Disclaimer: I am aware that the Dia de los Muertos is not just a holiday just confined to Mexico or celebrated by Latinos who aren’t just of Mexican heritage. But I have to remind viewers that this isn’t a post to give you ideas to do a Halloween costume (unless Dia de los Muertos is part of your culture and you want to save money). Dia de los Muertos is not Mexican Halloween and unless your culture celebrates the holiday, then you shouldn’t wear these costumes whether on Halloween or on any occasion. Dia de los Muertos is a time for Mexicans and people from some parts of Latin America to remember their ancestors. I understand that cultural appropriation is an American tradition and not a very good one. If your culture doesn’t celebrate Dia de los Muertos, then walking around in a Day of the Dead inspired costume for Halloween because you thought the art was cute is offensive, ignorant, disrespectful, and complicit in erasing a rich culture and identity. Painting your face with sugar skull decoration is not being cultural, it’s stupid. There’s a meaning behind sugar skulls and just because you do it doesn’t mean you understand the significance of this symbol. So please, don’t do it.
Special Disclaimer: I understand that some of these costumes may be culturally appropriated which is offensive. But since Pinterest unintentionally encourages this and I know they tend to be promoted as Halloween costumes, cultural appropriation might not be avoidable. Yet since I’m aware that blond and redheaded Hispanics do exist and that they can be of any race, distinguishing between which costumes are culturally appropriate and which are not is difficult. And you can’t always tell with a photograph. Yet, I will try my best not to be disrespectful to viewers who celebrate this holiday that they view so central to their cultural identity. And I intend not to promote them as Halloween costumes for this post. Nor do I encourage people do dress in these costumes despite having no connection to the holiday whatsoever. Just because I may show a costume post on Dia de los Muertos doesn’t mean I think these are perfectly fine for just anyone.
Aside from setting altars and visit cemeteries to honor and celebrate their dead ancestors and loved ones, it’s not unusual for those who observe Dia de los Muertos also don costumes as well as parade and dance in the streets. Yet, this tradition may not always be practiced in some places in Mexico or Latin America. But there are some areas that do. Many tend to don the calavera makeup and dress in fancy clothes in order to mock death or celebrate their deceased loved ones. For most Mexicans and other Latin Americans who celebrate the holiday, there is nothing scary about dressing up as the elegant “La Catrina” and other figures of death the holiday celebrates. Some may even wear skull shaped masks to scare the dead away. After all, death in Mexico is just part of the natural cycle of life, not something to be feared. So for your reading pleasure, I give you a treasure trove of richly elaborate Dia de los Muertos costumes for you to enjoy. And if your culture doesn’t celebrate the Day of the Dead, these are just for your eyes only.
- The makeup scheme must always match the flowers.
Well, she has a pink skull face with beautiful flowers in her hair. The clothes aren’t too shabby either.
2. This woman honors her dead great-grandmother by wearing her clothes.
Yes, I know she looks what you might see in a horror movie. But she’s not meant to be scary. Just honoring her deceased loved ones.
3. Thought you’d never see a dead lady in red before.
If it wasn’t for the face paint, I would’ve sworn she seemed like one of those Mexican women from the Old West movies. Love the dress.
4. These men celebrate Dia de los Muertos in their fancy hats.
Now this is a great way to mock death along with the Mexican elite who used to starve 90% of the country’s population in the early 20th century. The hats and suits are spot on. Then again, maybe that’s another case of cultural appropriation on multiple levels.
5. Don’t forget to don the skulls and feathers.
You might see that a lot of Dia de los Muertos costumes do contain feathers and skulls on them. Then again, it’s to be expected.
6. Sometimes a small touch up is all you need.
Seems like she has a pink shawl to match the flowers. Surely looks stunning.
7. This skull face woman is draped with curls.
She’s even wearing a white embroidered dress. Love the intricate makeup job.
8. To look at her is to see a window into your own mortality.
I understand that skeletons aren’t supposed to be scary on Dia de los Muertos. But this costume is so good that it doesn’t help matters.
9. White hair is always chic on a dead woman.
I’m sure the white hair is a wig in this. But kind of reminds us that you grow old and then you die.
10. A spiderweb on your forehead goes great with flowers.
Notice how she has dark circles under her eyes. Oh, wait, that’s makeup, not sleep deprivation.
11. No Day of the Dead costume could be complete without an embroidered flower skirt.
Well, if it’s DIY, then she must’ve spent a long time doing this costume. Love the rich flowery detail.
12. Hoop earrings and roses create a neat traditional look.
This woman has roses in her hair as well as an intricate skull makeup scheme. Absolutely stunning.
13. Sometimes it’s best to stick with the basics.
Well, she didn’t really do too much as far as makeup goes. Yet, the lipstick provides a nice contrast.
14. It helps if you top off your look with a colorful sombrero.
Like how she used shiny face paint for her mask as we.. Love the rose design.
15. On Dia de los Muertos, a bride always has her diamond rosary.
Well, she has a nice white dress with her skull makeup as well as matching flowers in her hair. Love it.
16. Dia de los Muertos is a holiday that’s been celebrated for generations.
Here we have 3 generations of a family in their skull face makeup and flowers. Two of them carry parasols in hand.
17. This dead looking girl is all dressed up with no place to go.
She’s also wearing a black lace veil with a white lace dress. Nevertheless, really like the flowers.
18. This man seems to have the look of death upon him.
You can even see all his teeth. Yet, this guy seems to have a rather scary touch up.
19. This little girl dances in her flowery dress.
Helps she’s wearing a ribbon to match her dress. Love the flowers on it, too.
20. Sometimes death can bring a dour look upon you.
Well, she has a rather rich costume with fancy black lace and all. The rose on her face seems like it’s losing petals though.
21. Perhaps a red veil can go best with the flowers.
Helps she has a string of pearls to complete the outfit. Love the makeup, too.
22. Even a skeleton needs a fine pair of gloves at times.
Well, I said they dress up to mock death and the old Mexican elite. Love the flowery black veil.
23. Don’t forget to set up an altar for your loved ones on the Day of the Dead.
Well, at least there’s not a lot of cultural appropriation going on here. At least the picture gets the tradition right and has some inscriptions in Spanish.
24. You may see some revelers in Mexico during the Day of the Dead.
Here we have a La Catrina and a mariachi. Both seem a bit dead on the outside but are actually quite lively.
25. Skeleton makeup isn’t always confined to the face.
She even has a cross on her skull makeup. Love the roses in her hair.
26. This little senorita is all dressed to kill.
She even has a cute little fur stole and necklaces. I think this is so adorable.
27. Sometimes the skull eyes could be lined with jewels.
Of course, I’m not sure her skin is that white, given how they add photo effects. But this is stunning.
28. Man, does she really have her heart on display.
Funny how it’s not encased in her skeleton which is normally the case. Love the flowers though.
29. This man celebrates Dia de los Muertos like he’s on of the Three Amigos.
I’m sure this guy is white and is wearing the makeup. But even I have to admire the intricate costume details.
30. This couple are dressed like they’re together in death.
Well, they’re surely dressed nice. And I do like the flowers. But I sure hope they’re not wearing these outfits for a Halloween party.
31. This woman’s Dia de los Muertos costume is truly revolutionary.
Since she’s dressed up as a Mexican revolutionary that got fed up with the elite back in the early 20th century. Hope those bullets aren’t real.
32. Sometimes a simple white veil is all you need.
Well, she does have an intricate makeup scheme on her face despite how it makes her look like the Joker. Okay, that might be pretty insulting. Sorry about that.
33. It helps if you top your costume with a fancy hat.
It’s especially true if the hat has marigolds in it since they’re a critical flower for Day of the Dead. Also, calla lilies also symbolize death.
34. Flowers can go almost anywhere on your costume.
She seems to have roses around her dress and in her hair. By the way, this was taken by a Hispanic photographer.
35. Who said a La Catrina can’t have purple hair?
Well, she does have a Joker like face makeup. But you have to love the flowers and the large rings.
36. At Dia de los Muertos weddings, it’s till death do they part.
Too bad they only had the bride, groom, and a bridesmaid in this photo. Would’ve loved to see the rest of the party.
37. Sometimes a plain, simple dress will always do fine.
This woman just wears a traditional Mexican outfit. Just a white top and green skirt.
38. Always have a skull mask and rose bouquet in hand.
She certainly has her outfit match her face and hair. Love the flowers.
39. Sometimes a dress in bright colors is all you need.
Yes, you might think she looks like Frida Kahlo from the costume. But that doesn’t mean she’s supposed to be dressed as her.
40. May you allow this gentleman to tip his hat?
At least this guy chose to wear a mask. At any rate, I do like his hat with a skull decoration.
41. “Well, that certainly didn’t seem dead funny to me.”
She has a nice made up face with blue around the eyes and a spiderweb. Love the roses in her hair.
42. The skull face can occasionally really show up in the dark.
This one has black skull eyes and roses in her hair. But you can see her almost blend into the background.
43. Here comes a skeleton bride with her veil over a crown of thorns.
Well, I have to admit how stunning this in in black and white. Love the keyhole heart on her chest as well.
44. This woman stands proud in her skull makeup and flowers.
The flowers in her hair seem to match the makeup on her face. Though her lips are in a zipper fashion.
45. This skeletal woman has absolutely nothing to hide.
Well, she’s dressed in a skeletal outfit. But she has the skull face, flowers, and veil for Dia de los Muertos.
46. Couples always dress their finest in their skull and flower finery.
Well, I think this might be from a Dia de los Muertos in California. Yet, both wear the same kinds of flowers and other decoration.
47. This photo surely shows that love is stronger than death.
While he has a tux, she has a rose bouquet and a longhorn necklace. Any guess they might be from the Southwest?
48. She knows where it’s at with red and black.
She even has the bony fingers to show it. Yet, she wears roses to go with her red corset.
49. Sometimes it helps if you have a showy flower headdress.
It also helps if you wear a dress of black lace since it gives a distinctive look. Still, she does seem stunning.
50. It’s not just hombres who don the sombreros.
This woman wears a sombrero that matches her outfit and makeup. And she has it buttoned to show some of her ribs.
51. With light colors come light flowers.
Though she wears a dress without sleeves, she seems to have a poofier skirt. Yet, the flowers match perfectly.
52. This little girl is dressed like she just woke from her grave.
For the record, there are Dia de los Muertos celebrations devoted to children and adult souls on separate days. Still love the flowers and lace.
53. This little girl comes all dressed in black.
She even has a bouquet of black flowers in her hands. Yet, the flowers she wears on her head are colorful.
54. Hope her sombrero isn’t too wide for your taste.
Well, it’s a nice touch to her costume. Let’s hope she’s not wearing it for a Halloween party. Because that would be bad.
55. If looks could kill, then this man has racked a high body count.
Yes, he surely seems like a debonair skeleton who might actually be a supervillan. Yet, I can’t really tell from here.
56. When in doubt, you might want to decorate your face with sequins.
Well, that’s a little flashy for my taste. Not sure what I think about that. Might be from a Dia de los Muertos in Vegas.
57. Sometimes a mujer has to have dress to show off her top vertabrae.
This one at least has a marigold print trim on black. She even has a necklace to resemble marigolds.
58. Dia de los Muertos is a time to visit the dead where they lay.
Well, at least she’s in a cemetery, perhaps to honor her dead relatives. Yet, I do like her multicolored serape.
59. Here comes a skeletal bride with a large skirt.
She even has a white parasol to go with it. Might want to clear a path for her.
60. Let’s hope the love never dies for these two.
This bride is surprisingly tame compared to the previous one. But she’s still dressed in white lace.
61. Best to have flowers in your hair of all different colors.
And she’s sure lined her face wit quite a few of them. Still, I really like this one.
62. On Dia de los Muertos, the dead come up to party.
Don’t look now. But the guy almost seems to be close to a “stinkin’ badges” stereotype. Well, as far as I’m concerned.
63. This la Catrina is expecting you.
This is fairly close to a traditional Catrina which was a figure of Mexican satire on the upper class. And yes, she dressed like the Dowager Countess from Downton Abbey.
64. This man seems to have his heart turned to stone.
So does this mean he’s not a guy you should associate with? Because his expression doesn’t reveal that he’s that kind of guy at all.
65. Hey, look, a little mariachi boy.
He even has his own little guitar as a prop. So adorable.
66. This woman in black now takes the mic.
This one has a black dress with a rose in her hair. The mic is just a vintage touch akin to Walk the Line.
67. What’s bright about her costume are the marigolds in her hair.
Seems like she’s wearing a shawl over her head. By the Mexican marigold was used as a medicinal plant and incense by the Aztecs.
68. With your Day of the Dead costume, use all the flowers you want.
This woman has hers on her hair, neck, and dress. And she’s all dressed in leather.
69. This couple seems all flowered up.
Guy seems dressed with a powder blue tuxedo top and a string of flowers across. Woman only took to black and roses.
70. As far a I can tell, she has the look of a goddess.
Well, an Aztec goddess if you get my drift. Of course, some might find worth sacrificing for.
71. Someone seems unusually pale these days.
Yet, she decked with so many beautiful flowers that add color to her outfit. Quite stunning if you ask me.
72. A lady must always have a taste in elegance.
My, does she have a huge hat. But at least it can give her plenty of shade.
73. This Catrina has so many flowers in all her finery.
She has flowers all over her outfit as well as inside her large black hat. And she even fans herself, too.
74. This La Catrina has just woke up from the wrong side of the grave.
I have to admit, I really like that purple dress. Also, how this actually resembles a skeleton.
75. Anyone can look stunning in a lighter shade of red.
Sure she may wear a corset with flowers. But you have to concede that she does strike a pose.
76. Of course, you could always wear a mask.
She’s even dressed in traditional Victorian attire, too. Love the purple on this.
77. My, does she have flowery eyes.
Well, her eyes are laced with gold petals. Yet, she has red flowers in her hair and an embroidered dress.
78. This little girl only has two roses in hand.
Yet, she wears some in her head to brighten up her black outfit. So adorable.
79. Seems she’s a little red around the eyes.
However, that’s just the magic of makeup. Yet, I do love the roses in her hair.
80. Sometimes death can come out behind you when you’re not looking.
She’s even wearing a colorful shirt to go with the flowers on her hair. Love the eye makeup on this.
81. How about 3 red roses in your hair?
Man, she seems to have a lot of paint on her and not just her face. Love the roses.
82. My, what a lovely hat she wore.
Well, it’s not a large hat but it’s a fancy one nonetheless. Goes nice with her black lace dress.
83. Of course, she only shows some of her ribs.
Well, she’s painted ribs on her chest. Still, like the lace jacket and flowers.
84. How about a sombrero lined with gold?
Wonder if she’s worried that she’ll mess her hair if she dons the sombrero. Yet, I do think it’s finely embroidered.
85. Not sure about her, but she seems a bit bony if you ask me.
Well, she has a lot of skeleton makeup on her. Yet she has a black dress on to, if you look closer.
86. Seems like she’s had to tie up to hold herself together.
She seems to have to keep her organs contained for the moment. Yet, you have to admire her red dress.
87. Seems like someone likes to wear the flag of Mexico.
Well, the woman at least does as well as dons a turquoise shawl. The man dresses like one of the Three Amigos.
88. I suppose she might impress the proper set.
Reminds me of a Dia de los Muertos character Tim Burton would create. This especially since I think Helen Bonham Carter wore a similar outfit in Sweeny Todd.
89. A rose headdress surely makes an impression.
Well, the roses are certainly stunning. But the make up seems somewhat terrifying.
90. How about roses on your hat?
Well, she doesn’t dress too badly here. Still, I think the hat goes well with her Victorian dress.
91. Unfortunately, these well dressed women seem to be all bone.
Though the two of them seem quite lively with each other. Love their hats.
92. My, she has a very colorful Chiapas dress.
Well, it’s in white unlike some of the others I featured. But the embroidery really stands out.
93. When you’re in a big dress, you’ll need a big flower.
She even has a big parasol with her, too. Still, the rose really catches your eye.
94. Perhaps you can go to a lighter shade of blue on some occasions.
Well, these women have made up their faces to match their outfits. At least to some extent, especially the one in the middle.
95. Hope she’s not laced too tightly in that corset.
Well, she seems covered in flowers and has her hair all nice. But sexy Halloween costume, it is definitely not.
96. Sometimes you’ll just need a bowtie to snazz it up.
Seems to look more like a little Jack Skellington with hair and brighter clothes. Still, this is cute.
97. Who says you can’t have Lego people join in the celebration?
Well, Lego people must exist in Mexico. Seriously, they just got to.
98. This man always dresses to kill for the Dia de los Muertos procession.
Yes, he stands proud in his Mexican outfit that probably serves no practical use to him besides special occasions. Love the black.
99. Make sure your face paint matches your outfit.
Well, she certainly has the roses and black lace nailed. Love it.
100. Now he’s reduced to a walking, talking skeleton.
Well, at least he’s wearing the cape. But it still doesn’t protect him from exposing his bones.