Costume Practicalites

If you are wearing a fancy dress costume this Christmas, today’s post will help you

Funny Costumes

Gingerbread Man – not the easiest costume to wear serving behind a bar!

choose the most appropriate costumes to wear.

There has been an increasing trend to ally some aspect of dressing up (or down) to various charities in the course of the year. Be that as it may, it is probably true to say that this period leading up to Christmas is a potentially fertile period for opportunities to dress up, from the special outfit saved to stun your work colleagues at the office ‘do’ to the potentially hazardous decision to dress up as Festive Characters in the run-up to Christmas. Whilst we cannot help on the minutiae of work-place politics, we do know our subject when it comes to costume (evening-wear, perhaps not so much, but we’ll give it a go if necessary). Here are a few pointers to help in your costume choice:

a) If you are working in an outfit, ensure it is fit for purpose: Whilst the newer foam-based novelty costumes are an improvement on the older-style costumes, make sure you can reach, bend and do all you need to do, without damage to either yourself or your outfit. Also, short and skimpy might work well for club-wear, but it might not be practical (or warm) in a work environment.

b) Overhead Masks might ‘make’ many a costume, but they are not always practical, if only for reasons of health and safety if your vision or hearing is impaired by the mask. Explore the possibilities of fancy dress make-up as an alternative.

c) Note that not all costume outfits have pockets or means of storing essentials. Look to an alternative which either works within the spirit of the outfit – Bo-Peep and a ‘Lamb-bag’, for example,  or some other method of storage which can be concealed about your person, without compromising the costume.

d) It might seem obvious, but it helps to forsee potential glitches beforehand: How are you getting to the venue?: Are there facilities for sorting out final preparations such as make-up at the event?; Are you able to ditch and store any accessories which are great for the Grand Entrance but become a potential liability thereafter?

Choosing Your Fancy Dress Costume

When it comes to choosing a fancy dress costume, practicality can sometimes fly out the window in the face of aProps n Frocks hire fancy dress essex good idea. This can be particularly true when it comes to some of our novelty costumes and those with overhead masks, where perhaps people have really not thought through the concept of eating, drinking, dancing and perhaps just sitting down in their chosen costume. A few days ago we spoke about getting to and from the venue, but what about the number of costumes that go out to inappropriate venues which are really not designed to take them?

For some costume businesses this year’s “big thing” has been the Wedding Dress, or to be precise the big fat gypsy wedding dress.  Here at P&F we are not really in the market for bridal hire, but from time to time we do get the odd request for large frilly gowns and dresses. This time of year, these types of requests are often for Victorian style events or characters from pantomime productions such as Cinderella, the Fairy Godmother, the Pantomime Dame, etc. These dresses can often have crinolines or frames underneath to pad them out. But those who are thinking about this type of dress for a party should also consider the venue. A house party, even ones with a marquee are probably not going to be appropriate, unless it happens to be a large house where this type of outfit would fit in well.  However, most of us do not have spacious homes in which to host a party, such as the one featured in the 1939 epic film ‘Gone with the Wind’, which today celebrates the anniversary of its premier in Atlanta over 70 years ago.

Key points to consider when choosing a fancy dress costume:

  • Is there a theme to follow? Your host should guide you on this. It is good manners to follow the costume as much as you can, but at the same time, some dressing up themes are a bit obscure and can make it difficult to find a suitable costume
  • Do you need to speak? A costume with an overhead mask just will not be suitable
  • What type of costume party is it? If it is an office do, you may decide to wear a more conservative fancy dress outfit. If it to wear during work hours, what sort of job do you do? It is no good wearing something very short and sexy if you are going to be going up and down steps,or stacking shelves.
  • How many people will you know? You will probably dress more outrageously if you know a lot of people and feel more comfortable with the other guests
  • Is it inside or outside? If it is outside at this time of year, make sure you can add a cape, or have a costume large enough to get more clothes on underneath
  • Are you planning to go as a couple or group? The more people you add in will make this more difficult. If you are trying to go as a couple (or group) make a note of the largest, and smallest people to make sure that whatever you decide on is suitable for the entire group. checkout some of our great couple costume ideas
  • Do you have to be on your feet very much? Okay, we hope you are going to dance the night away, but if you are going to be walking, or running, choose a costume that is able to be worn with flatter shoes.
  • What time of the year is it? You don’t want to be wearing a heavy costume in the middle of a heatwave.
  • Do you have a particular area of your body that you want to cover up? For example, if you want to keep the top of your arms covered, why not add a feather boa to your saloon girl outfit?
  • Are you going to purchase, or hire your costume? Some fancy dress shops not only offer quality hire costumes, but many also now offer a range to purchase as well. Pop in to your local shop (or come and see us!) so you can actually try the item on. If you are going to purchase on-line, please leave enough time for us to process your order and get it to you in plenty of time for your dressing up event, this is especially important if the size is not what you were expecting.