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Places Around Maastricht: Carnival Costume Edition

carnival costumesType of Place: Costume Shops
Location: Around Markt Square

In honor of the Carnival season, I thought this late-breaking costume edition was appropriate. As the actual event draws near several costume shops have popped up in the center of Maastricht; three of which I have visited and will touch on below.

Rode Neus

Located on Grote Gracht 48a, Rode Neus is a temporary costume shop taking up three whole store fronts and filled from tip to stern with all sorts of costumes organized by theme and color. In addition to some off the shelve halloween fashion wigs and scary props, they carry colorful furry coats, shiny ruffle shirts, and big plushy, one-piece animal suits. The popular “Ren Faire” garb is as available here in a variety of styles and price points; making many of the costume styles accessible to a range of people. The prop selection is nice, but if you can’t find what you need definately skip over to one of the other shops for a quick look. Rode Neus does not take PIN or credit card.

Carnival Shop in ‘t Panhuis

In ‘t Panhuis, located on the Markt Square near the McDonalds, is the only permanent carnival shop. It is a long, dark, and narrow space with has costume wigs, props, and add-ons (like wings and hats) to spice up your main costume. The rest of the year the shop carries sewing material and a range of Dutch gifts such as fake delft pottery, tulip bulbs, and clog-shaped slippers. Some of those regular wares are available this time of year too, so if you need some props or are sewing your own costume this is well worth a stop.

Carnaval Shop

Carnavalsshop ‘T Mooswief

‘T Mooswief is the temporary brother of in ‘t Panhuis located on Hoenderstraat 5-9 near the river.  The store is smaller than the Rode Neus, but makes up for its size with an excellent selection of fabrics in the back for those who wish to make their own costumes. This is one of the only times you can buy fabric in a store in the center of Maastricht; the rest of the time you must go to the Wednesday Open Market. The costumes in this shop are, unfortunately, rather disappointing; mostly remnicient of polyester Halloween fare. However, the wig selection is different from the other shops, so if you’re looking for just the right hair piece it can be worth the trip.

What Should I Wear

While colorful and foppish 18th century(ish) Dutch garb appears to be very popular, nearly anything goes for Carnival costumes. Unlike Halloween (which is the only other dress-up holiday I’ve celebrated), the costumes focus on fun, silly, weird, and crazy things, rather than frightening ones. Some of the best costumes; particularly the ones in the parade, are very creative and require a team of people to pull off. Many people wear masks or paint their faces as well. Check out this flickr stream for a little inspiration.

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