Introduction to Fancy Dress in the UK
The purpose of fancy dress gatherings refers to allowing us to escape our own selves for one night. Everyone's been through it at least once – Halloween is becoming more and more popular and nobody can escape it anymore. For creative people, fancy dress is just another excuse to bring out their most original ideas while for most of us, it's a way to be what we most wanted to be, maybe without drawing too much attention.
How to Choose your Costume
The simple costume parties are the ones that come with a theme. Unfortunately, most of them don't and, even in the case of themed parties, there are various approaches that one can take – one may find it even more difficult sometimes to fit into a theme that they may not particularly relate to.
There are always three types of choices: simple/traditional, extravagant or funny.
The simple and/or traditional choices refer to the costumes that will appear at just about every party out there: costumes that you can wear as normal clothes (f. ex. dressing in a normal suit and pulling your hair a certain way may allow you to claim you are a contemporary famous person), or very simple variations of them (wearing a cape and a set of large teeth over normal clothes will make you a vampire). This is the type of fancy dress you wear when you want to blend in or want to be in and out of the costume very fast.
The extravagant are the ones that will make you stand out and have everyone throw a look your way. Either elaborate historical dresses (maybe mixed with a lot of make-up in the case of 17th century costumes) or unusual animals, these costumes will involve a lot of effort – and probably a trip to the fancy dress shops (unlike the first category that may be scraped out of your own regular clothes). These costumes will surely get you attention if that's something you look for.
Funny costumes can be variations of both the first and second category and are recommended for people who are not afraid to make a little fun of their own selves. Just like extravagant suits, they can get you a lot of attention, although some jokes may not be recommended for parties where co-workers and/or business partners can run into you.
Where to Choose your Costume
It might be recommended to try on a costume before paying for it – so an actual physical shop may be a good idea, especially in the case of funny and extravagant costumes. Most areas in the UK will present you with options in that regard and a quick browse on yell.com will reveal the locations in smaller towns and cities.
If time does not allow you to make a trip to a fancy dress shop or if you live in one of those areas that do not offer that option, online and telephone orders are an ever-growing possibility. Be cautious though: you might want to order the costume early to allow yourself time to change it if it doesn't turn out to be what you expected.