Hi, I am Adele, and I have run a large fancy dress shop in Essex, England, since 1998. I'm happy to pass on my knowledge to help others.
Party Ideas Inspired by Letters of the Alphabet
In costume party season, the pressure is on to host a fun, unique party. One fun party theme is encouraging your guests to choose a costume that starts with a specific letter of the alphabet.
To do this, you could:
- Allow guests to dress up in a costume related to their initials (or just their first names if you want to narrow their choices).
- Ask guests to dress up in costumes related to your initials.
- Choose one or two letters to inspire their costumes. These could be randomly or deliberately chosen.
When you first send out invitations, it's possible that your guests will be confused about what you're asking them to do. To avoid confusion, be sure to explain the concept thoroughly. If your guests are confused, they might not dress up. Even worse, they might not come to your party at all.
This article will give you some ideas for costumes that start with the letter "A," some based off of famous characters or people.
If you have any other ideas, please put them in the comments box so you can help other people too.
Have a fantastic party!
Costumes Beginning With "A"
ABBA — ABBA was a popular Swedish band first seen internationally winning the Eurovision Song Contest at Brighton in the 1970s who went on to become icons of the era. ABBA is a great group costume choice for a group of four. Males should wear white suites and women can wear either short patterned mini-dresses and boots, or the glitzy flared jumpsuits.
Absolutely Fabulous — Absolutely Fabulous is a British comedy television programme from the 1990s, starring Jennifer Saunders and Joanna Lumley as Patsy and Edina. Patsy was a fag hag with a beehive hairdo and Edina was a kidult fashionista magazine editor with a liking for champagne.
Ace Ventura — Ace Ventura is a pet detective character played by comedian Jim Carrey in two different films. Wear shorts (or broad striped trousers), a loud Hawaiian-style shirt, and a coiffed hairstyle.
Acrobat — To create the look of this circus performer, wear a leotard or a top hat and tails. You can also dress up as an acrobat from another movie, i.e. Magda and others from the circus in Octopussy or an alternative entertainer from Moulin Rouge. With stylised makeup and a colourful unitard, you could also pull off a Cirque du Soleil character.
Action Hero — There are many possible incarnations of this theme including: Rambo, Crocodile Dundee, Indiana Jones, Terminator, and John McClean (from Die Hard). Ideas for women include Lara Croft, Selene the vampire from Underworld, Emma Peel from The Avengers, and the girls from the film Sucker Punch.
Action Man — Action Man is the English equivalent of the American boys' doll GI Joe. Wear a camouflage top and trousers or scuba gear.
Adam — Wear a nude bodysuit with strategically placed fig leaf. This makes a fun couple costume if you can find an Eve.
Adam Ant — Wear a black military-style jacket with gold braiding (frogging) on the front, tight black trousers, a frilly white shirt, ribbons in the hair, and a trademark white stripe across the nose. You could also use a highwayman costume as in the song "Stand & Deliver."
Addams Family — The Addams family was originally a series of cartoons created by Charles Addams (hence the name). Its characters include: Morticia, Gomez, Uncle Fester, Wednesday, Pugsley, Thing (the disembodied hand), and other gothic-looking fiends. Although rather against the spirit of the characters, there are sexy versions of Morticia and Wednesday on the market.
Aerobics Fan — This could be portrayed as a 1980s sports-related fashion victim. You could also use this costume to imitate Olivia Newton John as in her music video for 'Physical,' Diane Moran, Mad Lizzie Webb, or Jane Fonda. Use any dance or aerobic gear with leg warmers and a headband. The wilder the colors, the better.
Air Hostess — Wear a jacket, skirt, scarf, hat, and gloves. You could even bring along your own plane! For an example, check out the Britney Spears video for 'Toxic' in which she wore a stylised air hostess outfit.
Air Force Officer — This can be a Biggles-style costume or a more up-to-date version of the Royal Air Force. Uniforms are available to hire or purchase for both men and women.
Airline Pilot — Costumes are available to hire, or try sewing stripes and wings to a black or navy blazer. Caps are available to purchase.
Air Raid Warden — Though this wartime mainstay is from the days of WWII, it is best known from Dad's Army television series.
Al Capone — This infamous American gangster was eventually caught and charged for tax fraud and is one of Alcatraz's most notorious former inmates. His getup is easy to put together with accessories, or you could hire a full one. For a whimsical variation, try a shrimp or lobster outfit as a base and go as Al Caprawn!
Alice — Alice is the main character from Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland and Alice's Adventures Through the Looking Glass. Use a blue dress with a full, white pinny and an Alice band for the hair. Alice has blond hair and wears white socks. For Halloween or bad taste parties, you can try a variation such as 'Bad Alice' or 'Malice in Wonderland.'
Aladdin — This character is best known in recent memory from the Disney film of the same name. Wear harem pants, a waistcoat, and a fez.
Albert Einstein — Albert is the genius scientist best known for his theory of relativity. Go for a white-haired, mad scientist approach with a white doctor's coat and mad professor wig.
Alex DeLarge — Alex DeLarge is a character from A Clockwork Orange, based on the book by Anthony Burgess. Wear a white jumpsuit or top and trousers, braces, and a bowler hat. He wears false eyelashes or makeup on one eye and carries a walking cane.
Alexander the Great — This conqueror reached the height of his empire at the age of twenty. Get his look by wearing Roman armour.
Ali Baba — Ali Baba was the hero of another Arabian Nights tale. Wear baggy harem trousers, a waistcoat, and a hat or turban.
Ali G — To be this cult character created by Sasha Baron Cohen, wear a yellow shell or tracksuit with matching cap, tinted wraparound glasses, goatee beard, and bling jewellery. It wouldn't hurt to brush up on his style of speaking by watching a few videos.
Alien — An alien is an obvious choice for space and sci-fi themes. Alien costumes, often with large overhead masks in the classic large eye style are available, or you can create your own futuristic costume using makeup and body paint.
Ariel — Ariel is a Disney princess character based on the protagonist in Hans Christian Anderson's The Little Mermaid. Wear a sparkly green bottom (fish-styled if possible), a clam shell bra, and a long red-haired wig.
Alligator — The alligator is one of the world's favorite reptiles. Since this costume is a bit complicated, it might only be possible to hire one.
Amadeus — This 1980s film portrayed the early days of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Wear a Georgian costume with a white, court-style wig.
Amazon Warrior — Mythic female race of women who were said to cut off their right breasts so as to become better archers. Wear a costume like Xena or a female Roman warrior to get the look. For a Shakespeare connection, both Hippolyta from A Midsummer Night's Dream and Tamora from Titus Andronicus were supposedly queens of the Amazons.
American Cop — In addition to being a fixture of American television, an American cop was also one of the Village People. To go with the retro look, wear tight cream trousers, a blue, short-sleeved shirt, motorbike boots, a '70s moustache, and aviator glasses.
American Footballer — This costume can be difficult to find in the UK, but you could always adapt an ice hockey kit.
American GI — Wear a green US army uniform and make it as standard as possible since GI stands for General Issue. You could also go Elvis-themed and dress up as Elvis when he wore GI clothing and performed for troupes during WWII.
American Sailor — Wear a doughboy hat, a white sailor suit with blue or white trim, and bell bottomed trousers.
Android — An android is a human-like robot, not dissimilar from a cyborg such as the Terminator. Examples of androids include Kryton from British sci-fi comedy Red Dwarf or Data from Star Trek Next Generation. Use a silver or gold suit, pale makeup, and maybe a tinsel wig or bald head to create a futuristic look.
Amidala, Queen — Queen Amidala is a character from the first three episodes in the Star Wars saga. Amidala is the Queen of Naboo and her official costume is a red, black, and gold gown with a headdress, a very pale or white face, and stylised makeup. In the second episode, she is retired and wears a white combat uniform and is called Padme Amidala.
Amigo — Amigo is a Mexican character from the movie The Three Amigos, in which three men are mistaken for heroes by a community in trouble. This is an easy costume to put together and all you need is a poncho, sombrero, and a Mexican mustache. A rifle and a bullet belt are optional, and all of these items are available to purchase. A more sophisticated (and expensive) outfit might be a black and silver mariachi costume.
Amy Winehouse — Winehouse was a talented singer of the 2000s who died tragically early. Her trademark look was a black beehive hairstyle, winged eyeliner, and a range of tattoos. Wear a short A-line dress and make sure your appearance is slightly disheveled.
Anakin Skywalker — Anakin Skywalker is from the Star Wars prequels and is the former name and identity of Darth Vader. Before becoming evil, however, he wore a standard Jedi robe and a lightsaber.
Ancient King — Ancient kings are royalty from the pre-medieval era, such as King Arthur, Shakespeare's King Lear, or Theoden of Rohan (character from The Lord of the Rings).
Arwen — Arwen is an elf princess character from JRR Tolkien's series The Lord of the Rings. Wear an ethereal medieval dress and pointy ears!
Andrews Sisters — The Andrews Sisters were a singing trio of the mid-20th century, usually seen in US military (1940s) uniforms.
Andy — Andy is a character from the British comedy series, Little Britain who poses as a disabled person and misleads his caregiver. There is a licensed version of the character available to purchase.
Andy Pandy — This character is from the series Watch with Mother first seen on UK televisions in the 1950s. The costume is a blue and white bodysuit with a matching hat.
Angel — Angels are symbols of goodness and heaven and are usually depicted wearing a long white robe with flared sleeves, wings, and a halo. You could also go with an edgy, fallen angel look. Satan, of course, is the ultimate fallen angel.
Angel of Death — Also called Azrael, this dark angel watches over the dying and takes their souls. Use a black robe, wings, and a dark halo.
Anna — From the musical and film The King And I. Anna Leonowens has an affair with a 19th century King of Thailand (or Siam as it was called then). Use a Victorian dress with the largest skirt you can find.
Anne Boleyn — Anne Boleyn was the beheaded second wife of Henry VIII (and the mother of Queen Elizabeth I). Any Tudor-style costume featuring a gable headdress will suffice.
Aphrodite — Aphrodite is the Greek goddess of love. Wear a Grecian robe and and a long blonde wig in a high ponytail.
Anne of Cleves — Anne of Cleves was a German princess and the fourth wife of Henry VIII. They later divorced. Use a Tudor costume.
Annie Oakley — A performer in the wild west show run by William 'Buffalo Bill' Cody, Annie's real name was Phoebe Anne Oakley Moses. In the musical Annie Get Your Gun, she dresses in a cowgirl outfit with fringing, tassels, and a sequin trim, though any cowgirl costume will do. A rifle replica might be a useful, but be cognizant of the dangers of carrying around replica weapons.
Aragorn — Aragorn is a character from JRR Tolkien's series The Lord of the Rings. Wear a dark medieval tunic over dark leggings and cloak. You'll also need a sword, straggly dark, shoulder-length hair, and a beard and moustache.
Archer — For an archer, use a Robin Hood-style costume. There's also a new hero TV series using an all-green hooded archer outfit, so look for official costumes at the store as well.
Argentina, Miss — Miss Argentina is a character in the Tim Burton film, Beetlejuice. A receptionist in the afterlife, she was a beauty queen who had died by suicide, hence her greenish-blue skin colour and the scars on her wrists.
Army Officer — Use any US or UK army uniform, which you may be able to find at an army surplus store.
Arnold Schwarzenegger — Arnold Schwarzenegger is an American actor turned Californian politician. Arnold is best known as the Terminator but also starred as the original Conan the Barbarian. To make the costume extra authentic, recreate the signature gap in his teeth.
Artful Dodger — Artful Dodger is a character from Charles Dickens novel, Oliver Twist (and the film Oliver). Wear a crumpled shirt and trousers with a too-large jacket and a battered top hat.
American Naval Officer — This getup was made famous (and dashing) by Richard Gere in An Officer and a Gentleman.
Ascot Racegoer - Ascot racers appear in films such as My Fair Lady and A View to a Kill. A morning suit is typical for a man, and a lady can wear a glamorous summer dress and hat.
Astronaut — This is a classic costume with many styles and inspirations to choose from in television, movies, books, and music.
ATS — ATS stands for Auxiliary Transport Services. These were women who provided transport services whilst the men were on the front line in WWI and WWII. Look for green army uniforms.
Audrey Hepburn — Hepburn was a British actress best known for her role as Holly Golightly in Breakfast at Tiffany's and Eliza Dolittle in My Fair Lady.
Aunt Sally - Aunt Sally was a character played by Una Stubbs, opposite Jon Pertwee's Worzel Gummidge. Aunt Sally is a doll (fairground skittle) that comes to life. Use an Edwardian-style dress with a poke bonnet, black court shoes, and doll-face makeup.
Austin Powers — This character was played by Mike Myers in a popular series of Bond-like spoofs. In the films, a '60s-era Austin battles against his arch enemy, Dr. Evil. Many suits are available to purchase, including licensed versions. Use a plain velvet suit (blue or purple) or one with multi-coloured stripes. In Goldmember, he also wears a 1970s pimp costume. To complete the look, wear black-rimmed glasses, a 'love God' medallion, a messy brown wig, and horrible fake teeth.
Avatar — Avatar was a blockbuster movie featuring the blue-skinned humanoid aliens, the Na'vi. Costumes for the principal characters Jake Sully (in his Avatar form) and Neytiri, the lead female Na'vi, are available, but blue skin colouring, facial markings, and makeup may still be required for the face and hands.
Australian Lady — Also called "Sheilas" in the land down under, famous Aussie ladies include: Kylie Minogue (there are many memorable costumes in her videos), Nicole Kidman (Moulin Rouge, Bewitched, Australia), and let's not forget the most famous Aussie lady of them all, Dame Edna Everage. You can purchase dame wigs and over-sized glasses to help get the look.
Australian Man — For this look, think Crocodile Dundee or Steve Irwin, the Australian naturalist who died after an unfortunate stingray accident. You can wear a safari outfit and a hat with corks. Alternatively, go as Russell Crowe from the film Gladiator (2000).
Austrian — An Austrian costume normally derives from the folk dress common to all alpine countries and might include dirndls, lederhosen, and capes.
Avengers — Avengers was a 1960s cult television series originally starring Patrick Macnee as John Steed with a series of female assistants. John Steed wore a plain suit with a bowler hat while his assistants were noted for their sexy action wear. In the movie version, Uma Thurman played Emma Peel while Sean Connery was the villain.
Avengers (also) — The Avengers is also the collective name for the alliance of superheroes from Marvel Comics who gather to combat a menace that threatens Earth. This is a fun group costume idea, and there are plenty of characters to go around, from Iron Man to Black Widow to Thor.
Now It's Over to You!
I hope this has given you some ideas for an A-themed fancy dress party, and I'm sure you can think of many others. If you do, please add them in the comments box at the end.
Thanks for taking the time to read this article, and don't forget to add any comments you may have!
Mary on April 17, 2019:
Mexicans, Arabs?? Ethnicities are not costumes
Krys on September 20, 2018:
When I was younger I went to a P party dressed as a present
Cucumber on January 29, 2018:
Anna from Frozen is a pretty good one too.
Evelyn Smith on May 25, 2017:
Thx I got a costume done also do
Orange camp half blood t-shirt
Ash Ketchum on June 20, 2016:
Thanks for all thoses ideas ! I also found good homemade fancy dress ideas in A on this page :) http://www.fancydressideas.net/original-costume-id...
Sunardi from Indonesia on June 28, 2014:
Great collection. I hardly forget the dress of Arabian man with a sword and Ali Baba with a big head cover.
Avinesh Prahladi from Chandigarh on October 18, 2013:
Nice and unique hub I must say, really cherish the information shared.
Vidhya L from Chennai, India on October 28, 2012:
Awesome list of costumes. Good looking photos.
lala #11 on May 10, 2012:
These costumes are awesome but it would violate the school dress code ... BIG TIME!!!!!!
Toby Cabra on February 11, 2012:
Great info :D Thanks!
Another idea for you - Anne of Green Gables.
Red hair, apron and be very talkative!
Here's one an ant.
Thans so much for the ideas!
P.S what about things? Like come dressed as an apple!
BurtyBoo on January 28, 2012:
A-Amy winehouse, big beehive hair, heavy eyeliner and either a short 50's style fit and flare dress with mega heels or super skinny jeans and a tank, with obligatory black bra on display and ballet pumps :)
helene on December 26, 2011:
What about an agent?
Little Bon Bon on December 18, 2011:
My dad had a fancy dress party and he needed a costume that started with a or o so I chose to do and this and it really helped so thank you very much
Ash on November 07, 2011:
Great selection and pics are "A"wesome!
alice on May 01, 2011:
Accident-go as a pregnant person :p
Craig on March 03, 2011:
Don't forget Aristocrat. Princes / Princesses.
Trish NZ on November 11, 2010:
Great ideas, really helpful site/lists!
Adult Costumes on October 23, 2010:
Great Idea to Alphabetize Costume Searching love these "a" costumes
mandys_kismet @hotmail.com on August 15, 2010:
the ideas r great. im having a party for my 21st thats dress up as the first letter of your name and i want the character to be the first letter not 'the addams family'. but actually starting with the first letter like angalina jolie, alladin, angel etc... but besides that i liked the site. it really did help. :D
Trish Jeffries on July 12, 2010:
I love this site!!!! thanks - we were having a party with the theme (dress as the first letter of your name) this helped heaps.
alice venables on April 27, 2010:
this is really good, i was stuck on what to wear on my 14th party and when i found this website my problem was solved
thank u :D xxx
Ammii on February 19, 2010:
I'm gonna have an 18th with the guests coming as something that starts with A, so this was way helpful. Thank you so much! :D
I got excited when I saw Amazon Woman and Aphrodite. (:
Albie on October 04, 2009:
Thanks, awsome ideas!
John Austwick from Bolton on August 12, 2008:
Great hub Adele, I will certainly use it the next time I get a party invite. you really put the work in on this one.
Leisa St Ledger on July 28, 2008:
Fantastic Hubpage resource for costumes. GIves some great ideas!
Jan Davidson on July 28, 2008:
You have me trying to choose between the Joker (a female version of course) or Joan of Ark for Halloween. It's a fun way to get people's imaginations going.
Victor Goodman from Pacific Northwest on July 26, 2008:
Great costume ideas and I really liked the great pictures.
David Francis from London on July 25, 2008:
What a great idea for a party. I love the idea of everyone picking a character to match the first letter of their name. Wonderful costume pictures, a really novel idea and a fantastic HubPage.
funandgames on July 23, 2008:
Terrific Hubpage! Excellent tip to make it easy for your guests.
I'm all fired up now and torn between Amadala and Abba!
p.s. That's a raunchy air hostess :)
Timothy on July 23, 2008:
Great hub. Great ideas. Great costumes. Really great models;-)
Gareth Pritchard from North Wales on July 23, 2008:
Nice pictures, costumes, I am sure the last 1 of the 3 Amigos! is Paul McCartney?Thanks, Gareth.
Juanita Watemrna on July 23, 2008:
Yes love all the costumes. What I want to do is Create a dress for people who can not find what they are looking for they pick material and design there own dress and then we contract out the work. Juanita
bailiqin from San Diego on July 23, 2008:
So good hubpage! I love it.
Deborah Marsden on July 22, 2008:
Wow! Great idea for costumes. Never would have even crossed my mind. The photos are really good too. I enjoyed your concept. Well done and should anyone want to have a costume party this is the place to go.
Partners in Success,
lavenderstreak from Seattle on July 22, 2008:
Wow, you've got your (very fun) work cut out for you! I'd love to try this at work. Great hub!
sisterkate from Chicago, IL on July 22, 2008:
What a lot of fun. Can hardly wait for letters B through Z. Pictures are great.
This is a great idea but you need party-goers to abandon their inhibitions and really get into the concept of a costume. Do you have any suggestions for that?
roger one on July 22, 2008:
Very nice Party Girl!
I'd be VERY happy for Wednesday Addams to trun up at my party ...
Love the letter theme idea - great info and I really appreciate all the high-quality images.
Amy_Roberts on July 22, 2008:
Great costumes - I love your alphabetical idea! :)
lloydl from Colorado Springs, CO U.S. on July 22, 2008:
Great article Party Girl, for those individual who would like to revisit their childhood and play dress-up, and not be considered eccentric by others, here’s an opportunity to indulge.
I remember making and wearing my Batman costume.
Chris on July 22, 2008:
Wonderful ideas! The initials are a great idea.
Mark on July 22, 2008:
Nice Hub. Really clever and fun idea. Nice descriptions and a nice easy to read layout - two thumbs here also.
yogiwan from Reno, NV on July 22, 2008:
When do we get "b"?
JosefS from Lisa Wellington from Canada on July 22, 2008:
I love this hubpage. Great pictures and educational. Thank you.
Rob Shay on July 22, 2008:
Excellent HubPage. Great structure and graphics. Two thumbs up.
abouttravel from Barcelona, Spain on July 22, 2008:
Fantastic! I usually hate the idea of a fancy dress party, mainly because I can never think of anything when someone says "fancy dress".
Giving your guests these ideas, you cannot fail to have a great time. I love your imagination. Party Girl!
Maggie Rose Crane on July 22, 2008:
This is so clever! I love the fact that one can provide your guests with a list of options - or you're right, they may not come to the party!
Kyle Bruening from Florida on July 22, 2008:
If your looking for Costume ideas for parties this is a great place to start.
LasVegasCostumes on July 22, 2008:
Great! Love the ideas and the pictures.
June Campbell from North Vancouver on July 22, 2008:
What a great idea. I would have never thought of a letter theme. Brilliant
Jana Murray from Waves, NC on July 20, 2008:
Coolest selection of costumes :)