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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


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…


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!


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.


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


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!


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!


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.


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!

Back to the 80s – A Guide for Ladies Comments Off on Back to the 80s – A Guide for Ladies

Posted on April 27, 2015 by Fancy Dress Ball

Back to the 80s a guide for ladies


Everyone loves a good, old fashioned eighties party, right? We love a little bit of nostalgia, especially when it involves leg warmers and shoulder pads, right? Here are our top five ideas for fantastic eighties fancy dress costumes…

1. Rubik’s Cube

Rubiks cube fancy dress costume


If there’s one thing that screams “1980s” it’s a Rubik’s Cube. We all spent endless hours trying to solve the thing, and then people started appearing on chat shows, solving them in minutes or even seconds. Never mind, there’s always the fool proof cheat of just swapping the stickers around!

2. Cyndi Lauper

Cyndi Lauper fancy dress

Girls just wanna have fun, right? The great part about this costume is that if you get a ladder in your tights or smudge your make up… it just adds to the look you were going for in the first place!

3. Workout Chic

80s workout costume


Breakfast telly in the 1980s was full of people dressed like this… and then we all went out in the evening to our local community centre to prance about at an aerobics class in leg warmers and leotards and hope we looked the same as the people on the telly!

4. Wonder Woman

wonder woman fancy dress

Superheroes are really big at the moment, so this is a really great costume… and has the added bonus of a cape. What’s not to love?

5. Tina Turner

Tina Turner fancy dress

What’s love got to do with it… The key to this outfit is not just having the heels, but owning the heels – and practising your dance steps well in advance so that you can give a brilliant Tina performance!

Back to the 80s – A Guide for Men Comments Off on Back to the 80s – A Guide for Men

Posted on April 13, 2015 by Fancy Dress Ball

Back to the 80s- A Guide for Men


Who doesn’t love the 1980s? It was such a fantastic decade, with so many difference fancy dress options to choose from.  Here are our favourites:


Freddie Mercury
The 1980s really was Queen’s decade. They had hit after hit after hit throughout the ’80s and everyone loves all of them! Freddie Mercury’s trademark moustache and yellow leather jacket have become instantly recognisable… all you need to do is brush up on your performance skills… the Show Must Go On…

Adam Ant
Another incredibly iconic look, Adam and the Ants were massive proponents of the New Romantic era, with their amazing outfits and memorable dances. If you like your make up, and you want to be Price Charming, this is the 1980s costume for you! Ridicule is nothing to be scared of…

Teen Wolf
Michael J Fox wasn’t just Marty McFly, you know. He also played the original Teen Wolf in 1985 – before it was made into a TV show. This outfit comes with gloves, a wig and a beard – so all you need to worry about is your wolfy growl! Awooooo!

Timmy Mallet
Every child of the 1980s remembers Wacaday, where Timmy Mallet and his cockatiel Magic played Mallets Mallet with contestants who either won an amazing prize such an LP, or a big plaster with “WAC” written on it. (They don’t do TV show budgets like they used to!) All together now… Mallets Mallet is the word association game where you mustn’t pause, mustn’t hesitate, repeat a word  or you get a bash on the head like this or like this. The one with the most bruises loses. Look at each other and say Blaahhh!

Honey Monster
When we weren’t dancing to Queen or Adam and the Ants, we were watching Teen Wolf or Wacaday and eating our Sugar Puffs, right? This costume will take you right back to your childhood with a mask, jacket, gloves and furry boot covers to ensure you look just like the real deal. Now all you need to do is practise going “monster mad for the honey!”

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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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



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.




Terminator, 30 Years On Comments Off on Terminator, 30 Years On

Posted on October 22, 2014 by Fancy Dress Ball




I’ll Be Back!

It’s hard to believe, but the iconic Schwarzenegger movie is 30 years old on 26th October! That’s right; the original Terminator came out in 1984.

The film started when James Cameron, the director, was ill on the set of Piranha II: The Spawning in Rome. He went to bed, and had a rather disturbing dream about a metallic torso dragging itself from an explosion, holding kitchen knives. This dream became the launching pad for the story of the Terminator; Cameron wrote the first draft of the film when he returned to California from Rome. Lucky his nightmare wasn’t about clowns, or it would have been a whole different type of film, wouldn’t it! When Cameron told his agent about the idea for Terminator, the agent hated it and told him to stop working on it, and do something else. Luckily, Cameron has never been one for listening to others, and fired his agent instead of canning the film idea.

When the film first went into pre-production, the studio wanted OJ Simpson to play the Terminator. He was a big star then, much more well known than Schwarzenegger. Cameron refused though, as he didn’t think Simpson would be believable as a killer… this was some years before Simpson was arrested and tried for the murder of his wife!

Schwarzenegger was originally put forward to play Kyle Reese; Cameron wasn’t keen on him for the role, but he did agree to meet with him. His plan was to pick an argument with Schwarzenegger, and then use that as an excuse not to cast him. That didn’t quite go to plan though; when the two met, Cameron quickly became convinced that Schwarzenegger was his Terminator!

When the film first came out, it wasn’t exactly a blockbuster; it performed well for the time of year (post Summer, pre Christmas) but wasn’t a massive hit. In 1985 it was released on VHS and Betamax and again, did ok but wasn’t a raging success. Still, thirty years later people still watch it. They still buy it; they still talk about it; they still discuss which of the three movies in the franchise is their favourite, and why.

The franchise is still going strong, with Paramount set to release Terminator:Genisys starring Emilia Clarke as Sarah Connor, and Schwarzenegger back in the title role. There are two more films planned, too – which brings the total to 6 movies – not bad for a feverish dream in Rome in 1982!

So, how best to celebrate 30 years of the Terminator? Obviously, you need a Terminator costume, a great big fake gun (though don’t go wandering about in public with a fake gun!), and dark glasses. Then you need to perfect your Austrian robot voice, and deliver all of the best lines with a dead straight face.

Let’s Rewind the 80s! Comments Off on Let’s Rewind the 80s!

Posted on July 30, 2014 by Fancy Dress Ball

In honour of the Rewind the 80s festival on August 15th, we thought we would indulge in a little 80s nostalgia…

Screenshot 2014-07-30 at 15.18.37

The 1980s was the decade that gave us MTV. Can you imagine life without it now?

Screenshot 2014-07-30 at 15.26.03

Michael Jackson’s Thriller came out in 1982 and is to date the biggest selling album of all time.

The 1980s were definitely Jackson’s best years; he is the icon of the decade.

Screenshot 2014-07-30 at 15.34.41

The 80s also gave us Whitney Houston, the amazing singer who later went on to become the most awarded female act of all time.

Screenshot 2014-07-30 at 15.37.42

Closer to home, we had Duran Duran. Not quite as big as Jackson or Houston… but still great!

Screenshot 2014-07-30 at 15.40.52

The Police were also pretty big in the 1980s… and so was their hair!

Screenshot 2014-07-30 at 15.44.27

We also had U2 breaking onto the music scene with arguably some of their finest albums.

Screenshot 2014-07-30 at 15.47.00

And of course, who could forget Dire Straits? They didn’t really have the iconic look, but they definitely had the iconic songs!

Screenshot 2014-07-30 at 15.50.36

… but if iconic look is what you’re after, look no further than Adam and the Ants!

The question is: which was your favourite?

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