10 Simple Fancy Dress Ideas for Women
Fancy dress parties, no matter how fun they might be, can be a bit of a challenge for us girls. How can we wear a costume and still look great, without having to spend a fortune? Luckily for us, there are a ton of great ideas out there for creating a simple costume and for most of them all you will need is a great dress (which you probably already have) and a few simple accessories.
Below I've listed my ten favourite costume ideas, with tips on advice on how to make it look amazing.
For the last costume party I went to, I dressed as a 1920s flapper. It was great fun, I felt amazing and it only cost me a couple of pounds/dollars to make it work.
The flapper look is easiest to pull off if you already have a dress that looks like it might have come from that era, or is styled on it (I wore a green summer dress that was made of a quite a silky material and did not come in at all around my waist). Then all you need is a couple of accessories to make your look complete: a headband with a feather; a pair of long black gloves; a long pearl necklace; and an old fashioned cigarette holder and (fake!) cigarette. I also wore a large ring over my gloves and a feather boa, but these are just optional extras that you might decide against.
Fortunately for us, all of these items can be bought cheaply and easily from any fancy dress shop or from online stores such as Amazon.
Your name might not be Kate Middleton but that doesn't mean you can't dress up as a princess for a day! Creating a princess look is easy, all you really need to do is invest in a fancy dress crown and wear your most beautiful, princess-like dress. Fancy dress crowns are available from any number of places, including fancy dress shops, Amazon, or even a toy shop!
You could have a little bit more fun with the princess costume by dressing as a Disney princess, or by getting a good friend or your partner to dress as Prince Charming and going as a couple.
To make your look complete you might want to wear some regal jewelry, for example, a pearl choker, and don't overdo the makeup - minimal eye makeup with red lipstick would work perfectly.
3. Fairy or Angel
Similar to the princess costume is the fairy/angel costume. Again, all you will need to do to pull off this costume is to put on your prettiest dress and invest in a pair of costume wings and maybe a magic wand. As with the princess crown, a pair of wings and a wand would be available to buy at a small price from any fancy dress shop, Amazon, or a toy shop (although you might want to check that the wings are big enough for you to wear comfortably if they're intended for a little girl to wear.)
To make your look complete you might want to wear some glittery makeup or body glitter and wear just a simple, light-coloured pair of ballerina flats.
Dressing as a vampire is really quite similar to dressing as a fairy or princess, but with a fairy or princess, you'd probably tend to wear lighter colours, whereas with a vampire you're going to want to be dressing in black, dark red and dark purple all the way. Lacy outfits work with the vampire look very well and what, in my opinion, makes the perfect vampire dress is a tight black, lacy dress. Longer dresses tend to work better than shorter dresses for the vampire look—think Morticia Addams with teeth.
For accessories all you'll need is some plastic fangs, which again are available at all good fancy dress shops and on Amazon—or, if it's close to Halowe'en, you'll probably find this old classic showing up everywhere—and some fake blood. With the fake blood you'll probably want to draw two lines going from your fangs down your chin—evidence of your last 'meal'—and maybe two dots on your neck if you want to show where you got 'turned' yourself. When applying your make-up, remember you're dressing as the undead so an exceptionally pale face with dark eyes would work a treat.
5. A Greek
If you feel confident enough to bare a little more skin, dressing as a Greek/Roman/anyone-else-who-might-have-worn-a-toga is the easiest, cheapest costume you'll be able to find. All you need to do to pull this look off is to take a white sheet and wrap it around yourself, tying it at the middle with anything you happen to have handy, although a brown cord would work well. Popping in a few safety pins might help you to avoid any accidents and, should your costume still slip down, you might want to wear some quite large, white underwear underneath that will help to protect your modesty.
No toga outfit is complete without sandals, and if you want to go that extra mile, you might also want to wear a flower or leaf wreath in your hair.
Dressing as a mime is great fun and is sure to lead to more than a few alcohol-induced 'man in a box' sketches. While you can, of course, make this look your own, all you really need to pull it off is to wear black shorts/trousers on your bottom half, with a stripy top and braces on your top half. You'll probably also want to paint your face while and exaggerate your features with black face paint, and wear a black hat and white gloves for added effect.
Dressing as a witch is really just a crossover of the vampire and fairy costumes, imagine that you're a good fairy gone bad. To pull off this look, you'll want to wear a long black dress with little black boots, and perhaps some stripy tights underneath. A witch's hat won't be too difficult to find in any good fancy dress shop—and that's all you need!
Additional extras are of course always an option, and when dressing as a witch you might consider taking along an old-fashioned broomstick (it's much more magical than arriving by car), and a stuffed black cat toy (you'll probably find it's much easier to keep it with you than a real cat). Of course, you could always dress up as the Wicked Witch of the West and paint your face green for added effect, although I wouldn't recommend that if you have sensitive skin.
No matter where you're from or when you grew up, you'll probably have fond memories of watching the Smurfs cartoons, either as a child or with your children. The good news for us now, though, is just how easy it is to dress up as one of these little blue guys. Although this probably isn't a costume you'll want to attempt if you have sensitive skin, dressing up as a Smurf really couldn't be easier. All you'll need is a cheap white dress (it's best to wear an old one or buy a cheap one for the occasion as the blue body paint might very well ruin it) and some blue body paint. Cover yourself in the blue body paint, pop the white dress on and voila! You're a Smurf! If you want to commit yourself to your costume a little more you could invest in a blonde wig (if you're not blonde yourself) and go as Smurfette. Smurftastic!
9. Disney Characters
There are several Disney characters that you might want to dress as, but dressing as Minnie Mouse has probably got to be the easiest. All you need is a pair of Minnie Mouse ears (and let's be honest, if you've ever been to Disneyland or Disney World then you probably already have a pair) and a red dress, preferably with polka dots although that's not a must.
10. 1990s Chick
For our last party trick, we're going to be recycling some of the old clothes that you probably already have in your wardrobe. Dressing as someone from a different era is a great costume, and is probably one of the easiest as all you have to do is dig out some of your old clothes from the back of your wardrobe and hope that you haven't put out too much weight since then. Although you're 1990s clothes are probably still going to be in your wardrobe, if you're one of those people who never like to throw anything away and you've got some clothes from an earlier decade still in there - go for it! This idea works for any decade.
If you're going to a party with some friends then an easy way to make this costume a little bit more spectacular is to make it a group costume. If you're all going as people from the 1990s, then why not go that extra mile and go as the Spice Girls. If you're going to go as a different decade, then you could always think of a different iconic group that would fit!
Do you enjoy fancy dress parties?
Before You Go
Remember! Parties are supposed to be fun, so don't get too stressed out trying to make your costume work. If you find that none of these ideas work for you, then there are plenty of ideas out there and—if all else fails—you could always hire an entire costume from a fancy dress shop. Have fun!