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?

Weird Fancy Dress

We’d love to know the weirdest place that you ever saw fancy dress being worn. Fancy dress is becomingNovelty Fancy Dress Costumes more and more popular with many functions holding a specific fancy dress day, or event (see below for some examples). So it’s over to you, drop us a line with your funny costume related stories. If you need a funny costume, why not take a look at our range of novelty fancy dress costumes?

Friday 5th of August and over at Gatcombe Park in Gloucestershire there is the start of a Festival of British Eventing. This is mostly to do with horses (although there are apparently other entertainments and a shopping village) and that would seem to be of little interest to those of us who deal with costuming and peripheral activities and yet…We are noticing an increasing trend for fancy dress to be creeping into many aspects of ‘normal’ life including sporting events: We have seen Wombles at Wimbledon (naturally – who do you think helps clear up?) and all sorts of creations at cricket matches. Whilst the Last Night of the Proms has always been a ‘dress-up’ day, the ‘specialist’ music evenings during the season are seeing some audience participation in the spirit of the theme and then, of course, there are the people who go to the cinema dressed to impress (and/or worry other cinema-goers). And it’s not just people. Although it is not likely to happen at Gatcombe (home to the Princess Royal and family), many a local horse event might feature a fancy-dress for horse and rider and where horses are a little scarce or inappropriate, ‘costumed’ cars, motorbikes and bicycles (with complementary owners) are becoming a rising trend.

As we said last year whilst reporting on an admirable effort by students to turn an astronomy building into a giant R2D2, at Props n Frocks we are primarily geared to helping costume people, but that said, bring us your idea and we will give it our best shot.

Comical Fancy Dress Theme

As regular readers of this blog will know, we try to give you different reasons for having a fancy dress party based on history and we try and use some fancy dress ideas that you may not have thought about. In past years August 19th has seen the loss of great comedic talent. On this date in 1976, Scottish actor Alistair Sim, probably best known for the early St Trinian films but also involved in classics such as ‘Green for Danger’ and ‘The Green Man’ (often shown in the ‘afternoon film’ slot on telly) passed away. A year later, in 1977, possibly the best known of the Marx brothers, Groucho, died. The two actors had contrasting styles – Sim’s droll, lugubrious delivery against Groucho’s quick-fire wit – but their work has not dated as much as that of some other comedians and continues to entertain. As mentioned in a previous blog, Groucho is commemorated in one of the ‘O’s in the famous Hollywood sign, as his death coincided with the appeal for donors to renovate the iconic symbol. The rock star Alice Cooper ‘bought’ the letter in honour of the comedian, with whom he was good friends.

To broaden out the comedy costume theme, you could include the ‘Carry On’ films – which gives you a huge range of costumes to choose from. We are preparing an information page on all the cary on films – so watch this space!

There have been so many iconic comedy masters, Tommy Cooper, Laurel & Hardy (for a couples fancy dress choice) & Charlie Chaplin to name just a few. We are sure that you can think of some more.