Someone who, in normal settings, dresses like this:

enter image description here

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(Without falling in the category of a transsexual or a cross-dresser.)

Example sentence:

S/he wears _______ clothes and costumes all the time. Maybe s/he is a _______.


Mad Hatter, Japanese Goth

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    The child in the picture is obviously on his or her way to a fancy-dress party, costumed as Johnny Depp as the mad hatter in Alice in Wonderland. image.blingee.com/images17/content/output/000/000/000/6bd/… I doubt that anyone dresses this extravagantly in real life! – Shoe May 22 '15 at 11:57
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    I would say you need to describe how the person dressed, if indeed that person dresses up as if he were in a costume party, or instead if he dressed quirkily. Exactly what does this person wear that makes him extravagant, which is a perfectly fine adjective to use, what distinguishes him from the crowds, and makes him a dedicated follower of fashion. This is, in reality, a writing advice question masked as a SWR. – Mari-Lou A May 22 '15 at 12:20
  • Are you asking about someone who dresses like a clown, a famous movie character, or a fictitious character? Or are you asking how to describe someone who wears oddly matched clothes in loud/unflattering colours? If I saw a person dressed similarly in the street, I'd think he was either a complete nutter or going to fancy dress party. – Mari-Lou A May 22 '15 at 16:13
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    @janochen your additional photo added '5 hours' after your original question was posted, now makes this an almost entirely different question. Some of the current top answer (@Chenmunka 11 up-votes) is now incorrect as is most of mine. – Christopher May 22 '15 at 16:32
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    The two photos are TOTALLY DIFFERENT, the only similarity is they are both human beings. the second photo is just utterly normal Harajuku street wear (ultimately just a reflection of ordinary 1980 punk youtube.com/watch?v=1Tko1G6XRiQ ). In contrast anyone who, as you said, literally wears photo1 ("child's fancy dress") in normal circumstances is profoundly bizarre and unusual .. way beyond merely iconoclastic. – Fattie May 22 '15 at 16:59

12 Answers 12


I would use Flamboyant. A person with a showy style.

The word doesn't just apply to clothing but to any extravagant style of behaviour.

As others have said, in times gone by the words fop and dandy would have been common. However, they would nowadays be taken to referring to the Regency period.

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  • It the idea that -- bizarrely -- the person is wearing a fancy-dress outfit as normal street clothes. That goes beyond flamboyant or iconoclastic. – Fattie May 22 '15 at 13:57
  • Nothing will get that idea more sharply and cleanly than simply "eccentric dresser" – user56reinstatemonica8 May 22 '15 at 15:30
  • I'd go with flamboyant (2nd pic), until it crosses over into cosplay (1st pic). – Mazura May 22 '15 at 22:43

Ostentatious or showy for negative connotations.

(disapproving) expensive or noticeable in a way that is intended to impress people

Resplendent for positive.

Attractive and impressive through being richly colourful or sumptuous:

Extravagant for somewhat neutral

Exceeding what is reasonable or appropriate; excessive or elaborate:

Take your pick.


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  • These don't capture the idea that -- bizarrely - the person is wearing a fancy-dress outfit as normal street clothes. – Fattie May 22 '15 at 13:57

masquerade dress/costume:

noun used to emphasise the wearing of clothing to appear in the likeness of another character or object

outlandish: adjective

  1. Looking or sounding bizarre or unfamiliar

  2. (archaic) Foreign or alien

[Source: Oxford Dictionaries]

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I might also add Bohemian


  1. of, relating to, or characteristic of Bohemia, its people, or their language
  2. unconventional in appearance, behaviour, etc

"He was somewhat bohemian in appearance..."

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Please note Jano, the two photos you present

are utterly different

I normally love your questions but I'm afraid this one does not work!

I noticed this incredibly intelligent comment above, I'll paste it in here:

"The two photos are TOTALLY DIFFERENT, the only similarity is they are both human beings. The second photo is just utterly normal, everyday, Harajuku street wear (ultimately just a reflection of ordinary 1980 punk youtube.com/watch?v=1Tko1G6XRiQ ). (The particular photo is rather out of date, so, circa 2010 not 2015, but that's a detail.) You can easily find, trivially, 10 to 20 million people who dress like this as normal every day wear in many countries presently. It's just ordinary "Harujuku style". It's as uninteresting as saying "preppy" or "80s" or whatever, you know: a completely developed and finalized everyday fashion style. In contrast anyone who, as you said, literally wears photo1 ("child's fancy dress") in normal circumstances is profoundly bizarre and unusual ... way beyond merely iconoclastic!"

Jano - is there a chance that Photo1 is, quite simply, not actually representative of what you genuinely meant, on further consideration? If so click edit and remove it.

It's almost unbelievable that nobody has pointed out


SO, this person (may) be a "cosplayer".

If the person truly dresses literally as in your photo (in normal settings .. lunch, work, coffee shops etc) I'd really go with "Eccentric" as Christopher said.

The person in the particular photo is not, I would say,


(another word you may be looking for, Jano). Dressing like the mad hatter is just .. silly, eccentric, "truly quirky". Iconoclastic is, well, check a dictionary, but it's different from that. For example, I often show up in my pyjamas to shake up a board meeting - that's precisely iconoclastic; casual to a wedding or a tux to a rock concert is "iconoclastic". This is something else, you would have to describe it as "conceptually iconoclastic", or some such!

The word paradigm would possibly come in to play. "This person lives and dresses by a whole other paradigm."

Going back to "cosplay", it is very specific - the person either is or is not a cosplayer (I guess this would be determined epistemologically by "asking them").

That style is not, really am cosplay theme (which leans more to anime or furries).

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    Your answer was fine as it was. The Japanese teenager could be a character from manga, for all we know. Please, rollback. Keep your opinions about whether a question is good or poor in the comment section. (btw I upvoted this answer b/c I have never heard of cosplay before. Of course, I had to look it up... portmanteau of the words costume play, but I think it's a very good answer.) – Mari-Lou A May 22 '15 at 17:00
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    Hi Mari. Uhh .. I know. :) I can absolutely assure you the second photo is utterly conventional street clothing style -- "everyday clothes". BUT the first photo is something altogether different. Actually I've been inspired by it. To wear kid's fancy-dress outfits, as normal clothes, would be ............ unbelievable, a new thing. (BY ALL MEANS .. Jano may have just pulled a bad photo. Jano may, very simply and trivially, be looking for "cosplay" or "Harujuku style".) – Fattie May 22 '15 at 17:03
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    I'm leaving now, but don't you see how both of you have interpreted the one photo in two different ways? – Mari-Lou A May 22 '15 at 17:10
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    @Mari-LouA Yes we have, 'kind of', but the OP's second photo completely changed the question. As a consequence of this the answers need to be changed, as they are no longer relevant – Christopher May 22 '15 at 17:44
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    Kudos for pointing out the difference and noting that the first picture is of a cosplayer. – Mazura May 22 '15 at 22:50

As pointed out by @Mari-lou A and @Shoe the first photo is of a 'Mad Hatter' and therefore is fancy dress costume. The second photo is of a young woman whose attire is no different to many other young women. The only words which connect how they are attired are clothed or dressed.

On the basis that someone would normally wear fancy dress in everyday life such as in the first photo then you could then describe them as a fop, dandy or just plain eccentric.

As noted by Joe Blow, Staying with the period, you could call a person a Beau Brummell; a noun taken from George Bryan Brummell 1778–1840, an Englishman who set the fashion in men's clothes. Another definition is an extremely or excessively well-dressed man. refers to a more recent era. However the definition 'extremely or excessively well-dressed man' could still be applicable.

The gentlemen in-question could be called as having a cavalier style in his dress sense.

fashion plate, fancy Dan or dapper Dan, are a little more recent coming from around 1850 and 1940 respectively

Other words you could use are fop or dandy.

You could also say their dress style is old-fashioned.

Or maybe you could just term them eccentric.

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  • @Joe: yes, Christopher dropped the ball on Brummel, but I am upvoting him for "dandy" and "fop". The first jumped out at me from the question and I couldn't credit my eyes that no one was suggesting it. (My favourite dandy of that century, later than and obviously ignoring BB, is the young Disraeli. Who would dare to wear trousers like his in Parliament today! ) "Dandy" does not commit us to exactly how the man is dressed, only that it's very important to him to do his thing. – David Pugh May 22 '15 at 15:58
  • @Joe - You sir, are correct. I've edited my answer. Thank you. – Christopher May 22 '15 at 16:16
  • And now the OP has added an additional photo, which has rendered my answer obsolete. – Christopher May 22 '15 at 16:28
  • No, it hasn't. The original photo is still there. – Mari-Lou A May 22 '15 at 16:48
  • @Mari-LouA Yes, but the 2nd photo is kind of 'Goth' as you point out, but my answer was based on my perception at the time, that the 1st photo was that of a period costume – Christopher May 22 '15 at 16:55

If you don't mind the connotation of their looks also being tasteless, there's Gaudy.

1: ostentatiously or tastelessly ornamented

2: marked by extravagance or sometimes tasteless showiness : outlandish

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  • I hope the day never comes when I think that girl in the picture is 'gaudy'. – Tushar Raj May 22 '15 at 21:58
  • @TusharRaj Agreed. The pictures being used do not really do the idea of being overdressed justice. – Zibbobz May 23 '15 at 0:19

The only word I could find is costumey. There are examples of usage:

A full 50s head-to-toe look is kind of costumey, you're right. I think the best people can do if they want to do head-to-toe 50s is just embrace the costumey look and go with it. You can totally get away with it around at weddings, or holiday parties, or what have you, but for everyday wear...yeah, costumey is the way it is.

There are even some books and magazines that use this word. Although, not many...

Although it's a bit uncommon,here's a definition. Collins:

costumey (ˈkɒstjuːmɪ)

resembling a costume and therefore unrealistic ⇒ "'It's a little costumey. Like what a little girl thinks a real woman's lipstick looks like.'"

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  • @P.Obertelli Well, I can't believe I couldn't find a dictionary definition due to a spelling mistake (which I systematically copy-pasted). Thank you :-)! – Lucky May 22 '15 at 11:53
  • It's a great word, but I really wouldn't describe that as costumey. For examplem you know when you have a grilfriend who "wears too much makeup" or "really puts in on with a trowel". Those phrases really mean a particular thing; and in contrast if you had a GF who, bizarrely, literally wor stage makeup (like "Cirque du Soleil") that would not really fit those phrases. – Fattie May 22 '15 at 13:54
  • @JoeBlow thanks for your input, but I somewhat disagree. I think usage may depend on fashion taste here: someone might use costumey as you suggested; in some circles gothic make-up and clothing might be considered costumey, while in others these might be considered quite normal; there is nothing bizarre about the 50s look, but still fashion bloggers might consider it to be costumey (as in the example I provided). Today the bloggers often dictate the usage of both clothes and clothes-related vocabulary, whether we like it or not :-) – Lucky May 22 '15 at 14:29

I might say "fashionista: A person devoted to fashion clothing, particularily unique or high fashion." (From here: http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=fashionista ) Note, though, that I am utterly unqualified to judge whether the pictures, or any other example, are actually fashionable street wear, costumes, or just off-the-wall insane :-)

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A bit of a stretch, but a flavorful loanword from French is flâneur. It literally refers to the act of walking, but was used in 1800s France (and in modern times, esp. art-historical circles) to refer to people who walk around for the purpose of showing off their clothing and lifestyle. The people in Caillebotte's famous painting are flâneurs.

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As the current top answerer already posted, and beat me to the punch.

Also, other words that aren't as fitting that I didn't see here, best to worst:

Showy, Dashing, Striking, Glitzy, Elaborate, Ornate, Distinct, Confident, Flaunty, Lavish, Bombastic, Swanky, Extraordinary, Stunning, Imprudent, Gaudy, Florid, Perceptible, Dramatic, Appreciable, Baroque

The word flamboyant, to me, seems to describe both individuals very well. I do not think there is another word that could fit so well. And if there is another word. I doubt it does any better a job than "flamboyant".

Many people have found fault with this question, but I see none. The fact that both images are not extremely similar to each other does not make the question absurd and certainly not impossible to answer.
Also the fact that one method of dressing is more common in certain areas of the world, while also being vastly different than the other photo, just makes answering more difficult. And that is not necessarily a bad thing.

Although the other answers are interesting (I even learned the word iconoclastic for the first time), most of them only fit one photo, but not both. Or were too presumptuous of one photo or the other to make sense as an answer.

The boy is dressed in what can easily be described as a flamboyant outfit.
The girl has bright magenta accents and pink stripes in her hair. She has a light blue parasol with white butterflies that clashes against the black of her hair and top and her eye make-up. She also has silver facial piercings.

All of this decoration, bright colours and contrast can be described as flamboyant. The fact that it is somewhat popular does not detract from the fact that many people will consider this flamboyant.

Someone who perhaps dresses like this themselves and is around others who dress in the same style as the girl will not find her to be flamboyant. Because it is not very special and doesn't stand out to them.

But I think to the majority of the world the way both people are dressed here would be seen as at least out of the ordinary from the people they usually see day to day.

Adjectives can change who or what they fit simply based on the common perception of the people using the word.

For example imagine some place where commmonly everyone dresses in bright orange glowing clothing with blue stripes and a 7-inch feather sticking out from their head attached with a band.

And one person (call them "Jake") decides to dress in glowing red, orange and blue clothing with green stripes and a 13-inch feather sticking out of a long brimmed hat.
Among other things, Jake would probably be viewed as flamboyant by the common people.

Whereas to "us" both Jake and everyone else around would seem almost equally as Extravagant, Ornate, Flamboyant, etc.

Strange example but I think it explains what I'm trying to get at.

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What about kooky?

(informal) crazy, eccentric, or foolish

As in;
"He/she was wearing a kooky outfit".

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