San Japan: Sinister 6 
Masquerade Dance Rules & Info
Convention Location: San Antonio Grand Hyatt Hotel – Lone Star Ballroom (Salon A-C / 2nd Floor)
Date: Friday, August 16th, 2013
Start Time: 8:45PM – End Time: 11:30PM
Selected Theme – Bowser’s Castle (Super Mario Bros.)
The masquerade dance is a formal event.
This event is only open to those who have a San Japan convention badge which is required at the door of the event in order to attend. You may purchase one on the San Japan website or you can purchase one at the convention. You must be age 13+ to enter.
Listed in full below are the rules for the Masquerade Dance. Prior to entry, outfits and masks will be checked at the event to make sure they meet these guidelines. We may either ask you to change part of your outfit or not allow you to enter the masquerade.
All outfits worn must be formal in finish as well as in cut. Garments that are ripped, shredded, blood-splattered, visibly dirtied, or unfinished, even if they are formal in style, are not acceptable. Duct tape is not an acceptable material for formal-wear. You are welcome to wear either purchased or handmade outfits, but garments will be held to the same standard regardless of how it was constructed. If we can see lots of hanging loose threads or unfinished edges, your outfit will not qualify as a finished garment and will not be considered formal.
San Japan will not be serving any food or refreshments so it is highly recommended to partake in dinner prior to attending this event. We will make attempts to have water on-hand if possible by the location.
If you have any questions or uncertain about your outfit, please ask them in our message forums or use the form below.
All participants are required to wear a mask.
Make sure whatever mask you choose covers at least one eye, but try not to impair your field of vision. Masks worn to our Masquerade Ball should be masquerade-style masks. You may attach your mask to your face with ribbons, elastic, body adhesive, spirit gum, etc., or it may be a stick mask that you hold in front of your face. For those with glasses or an allergen to certain plastics, you will still need to have a stick mask in order to enter. Masks are traditionally intended to hide your identity, so please wear your mask at all times during the ball!
Regarding character masks: distinguishing masks worn by a specific character that is not a masquerade-style mask are not allowed. For example, Batman, Spiderman, and Guy Fawkes masks/cowls are not acceptable because they are not masquerade-style masks. However, a Zorro mask would be okay because it is a masquerade-style mask (as seen below). You may, however, wear a masquerade-style mask decorated in a way that is inspired by a character (painting it with a character’s costume colors or patterns, etc.).
- Masquerade-style (harlequin-style, domino-style, etc.)
- Masquerade masks on a stick are acceptable if you have glasses.
Examples of acceptable masks:
- VKei/J-Fashion/painters’ masks that cover just the nose and mouth
- Gas masks
- Wrestling masks
- “Character masks” – (SEE ABOVE FOR FULL EXPLAINATION)
- “Halloween masks” – character masks, rubber full-face masks of monsters, politicians, etc.
- Masks that cover your entire head
- Masks that are painted onto your face
Examples of unacceptable masks:
All footwear should adhere to the formal rules.
- Dress boots
- Men’s dress shoes
- Dressy ballet flats
- High-heeled pumps/ strappy heels
Wear shoes like these:
- flip flops/thong sandals/espadrilles
- heavy boots
- clunky platform boots
- slippers/house shoes
- sneakers/tennis shoes
- no shoes at all (bare feet)
You will NOT be allowed in if you wear shoes like these:
Black tennis shoes and work shoes are not considered dress shoes and will not be allowed.
If you choose to make shoe or boot covers to match an outfit that you have made, make sure that they look finished and neat, without any loose or fraying edges.
Please remember that this is a dance, so you will probably be moving around a lot. Try to choose shoes that you will be comfortable dancing in.
Traditional Western Dress
For those planning to dress in female formal attire, fancy dresses, prom dresses and evening gowns are acceptable. Tailored suits are also acceptable. Excessively tight clothing or anything you would wear to a dance/club/rave is not acceptable. Skirts must be at least knee-length, see “Skirt Length” below.
Acceptable Women’s attire:
Unacceptable Women’s attire:
Dresses that are too short or revealing (see Skirt Length):
For those planning to dress in male formal attire, a tuxedo would be delightful and encouraged. However, you may wear a suit or, at the very minimum, a nice button-up long sleeved shirt with a tie, slacks, belt, and dress shoes. Vests and/or jackets are also highly encouraged.
Fancy Highland dress may also be worn. Kilts do not necessarily need to be traditional wool, but they should be tartan and of a more traditional cut. Utility or ultra-casual pocketed kilts are not formal enough, and will not be allowed in. For more traditional styles, you are more than welcome to wear a jacket, but more “fantasy” looks will also be allowed, with a nice poet-style shirt. Please wear kilt hose, flashes, belt, and sporran with both, and please do not bring sgian dubh or any other form of ornamental weapon, as this is prohibited by San Japan’s weapons policy. Footwear rules still apply; you may wear ghillie brogues or some other type of dress shoes.
Acceptable Men’s attire:
Unacceptable Men’s attire (too casual):
Traditional Eastern Dress
Those wearing formal Eastern dress should be dressed just as nicely – formal kimono, haori and hakama, cheongsam, hanbok, ao dai, etc. While sandals are not allowed with other outfits, you may wear nice-looking zori or geta with Japanese formal attire. Sari and formal shalwar kameez are allowed.
Formal fictional military uniforms (i.e. formal SeeD uniforms from FFVIII) are ok, but all parts (footwear, mask, fit, etc.) must adhere to the rest of the rules. Military personnel are welcome to wear dress uniforms.
However, regarding historical military uniforms or costumes that closely resemble them: no Axis uniforms, no Confederate uniforms, no Hitler Youth uniforms, no Apartheid-era South African uniforms, no Burmese junta uniforms.
Acceptable fictional military dress:
While cosplay is welcome, we ask that all cosplayers choose attire that fits the rules. Formal historical costume, Elegant Gothic Lolita/Aristocrat outfits, and other elegant cosplay outfits will be acceptable. If there is a character you absolutely love, but their outfit doesn’t fit the rules, you can either convert their outfit to fit the rules or plan to bring a different outfit. Crossplay will be allowed if it is done seriously and if the attire adheres to the rules.
Please see the section on Props, Wings, etc. for more information related to cosplay.
Steampunk-influenced Victorian/Edwardian-based outfits are all welcome as long as all parts of the outfit are formal and meet our guidelines (see Traditional Western dress for more examples). As always, we ask that you please refrain from bringing large, bulky props or accessories with protruding edges that may catch on others’ clothes on the dance floor.
Acceptable Steampunk attire:
Unacceptable Steampunk attire:
These outfits are too casual.
This outfit would be acceptable without the bulky accessories and weapon prop.
Skirt length is often a hot topic among those attending a ball. We ask that all those wearing a skirt to please be reasonable about the length. Skirts should be at least knee length, give or take a few inches. We realize that skirts may not fit the same way on everyone depending on their height, but please aim for modesty. We won’t have a ruler out to check the length at the door, but we will make sure we won’t have to worry about you flashing the crowd accidentally. Slits in skirts must be no higher than mid-thigh. Short pants (knee length, as in kodona or boy-style Lolita fashion) will be allowed if the rest of the attire fits the rules.
Props, wings, etc.
While we would love to allow large props and wings, we ask that you do not bring them to prevent damage to them or injury to yourself or others. For safety reasons, large and bulky costumes such as mascot suits or mecha will not be allowed, even if they are wearing formal attire. Fursuits or any other costume with a mask that covers your whole head thereby impairing your vision (including kigurumi) will not be allowed for the same reason. Canes may be carried if required for mobility assistance.
We ask that you do not bring weapon props into the Masquerade Ball. If you have weapon props attached to your costume, please remove them before attending our event.
Wigs in all colors are permitted as long as they are neat and tidy, as would be expected of real hair.
This can be a taboo subject for many a con-goer, but this is a fancy occasion. Please put EXTRA effort into personal hygiene. Take a shower before you get dressed. Brush your teeth. Use mouth wash, gum, or a mint. Use lots of deodorant! However, do not drench yourself in body spray, perfume, or cologne. Use it sparingly if you have to at all – others may be allergic to or be sensitive to strong scents.
If you would like to take pictures and you are already attending the event, go ahead! Photographers with press badges may enter without costume as long as they are documenting the event. Anyone else, even with a camera, must wear appropriate attire to be allowed into the dance.
If you have any questions about the rules then please ask them in our message forums or use the form below. If you are using the form below, please send links to references which will greatly help in answering your question.
Formal Masquerade Inquiry: