Ahoy there. You’re invited to our latest murder mystery party. The theme? Well, it’s pirates, of course. And, what a fun theme to dress up in full costume!
The world of pirates has fascinated us for decades. Way before even Pirates of the Caribbean, readers, and moviegoers enjoyed the romanticized world of swashbuckling pirates and buried treasure. Pirate costumes are some of the most vibrant and colorful costumes, which mirrors our 21st-century romantic views of the pirate world. In reality, the pirates and privateers of history were anything but colorful and closer to brutal, vicious, and greedy.
So, what costumes can you wear to a pirate-themed murder mystery party?
- Pirate Captain Costume
- Pirate Crew Member Costume
- Gypsy Fortune teller Costume
- 1800s Navy Officer Costume
Remember, before your plan out your pirate dress-up, research deeper into your character in your character booklet. The small details are important to truly become your murder mystery character. Does your character have an eyepatch, a wooden leg, or a talking bird? The more you know about your character, the better your costume and props will be! Stay true to your assigned character!
Jump aboard as we sail the seven seas to bring some great pirate-themed costume ideas for your murder mystery party.
The article explores several gender and gender-neutral costume ideas.
The golden age of piracy lasted between the middle of the 17th and early 18th centuries. The period had numerous infamous pirate captains that amassed more enormous fortunes, battled the most well-funded navies, and revealed their most terrifying personalities. Some of the most well-known captains include Blackbeard, Cheung Po Tsai, Sir Francis Drake, and Francois L’Ollonais.
DIY Costume recommendations: Black jacket, white shirt, red waist sash, black captains hat, cross belts, boots or “pirate boot covers,” black beard, black eye patch and fake hope earring, pistol, sword
Captain Cook Costumes
DIY Costume recommendations: Red velvet jacket is trimmed in black and gold, red waistcoat under a jacket, black pants, fake hook, belt, sash, boots, fake hope earing, pistol, sword
Captain Jack Sparrow Costume
DIY Costume recommendations: Brown trifold pirate hat, Jack sparrow wig, lace-up shirt, brown boots or “pirate boot covers,” black trousers,
Note that Blackbeard, Captain Cook, and Captain Jack Sparrow costumes are readily available for purchase or hire from costume stores and online.
Ideal for Murder Mystery Roles: pirate captain
Pirate Crew Costumes
There are many types of crewmen to play. The most high-ranking crew member after the captain is the quartermaster (first mate). Other pirate crew members include the sailing master (navigator), the gunner (in charge of the cannon and cannon supplies), the boatswain (head of maintenance), the deckhands, the cook, and the “Cabin Boy” (often served as the captain and other higher-ranking pirates). Consider some of our pirate costumes.
Other Options: black pants, white shirt, vest
Other Options: Ripped white shirt, ripped pants, vest, bandana, eye patch,
Ideal for Murder Mystery Roles: cabin boy, deckhands, pirate cook, first mate, pirate wannabe, gunner, etc.
Female Pirate Costumes
Who said pirating was man’s work? Some of the most formidable pirates and buccaneers were women! These factual and other mythical female historical figures should inspire you to holster your pistols and draw your pirate swords, including Cheng I Seo, Anne Bonny, Grace O’Malley, Rachel Wall, and Mary Read.
Female pirate costumes are readily available for purchase or hire from costume stores and online. However, by channeling some notorious female figures, we have put together some pirate outfit inspiration.
Option 1: Black/blue legging or jeans, corset or waistband, black shirt with tassels, pistol, bandana, pirate hat, gold chain, black or brown boots
Option 2: Off-the-shoulder blouse, long skirt, bangles, boots, bandana hat, pistol
Option 3: Off-the-shoulder blouse, corset, leggings or stockings, tutu or ruffled mini skirt, bandana, pistol, holster
Option 4: Stripped shirt, black pants or leggings, brown boots, bandana, hat
Additional accessories – All our female pirates are bad-ass, so we would always pair our outfits with holsters, pistols, and pirate sword
Female pirate costumes are readily available for purchase or hire from costume stores and online.
Ideal for Murder Mystery Roles: fortuneteller, female pirate, barmaid, land dweller
Gypsy Pirate Fortune-Teller Costume
Fortune-telling is a practice that exists across world cultures, religions, and times. Western images of fortune-telling originate from Renaissance magic, while other non-western cultures have incorporated the practice for thousands of years, such as Chinese divination. Today, the practice is widely popular in cultures worldwide and rooted in a division of the occult. Fortune-telling comes in many forms like tarot cards, spirit board reading, crystallomancy, astromancy, palmistry, and more.
Gypsy fortuneteller costumes are readily available for purchase or hire from costume stores and online.
DIY Costume recommendations: Ruffled color full underskirt, off the shoulder petticoat or blouse, scarf tie to wrap over the dress, bandana, embossed belt, boots
Optional accessories: fortune teller cards, crystal ball, gold bangles, lace or gold choker necklace, crystals jewelry, etc.
Ideal for Murder Mystery Roles: fortuneteller, female pirate, etc
1800’s Navy Officer Costume
The navies of England, Holland, and France saw considerable increases in size during the Age of Piracy. The navy ships were integral to a countries security and ensuring the investments of wealthy merchants. Many navy men served at sea and guarded essential ports on trade roots, resembling today’s customs officers.
1800’s Navy costumes or "British Red Coat" can be found in costume stores or online for purchase or hire. Other similar style costumes a Thomas Jefferson, Male 1800s aristocrat costume, or admiral costume.
DIY Costume recommendations: Blue or white trousers, white shirt with ruffles, blue admiral jacket with gold buttons and trims, gold necktie, blue captain’s hat, boots.
Optional accessories: vest, brown or white colonial wig
Ideal for Murder Mystery Roles: customs officer, navy officer, admiral, pirate-hunters, etc.
Host your own pirate-themed murder mystery
Host your own Real Life or Virtual Murder Mystery game night with a Pirate-themed murder mystery game. This theme is perfect for a night in with family, a dinner party game with friends, or a team-building exercise for colleagues. Our downloadable mystery game materials are accessible immediately after purchase, so you can easily plan to enjoy a night of laughs and mystery.
Be transported to the village tavern in Santa Tortuga, the Caribbean. The rambunctious crew of the pirate ship, The Bouncing Barnacle, have just docked, and the Tavern is rocking. Suddenly, Pop DeKegg, the tavern keeper, is found drowned with his head in a vat of rum, and you can be sure the treasure map in his hand has something to do with it!
Masters of Mystery’s game kits include:
- Host Guide
- Evidence Packs (Includes Treasure Map)
- Character Booklets
- Game Ballot
- Game Invitations
- Costume Suggestions
Other Must-Reads: What Are Murder Mystery Games?
Other Must-Reads: What is a virtual murder mystery game?