Have you ever wished to glam up and go to a masquerade ball? What about the women among you? Masquerades have a long, controversial history, but they are a great excuse to dress up and act enigmatic and sophisticated. Of course, those traits may come naturally to you.


A Little History

Masquerade balls are known to date back to the 14th and 15th centuries, and in particular to Venice, in Renaissance Italy. Initially, they were held for the upper classes, and participants wore elaborate costumes and masks.

The events had an air of mystery and decadence, not least because of the guests’ anonymity, and the ensuing loss of inhibition.

Such was the raunchy reputation of these masked balls, that an “anti-masquerade movement” emerged in 18th-century Britain. A group of mostly middle-class moralists, comprising of clergymen, writers and pamphleteers, expressed disgust at the erosion of English morals.

But, the best efforts of the complainants failed to stop masquerades, and their popularity only grew.


Don’t be Shy

Despite their scandalous past, you needn’t shy away from attending a masquerade ball. Yes, they encourage a mysterious mood, and perhaps a little sensuality, but mainly they’re just for fun.

You get to dress up, either in a flashy costume or in smart evening dress, and dance the night away with other veiled guests. You might just discover a new you!

Sometimes, participants reveal their identities at the end of the evening.


Choosing a Mask

Several factors could influence your choice of mask for a masquerade ball. A handheld mask is hard work if you intend staying anonymous all night, so you should pick one with a cord or ribbon. Men tend to prefer plain, traditional masks which go well with evening wear. Women are more likely to choose decorative, painted masks, which might be embedded with jewels or laden with exotic feathers. Venetian masks are suitable for period-costume masquerades. Have fun!

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