Halloween isn’t the only opportunity for fathers and daughters to don costumes, but it is a relatively universal activity to enjoy when you daughter is young. You might also wear costumes for a school activity or to participate in a summer Renaissance faire or other historical reenactment during a vacation. Where you wear the costume often determines the type of costume you choose.
For Halloween, there are numerous costume options. You can purchase commercial costumes for both daughter and Dad -- or for just one -- to save time and fuss. Consider a pirate costume for Dad, while your daughter can be his pirate wench, or deck her out in beautiful feathers as his parrot. Alternatively, find a large box that she can wear -- and use it to build a pirate chest with necklaces and pirate "gold" spilling out of the top and down the sides. If your daughter is just a baby, she can wear a small Native American costume and ride in a papoose on her Native American father’s back, while an older daughter will look cute as a Native American princess.
For Halloween, a school event or a party, you can create a headless horseman costume for Dad, while your daughter can wear a horse costume -- or, you can reverse the costumes and your daughter can be the horseman. If your daughter is an infant, she can wear a "pumpkin head" costume and her headless horseman dad can carry her. Another idea is to dress Dad in a wizard costume with hat and wand so he looks like a Hogwarts’ instructor, while his daughter can wear a student’s costume with her favorite house insignia and have a stuffed familiar riding on her shoulder.
Some teachers invite the parents of preschool through elementary students to come to class in costumes that represent the family’s ethnic origin. If you recently emigrated, you can wear the actual ethnic costumes that you wore at local festivities. If not, your local library has books such as, “A Comprehensive Guide to the Folk Costume of the World” by Frances Kennett or “The Folkwear Book of Ethnic Clothing: Easy Ways to Sew and Embellish Fabulous Garments from Around the World” by Mary S. Parker, which show ethnic costumes from around the world. Local costume shops may offer some ethnic clothing options that you can rent for the occasion.
The local fabric store offers an abundance of patterns for historical costumes you can make. Biblical costumes are also popular. Churches with dramatic programs may have tunics and robes that Dad can borrow. One of Dad’s long, T-shirts can become your daughter’s tunic -- and all you have to add is a rope around the waist. She can wear a scarf as a head covering. You can also fashion Roman togas from sheets or lengths of cloth for both father and daughter, using gold chains or fabric braid to tie the garment in place. One end of the sheet goes over the shoulder and then wraps around the body and either tucks or pins into place. Sandals are appropriate footwear for biblical and Roman costumes.