Tuesday, 3 November 2009

What's-in-my-wardrobe Wednesday - Fancy Dress for Less

Once again, I'm late with this post, and I'm feeling really lazy at not blogging for 6 whole days...but at least I'm here now, better late than never and am making up for my guilt by giving you 2 posts for the price of 1! So sit back, relax and enjoy...a little bit of my weekend mixed up with a whole lot of outfits!

Now, I love going to parties, and every now and then, the time comes around for fancy dress. I love that too...but what I don't like is the cost involved. Whilst some of my friends have bought expensive dressing up outfits in the past, I really don't see the point. It's not as if it's something you can really wear again, unless you want to run the risk of everyone knowing what your outfit will be before every single party (because it's ALWAYS the same one!)! Now that's not to say I won't buy outfits if they're the right price...but I like to be a bit more creative if I can! So here's a few outfits I've created in my time, and a few tips for getting a cool looking outfit for less. I'm not saying I'm a style expert or anything because I'm most certainly not, but I have been pleased with what I've managed to achieve!

  1. Work with what you've already got

Last Saturday, I went to a Halloween party dressed as a witch and had a fantastic time! Initially, I had planned to buy a costume but could find nothing in the shops. At first I started to panic but then I remembered a dress I already had and everything else started to come together. This is what I wore:

I wore this black dress...you can't see very well but it had wide bottomed sleeves and a zig zag hem...perfect for a witch. I teamed it with black fishnets over purple tights and my black ribbon tie shoes from Next...all three were things I already owned. The only new addition to my outfit which cost 1.50 from a discount shop.

2. Start shopping early

Now I know this isn't always possible, but if you know about something in advance, I'd strongly recommend looking around earlier rather than later. A good example of this was for my friend's 25th. In honour of our decade of birth, he decided to go for an 80s theme and I was determined to buy a vintage 80s dress for the occasion. So I looked on Ebay...and every now and then I saw a dress I liked so I put a bid (or ten!) in. But they went for too high a price so I missed out...that's another thing I'd say...always set a price limit! But because I still had time left, I didn't get stressed and just kept looking. And then it happened...I saw a dress, bid and won! In fact, I was the only bidder and bagged myself a genuine 80s gem for less than a fiver. What do you think?:

I teamed the dress with leg warmers which I also bought off Ebay for a couple of quid and a pair of 80s style black stilettos from Dorothy Perkins that I already owned.
3. Customise the basics (or get others to do it for you!)

A couple of years ago, 2 of my friends had a joint fancy dress party. The theme was cartoon characters and for a while I was stumped. How could I find quite a simple outfit? Then I thought of Wilma Flintstone...all I'd need was a white dress and a string of pearls and I'd be sorted! So the white dress hunt was on, and I eventually found a strappy white sundress for a few pounds. Then my mum got to work on it. She removed one of the shoulder straps and cut the bottom so it was jagged. Add a string of chunky pearls that I borrowed off a friend and a wash in/'wash out hair dye (that didn't really work!) and voila!

4. Buy items that can multitask

I probably spent the most I ever have on the fancy dress outfit I wore for my friend's western themed birthday party. But I didn't mind because I knew I'd wear everything again and I have. My cowboy boots...check! A checked shirt..check! A cowboy hat...check! (It's great for those sunny days!)

And finally one more tip that doesn't have a photo with it!
5. Accessorise, accessorise, accessorise

A really good example of this was when I was looking for a simple and cheap costume and decided to go as a police officer. I had the black trousers, white shirt and sensible shoes already so all I bought was the accessories: handcuffs, hat, neckerchief, badge and epaulettes for my shoulders. Hey presto: instant outfit!

Another example of this was when I went to another 80s party. I bought another cheap dress off Ebay, but then made it a little bit special by adding a vintage belt (again from Ebay) and an 80s clutch that belonged to my mum!
So hope you enjoyed! Like I say, I'm not claiming to be an expert...but if at least one person gets any ideas from this, I'll be very happy! :-)


  1. Great post and you look ace in all the pics :)

  2. Thank you...you always say such nice things! :-)