**Disclaimer: There are many DORKY pictures of me attached to this post. XO
I am a big fan of dressing up for ritual. There is something totally amazing about what a little dramatic clothing and make-up can do to shut down the incessant chatter of the monkey mind. Plus, I love the drama and the excitement of dressing up and changing my outward appearance to shift my inner self.
I know that many magickal traditions don't use any tools, and work skyclad, as a way to be totally unencumbered to the natural flow of energy. Logically, I get this. It totally makes sense; and yet it doesn't work for me.
Maybe my inner 12 year old is more active than other people's (or maybe I am too influenced by societal "norms"), but I am often distracted during skyclad rituals. The human body is an amazing and beautiful structure. During skyclad rituals I am frequently preoccupied because I am taking an interest in, finding an attraction to, and sometimes even experiencing a surprise by, all of the various shapes and forms that the human body can inhabit.
With costuming and make-up, you have the ability to transform your outer self into whatever you want your energy to come into alignment with. I find this especially helpful when working with Deity. If I want to work with aspecting (often called possession or Invocation in other traditions), making my physical form look as much as that Deity as possible, helps to shift my mindset.
Plus, certain costuming items can start to hold specific energies after using them enough times, (just like any other magickal tool). Slipping into my black cloak automatically shifts my energy into a focused magickal space.
For me, it is a way to trick my Thinking Self and engage with my Younger Self.
Plus, it's just plain fun.