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23 April 2017 is the date of the London Marathon. It’s definitely too late to get a place in the marathon, but there’s still plenty of time to organise your marathon-watching marathon party!

 

This can also be a good way to raise money for your favourite charity - for example by holding a sweepstake on the winning time, giving a small prize to the person who gets closest and donating the rest of the entry fees to a charity.

 

It’s not to too late to play an April Fool’s Day trick in fancy dress costume. We’ve seen some amazing costumes that prove that anybody can use fancy dress to create the funniest prank ever and here are some of our favourites:

 1. Pregnant women painting up their bellies - oh yes, this is a thing! The funniest one we saw was a mum-to-be who dressed up in drag as a builder, including low slung trackies and a line of false hair running from her navel all the way down into her trousers - it totally fooled people in the corner shop she went to. We’ve also seen bellies painted like footballs or hot air balloons.

 2. Nun but the brave - the old nun or priest costume may seem clichéd but for April Fools it’s a great old trick that often works much better than you’d imagine. Our favourites included nuns boogying on down in bus shelters and the vicar who walked in a stately fashion down a major London street before stopping, tucking his cassock into his Y-fronts and doing a Ministry of Silly Walks all the way back again!

 3. Clown costumes - are always popular for April Fool’s Day - although after the recent creepy clown epidemic you might want to be careful about going out dressed as a clown as this is one costume that a lot of people seem to find quite the opposite of funny!

 

 

17 March is St Patrick’s Day and everything from the St Paddy’s Day Parade in New York to the buns in your local burger shop is likely to be turning green! Ready to join in? We’ve got some great ideas for you:

 

  • Make a playlist combining traditional Irish music with modern hits from The Pogues, U2 etc.

  • Encourage everybody to come to work/school/your party wearing green and award a green prize for the best costume - our leprechaun costume is bound to be a success!

  • Remember to buy a few little green items - sunglasses, necklaces, hats, so that those who show up having forgotten their costume can still accessorise themselves appropriately.

Every year at some freshers fair, some or other university group ends up in the national media because of their controversial fancy dress. Topics that have aroused the ire of other students and drawn the attention of journalists include “Hipsters and Homeless” (cancelled by Bristol University authorities) and a chav themed night (same university, same response) Then there was the time the University of Gloucester was pilloried about an initiation event in which somebody dressed in a Nazi uniform was marching around students whose heads were covered with bin bags - probably not the kind of education their parents thought they were saving up to provide!

Now Valentine’s Day is over, there’s a long cold period of not much fun to be had until summer brings its barbecues and sunbathing opportunities. But there’s no need to suffer. We’ve got a bundle of feel-good fun ideas to get you through the chilly months without having to spend a fortune on flights abroad.

 

First off, consider organising your own little fancy dress event - a party is the simplest way to boost your enjoyment quotient, and with the sequel to Trainspotting, plus the most recent Harry Potter spin-off ‘Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them’ and ‘Fifty Shades Darker’ all making headlines, there’s a bound to be a party theme to suit your circumstances, whether you’re planning a family get together or a sophisticated party for grown-ups only.

 

Make sure your decor fits the party theme. Hang up some Harry Potter brooms and some attaché cases for Fantastic Beasts, dig out some cheap undies to strew over your lamps for Fifty Shades or, for Trainspotting 2, it could be as simple as pulling on your running kit for Renton has become ‘The Runner’ and is bringing his endorphin high back home! Then plan some cocktails to suit, making sure that if you’ve picked a child-friendly theme you’ve got plenty of non-alcoholic beverages to hand, and have fun!

 

For those to whom this really appeals, there’s always the option to organise a fund-raiser for a charity of your choice, perhaps a little fun-run, or a day at work where everybody dresses up in fancy dress and makes a donation to the charity. 

Cosplay is getting everywhere these days - from film showings like The Rocky Horror Show and Frozen performances where everybody turns up in costume through to highly specific events such as Pride and Prejudices themed weekends where all the participants are required to show up in Georgian costume and maintain appropriate demeanour and dialogue throughout.

 

Epic cosplay costumes include those made for steampunk events, where people spend a whole year preparing an outfit to wear for a single day, but it’s much easier to pull off a fantastic cosplay look than you might think. Costumes such as Harley Quinn or Dr Who or Gandalf are easy to purchase and if you put in a little time to practice your moves and voice, you’ll find that you can produce an amazing effect that will astonish your friends and family.

 

Whether you choose to attend an organised cosplay event, or put on your own bit of fun by inviting your friends to come round and watch a favourite film in costume along with some themed food and perhaps even some party games, you’ll find there’s just as much fun to be had in the planning and organising of your fancy dress fun as there is in attending it. The best thing about cosplay is that you can tailor it to your own interests, so whether you’re a secret fan of the Dirty Dozen or have a hankering to hold your own Scooby Doo party, you can create the perfect scenario to get your loved ones involved with celebrating your favourite film, book or even reality TV show!

Wes Morgan, former Nottingham Forest football team captain who now plays for Leicester has signed a sponsorship deal like no other. It all comes from his name - Morgan - because he is not the ambassador for Jamaican drinks brand, Captain Morgan rum.  There are two clauses in the deal that will definitely hit the front pages:

 

  1. If Wes Morgan walks into a bar, turns to face the customers, spread his arms wide and shouts "There's only one Captain Morgan!”, every eligible drinker in the place will be entitled to the free drink at the rum brand’s expense!
  2. He is also required turn up as the Captain, in the exact costume of the pirate on the front of the rum bottles, at all fancy-dress parties he attends.

 

At AbFab Fancy Dress we can’t wait to see the photos of that particular costume! For those who fancy themselves as pirates, we have a great Captain Cutthroat pirate costume - sadly, free rum is not included in the purchase price.

It was Harley Quinn! Every kind of harlequin fancy dress ended up being on show for Christmas and New Year’s parties this year. And Google Trends says this was the costume that most people entered online when searching fancy dress costumes. Celebrities got in on the act, with Louise Redknapp wearing the fancy dress for  the Strictly Come Dancing Halloween Special and Holly Willoughby wore the fancy dress outfit for Celebrity Juice. Other fancy dress trends of the year, from Amazon - sales of fancy dress for pets rose by 700%. And the release of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child caused hundreds of thousand of people to invest in a Wizard costume for the book’s launch in July 2016, many of which were on show again at New Year’s Eve events around the globe and we've seen some wands being waved in the queues for Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.

Our favourite Halloween event is always the Howl’Oween in Liverpool where every kind and size of dog gets to dress up for the Puppy Parade that raises funds for a couple of local dog charities. There’s always a parade from Colquitt Street on the Sunday before Halloween and the dogs are just so cute.

 

Which is why a heartwarming story about stag nights and puppies has been our most watched video this week. What isn’t clear about this bachelor party, as they call them in the USA, is whether the guys were in fancy dress - we think the only thing that could improve the tale is if they were dressed up as Top Cat and Shaun the Sheep when they went to rescue the puppies!

 

We love to dress up at AbFab fancy dress and it seems that more and more people share our love of costuming. Some costumes though, are proving to be less popular than they used to be.

 

Over at The Guardian, there’s a story about how Freshers parties might be seen as racist. It’s a tricky line to tread, especially if you’re a semi-drunk teenager trying to find a fancy dress outfit for your next party - and as the article says, But sometimes attempts to curb cultural appropriation has led to accusations of heavy-handed censorship … yoga was banned at one university in Canada because it originated from cultures that have experienced oppression”. What?

 

So, here’s our quick guide to choosing a culturally appropriate costume for Freshers:

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