macuahuitl aztec sword

Aztec Costumes for Cosplay

The Aztecs were a society who lived mostly in central Mexico between the 14th and 16th centuries. Their primary language was Nahuatl. Since their climate was a tropical one they tended to be conservative with their clothing. The exceptions were the slaves, commoners and nobles. They had to sew their own clothes because they couldn’t afford the fancy materials that the royals could.

If you’re looking to getting in touch with your Azteca side, whether in a parade or as a larper, you’re in luck. You’re also lucky that Aztec costumes are fairly simple but colorful. A basic warriors’ costume is orange shorts, with a red belt and Aztec patterns. It also involves some accessories such as a head dress, boot cuffs, arm bands and a necklace. Since we don’t makes sandals out of leather or plant fibers much these days, flat flip-flops are generally acceptable substitutes.

A basic Aztec princess costume is slightly more high maintenance. It consists of a red blouse with a blue skirt, necklace-like armbands and a cape. Don’t forget the corset and high heels. As with many cultures of the time, ancient Mexican Aztecs considered their royalty the highest status.



The commoners had the simplest costumes of mostly white dresses or loincloths and no other accessories or cosmetics. The men kept their hair short. Married women sported a horn-style hair and wore a simple loose white shirt and skirt with a red and hem. Tween girls wore their hair loose with, first, a loose burlap shirt and skirt. Then a simple loose white shirt and skirt. At 13, the red hem was added onto the skirt.


The noblewomen dressed a step above the commoners. They wore loose clothing similar to the commoners only more colorful in the forms of multicolors or Aztec patterns. They also wore their hair up in buns.


Some Day of the Dead performers in Mexico City like to wear a lot of feathers. Others prefer to wear to a multi-color feathered headdress or tie a scarf around their heads. A good number of parade dancers seem to prefer long brightly colored arm bands and Aztec-patterned tunics or dresses.


Princess Mia’s costume is mostly gold and green with a multicolored feathered headdress. Her arm, waist and ankle bands have green tropical leaves sticking out of them. Her single loincloth is light green with gold embroidery and a lion’s head belt buckle. The feathers in her headdress are mostly red, blue and black. She often carries a scepter with a gold sun design and four large black obsidian points. In real life, Aztecs tended to use obsidian for warfare and hunting. As a result, it wasn’t uncommon for them to stick obsidian pieces all around on a Macahuitl or their wooden hand-held swords.


Traditional Aztec high priests wore xicollis. It typically had a waistcoat or sleeveless jackets with various openings for accessories. The ones who performed sacrifices often dressed up as the tribe’s gods. Some novices wore a simple black cape with a red hem, a white loincloth, their hair braided back. Whether they performed sacrifices, they led very strict lives of prayer and fasting.


Even the goddesses typically wore simple dresses with Aztec patterns, colorful wrist bangles and royal-like headdresses.