Ah, pirates, those murdering, torturing, pillaging scamps. The golden age of piracy lasted only about 25 years in the Americas, but their legacy has been seared — and a bit defanged — into our collective cultural memory. Kids have long love to pretend to be pirates, and that’s never more true during Halloween, when neighborhood streets are filled with adorable, would-be maritime marauders. But which pirate should your child dress up as, and which one is the best? Here’s a look at some of the best pirate costumes for kids, as subjectively determined by our sense of originality and creativity.
Davey Jones Squid Mask (Pirates of the Caribbean)
Sure, you could dress your kid as Jack Sparrow from “Pirates of the Caribbean” — or you could kick it up a notch, and dress him as the squid-faced Davey Jones, instead. Add this mask to any standard pirate costume, and you’ve got one funny, creepy swashbuckler.
Haunted Pirate Costume
You want your daughter to grow up knowing she can succeed in anything she chooses, so why shouldn’t that include the male-dominated profession of piracy? And, besides, there were more than a few female swashbucklers (including arguably the most powerful pirate of all-time, Mrs. Cheng, who controlled a network of 50,000 pirates in Southeast Asia in the early 1800s). This costume is both badass and a little creepy, the perfect combination.
Pee-Wee Pirate Infant Costume
You could dress your littlest child as something sweet and cuddly, or you could dress them as an ocean-going scoundrel. We vote the latter, and suggest this adorable toddler-sized getup, complete with a skull-and-crossbones bandana. Adorable.
What’s scarier than a drunk man with a sword and a lengthy rap sheet? An undead one. This zombie pirate costume hits the mark.
Blackbeard Costume (Pirates of the Caribbean)
Blackbeard was a ruthless murderer and generally crazy person of a pirate. How crazy? He would twist slow-burning fuses into his hair and his braided beard, then light them as he went into battle, so that his head would be wreathed in smoke, and so his enemies might think he was the devil. Well, now your kid can dress up as the “Pirates of the Caribbean” version of the maniacal Blackbeard. The costume comes complete with the braided beard, but sadly not the slow-burning fuses. You’ll just have to make those at home (or, better yet, don’t, and just pretend).
Over-the-Top Blue Pirate Costume
Some pirates were fancier than others, and this one would have looked real good going into battle. He might have also had to fend off some of his comrades from stealing this snazzy overcoat, or this gold-fringed hat while he was sleeping.
Speaking of fancy pirates, there’s probably never been a fancier pirate (real or fictional) than Captain Hook. That rakish hat, the shimmering sash around his bright red coat — and now, your child can look like that ruthless, hook-fisted dandy.