The Complete Guide to Buying a Men’s Costume

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The Complete Guide to Buying a Men’s Costume

Whether it is for Halloween, a fancy dress party, or just for the fun of it, dressing up is some of the most fun that can be had at any social gathering. Human beings have been dressing up in various guises for hundreds of years, and over that time costumes have evolved, becoming more sophisticated and diverse. This guide will focus specifically on men’s costumes.

The intention of this guide is to provide the reader with advice on the subject of buying men’s costumes, so that a well-informed choice can be made when looking to buy one. This guide will also cover why eBay, the online bidding platform, is such a great place from which to buy men’s costumes.

Costumes: A Background

A costume, in the context of this guide, is a sort of caricatured disguise. A costume consists of various items of clothing and accessories, worn together to create an overall impression. Costumes are not worn for everyday occasions and situations (owing to their extravagant nature), rather being worn only at agreed, prearranged times by groups of friends. Costumes will usually depict social and historical archetypes, such as a pirate captain, a nurse, or a knight.

However, it is not uncommon for costumes to represent specific characters from various popular cultural sources (film, literary, or television franchises, for instance). Many kinds of costumes are available; some little more than a few accessories, others consisting of completely enclosed full-body suits.


This section of the guide will provide a brief history of the tradition of costumes.

  • Arguably, the first people to wear costumes were theatre performers. Originally, these costumes would have consisted of little more than masks, which were used to clearly display emotions. However, they would have become steadily more complex. By the 16th Century, these costumes were becoming incredibly complex and flamboyant.
  • Costumes were also a part of festivals and celebrations in cultures all across the world, including religious, ceremonial, and traditional rites.
  • In the early 20th Century, the rise of capitalism caused costumes to begin to be much more diverse, and they transformed from traditional, cultural objects into outfits worn purely for fun.
  • With the evolution of popular culture, costumes became increasingly complex, diverse, and cheap (owing to the ever increasing efficiency of mass production techniques), and fancy dress parties soon became a widespread, culturally acceptable part of modern society.

What to Look for When Buying a Men’s Costume

There are three crucially important factors that ought to be considered by anyone seeking to buy a men’s costume; this section of the guide will look in close detail at each of these major considerations. They are as follows:

  • Theme/Character
  • Size
  • Condition/Price


Fancy dress costumes can be broadly categorised into two distinct fields. These are:

  • Themed costumes
  • Character costumes

Themed costumes are those that fit a certain theme, without being depictions of specific fictional characters. For instance, a generic pirate costume, or an unspecified cowboy costume would be a themed costume. Themed costumes are normally cheaper and easier to obtain, making them the more common choice for most fancy dress parties.

Character costumes depict specific characters from the world of popular culture. These are preferred amongst fans of certain series and franchises, allowing a more personalised appearance. However, they are usually more expensive and elaborate, as well as more difficult to obtain. This means that they are only usually a valid option for passionate fans.

Either way, the costume should adequately reflect the theme of the party or event, and appeal to the wearer’s personal tastes.


The size of a costume is often not as important as for regular clothing, but still definitely needs considering. Many men’s costumes will be of the ‘one size fits all’ variety, meaning they are made to fit an average adult male. However, this can be problematic for both larger and smaller individuals.

An item’s individual information page will, in the vast majority of cases, contain a reference chart explaining the particular manufacturer’s available sizes. If a different size of costume is needed, it is usually a good idea to contact the seller directly (see below for details of how to do this) with a query.


Buying a brand new costume is often not a viable option for a prospective buyer, owing to the fact that in a lot of cases costumes can be relatively expensive (due to the complex and varied procedures required to create them). This obstacle is easily overcome when using eBay, thanks to the many used products it also sells.

There is a directly proportional relationship between a product’s age or level of usage and its price; the longer a product is owned, the less valuable it becomes. When considering whether to buy new or used, it is a good idea to balance the need for functionality and newness against the cost of both new and used items, in order to determine which products can be afforded.

How to Buy a Men’s Costume on eBay

The world famous online auctioning forum eBay is a great place from which to buy men’s costumes. It sports a diverse and comprehensive range of different costumes, sourced from a large pool of sellers, as well as numerous design features which enables the buyer to navigate and operate the site with ease. This section of the guide will cover how to use eBay to shop for men’s costumes.

A good place to start is the eBay homepage. This page has a list of links to the main categories in its left margin; select the Fashion option from this list, which relocates the user to the page titled Clothing, Shoes & Accessories. Selecting the Costumes sub-heading, followed by Men’s Costumes, will take the user to the appropriate item listings. An easy alternative is to use the search bar found near the top of the page, by simply typing men’s costumes into it and clicking ‘search’ or pressing enter.

Once the item listings are displaying men’s costumes, the user can filter out unsuitable items using the various filtering options (found in the page’s left-hand margin). These options include theme, size, condition, price, and seller’s location. Clicking the ‘auction option displays only items upon which the user can bid; conversely ‘buy it now’ facilitates on-the-spot purchases for fixed prices.

Clicking on the image or name of an item will act as a link to that product’s individual page. This page contains information about the seller (such as ratings and user feedback, which allow users to survey and compare sellers), and precise and detailed product specifications and information. Further, the seller can be contacted directly from this page.

It is this simple yet elegant combination of a great choice of products for the buyer and an intuitive, welcoming user interface that enable eBay to be such a terrific means of buying men’s costumes online.


The tradition of dressing up has been part of our culture for hundreds of years, and remains to this day one of the most flamboyant and enjoyable party activities that human beings undertake. This guide set out with the intention of providing adequate information on the subject of men’s costumes that the reader might be able to buy the right one for them.

There are thousands of different costumes available for men on the market, to suit any preferences, ranging from dinosaurs to pirates. In conclusion, eBay is the perfect online location from which to shop for men’s costumes.

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