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Today is Pop Music Chart Day! Comments Off on Today is Pop Music Chart Day!

Posted on January 04, 2016 by Fancy Dress Ball

pop-music-chart-day

Today is Pop Music Chart Day! When was the last time you investigated the pop music charts? Well, today is the day! Not just for looking into what’s at number 1 right now, but celebrating chart music throughout the years!

The UK Singles Chart was first compiled in 1952; since then there have been over 1200 chart toppers, so there are plenty of songs to choose from. Why not choose a chart topper to dress up as for the day?

Here are some of our favourite chart music fancy dress ideas…

1950s

It has to be Elvis, doesn’t it? Can you believe The King had no less than 21 UK number ones. The most recent was in 2005, but his very first was in June 1957 with All Shook Up. He stayed at the top spot for 7 weeks!

1960s

Can you guess? The Beatles, obviously! With 17 UK number ones, they were almost as big as Elvis. Their first was in May 1963 with From Me To You.

1970s

Abba had seven number one singles in the 1970s – and more importantly, they’re super fun to dress up as!

1980s

Madonna – it has to be Madonna, doesn’t it? She had six number one singles in the 80s and her look (in the 80s, at least) had 1980s written all over it!

1990s

Ooh, now this one is a toss up between the Spice Girls and Take That, both of whom had 8 number ones in the 1990s… but the Spice Girls are so much more fun to dress up as – and so much more instantly recognisable!

2000s

Westlife had the most number one singles in the 2000s, with 11 chart toppers. But unless you’ve several mid-20s Irish heart throbs to stand behind you crooning, they can be a little tricky to pull off… Next on the list is Eminem – and he’s a little easier to dress up as! Or you could always do an updated Madonna look, since she managed 5 UK number ones in the 2000s.

2010s

Hmm, this decade is literally only just half way through. So far the artist with the most number ones is Bruno Mars. Although he did go through a phase of wearing that funny hat, he’s a bit tricky to dress up as and everyone know who you came as. In fact, this decade doesn’t really have a fancy dress front runner… let’s hope things pick up in the second half!

This Sunday is Punk for a Day Day! Comments Off on This Sunday is Punk for a Day Day!

Posted on October 21, 2015 by Fancy Dress Ball

 

Have you ever fancied being a punk? Spiking your hair, donning a leather jacket and shouting slogans about the establishment? Well then friend, this Sunday is the day for you!

Punk For a Day Day this Sunday is the perfect opportunity for grown adults everywhere to act like misunderstood teenagers. Punkdom is filled with irony; it started off as a way of rebelling against the mainstream, of being different from everyone else, a big two-fingers up to the establishment… but it became so popular it was eventually the mainstream. Everyone was a punk! Who could fail to love a contradiction like that!

So, how do you go about being a punk for a day? Well, first you shave your head into a Mohawk style… wait, what do you mean, you have work on Monday? Ok, well, Plan B: get hold of one of these wigs, and pretend. For the ladies: bright colours, back combing, hair spray. Thing 80’s bouffant, but after a heavy night out on the tiles, and then dragged through the proverbial hedge backwards.

For your outfit: go to your local haberdashery and buy as many safety pins as you can carry. Rip your clothes, then use safety pins to hold them together. Wear a safety pin as an ear ring. Make a hair clip from a safety pin. Put safety pins on your favourite necklace. You get the idea… the idea is to wear lots of safety pins.

Other things to include in your outfit: big bovver boots, tartan, lots of  unnecessary buckles, studs, denim or leather jacket, ripped tights or trousers. Basically, all the things you would probably never dream of wearing on a normal Sunday.

For makeup, we love this tutorial for a 1970s punk look:

 


How brilliant is that makeup! We love the little factoids that pop up on the screen as you go through the video too!

We’ve found a brilliant video to help you perfect your moves, too. It’s hard to come up with a punk song that doesn’t include lots of swearing, and we really don’t want to offend our lovely readers but then we remembered this absolute classic of a tune:

 

Extra points if you have even the slightest clue what old Iggy’s on about there… something about hypnotising chickens?

So basically, you need messy hair, ripped clothes, safety pins, black eyes, and dancing around like you’ve been electrocuted.

Totally doable for a Sunday!

 

If you’re celebrating Punk For A Day Day don’t forget to share photos with us on our Facebook page!

Back to the 70s: A Guide for Ladies Comments Off on Back to the 70s: A Guide for Ladies

Posted on May 18, 2015 by Fancy Dress Ball

Back to the 70s- A Guide for Men

 

Last week we gave you a guide to men’s costumes for the 1970s, so we thought it only fair that we show you our top ideas for the ladies! Here are our five favourite costume ideas for 1970s fancy dress:

1. Abba Dancing Queen

Does anyone even know what the men from Abba looked like? But the ladies, now that was a different matter. We all remember them, with their iconic costumes to go with their amazing songs. Mamma Mia, this is definitely a great costume choice. Yes, we really did just say Mamma Mia in a sentence.

2. Hippie Chick

If there’s one thing the 1970s are known for, it’s hippies. If you put on something involving tie-dye, some round, tinted glasses and perhaps some bell bottoms, all you need to do is make a peace sign and say “maaaaan” a lot and there will be no doubt as to who you’ve come as!

3. Kiss

Ok, we know that technically there are no female members of Kiss – but why should the men have all the fun with the crazy black and white make up and the leather trousers? This one’s great for anyone who likes to stand out from the crowd and be a bit… energetic at a party. Lots of jumping and shouting and air guitar solos!

4. Disco Diva

Disco was born in the 1970s, and boy, did it ever thrive! Everyone loves a good disco, so why not dress up as a disco diva and dance the night away! Practise your Donna Summer classics, it’s time to shine!

5. Flower Power

Flower Power is one of those things from the late 60s and early 70s that began with opposition to the Vietnam War. Lots of hippies used the slogan, but it spread into more mainstream society. People often dressed in flower-printed clothing and handed out flowers to the public. Why not get in on the act by wearing a flower power costume and handing flowers to your fellow party goers?

Back to the 70s: A Guide for Men Comments Off on Back to the 70s: A Guide for Men

Posted on May 11, 2015 by Fancy Dress Ball

BAck to the 70s

Who doesn’t love the 1970s? Charlie’s Angels, rotary phones that you used to make actual phone calls, Jaws, The Brady Bunch… ahh, the good old days! What do you mean, you don’t remember because you weren’t born until 1979? Shh! Whether you were there or not, the 1970s is a really fun decade to dress up as. Here are our top choices for a 1970s fancy dress costume…

 A Pimp

If there’s one thing that screams 1970s, it’s the ’70s pimp look. Hat, ridiculous shoes, velvet suit, animal print, stick, daft jewellry. What’s not to love? American rappers have been bringing this look back in recent years, but it originated in the 1970s and is an iconic look if you have the guts to pull it off!

Saturday Night Fever

Ah-ah-ah-ah, Stayin’Alive! Think of the 1970s, and what do you come up with? John Travolta in a white suit is probably fairly close to the top of the list! We’ve got the costume sorted; all you need to do is practise walking in ridiculous platforms… oh, and dancing. You need to be able to dance really well for this one!

Kiss

Black leather, black and white face paint, lots of sticking your tongue out, what’s not to love! Everyone loves Kiss and there’s a good reason for that – they’re awesome! Not only are their songs really great, but they’re great fun to dress up as too. All you need to do is study how they paint their faces, and learn the words to “Rock and Roll All Nite”

Zippy

If there’s one thing about the 1970s everyone loves, it’s the kids’ TV. It was all a bit psychedelic and mad, wasn’t it – and none more so than Rainbow. Originally meant to be the British answer to Sesame Street, Rainbow proved to be all together more bonkers and surreal, with a pink hippo, a massive talking bear and, of course, Zippy. Chuck in Rod, Jane and Freddy singing their crazy songs, and you’ve got a winning formula. If you’re going to go to your party as Zippy, you’ll need to practise being rude. To everyone. All the time. Can you manage that?

Evel Kinevel

Evel Kinevel was every school kid’s hero in the 1970s. Described as one of the greatest icons of the 70s, Kinevel was famous for doing ridiculous, daredevil stunts. In his career he attempted more than 75 ramp-to-ramp motorcycle jumps and in 1974, there was the failed jump across Snake River Canyon in a rocket. Evel Kinevel is in the Guinness Book of Records for the “most bones broken in a lifetime” having fractured a whopping 433 bones before his death in 2007. This is a great one to dress up as because it’ll bring back so many awesome memories for other party goers!

 

 

Celebrate Women’s History Month Comments Off on Celebrate Women’s History Month

Posted on February 25, 2015 by Fancy Dress Ball

s HIstory Month!March is Women’s History Month; there are bound to be loads of great events going on all over the country to celebrate.

A great way to celebrate is to dress up as your favourite woman from history. Here are a few suggestions:

EarhartAmelia Earhart
Amelia Earhart was the first female aviator to fly solo across the Atlantic. She also famously disappeared in 1937 during an attempt to circumnavigate the globe.

Elizabeth I
Elizabeth I was the last of the Tudor monarchs, and famous for bringing a period of peace and enlightenment to England. The country thrived throughout her reign, despite many having misgivings about her abilities as a queen.

Pocahontasdownload (2)
Made famous by the Disney movie, Pocahontas was a real woman, princess of the Powhatan Tribe. She helped to establish peace between her tribe and the colonists.

Catherine the Great
Catherine the Great was Empress of Russia and widened the country’s boundaries during her reign. A very powerful Russian Empress, she was of course feared by many and incredibly strong.

Queen Victoria
“We are not amused!” Victoria was Britain’s longest ruling monarch (soon to be surpassed by our current Queen Elizabeth II). The sun neverset on the Victorian British Empire, and she was known for being very tough and in control.

Florence Nightingale
Florence Nightingale was a nurse during the Crimean War – a time when there was really no such thing as a nurse! She is famous as the founder of modern nursing, and for not listening when men said she couldn’t do something!

 

Can you think of any other women from history who would be great to dress up as?

 

 

Win a 70’s or 80’s Fancy Dress Costume of Your Choice Comments Off on Win a 70’s or 80’s Fancy Dress Costume of Your Choice

Posted on February 23, 2015 by Karl Young

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Ten Things You Never Knew About The Wombles Comments Off on Ten Things You Never Knew About The Wombles

Posted on February 02, 2015 by Fancy Dress Ball

 

 

10 things you never knew about the wombles

On February 5th, 1973, the Wombles… er… wombled onto our screens for the very first time. The original Wombles we mean; none of that 1990s remake malarkey! We love the Wombles and everything about them. Their fabulous stop motion TV show, their albums (yes, really), dressing up as them (obviously). The only thing we don’t like about them is that there were only two seasons made. Yes, really – only two seasons of such an amazing children’s show! We find it hard to believe too.

In celebration of the Wombles’ 42nd birthday, here are ten things you never knew about them.

1. The Wombles’ TV series began after the first Wombles book was featured on the BBC programme Jackanory. They liked it so much, they commissioned a 30-episode series!

2. All of the characters were voiced by legendary children’s TV stalwart Bernard Cribbins – even Madame Cholet!

3. The Wombles released no fewer than four albums: Wombling Songs in 1973, Remember You’re a Womble in 1974, Keep on Wombling, also in 1974, and Superwombling in 1975. All four albums went gold, and four of the singles reached the Top 10. They appeared on Top of the Pops several times, and were the most successful act of 1974, with their albums in the chart for more weeks than any other act.

4. The Wombles books were written by Elizabeth Beresford. Their name came from Beresford’s daughter, who mis-pronounced Wimbledon when Beresford took her children to Wimbledon Common for a walk.

5. The Womble characters were all based on members of Beresford’s family. Great Uncle Bulgaria was her father-in-law Orinoco was her son. Madame Cholet was her mother; Beresford herself was born in Paris.

6. Beresford wrote more than 20 Wombles books, which were translated into more than 40 languages.

7. There was a Wombles stage show which ran in the West End!

8. Wombles are burrowing animals and live underground. They have retractable claws but rarely use them as their burrows on Wimbledon Common are long established.

9. In the original Wombles books, they were depicted as bear-like characters, between 4 and 5 feet tall.  In the TV show though, they were portrayed as being knee-high to humans with more pointy noses

10. Wombles are herbivores and are particularly fond of mushrooms. Womble delicacies include grassbread sandwiches, daisy buns, acorn juice and fir-cone souffle.

National Storytelling Week Comments Off on National Storytelling Week

Posted on January 28, 2015 by Fancy Dress Ball

s National Storytelling Week!

 

This Saturday marks the beginning of the fifteenth National Storytelling Week. From 31st January to 7th February we will be celebrating the most ancient art form of them all. Everyone loves a good story; it’s something we learn to enjoy at a very young age, and which never leaves us.

National Storytelling Week celebrates all sorts of stories; from telling people how your day was, to biographies, to children’s books or even TV dramas. Storytelling is something everyone gets involved with, and is something that enriches every culture and every life.

National Storytelling Week takes part in schools, museums, hospitals, and even care homes each year. If you’d like to hold your own event, you can contact the Society for Storytelling and they will send you a pack.

What sort of storytelling event could you put on?

Grandparent Storytelling

If you have children, get them together with a group of their friends and have grandparents take turns in telling stories about their childhoods and how they were different. Children love hearing about “the olden days” – even the 1980s is “the olden days” these days!

Fancy Dress

Our favourite idea, obviously – have a party and get everyone to dress up as their favourite character from a story.  This gives you a massive scope for costumes, since every single character you can think of is a character from a story – Batman, Wonder Woman, Peter Pan. Fairytales, children’s books, heck, you could throw a Hunger Games party – Hunger Games is a story!

Consequences Party

Invite friends over and play a huge game of consequences. Remember that game from childhood, where you write the first line of a story, then fold over the top and pass it to the next person to add their line. It’s a great way of making up a really creative story and having fun, and can work with all age groups.

Put on a Community Play

The most important part of National Storytelling Week is the storytelling part of it. It’s a great chance to hear stories – both made up and real-life, from those around us. Fancy dress is a great way of immersing ourselves in that story; a community play can be a great way to get to know those around you, as well as learn new skills – and dress up!

10 Last Minute Fancy Dress Ideas for New Year’s Eve Comments Off on 10 Last Minute Fancy Dress Ideas for New Year’s Eve

Posted on December 31, 2014 by Fancy Dress Ball

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That week between Christmas and New Year just sort of disappears, doesn’t it! You spend most of the time trying to figure out what day it is, with New Year’s Eve being some mythical date somewhere in the future… and then before you know it, it’s December 31st, you’re going to a party tonight and you’ve just realised it’s fancy dress!

What can you do?

There’s always the option of doing a Wednesday Addams: “I’m a homicidal maniac; they look just like everybody else” – but frankly, that is a cop out and although you might think it seems really cool… all of your friends who have gone to the effort of putting a costume together will not be so impressed!

Here are a few last-minute ideas to get you through that fancy dress party tonight:

1. Put your pants on outside of your trousers, make a mask from a piece of material, and a cape out of a sheet or duvet cover  – and make up a silly super hero name! Who says you have to be one of the ones the comics have already thought of? Think outside of that box, and be your own superhero!

2. Collect up all the discarded chocolate wrappers from the floor (don’t pretend there aren’t any down there!) and fix them onto your jumper; you can go as a box of chocolates! This one has an added bonus: if there really are no wrappers lying about, you have the perfect excuse to eat what’s left of the Christmas chocolates, in order to make a costume!

3. A toga! Grab a sheet from the airing cupboard, and follow these simple instructions:

 

4. Raid your wardrobe. Do you have a suit? James Bond! Some leggings, vest tops, bangles, necklaces? Madonna!  A black dress and some safety pins from the sewing kit? Liz Hurley! It’s highly likely that you have the makings of a passable costume in your wardrobe already!

5. Olaf from Frozen. This is easier than it sounds, and super trendy at the moment. Find a white top and trousers. For a girl, you can make a tutu with a piece of elastic and some netting if you like. (if you don’t have any netting to hand, a net curtain will work at a push) On the white top, stick two or three large black dots – you can cut these out of cardboard or similar. Draw sticks on the arms… to be Olaf’s stick arms. You can make a simple Olaf mask from a paper plate, cutting out eye holes and a smile for the mouth. Simple!

6. Be a zombie! This is perhaps the most simple of all. All you need is some old clothes, a bit of make up and some fake blood. Who doesn’t have those things hanging around the house? Tear holes in your old clothes, make them dirty and dusty and apply fake blood liberally. For your make up, you can go as simple or as gorey as possible, depending on the time and resources you have available.

7. The tin man. Everyone has some of that ridiculously wide foil left over from the Christmas turkey! Wrap yourself up in it, and you can be a tin man, a space man, all sorts. You could even pad it out a bit, and go as a pinball – genius!

8. Draw or print off a “decepticon” logo (from Transformers) and wear it over a normal outfit. You’re a robot in disguise! Obviously, this is only to be used as a very last resort as it’s along the lines of Wednesday Addams and a bit of a cop out!

9. If you have blonde hair of around chin length, use gel or hair spray to stick the front of it up on end – and voila, you’re “Something About Mary!”

10. We saved the best for last… go to the shop and buy some balloons. You need lots of either green, purple or red ones. Blow up as many as you can, and tie them to your clothes to form a bunch of grapes. Genius, right?

 

So there we have it. Ten last-minute fancy dress ideas for New Year.

What have we learned from this? Next time, order your fancy dress costume from Fancy Dress Ball well in advance of the party!

Fancy Pretending to be a Time Traveller? Comments Off on Fancy Pretending to be a Time Traveller?

Posted on December 03, 2014 by Fancy Dress Ball

Pretend to be a Time Traveller Day! (1)

 

Next Monday, 8th December, is Pretend to be a Time Traveller Day.

What do we do on Pretend to be a Time Traveller Day?

… pretend to be a time traveller, of course!

The idea is that we all pretend to be a traveller from a different era for the day – and you can choose any era at all!

The obvious choice for this is Dr Who… but which Doctor will you be?

Or you could be…

  • Marty McFly
  • The Terminator
  • Fry from Futurama
  • The Traveller from HG Wells’ The Time Machine
  • Colonel George Taylor from Planet of the Apes
  • one of Bill and Ted

Of course, you don’t need to be a character from a movie or TV show; you could just be a normal, common or garden time traveller who’s never made it onto the screen. You could choose to be someone from a utopian future where everyone lives forever and there’s no illness – kind of like the future of Bill and Ted where everyone wears those cool glasses and weird pastel outfits. Or perhaps someone from a dystopian future where things have gone really bad and society has broken down, it’s every man for himself and you don’t go out without a gun.

One really fun idea is to be a time traveller from the past – a mad scientist who’s accidentally figured out how to travel into the 21st century. You could dress as a 19th century scientist who’s been fiddling about in his workshop and accidentally opened a door into the future – spend all day flummoxed by automatic doors, traffic lights, mobile phones… everything, really! This can be really good fun, especially any time an aeroplane flies over. Imagine how someone from the past would react to a TV – probably by answering it back, or attempting to look behind it to see where the people are. Steampunk costumes are great for this sort of character – Steampunk is a genre of science fiction inspired by the newly industrialised civilisation of the 19th century and featuring steam powered machinery.

You don’t even need to be a scientist – you could be anyone, from any era, who has unwittingly ended up travelling through time to the 21st century. The world is your oyster!

This is something you can have great fun with, especially if you and a friend opt for the “we can’t tell anyone we’re from the past/future; they’ll think we’re mad!” thing. Have fun with other friends, work colleagues and the general public by being completely confused by revolving doors, jump in fear whenever the tannoy speaks in a shop or train station.

 

 

 

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