What to wear underneath?

Wearing the right accessories is key to any costume,  It is important to use your natural shape as an integral part of the costume.  You want to avoid looking like someone wearing a costume  - the whole outfit costume plus person must appear as an integral object - ideally it should be a piece of living or animated scultpture.

For this reason leotards of the correct colour and texture are a must. We Love Colors  www.welovecolors.com/  is a supplier of any colour, texture or design you might need.  I particulary like their men's performance tights - which will fit many sizes.  They are made of thick and durable spandex - so they have good coverage and don't look like women's pantyhose.   To illustrate the point, the picture shows the same costume with tights and with jeans.  I think it is very clear which looks best?

Latterly, I have found that the whole body suits sold by companies such as Morphsuits (http://www.morphsuits-canada.com)  are a supeior option  - they include leg and full arm coverage and work out at about 50% of the cost of separate leotards and tights.  Colour range is somewhat limited - so if very specific colours are needed "We Love Colors" is still the best option

Tights have one or two negative aspects  - first there is a male phobia associated with them and you do get lots of comments - positive from women - negative from men.  I find it is best to ignore them.  In a practical sense they can be cold in winter parades - but if you have oversized spandex tights, you can usually get two or three layers of long-johns underneath.  I have worn my snowball costume at minus 10 C and survived  by keeping moving. Equally, they can be hot and sticky on hot days in summer.

What to wear on top - and below?

Hats and headgear.

Brightly coloured wigs and plastic noses are always fun to add.The "hat" for the snowball costume is made of two or three layers of quilt batting hot-melt glued to a toque.

Matching shoes are not a problem if you have an old pair.  You can  just paint them suitably with ordinary latex paint. 

Old Nike runners painted with ordinary latex house paint.