* Prices may differ from that shown
When it comes to fancy dress..... I'm a massive fan. This year alone I have dressed up as .... A cowgirl, Alice in Wonderland, a Barbie doll, and a ladybird and its only May... but I know there will be lots more fancy dress events to come.
Although at first you do feel slightly awkward dressed up it's actually a lot of fun to see your friends and even family dressed up. You can all laugh at each other. One of the funniest moments was going to a family fancy dress party to find my dad and my uncle dressed as Batman and Robin ... it was a very Only Fools and Horses moment.
Fancy dress doesn't always mean that you have to go to a great deal of expense to look good. I would often buy a new outfit for a party / night out which when totalled up would cost in the region of at least £80. I would wear this outfit again, but not straight away, which is a bit like fancy dress. If I buy a fancy dress outfit (which usually costs £25 for a full costume) I then put it in my "dressing up box", which I can use again or parts of it for another fancy dress night. If money is a bit tight another option is to borrow off friends. Which I probably wouldn't do with my normal party clothes! Alternatively you could have a look in your wardrobe and look if there are any old clothes that you could customise. Pirate costumes can be easily made from an old shirt and a waistcoat made to look tatty, tie a headscarf around your head and voila you are in fancy dress
Having a clear theme is essential; it makes it easier for people to plan and get an outfit. I have also found that sometimes it is a good idea to send guests/ people attending a night out a link to costume websites. I have got my best inspiration of what I am going to a party as from looking at costumes available and either purchasing one, or making my own. Also try and pick a theme in there are a wide range of options of characters to dress up as ....... especially if there are a lot of people dressing up. Also give people plenty of notice if you are doing fancy dress. Getting a costume together takes some time, two weeks is the minimum time I feel should be given.
The downside to fancy dress is stepping out of the safety of your own home in your full costume. You do get some strange looks especially if your costume is slightly risqué or noticeable. Once you get inside of your venue you will feel fine. If possible try and meet up with other people going to your party/ night out before you actually go out. Especially if you have to get public transport. My best friend had to get on a bus dressed as Little Red Riding Hood alone and after a 20 minute bus ride her face was redder than her red hood as a bus full of people were laughing at her.
If I am going out on a fancy dress night out I meet my friends before we head to bars rather than meeting them inside a bar. A lone figure in fancy dress in a bar is not an experience I would wish on anyone and will never put myself through again
**********Purchasing costumes Online*********
If you are ordering a costume online my advice would be to shop around! I have just recently bought a ladies cupid outfit online. This is a branded "Leg Avenue" costume so available from a number of retailers. I ordered the costumer for £20.99 online with a £3 delivery fee however from another site exactly the same costume was £52.99 with a £8 delivery charge!!!
If you do not have lots of time to shop around and are after reliable fancy dress at a reasonable price and want to order online my advice would be order from fancydress.com. The site has loads of costumes priced reasonably and I have order 4 times from this site and my costume has always arrived with plenty of time to spare despite only ordering one week before the party. The only downside is that delivery is quite expensive (£7.99 is the lowest priced shipping option; next day delivery is £12.99 however the £7.99 option arrives the day after that).
Beware if you buy costumes online they may look longer on the model but in fact some can be very revealing. Be aware of this before you purchase as you don't get the chance to try on before you buy.
This doesn't just apply to purchasing online but any costume you need to make sure that it's practical. For example make sure it's not so tight and uncomfortable that you are able to wear it for all of the party. Or that you are able to go to the toilet wearing the costume.
Lastly make sure that you take a camera so you have evidence of how great the costumes at the party were, you can have a laugh at them at a later date. So enjoy and don't worry if you feel (and look) a fool... chances are everyone else will too! Just have fun!!
We needed to arrange a Fancy Dress Party for work for halloween. We came across Fancy Dress Fast www.fancydressfast.com. They supplied us with 75 Ghostbusters Costumes with Next Day delivery. They even took PAYPAL. They where the cheapest we could find on the Net and even supplied us with online Tracking when asked. It couldn't have been easier and now we use them for all our Events. We are using them For Super Heroes for 2008 Christmas and they have a Brilliant range at unbelievable Prices. They have everything onthere site form Batman to Bananman Costumes. They also have all the accessories to make the costumes complete. Worth having a good look through there website because there are loads of ideas to dress up as and certain things you wouldn't even think of. Look out for us in London at Christmas. We will be the 75 to 100 Super Heroes a little Merry and lookingto Save Your Christmas.
Needed cosumtes for the staff at my club, and bought online from sureshots fancy dress (www.sureshots.co.uk). I later found out they are just one of hundreds of resellers selling for a con service using the same order number: 0870 8338 380. I Paid over £400 by credit card for costumes chosen online and paid extra for what was supposed to be 2-day delivery (on wednesday 29th October 2008).
I stupidly didn't phone before paying, and only phoned the number after paying, when I realised I had mis-spelled the elivery ades. To my horror, I found out the number engaged 9 times out of 10, and the one time it rings (even if it's 2 secs after the last engaged try) it rings for over 15 rings (no exaggeration) before they pick it up, if at all.
After about the 8th try, I got through and told them my plight. They then informed me that their 2day delivery which I had paid for wasn't so sure, and if I paid extra for next day delivery, they would deliver on Friday (31st October) (The same 2 days later that I'd already paid for) guaranteed. Not wanting to lose my cosutmes, I again stupidly agreed.
Come Friday, at 3pm, no delivery had arrived at the club. I then started to call the number again. It was once again forever engaged, rang like every 3 tries, and they just didn't pick up. I sent an angry email in asking where my delivery was, and got absolutely no reply back.
WARNING: If you want to buy from one of these online shops, make sure you call first. And if the number is 0870 8338 380 (there are hundreds of them franchising this same source and using the same number, I later found out) JUST DO NOT BOTHER. They will probably disapoint you, and you will not be able to get through to them
(Only a short review people) If you are into fancy dress and (like me) take the opportunity to dress up whenever you can, then the place to shop is 'Sureshots' (on the Web). I love fancy dress parites, hosting them and attending friends. This is the one place I always find what I want at a reasonable price. I'm writing this in review of my Halloween party last night. I spread the word about 'sureshots' to my eager friends and to my surprise every single person who attended dressed up. (I say 'to my surprise' because there is almost always 1 who doesn't). Sureshots is cheap, reliable, has a wide variety (lots of themes, famous people, characters, creatures, animals etc to choose from), lots of accessories and sends your orders out within a couple of days. Prices range from a couple of pounds to about £100 (for full outfits) so there is something for every budget. This year I bought a nuns outfit for £5 and a police womens outfit for £8. My boyfriend found a complete alien outfit (body and face) for £25. So, like I said to start, this is only a short review to let people know about the site. Next party coming up... it's worth a look.
Fancy dress parties - great fun in the preparation and on the day. Definitely my favourite sort of party, please bear with me while I enthuse. The first point to make is that themes really do work - just announce a fancy dress party and people may struggle, but a good theme will give them focus. Think carefully about your theme - it should be something that everyone will know about and that anyone could feasibly make a costume for - thus a "Come as DR Who" party is fraught with trouble, there not being many doctors, and no women, but "Come as a time lord" or a general "Doctor Who' party works quite nicely. Suite your theme to your people - if you don't kow your people, go for something nice and vague like "High fantasy", "Mythology" "Nursery Rhymnes." Avoid themes that require hired costumes - eg an "Aliens vs Predators" party will be a bit too chalening for most. If you can't make the costume at home, don't even consider it. Ok, some personal favourites then. Rocky Horror - if you've got people who want to dress up in basques, get the video and have a Rocky night - very good fun, but beware of frightening the neighbours. Vampire party - lots of good films to watch and the costumes are easy enough - lots of velvet, black slinky stuff, cloaks and fake blood. Terry Pratchett Party - there are so many characters in his books, that everyone will find something, and the real world parallels make the costumes viable. Last time, I went as Nanny Ogg! (you can go as the luggage by putting a box over your head.) I've been to two Pratchett parties, both were great. If you like his stuff, it is an excellent theme. Go as someone else party - this suits groups of friends, and can result in some fun clothes swapping - definitely worth a try. James Bond/Austin powers party - running the two together works very well, and gives you e
ven more costume opportunities. Evil Doubles party - there's a sci fi (especially star trek) convention of evil doubles turning up. Imagine how your evil double would be, and dress accordingly. Mystery Men party - invent a superhero or villan, give him/her a silly costume and name. You too could be "Captain vulnerable to strontium 90" or "pogo man" watch "Mystery men" if you need some ideas. If you have a group of friends who share an enthusiasm for a film or a book, take that as your theme - Star Trek parties, Star Wars parties, Tolkien parties, Gor parties, Dragonlance parties, Highlander parties, red dwarf parties and the like can all work really well. When you are planning a party, consult the people you mean to invite, and enjoy the costume design phase - its best to leave yourself a couple of weeks to sort this out, for best effects. If you have been invited to a fancy dress party that doesn't hve a theme, one good thing to do can be to group up with a few other people and do something collectively - several memorable examples spring to mind - several friends dressed up as "The Doors" for one party, and we had the four horsemen of the apocalypse at one general fancy dress event. Other things to think of - can you safely wear your costume all evening without bits of it falling off or bits of you falling out? Can you eat and drink and go to the loo safely in your costume? Are you going to be arrested if you try to walk home in your costume? Fancy dress is a reat opportunity for silliness, creativity and expression. They really are good fun, and can make an automatic icebreaker. A good time will be had by all.
Well I used this for my birthday party, but you could use it whenever too. I was skint. So I decided to have a bad taste party. This meant that we all went to the charity shops and got the worst possible clothes we could find. I made sure that my mates knew it was optional because I knew that some would take to the idea more than others. The most expensive thing was going to the hairdressers to get my hair crimped to go with my lovely 1980's garb. I was really surprised how well the night went, in fact it was one of my favourite nights ever. All we did to decorate the place was to get some cheap paper and bingo markers from the poundshop and cut out a '1970' and a '1980' these were surrounded by some old silk flowers, bluetacked on the wall and an old pillowcase cut into bows. My housemate Maike also cleverly added cones to an old bra of mine and stuck it on the wall as a homage to Madonna. My friend's also did a very cool thing too, they arranged a mountain of after eights on a tray and put candles on the top instead of a cake. We are having a fancy dress at New Year's I have already been told that I am too old to go as Britney. Ooh yeah remember that Vodka Jelly is a worthy addition to any party too.. but use a saucepan rather than a kettle and only add half a cup of water, as vodka should be the main ingredient. Do not allow to boil.
I'm going to 2 fancy dress parties this year, each one with a different theme. So hiring or buying a costum is going to be quiet expensive. My tip for fancy dress is firstly look through your wardrobe, then your families, failing that then the charity shops, you can get some super accessories that aren't too expensive. The other thing you can do is raid your childs toy box. They often have masks, accessories, etc in there and you can adapt them to your theme. The party next week for me is Disney. In my childs toy box are the Macdonnals toys, including the hands/ears and mask, all I need now is a black top and red shorts and a cheap fancy dress outfit, that is very effective, cost me nothing and the toy from the toybox are actually getting used..
We were bored of the same old holiday dinners (any holiday, not just Christmas), and so a few years ago we tried one of those 'murder mystery party' box sets. They are brilliant, provided you have very outgoing, loud, fun friends. Everybody comes in costume in the theme of the mystery and everyone remains in character for the entire mystery, which usually lasts from two to four hours depending on how many drink breaks you take! They are great fun and well worth the 20 or so pounds they cost.
If you are planning to have a fancy dress party, then my tip is to set a theme for the party. This can really set peoples imagination going, and is often a lot more fun rather than just turning up in any old fancy dress. My parents and their gang of friends have had many themed parties that have been a great sucess, mainly because of the creativity the themes allowed. They have had "Four weddings and a christening", "what were you wearing when the ship went down" (this was around the time titanic the movie came out but was thought a bit morbid to have a party based on a real life tragedy, similarly four weddings and a christening rather than funeral cos its not what you need for a party really!). There have been many more themes but these were some of the best, most people made their own costumes which again added to the fun and also allows everyone to guess who or what the other people have come as , rather than just a straightforward fancy dress party where people have hired costumes and its obvious they are james bond, someone from star trek, a rabbit or whatever the usual costumes are. For "four weddings and a christening" various people came as a vicar, choir boys, the bride,(in fact there were three i think!) the wedding cake! , a baby, etc and for those who didn't want to dress up then it allowed them to just wear normal clothes and be guests at the wedding. For when the ship went down someone came dressed just in a towel, having been in the shower when the ship went down, someone was in their pyjama's, someone else had ragged and ripped clothes after being savaged by a shark etc. So thats my tip set a theme, it'll be more fun, and probably easier to think of what to wear rather than just anything at all. This way you can have themed decorations, food and music too.
I would imagine a brilliant party to have would be with a Rocky Horror Picture Show theme...not that I could imagine my dad dressed in stockings and basque! A good way to make a Riff Raff is to cut the hair off a Girl's World (every little girl has one)...just cut it all off when she's not looking. If you want the bald bit to put the hair on use the top of a pair of tights (unless you can afford a proper latex one but that takes all the fun out of it), a colarless shirt, jacket, trousers, boots, fingerless gloves, cushion shoved down one side of the back and dark make up around the eyes and cheek sockets...voila, Riff Raff. I would love to see some of the stuffy men I know dressed up as Frankenfurter or the women as Little Nell. Wouldn't it be brilliant having such a party and serving a big leg of pork (!) for supper?