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Basically - don’t. After this week’s story about how an actor dressed as Zorro on his way home from an audition sparked a major incident at Los Angeles airport (where else!) we’d have to say that travelling in fancy dress is a bit of a high risk activity these days.  The poor chap probably wasn’t the sharpest knife in the drawer, to have entered an international airport wearing a mask and carrying a sword (plastic) but it’s LA and maybe he dresses like that all the time?

Anyway, as hundreds of frightened travellers fled the scene and panicked reports of an ‘active shooter’ near the baggage carousels sent armed officers swarming though the building, we have a few tips to help you not create mayhem in your costume.

If you’ve ever been to a foam party you know just how much fun they can be, but hiring a venue and foam machines is pretty expensive, so we have a cost-effective alternative - Baywatch!


Yes, with our own dedicated Baywatch section, you can invite your friends to a party that will absolutely rock their worlds. Whether you opt for a sexy women’s baywatch costume, release your inner Hasselhoff or channel Pamela Anderson, all you need to make this party a real success is some water. Now - if you’ve got a pool, or a friend with a pool, you’re absolutely certain to have a huge success, but even without a swimming pool, all you need is a lawn sprinkler to make this event a winner. 

Summer is the best time of year to have a fancy dress party in the UK, because it’s a slightly better bet in terms of weather. Of course there are ways to really enjoy your fancy dress costume on a scorching hot day and we’ve got some tips to help you have the maximum fun.




Check your face paint is going to hold up on the day if it’s sunny. We recommend laying on a base of foundation before applying face-paint to give it a bit more staying power. If you get hot and don’t want to ruin your look, a small mister spray of cold water can refresh your face without smearing your carefully applied make-up.

The 2016 Eurovision Song Contest is almost here - the grand final takes place on Saturday 14 May and will be shown live from the Globe Arena in Stockholm. There are dozens of Eurovision parties being held around the world - one big one in each country for a start!  Whether you’re holding your own Eurovision-watching extravaganza or attending an event in a pub or somebody else’s home, we’ve got the lowdown on how to do it Euro-style.

While Netflix went with a video prank (obviously) our favourite giggle came from no less a publication than National Geographic which announced that it will no longer publish naked photos … of animals.


Yes, it claimed, from now on creatures in its photos must be dressed up in costumes. The mind totally boggles at how many people fell for that one!


But with several fun events coming up, you can use your dressing up skills a couple more times this month. First is St George’s Day, 23 April, which is a big patriotic event in the UK and where there will be no end of St George’s and crusader costumes in general, on show.

Spring is here but it often doesn’t feel like it! March can be cold and dreary but with World Book Day right upon us, and Easter to look forward to at the end of the month, it’s up to us to make a this month as springlike and sunny as we can.


Starting with World Book Day - this boost to literacy and reading in our schools and our children’s bedrooms has become a fast favourite and Facebook will be full of cute kids heading off to their classes in costume from The Artful Dodger to Pippi Longstocking and there will be more Harry Potters than you can shake a Quidditch stick at!


You can extend World Book Day at home, by cooking some of the meals mentioned in favourite books - there’s actually a Moomin cookbook, a Winnie the Pooh cookbook etc, or just providing some of the top treats in children’s literature … Willie Wonka chocolate, anyone? And if you serve up the treats in your own World Book fancy dress you’ll definitely give your children a day to remember.

Cheap fancy dress fashions, flops and successes


While we’re all in favour of having fun in fancy dress (and not spending too much cash into the bargain!) we’ve seen some cheap fancy dress ideas causing a bit of concern in recent months. A chap called Pedro Fonseca was photographed on the Tube in London dressed as what several commuters saw as ‘a suicide bomber’ and tweeted about.


Mr Fonseca himself says he was simply dressed as a soldier, along with some colleagues who were in police fancy dress costume but that’s not how it appeared to many onlookers who saw his backpack and a ‘fake bomb’ strapped to his chest, which he denies.  British Transport Police said,'While this incident was not reported to us by anyone on the train, it is insensitive and crass behaviour in the light of recent terrorist attacks across the world and the threat to the UK currently at severe.’


So if you’re going to dress up in something edgy, maybe it’s better not to take public transport?


On the other hand, charity employee Antonio Cortes, who was dressed as Superman saved a woman from being robbed. Apparently he was eating his breakfast at a pub when a scream caused him to run outside where he saw a man with his hands around a woman's throat at a cashpoint. Mr Cortes chased the man along the street and wrestled him to the ground until assistance arrived, and the attacker is now in the custody of Gloucester police.


Our only question about this is … why was he eating his breakfast in a pub in a Man of Steel costume?


Anyway, what we’ve learned about fancy dress in February is that Superheroes trump bad guys every time - and that with Valentine’s Day, you might want to invest in being one of the good guys or girls, as that seems to bring all the benefits including, perhaps, some romance …

Not only did people flock to the normal locations like Trafalgar Square etc to see in the New Year in fancy dress, but quite a few weird and wonderful costume events took place for charity. One that really caught our eye New Year’s Day Loch Lomond ski. Yes, waterskiing across Loch Lomond in 1 January in fancy dress. The water was icy cold and costumes included Banana Man and the professional water skier Tom Scott who took to the water in nothing but a kilt … brave lad!


And if that sounds too specialist, how about the families who undertook three laps of Hampton Park Green in Salisbury in memory of Harvey Warren who died when he was just nine weeks old. The fancy dress wheelbarrow race is now in its third year and raises funds for charities relating to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. While most competitors were husband/wife or parent/child combos, one cute competitor was a little boy in Spiderman pyjamas with a toy wheelbarrow … all together now, awwww…

Fancy dress New Year Party


If you want something a little different for your new year’s party this year, why not opt for Fancy Dress? But not just any old ‘come as whoever you like’ fancy dress party - make it a themed event!


Some of the most brilliant costume parties we've heard about in recent years involved setting a theme that related to the event - for New Year’s Eve these include:


The turning of the year


  • Time itself - anything from the crocodile with the ticking clock in Peter Pan through to sand timers, alarm clocks, Father Time with his scythe, digital wristwatch costumes … the sky is the limit here!)

Stars in fancy dress


We might not have the cash that Jonathan Ross has, and he certainly knows how to throw a Halloween fancy dress party, but we bet the Cheap Fancy Dress customers had just as good a time as his celebrity guests. From David Walliams to Claudia Schiffer, from Gok Wan as the scariest clown ever, through to Konnie Huq in a very un-Blue Peter costume with a hatchet through her head, we couldn’t help spotting our favourite stars.


Because we love to see a good fancy dress costume, we really browsed over the paparazzi pictures of Jonathan Ross and his guests and the one that really surprised us was Jimmy Carr! Not sure how much time he put into his preparations, but he was totally unrecognisable as Hannibal Lecter … not the way we usually think about this cuddly TV host at all!  Still, having taken a good look at his costume, we think we could have saved him a mint - our Hannibal Lecter straitjacket and mask are a snip, and look just as scary as his bespoke fancy dress costume.

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