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Doing Fancy Dress The Right Way

By Dan Bayfield

Posted: 15th April 2015 14:15

If you’re heading to one of Europe’s hottest party destinations this year, you’ll probably be more concerned with filling your suitcases with glow in the dark paint and neon tutus than you are swimming trunks and sun cream.  Fancy dress is always a big part of the clubbing experience and is taken as seriously as it can be by a bunch of students in a state of permanent inebriation. If you don’t dress up, you run the risk of sticking out like a sore thumb – and no one wants to spend the evening alone at the bar whilst their mates cavort on the dance floor with Batman and a couple of Oompa Loompas. 

An epic fancy dress costume makes for a great ice-breaker. It can also inspire some skin-crawlingly smooth pick-up lines, so you might want to be a little bit more original and think beyond a morph suit or a onesie. It is always tempting to splash the cash on a truly head-turning costume from a specialist fancy dress shop, but you can't always be sure that it will last the night…the alternative option is a custom costume – simply trawl the charity and craft shops for inspiration and bribe someone who can use a sewing machine with the promise of an expensive souvenir. 

Ideas for Guys

By day you’re Dave, the slightly socially awkward 19 year old from Basingstoke, but by night, you’re Superman.  Or Spiderman. Or any of the other superheroes that you’ve secretly wanted to be since you were five years old.  Basically, what we’re saying is, a superhero costume can never, ever fail. Tell a girl you’ve got x-ray vision and can see through her top. If she doesn’t slap you around the face, you’ve pulled. 

We don’t know what is about boys, but after a few they manage to convince themselves they can walk better in heels than the opposite sex can. Just for the record, they can’t – but it’s always hilarious to watch. It’s easy to embrace your feminine side; all you need to do is cajole a girl friend to lend you a mini skirt and apply a bit of eyeliner, and you’re ready to hit the clubs masquerading as a drag queen, a naughty school girl or Miley Cyrus…show the population of Ibiza or Kavos you’re up for a laugh and you’ll be the centre of attention all night. 

Ideas for Girls

Any fan of the hit film Mean Girls will know that fancy dress is an excuse to…well, let’s just say it’s the chance to get a little inventive. You can never go wrong with animal themed fancy dress, but try to think a little bit out of the box – animal ears and drawn-on whiskers are so 2004. Paint yourself in leopard print, wear a (faux) fox fur bikini or make a headdress out of peacock feathers; show off your personality and embrace the jungle that is The Strip. 

If you’re more of a romantic, take inspiration from the fairy tales and films you loved as a kid. Dorothy, Alice in Wonderland (or the Red Queen, if you’re feeling particularly feisty) and Little Red Riding Hood all make for cute costumes, and can be put together with very little effort. On your night out, keep your eye out for the Tin Man or the Big Bad Wolf…it could be the start of something magical.


If you’re on holiday with a group of mates, then co-ordinated fancy dress is surely a must. It’s a sure fire way to stand out – and will make it a lot easier to track each other down if you get separated. Baz Luhrmann’s recent adaptation of The Great Gatsby has ensured that a lot of groups will be taking inspiration from the Roaring 20s this summer; budding flapper girls only need a fringe dress and a string of pearls, whilst the mob bosses amongst you need nothing more than a sharp suit, a trilby and a water pistol. All that jazz.

Taking inspiration from another much loved movie, how about you and your friends paint yourselves yellow, don comical goggles and shout “banana!” at random strangers all night? That’s right, the minion craze is about to take off, and no other group costume will garner you quite as much attention as this. You’ll earn extra points of you can convince one of your group to dress up as Gru – complete with a giant nose and bald head. 

If looking good is more important than manoeuvring through doors or sitting down then there is nothing else for it – human Tetris. All you really need is a few cardboard boxes and a couple of rolls of sellotape… just make sure you go to the loo before you get ‘dressed.’ 

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