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How to Choose the Perfect Fancy Dress Costume

Fancy dress parties are more popular than ever, and are enjoyed by people of all ages. Whether you’re a university student, a young professional, or a mature adult, you’ll be encouraged to wear fancy dress for club socials, parties and stag and hen nights. Fancy dress parties are historically interesting and can be traced back to carnivals in seventeenth century Italy. The freedom and anonymity of carnivals, masquerades and masked balls appealed to party goers in eighteenth century Europe and Victorian England. If you’ve been invited to a fancy dress party or are thinking of hosting one yourself, follow these simple guidelines for fancy dress success.

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Things to Consider

Some parties will already have a determined theme, and popular ones include historical, professions and animals. If you’ve been invited to a professional or family gathering, it’s best to stay away from risqué costumes that show a lot of skin. However, if you’re attending an adult party with friends, you can use your judgement. Think about the weather and what kind of costume you will be comfortable in. If it’s winter, you may want to choose something warmer so that you’re not shivering or wearing a coat over your costume all evening.

Original Costumes

If you’re feeling uninspired by the hordes of sailors, fairies, princesses and police officers, you may wish to create a more original fancy dress costume. Don’t feel constrained by what you can order online. You can always make your own costume using things you already own, and simply add accessories. Try to work from your personal interests and consider your preferences in terms of sports, the arts and favourite films and TV programmes. If you’re planning a particularly elaborate costume, think about you budget in advance and browse costume retailers like Ace Fancy Dress to get an idea of the cost. It’s definitely a good idea to shop around for bargains, and remember that you can find a lot of accessories second hand. Group costumes are a great choice if you’re going to the party with likeminded friends. If you’re part of a couple, consider dressing up as a famous pairing.

Mistakes to Avoid

It’s advisable to avoid costumes that are tied to different cultures. Dressing up as a Mexican, a Geisha, a Native American and wearing ‘blackface’ are considered offensive cultural appropriation. Using someone else’s culture as a dress-up idea is believed to promote damaging stereotypes. Keep the occasion fun and don’t be tempted by that Native American headdress.

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