Talking of the Scots yesterday got us thinking about national stereotypes. Despite being set in ‘Early Times’, the film throws in a large number of the references you would expect to see – tossing the caber – check, nothing being worn under the kilt – check (even the Carry on films did that one), blue Braveheart-style body art – check (although of course all woads don’t lead to Scotland). The same happens for the English. In theory, we are all supposed to have posh accents (or broad cockney), drink tea and live within easy distance of London. (I Spy points for items spotted in films:- Big Ben (or should that be Elizabeth Tower?), A Black Cab, Red Phone or Pillar Box and a ‘Bobbie’. In France of course, aside from everyone living in Paris with a view of the Eiffel Tower, they all wear Breton stripe jumpers and berets or can-can outfits. Naturally, when it comes to costuming for a Nationalities event, these stereotypes are useful – Germans wear lederhosen or dirndl skirts, Japanese are Samurai or Geishas and Australians all wear corked hats. Problem is, we are not too sure what outfit is typically British – Union Jack outfits are okay if you are embracing the entire Union, but if it’s down to the English, the Morris Man/Woman suggests itself and for some reason, that’s not a concept everyone wants to embrace.
I did get an email once saying that they were offended that I had given Aladdin characters as being suitable for an Oriental theme, but as I replied to her, fancy dress is based on stereotypes throughout and we had in no way meant to offend. I have only added this note as a word of caution as to be careful when deciding on your fancy dress outfit.
Obviously, we have loads of country costume ideas but what about some other stereotypes. Here are some of the ideas we came up with to get you going and we are sure that you can put most together from bits and bobs:
Today’s fancy dress theme idea is ‘Around The World’ or Countries as September 6th (although some sources say the 8th) marks the completion of the first circumnavigation of the globe, by Ferdinand Magellan’s expedition in 1522. Magellan was originally Portuguese but ‘became’ Spanish, when Charles I of Spain offered to fund an expedition to find the Spice Islands.
He then spent many of his voyages avoiding Portuguese fleets and territories because of the conflict of national interests. In fact Magellan did not complete the trip himself as he was killed in battle at the Philippines. Of the original 237 souls who set out, (in five ships) only 18 returned on the ‘Victoria’ which was what remained of the fleet (some others who had been captured or ‘mislaid’ en route returned to Spain later).
Though a Spanish costume theme might seem a good idea it can be rather limited when it comes to finding appropriate costumes, particularly for males. Even items such as Matador costumes and Ladies Spanish Dancers and mens Rumba costumes are manufactured more for females. An ‘Around the World’ fancy dress theme offers much more scope, and with our fabulous selection of costumes and accessories from America, Asia, Europe and Australia we’re sure we can find a fancy dress costume to suit. Take a look at our ‘Around the World’ Costume ideas for all the family for some more inspiration.