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Top 5 Fancy Dress With Hats! Comments Off on Top 5 Fancy Dress With Hats!

Posted on April 18, 2016 by Fancy Dress Ball


A hat is a great way to add the finishing touch to your fancy dress costume… or if you’re caught short (or feeling really lazy) you can sometimes get away with just plonking on a hat and calling it your costume! Here are our five favourite hats for fancy dress


1. Cowboy Hat
If you don’t have time to put together a whole outfit, a cowboy hat can be a lifesaver. A pair of jeans, pointy-toed boots, almost any sort of plain t shirt or flannel shirt and you can easily become a cowboy – or girl!

2. Pirate Hat
Ok, well you do need to put a little more effort into this one to make it a complete outfit but at a real push, you can just wear dark or ripped clothing and a pirate hat and tell people you’re a pirate. The biggest part of being a pirate is talking like one any way! Check out our blog post on how to talk like a pirate!

3. Animal Ears
Ok, so not strictly a hat – but a great way to get away with not having a proper costume! Dress all in black, stick on a pair of cat or dog ears and paint your nose black! Job’s a good’un!

4. Viking
Everyone knows what a viking hat looks like; it has horns! There’s no mistaking what you’ve come as if you’re wearing a viking hat, right? The rest of your outfit should probably involve a sheepskin or leather waistcoat and… er… brown trousers? See? Nobody knows what vikings wear, other than the hat! Vikings are all about the hats.

5. Charlie Chaplin
You could be almost anyone wearing a black suit… but draw on a little moustache and don a bowler hat and hey presto – you’re Chaplin. Everyone know Charlie Chaplin, even if they’ve never seen any of his movies and know nothing about him. It’s an iconic image and easy to pull off.


Do you have a go-to hat for fancy dress emergencies?

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!

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!

Celebrate World Farm Animals Day Comments Off on Celebrate World Farm Animals Day

Posted on September 30, 2015 by Fancy Dress Ball



This Friday, 2nd October is World Farm Animals Day.

The day was actually created in memory of Gandhi, who believed in treating all living beings with respect. The idea is to highlight the poor conditions suffered by some farm animals, and to promote awareness in the hope of improving their lives.

That all sounds quite bleak and miserable, doesn’t it. We can also celebrate farm animals though. A great way to do this is to visit a farm. We’re always seeing in the news that children these days think milk comes from the shop, or eggs just magically appear in a box. These days many children genuinely don’t know where there food comes from and a visit to a local farm can help with that.

Here are our top ideas for celebrating World Farm Animal Day:

  • Community farms are great to visit because they often have initiatives where children can get involved in the farming process – by feeding animals or collecting eggs. This helps them to become familiar with the idea of a farm and farm animals. And by spending time with the animals, they will be more inclined to see that farm animals deserve respect and care, just like their pet dog or cat.
  • If you can’t get out to visit a community farm, we have a fantastic idea for a way to celebrate World Farm Animals Day. You’ll never guess what it is… fancy dress! You could create your own farm at home, school or work. Each dress as a different animal, paint your faces and really get into character.
  • If you don’t want to paint your face, check out these brilliant farm animal mask printables.
  • Make a donation to an animal protection charity in honour of World Farm Animal Day
  • Use your initiative and artistic skills to decorate farm animal cupcakes or biscuits. Mini marshmallos make great sheep wool, and chocolate buttons are great spots for fresian cows!
  • Failing all of that, just watch this suer-cute video of mini pigs:


If there is anything in this world more cute than a mini pig enjoying having its belly scratched, we don’t know what it is!

Let’s Throw a Mexican Party! Comments Off on Let’s Throw a Mexican Party!

Posted on September 14, 2015 by Fancy Dress Ball


Everyone loves guacamole, right? A lot of Mexican food can be really spicy and perhaps a bit too much to handle – but guacamole is so creamy and cool, it’s perfect for everyone.

You may have noticed that we love any excuse for a party here – and to us, Guacamole Day on Wednesday 16th September sounds an awful lot like an excuse for a Mexican themed party.


So what if the weather is starting to cool down, autumn is beginning and everyone’s gone back to school? We can still have a fantastic fiesta!

Food & Drinks

Firstly, you want some amazing guacamole recipes like these – after all, it is Guacamole Day!

We’ve found this fantastic blog post with loads of ideas for a Mexican themed dinner party; you can use any or all of these to cater for your party!

And here are some amazing taco recipes as well.

Decoration & Games

We love these Mexican paper crafts – you can make them beforehand as decoration, or lay out a table with supplies and have your guests make their own decorations as part of the party.

Of course, you can’t have a Mexican themed party without a pinata. We’ve found this brilliant tutorial for making your own


Oh, come on – did you really think we would have a feature on Mexican themed parties without mentioning Mexican fancy dress?! As if! We love fancy dress!

One fantastic thing we came across is this set of printables for a Mexican wrestler mask. How cool are they!

Now, if you’ll excuse us, we have a gazillion avocados to cut, twist and spoon in preparation for Guacamole Day on Wednesday!

Back to the 60s: A Guide for Ladies Comments Off on Back to the 60s: A Guide for Ladies

Posted on July 20, 2015 by Fancy Dress Ball

Back to the 60s


We love 1960s themed parties; there are just so many fabulous costume options to choose from! Here are our five favourite 1960s fancy dress party outfits:

1. Breakfast at Tiffany’s

Audrey Hepburn fancy dress




If there’s one thing that screams 1960s, it’s Audrey Hepburn in a black evening gown, long cigarette holder in hand and long gloves to boot. Everyone loves the movie Breakfast at Tiffany’s and by arriving at your party as Holly Golightly you’ll ensure you’re instantly recognisable – and that you can get away with calling everyone Fred or dahling. Or both.






2. Swirly Hippie

60s hippie fancy dress



Think of the 60s, and we all think of hippies! We’ve loads of different hippie outfits available on the site, but this one is really swirly and floaty; we love it, maaann!






3. Operation


operation costume



The board game Operation was invented in 1964 by an American university professor. It continues to be amazingly popular to this day, and this costume is instantly recognisable as the well-loved game. Even better, there’s a male version of the costume too – so if you’re going with your partner, you can have matching his ‘n’ hers costumes!






4. Tie Dye Hippie

tie dye 60s hippie




Okay, we know we’ve already featured one hippie outfit, but there are just so many to choose from – and they’re all so different! Tie dye patterns are synonymous with the 1960s but the bright colours on this outfit are great for a party atmosphere too.






5. Swinging 60s Dress

swinging 60s dress




The swinging 60s were full of ladies wearing funky mini dresses in bright, block colours. This dress is perfect for that look, with the bright black and pink blocks and matching hat. Team it with some knee-high platform boots and OTT, thick, fake lashes for maximum effect!

It’s World Goth Day on Friday! Comments Off on It’s World Goth Day on Friday!

Posted on May 20, 2015 by Fancy Dress Ball

World Goth Day

This Friday is World Goth Day… are you prepared? World Goth Day is a day when the goth scene celebrates all things goth. So how can you join in?

First of all, take this handy quiz to see if you are in fact a goth already!

Next, do your make up like The Crow, the ultimate goth movie.


Now, go and find all the black clothing you can. You may need to buy some. If it’s PVC or leather, all the better. Buckles are also good, as is black lace (no, not Agadoo!) If you’re really stuck, take a look at our site for some great goth fancy dress costumes.

Hair is a major part of the goth look. You might not want to go the whole hog and dye your hair jet black – so a wig could be a good idea! Goths do have a wide variety of styles for their black locks, but our favourite is that of Robert Smith from The Cure. Here’s why:


We’ve no idea just how much back-combing and hair spray is involved in this look, but we really love it!

Alternatively, if black is a bit… dark for you, you could bleach your hair so that it’s bright white and put some coloured stripes in.

The next, and possibly most important step, is the music. Although there’s a lot of fashion and style surrounding the goth scene, it originally started in England in the early 80s after the post-punk scene. Bands to look out for are Siouxsie and the Banshees, Joy Division and Sisters of Mercy.

Finally, go to the World Goth Day website and download some music and posters and… other gothy stuff.


And there you have it: World Goth Day for beginners!

Happy Leprechaun Day! Comments Off on Happy Leprechaun Day!

Posted on May 13, 2015 by Fancy Dress Ball

leprechaun day


Today, May 13th, is Leprechaun Day – an entire day devoted to those little tiny elves of Ireland.

Of course, we celebrated St Patrick’s Day earlier in the year, and leprechauns are usually a part of those celebrations – but it’s generally felt that these guardians of the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow really deserve their own special day! We’re not making this up; there really is a day just for leprechauns.

The origin of this particular day is just as myserious as the leprechauns’ hiding places for their pots of gold – but it’s definitely an actual thing, and people actually celebrate it.

Leprechauns have been a large part of Irish folklore for thousands of years. Unlike traditional fairies, they have a reputation for playing tricks and being somewhat mischievous  – but they are still well-loved by all.

Lgend has it that if you can catch a leprechaun, he has to give you his pot of gold – but of course, leprechauns don’t want to give up their gold, and so can be very resourceful when it comes to defending it.

If you can’t catch a leprechaun today, a good way to celebrate is to appreciate and nourish your own pot of gold – by making a deposit to your savings account, or by looking wider at other valuable things in your life, such as friends and family.

Of course, another great way to celebrate Leprechaun Day would be to dress up as a leprechaun – and that is definitely something we can help you with! You might have noticed that here at Fancy Dress Ball we jump at any excuse for a bit of fancy dress. Hopefully all of our staff got the memo about coming in dressed as leprechauns today…

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!


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”


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 VE Day in Style! Comments Off on Celebrate VE Day in Style!

Posted on May 06, 2015 by Fancy Dress Ball

VE Day


This Thursday, 7th May, marks seventy years since VE Day and the end of the Second World War in Europe. To mark the occasion, the government has announced three days of celebrations including a parade through central London, a concert and a service of thanksgiving.

But what if you don’t live in London? Don’t panic, Mister Mainwearing! Just like on the original VE Day in 1945 there will be street parties and celebrations held all over the UK. Unlike the original VE Day though, our food won’t be rationed – and bananas, tea and sugar will be freely available!

This may well be the last big celebration that veterans of the Second World War will live to see so it’s bound to be something worth writing home about. Most local authorities have planned events for the public to take part in, but there’s nothing to stop you having your own, mini celebration.

In 1945, Victory in Europe was celebrated by waving Union Jack flags, tea parties in the street and big bonfires on communal land. Some of the bonfires even had quite realistic effigies of Hitler sitting on top. To celebrate VE Day in true vintage style, you need to do away with the speaker systems, the dance music and the designer clothes. In 1945 people danced in conga lines down the street in tea dresses and military uniforms. The atmosphere was of jubliation and celebration, but also of a big, family picnic. Despite years of rationing and not having a great deal of food, people pulled out all the stops to put on a big feast for the day.

The sort of foods eaten in 1945 included tripe (a cow’s stomach! Yum!), powdered egg (don’t ask us, we’ve no idea how to powder an egg), fish (not subjected to rationing) and corned beef fritters. Foods such as bacon, butter, sugar, tea and meat were rationed until 1954 and because of the lack of imports, many children didn’t see their first banana until well after the war had ended. In fact, during a recent TV documentary John Craven noted that the first time he saw one, he tried to eat it with the skin still on!

Of course, many things other than food were difficult to get hold of during the War. Unable to get stockings, many women would attempt to dye their legs with tea, to make it look like they were wearing them. Some would also draw a line up the backs of their legs, as in those days stockings had a seam that ran up the back of the leg. Clothing was rationed as textiles factories were switched over to the war effort, and there was a big drive to “make do and mend” old clothes.

During the war there was a major drive to encourage women to remain glamorous. As the war drew on, makeup supplies became limited and factories were given over to armament production. In 1942 using metal for lipstick or compact cases was banned and a lot of makeup was supplied as just a refill for existing packaging. Still, everyone knew Hitler disliked cosmetics, and women were encouraged to be glamorous as part of the war effort: it was their duty not to let their appearance go. The slogan “Beauty is your duty” was printed in magazines, and women eked out the last sliver of lipstick or the last puff of powder, using it right up to the very last dab. Beetroot was often used as a lip stain and some even used boot polish as mascara! (we really don’t recommend the boot polish though).

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