Celebrate with The Best of British Costume Theme. At a time when the country is in the midst of an intense push of patriotism due to the Jubilee, the Euro football and the Olympics, to name but three, today we mark the anniversary of a pinnacle of patriotic fervour – Winston Churchill’s ‘Finest Hour’ speech relating to the Battle of Britain in 1940. Of course in a normal year there are a number of 1940s commemorations occurring around now, and the start of the Queen’s reign came at the end of the period of austerity caused by the War. This, plus the fact that 1940s wartime is on the school National Curriculum means there is an upswing in demand for 1940s outfits. The problem is, as those of you who have searched the Internet will know, there are not the same multitude of sources for 40s outfits as there are for other eras. Here at Props & Frocks we have gradually built up a collection to help cater to the demand, but it helps if you can be a little realistic – it was not a particular glamorous era, for obvious reasons, and not everyone can be dashing WW II flying aces!
Take a look at all of our 1940’s costume ideas
We offer 2 fancy dress theme options for today…
Most people are, quite rightly, celebrating the anniversary of the start of the Normandy D-Day landings today in 1944. Props & Frocks stocks a wide range of 40s hire costumes, and a growing range of 1940s uniforms to purchase, including a brilliant Dad’s Army costume.
However, never to be conventional, we go back a further hundred years to note that it was today in 1844 that the YMCA was founded inLondon. Unfortunately this worthy organisation and its initials are now more commonly associated with a disco floor-filler hit by the Village People, but we are sure the spin-off publicity/promotion hasn’t done any harm. For some, remembering the ‘professions’ portrayed by the members of the Village People can be a test akin to knowing the names of the Seven Dwarfs, but we still get requests for appropriate outfits from time to time, especially from ‘groups’ – if there are four, it’s Abba, if it’s five (or six), it’s the Village People, especially when it is a 1970s event.
Mixed Sex Group Fancy Dress Ideas…
- Cinderella, Prince Charming, Ugly Sisters, Buttons, Footmen, Fairy Godmother
- Snow White, Seven Dwarfs, Wicked Queen/ Old Woman / Witch, King, Prince Charming
- Robin Hood, Maid Marion, Friar Tuck, Little John, Sheriff of Nottingham, Merry Men
- Red Riding Hood, Wood Cutter, Wolf, Granny
- Buzz Fizz
- God & various Angels
- The Addams Family
- Scooby Doo
- Toy Story characters – we stock a great range of Toy Story Costumes
- Shrek, Princess Fiona, Prince Charming, Puss in Boots, Pinocchio, Donkey, Snow White, Gingerbread Man,
- Batman, Robin, Joker, Bat Girl, Catwoman, The Riddler
- Peter Pan, Wendy, Pirates, Captain Hook, Tinker Bell, Mermaids, Indians
- The Simpsons
- Bill, Ben & Weed
- Austin Powers, Felicity Shagwell, Dr. Evil, Fat Barstead, Foxxy Cleopatra
- Nuns, Vicars, Monks, Popes – take a look at our range of religious costumes
- The Flintstones – we stock Fred, Wilma, Betty & Barney
- Doctor, Nurse, Patient
- Wizard of Oz Costumes- Dorothy, Tin Man, Scarecrow, Wicked Witch Of The West, Glinda, Cowardly Lion
- Alice in Wonderland – Alice, Mad Hatter, queen Of Hearts, White Rabbit, Tweedle Dee & Tweedle dum
- Birds & Bees – some dress up as bees (normally the ladies) and the others dress up as birds. Overhead masks are available if you do not want to dress up in a full costume
- Henry VIII & his six wives
- Father Christmas, Mrs Christmas, Miss Xmas, Elves, Reindeer – take a look at all of our Christmas costume ideas
- Policeman, Police Woman, Convict
- Cluedo Characters
- Pink Ladies & T Birds, From Grease
- Cowboy, Cowgirl, Indian Brave, Indian Squaw, Sheriff, Outlaw, Saloon Girls, Saloon Bar Madam
- Aladdin, Jasmine, Jafar, Genie
- Sheik with numerous Belly dancers as his Harem
- Lord Of The Rings characters – Arwen, Gandalf, Gimli, Frodo, Legolas
- Pimp & his ‘girls’
- Circus – Ringmaster, Clowns, Trapeze artists, knife thrower, Lion Tamer, or various circus animals
- Rocky Horror Picture Show – Riff Raff, Magenta, Columbia, Frank n Furta
- Gangster & Flappers
- The Wombles
- Star Trek Costumes
- Star Wars Costumes – Princess Leia, Queen Amidala, Darth Vader, Jedi Knights
- Headmaster, Schoolboys, Schoolgirls
All Male Group Ideas…
- 3 Musketeers (4 with D’Artagnan)
- Julius Caesar, Mark Anthony, Cleopatra, Roman Soldiers
- Willy Wonka, Oompa Loompas
- Military Men
- Noddy, Policeman, Big Ears
- The Beatles
- American Presidents – overhead masks are available for most
- Bunch of Bananas
- Rainbow Characters
- Village People – Native American, Police Officer, Builder, Cowboy, G I
- T Birds
- Morphsuits – do you dare to wear on of our fantastic Morphsuits?
All Female Group Ideas…
- Sheila’s Wheels
- Diana Ross & The Supremes
- The Spice Girls
- Charlie’s Angels – 70s costumes
- The Andrews Sisters – 40s Uniforms
- Military ladies uniforms
- Moulin rouge / Burlesque style costumes
- Pink Ladies
Yesterday, we were speaking about comic book hero fancy dress ideas and 1960s TV, so today we thought we would draw your attention to some of our most popular requests for costumes, namely those of the 20th century decades. Now you might think that the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s would be the costumes most people might want, but you might be surprised to learn that at certain times of the year, other decades feature heavily. For example, last month with the commemoration of the Sinking of the Titanic on April 15th, the requests for Edwardian and 20th century Georgian outfits were quite prolific.
Similarly, this month we have the anniversary of VE (Victory in Europe) day on 8th May, which of course took place in 1945. With many 1940s events scheduled around the country, demand is set to be quite high, particularly for uniforms of the period. Here at Props & Frocks we not only have some great costumes, but we also provide lots of back-up material, not only in these blogs, but also in the form of newsletters, costume and party ideas. So, if you want additional information on any twentieth century decades, particularly if you are holding a decades party, why not get in touch?
Take a look at our range of 40s costumes
Speed & Travel is today’s fancy dress theme as we live life in the Fast Lane as we note that around this date in 1865, the British authorities started to take the perceived rising menace of the new steam-driven ‘horseless carriages’ in hand and decided to impose some speed limits. These limits were 2 mph in towns and built-up areas and 4mph elsewhere. Furthermore, there had to be a pedestrian with a red flag sixty yards in front of the vehicle, with three drivers needing to be aboard at all times. Things lightened up a little thirteen years later when the red flag became optional upon ‘local conditions’ and the flag-bearer only had to be twenty yards in front. In 1895, vehicles under three tonnes became exempt from the red flag rule and the speed limit was raised to 14mph. Such is the speed of progress!
More than a century later those ‘horseless carriages’ are celebrated annually at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, which is basically a celebration of all things motoring, featuring classic cars and motorbikes, elite racing drivers and the glitterati of the motorsports world. This event which happened last week has been held at Goodwood since 1993. Although racing drivers may be a popular costume request, more pertinent to us than the Festival of Speed is the Goodwood Revival meeting. This takes place in 2011 from September 16-18. The event is designed to celebrate not only the history of the car, but also other vehicles. It evokes a sense of nostalgia for a more ‘glamorous’ age and the amount of 1940s-1960s costume requests we receive each year sees more and more people entering into the spirit of the occasion. Take a look at our 40s costumes - ideal for the Goodwood Revival meeting, although when I went we opted for 1950s fancy dress
So what costume ideas can we offer you for a Speed & Travel Costume Theme? It’s not the easiest of themes, and if you have any great costume suggestion, we’d love to hear from you
- Airline Pilot – RAF Uniforms – Aviator Costumes – Biggles – check out our pilot costumes & accessories
- Air Steward(ess)
- Horse rider – Jockey Costume with or without a horse
- Racing Driver
- Starlight Express Character
- Steam Train Driver
- Waiter on the Orient Express
- Arab with a camel
- Witch – with broomstick
- Space / Time Traveller
- Star Trek Person – ‘Beam Me Up Scotty’
- Ship’s Captain
- Superman – he can fly!
- Iron Man – so can he…
No prizes for guessing why today we advocate a 40s costume theme.
66 years ago today, street parties were breaking out all over the place, to celebrate Victory in Europe. Many people who were there can still recall the fantastic atmosphere that was created. Do you think the street parties held in your local area during the wedding celebrations a couple of weeks ago could in any way compare with these? In 1945, fancy dress seemed to have been a big aspect of the day for many children, but with rationing etc., improvisation was a key factor. Fortunately, nowadays you have the likes of Props n Frocks to help you with your fancy dress costumes and accessories and with our fantastic range you can even dress up in 1940s costumes. Don’t forget, we even stock girls & boys Evacuee costumes – ideal for school dress up days.
If you are local, our hire costume range includes:
- 40s Nurses
- Land Army Costumes
- Ladies Uniforms
- Mens Uniforms
- Ladies Day Dresses
We thought we’d recommend a 40s fancy dress theme today as t’s a big night for the British Movie Industry as we see the British Academy Film & TV Awards being held, sponsored by Orange. With fourteen nominations, arguably the most popular film to dominate this year’s award ceremony will be ‘The King’s Speech’. Although this film is set mainly in the 1930s, it does lead up to the start of the Second World War.
Here at Props n Frocks we know that 1940s is always a popular costume theme. Although people were encouraged to ‘Make Do and Mend’ during this period, we do not expect you to do the same, particularly if you are thinking of taking a militaristic approach to dressing up. Military outfits can be difficult to obtain and may often fit only particular sizes, but we endeavour as always to offer a range of these to accommodate all comers. If the uniform is not for you we also have a selection of day dresses, spiv suits and evening wear. Anyone who is local to our fancy dress shop in Essex will be able to choose from our huge range of 40s costumes that are available to hire, but please bring proof of your address with you.
In our for sale range, we stock a great American GI costume for ladies and men, these have really been popular. We have also recently added a Home Guard costume to our range of 40 costumes. All of these costumes come in a good range of sizes, so you should be able to order the size you need. Gangster costumes also double up as a Spiv costume – ideal for the WWII era – just add some ladies nylon stockings and chocolate. Take a look at our 40s costumes
If 1940s isn’t quite your thing, the other film expected to get an award or two is ‘Black Swan’. Obviously a movie about ballet also has limited costume appeal (especially for men), but as a psycho-drama, Natalie Portman probably wins it on pointes. The Oscars in two weeks time (Feb 27th) will be the ultimate test.