, and costumes are a big part of that. Creativity is also tested here, the relevance that the main subject has, how it is presented, the quality of the materials used, as well as the little details.
Everything can be in jeopardy if something fails. The most important gowns in a Samba School are the Mestre de sala (samba hosts), the Porta Bandeira (flag bearers), and those positioned on the first rows.
Each costume is hand-made. You have to bear that in mind, to plan it ahead, and to really feel comfortable while walking in the Sambodromo. Each Samba School chooses the rhythm, the choreography, and the theme. It is highly recommended to get in touch with a Samba School if you want to be part of it, get the grasp from the beginning so as to mingle perfectly. It is also good to attend to some rehearsals which are open to public and are the real deal! What is more important, you need to learn how to dance Samba, and you need to get fit, since it takes around 1 hour 20` for each School to pass by.
Where to buy the costume
The best thing you can do is go directly to the Samba School and get the costume there. However there are many vendors that take orders online. You have to bear in mind that there is a deadline for booking a costume. It expires on Dec, 5th, but for online websites, it lasts until mid-January. For further questions, you can leave a message here.
Last minute costumes – In the Street Carnival as well as in the Sambodromo, there are always street vendors that will help your way with your outfit. Trust them!
Heat – You should avoid wearing heavy clothing since the heat is so strong that you could feel bad and uncomfortable.
Tip – You should wear light clothes and shoes. Sandals, hawaianas or high heels are not good choices. There are many broken glasses on the floor. Sometimes you are walking with thousands of people and you need to walk steady. Comfy shoes are a MUST!