Around The World

Around The World Costume Theme

In this section we look at fancy dress parties that have countries as their theme. Whether you are looking at the entire world including the polar regions, a specific continent such as Europe, or even a particular country, take a look at the left navigation bar and you will be able to find all the information that you will need.

This fancy dress theme could also be called:

  • Countries
  • Eurovision (just look at the countries that are allowed to take part)
  • Nationalities

During any given year, there are times when costumes representing countries of the world, might come in useful. The first obvious example is one of the many National days around the year. Here in Britain, we have the opportunity to celebrate England (April 23rd – St George’s Day and Shakespeare’s birthday), Wales (March 1st - St. David’s Day) and Scotland (November 30th – St Andrew’s Day), plus, of course, Ireland on March 17th (St. Patrick’s Day). We might equally well choose to celebrate the French National holiday on July 14th or American Independence Day on July 4th. Also, once a year, the Eurovision Song Contest may inspire a European based national costumed theme event (despite Britain’s recent lack of success).

When choosing a costume to represent a country, you are not necessarily opting for the official national costume as such. (No-one seems quite sure what the national costume of England is – a Morris Man or a Beefeater seem the main choices). It needs to be a costume that epitomises the country, even if it may be something of affair stereotype. No one seriously imagines that all German males wear lederhosen breeches, but it is an iconic and popular look. Similarly, very few Australians have probably had cause to make use of a hat with dangling corks, but many party-goers would consider it an integral part of an Aussie costume. We hope that we do not offend anyone, but it is meant to be a bit tongue in cheek!

Here are a few suggestions for Countries of the World

  • Morris Dancer or Beefeater to represent England
  • French Maid, Moulin Rouge Dancer, Frenchman or Gendarme for France
  • Matador or Flamenco Dancer representing Spain
  • Germany – Lederhosen and Bavarian hat. The female equivalent is the dirndl skirt (sometimes spelled dirndle).
  • Venetian – We stock a wide variety of Venetian style masks, and this can be teamed with a hooded cloak or cape and hat (the tricorn style works well).
  • Italy/Roman – Aside from the Venetian (above) or a Gangster (for the Mafia), Italy may be best represented by Togas or the Gladiator Costumes of Ancient Rome.
  • Greece – As with Italy, Greece may be represented by Togas (unless you favour the Demis Roussos-style robes).
  • Egyptian – Fezes and colourful Arabian-style robes may be used, or again, you can opt for the Cleopatra/Neferetiti/Pharoah look.
  • Arabia – Arabian Sheiks and Belly Dancers may be an obvious stereotype, but they can add the exotic element of Eastern Promise.
  • India – Standing between the Middle East (Arabia/Egypt) and the Oriental Far East of China, Japan, etc. India offers opportunities for Saris, Dhotis and Lungis, although you can also look to Bollywood for further costume ideas.
  • China – The traditional stereotype look is the two-piece silk tunic and trouser outfit with the shallow pointed Chinese hat (sometimes with an integrated pigtail). An alternative is the fitted and elegant Cheongsam.
  • Japan – Popular characters are the Geisha (elegant and the make-up, though elaborate and requiring some time/effort, is worth the effort), the black-clad Ninja or the more elaborate Samurai.
  • America – Like Britain, a single American national costume is difficult to define: One can choose the patriotic Uncle Sam or Lady Liberty (or Statue of Liberty) outfits. Alternatively, an American footballer or Cheerleader can work, as can Cowboys/Girls and Native American outfits. For a simple option, use  Hawaiian Shirts.
  • Canada – Unless you can find a Beaver outfit (there are some on the market, but they tend to be the non-party friendly mascot style), the choice is a Canadian Mountie.
  • Mexico – Aside from the Mexican Poncho & Sombrero approach, there are, uniquely, some food costume options such as the Taco, the Tequila bottle or the Chilli Pepper.
  • Latin America – Aside from ponchos (as used by gouchos on the pampas), Latin America is usually portrayed with dance costumes in the Latin/Spanish style – Flamenco, Brazilian, Rumba or Salsa or characters such as Carmen Miranda. With the Olympics and World Cup in prospect, some may choose the Brazilian football kit option, or our Rumba Man costume
  • Caribbean – Possibly the best known of the Caribbean countries is Jamaica, with its dreadlock Rastafarian look or Bob Marley-style outfits. For an alternative colourful look, how about the carnival costumes of Trinidad & Tobago.
  • Russia – Choices here probably involve fur-hatted Cossacks or the peasant-like Baboushkas.
  • Australian – As mentioned above, the stereotype image is the Outbacker in a safari-suit and corked hat. Alternatively you can choose characters such as Dame Edna Everage or Crocodile Dundee.If you can’t settle on a particular country, why not go as a Tourist? There are a few OTT designs on the market, or you can improvise your own using items you have picked up on your own travels.Further alternatives are Animals from particular Countries. Bon voyage.

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