Who wouldn’t want to be a goddess? And the Greek goddesses are classics. With surprisingly human characteristics to complement their beyond human abilities, they are iconic and beautiful. So, bring out your inner goddess with a Greek goddess costume!
Step 1: Pick your goddess. What good is a costume if you can’t pull off the character? Look into Greek mythology and find a character you identify with. Are you more like the sassy and smart Athena or the sexy and seductive Aphrodite? Try looking into lesser known figures as well. Ate, goddess of foolish acts, Ceto, goddess of sea monsters, or Mania, goddess of insanity, might just be your match!
Step 2: Get some fabric. Contrary to popular belief, sheets may not be the best fabric to use, but they will work if you want a shorter dress (or are short) and are in a hurry. But they’re not the most economic or practical way to make a goddess dress. Just buying some fabric on sale at a fabric store is actually cheaper! Find something that drapes well and isn’t stiff. Get enough fabric to go from your shoulders to the floor twice. Also, make sure that it is wide enough so that two pieces will cover your body.
Step 3 : Cut the fabric in half. While you’re at the store, ask to have the fabric cut in half, or do that yourself when you come home, using good fabric scissors.
Step 4 : Fix the hems. If you want to sew them, that’s great! But for the less experienced (like me), there are other options. You can ask for anti-unraveling liquids like Fray Check, which are just applied to the end of the fabric. You just let it dry and voilá! It won’t unravel and it dries clear. There are also things you can iron on to the hems. Just ask for the advice of someone at the fabric store; they will know best what will work with your fabric.
Step 5 : Gather at the shoulders. Hold it up at two corners of the length side at shoulder height. Center it. Start gathering the fabric in folds until both sides have reached a bit past your shoulders. Safety pin the gathered parts in place so that the fabric can rest on your shoulders. Do the same with the other piece. Finally, pin the pieces together so that you can put your head through the hole between the gathers.
Step 6: Fix the gathers. If possible, you should add a brooch to each shoulder where you gathered the fabric. These are usually big and round. You can also make these by using simple materials like cardboard and foil, paint, or wrapping paper, or you could get more creative! If you don’t want to add brooches, then just try to make the fabric you gathered look nice, or drape some more fabric over the shoulder areas to cover up the gathers. A thin and gauzy fabric can be really pretty.
Step 7: Belt it together. With the dress over your head, just put a belt on! It should fit in with the costume and with Greek style – or at least not be completely out of place. You can also use some ribbon or decorative rope (both are found at the fabric store). Gold works very well. Take the ribbon or rope and make a crisscross pattern from your waist up to under your bust.
Step 8: Optional: other clothes. You might want to consider wearing a tanktop and some shorts or a slip under your dress, depending on how it fits you. Just try it on and see if anything is visible that you want to hide. Pick something close to either your skin color or the fabric you are using.
Step 9 : Find a prop. Every goddess has certain symbols that are associated with them. Try to incorporate this into your costume. For example, the peacock was sacred to Hera, so maybe you could stick a peacock feather in your hair. Dike, the goddess of justice, carried scales. You don’t have to stick to what tradition says – my money’s on that Bia, the goddess of violence, didn’t leave home without a knife!
Step 10 : Make it your own. Add a twist to the basic costume. Shorten the skirt length, or make it one-shouldered. Small touches make all the difference when it comes to costumes. Add accents. Strappy sandals, earrings, bangles… Not to mention hair and makeup! If you used some ribbon or rope as your belt, try putting some in your hair as well. Have fun – after all, you’re a goddess!