How to make an Arabian Nights costume
Every year the PTA at our elementary school hosts a fancy dress fundraiser. It's always held on the third weekend of October, so parents like to come in a costume that matches the party theme. This year's theme was 1001 Arabian nights, so we had a lot of Arab sheiks, sultans, genies, and belly dancers.
There's a huge variety of costumes for this theme available for sale. Most of the women's costumes are pretty skimpy, though; they're totally inappropriate for a school social event, even an adults-only one! And many of them require more of a $$ investment than I'm willing to make for just one night. I found it cheaper and more fun to put a costume together myself by purchasing individual costume items.
Here was my costume: belly dancing pants, a veil, a tank top, and a sash. I found the pants on eBay for just $6.50. The veil, also from eBay, was just $3.50 (not to mention free shipping!). The tank top and sash were just things I already owned. Behold, I was able to put together an awesome outfit for just $10!
Here are some suggestions for putting together an Arabian Nights or Aladdin-themed costume without spending too much money (or showing too much skin!):
Use what you have
Even though the auction is technically an adults-only event, I took The Pea as my date. I figured she's not exactly a child in looks or behavior, Alfie couldn't use his ticket (he was at a soccer tournament with the boys), and she would be home alone with nothing to eat. She wore a black dress and used 2 infinity scarves: one draped over her head, and one worn over one shoulder as a sash. She looked gorgeous! Other clothes you can wear: a tank top (so much more comfy and less revealing than a bikini top or crop top! If you have a sparkly one, so much the better!), harem pants, or yoga pants.
Make your own headdress
I love my friend Sheila's homemade headdress. She took an elastic band and sewed gold bangles all around, then attached a square of blue organza to the back.
Pile on the accessories
Wear lots of gold jewelry! Think beaded headpieces, gigantic dangling earrings, and chunky necklaces. Many parents chose to wear cocktail outfits with middle eastern-themed accessories instead of wearing a full-blown costume.
Think outside of the box
There are so many images associated with Aladdin and Arabian nights: palm trees, monkeys, flying carpets, magic lanterns. Your costume could be any one of these! Here's my friend Catherine in a camel costume. One other guy wore a dark t-shirt with felt moon and stars glued to it (he was literally the Arabian night).
A bit of creativity and patience is all it takes to put together an outfit that will rock the casbah! Have a magical time at your party!