Easy Saint's Costumes for Hallowe'en
Inspired by a question sent to the web site: "Do you have any ideas for "easy" saint costumes?" I have come up with a few suggestions, taken from our family's Hallowe'en experiences.
Saint's costumes are actually quite easy, especially if you choose a saint from a previous century. There was not much variety in the style of dress, and we have few accurate portrayals of these saints anyway. A 'generic' costume is easily individualized for a particular saint with the addition of the saint's symbol or something from their life. Saint Martha for example, could carry a wooden spoon to illustrate that she was a mother.
Priests or Brother Saints:
A white shirt worn backwards under a dark suit or even a black sweater and trousers is an easy priest's costume. Have the child carry the saint's symbol if possible, a book or staff or lily. A plain dark long bathrobe with a rope tied around the waist creates instant Saint Francis, Saint Thomas Aquinas (for a large kid or dad) , and a lot more.
Lay Male Saints
A 'Saint Joseph' could wear a rough pair of trousers and a work shirt and carry a saw. Juan Diego (visionary of Our Lady of Guadalupe) would wear the same trousers and shirt, with a poncho over his shoulders. Pin a picture of Our Lady of Guadalupe on the inside of the poncho!
Young Female Saints:
A brightly patterned gathered skirt, with a large shawl wrapped over the shoulders, crossed across the chest and tucked into the skirt, with hair pulled back into a bun - you've got all those little girl saints; Bernadette, Maria Goretti.
Older Female Saints:
Saint Elizabeth Seton wore a dark habit, so dress your young 'saint' in a dark housecoat with a white shirt and white gathered cap. A blue sheet or housecoat creates an easy Mary costume (see suggestions below) especially if you have a darker blue fabric for a head-dress. A long skirt of any pattern, with a plain blouse and shawl to cover the head easily creates a Saint Monica, or Saint Rita, or any of the medieval queens who became saints.
Early Christian Martyrs
How about taking that old ghost bedsheet costume (that we're not going to use any more, are we?) and turn it into a Roman women's dress? Cut out a hole for the head (a keyhole would look the best), and tie a long sash around the waist, leaving long drapy sleeves. Now you've got Saint Lucy, Saint Felicity, and etc.
With a different style of sash, and a shorter sheet, you could turn it into a Roman man's tunic and be Saint Germainicus, or another male martyr. Saint Sebastien would carry a handful of fake arrows, of course.