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Posts Tagged ‘fancy dress’

  1. My 10 golden rules of fancy dress

    December 21, 2012 by superlative

    I’m a big fan of fancy dress and have worn a variety of outfits over the years. It’s funny in a way, because I never would have thought fancy dress was my thing. I’m a bit of a wallflower most of the time and prefer to avoid attracting attention to myself. But I’ve had some great evenings in fancy dress, as you can see:

    Medic Pirate MaskedBall Frankenstein Cowboy CheshireCat Kiss Werewolf Robin

    With that in mind, I have compiled for you my 10 golden rules of fancy dress.

    1) Make an effort.
    The only people who look stupid in fancy dress are the ones who have made a half-arsed nonsense effort, like buying some devil horns and nothing else. If you’re not going to bother, don’t bother at all; but if you dress up, do it right. You don’t have to spend lots of money – in some ways pre-fabricated bought outfits aren’t as interesting as ones you’ve put together yourself – but put some thought into it, find clothes you’ve already got that you can incorporate, and then buy the bits you don’t have.

    2) Don’t be embarrassed about what you’re wearing
    You’ll look much better if you look like you’re enjoying yourself. Fancy dress isn’t meant to look good, it’s meant to be fun. Maybe you do look stupid, but they’re not your normal clothes, you’re not going to a job interview, you’re wearing it for a giggle.

    3) If you’re a girl, don’t be a sexy cat
    Sexy cat outfits are rubbish. You won’t look sexy, you’ll look unimaginative and a bit vain. And there’s no such thing as a sexy cat anyway.

    4) Don’t make it too obscure, but remember people are thick
    It’s quite annoying to have put time into an outfit only to spend the entire evening being asked who/what you are, or have people assume you’re something else. So help yourself by choosing something that most people will get. If people do insist on mistaking you for something else, either roll your eyes at their stupidity or, if it’s a LOT of people, just start saying that’s what you are.

    5) Play to your crowd
    If you’re going somewhere with lots of geeks, people will love your Pacman costume; if it’s your uncle’s 50th, Tina Turner will win you more points (but check you have the legs for Tina Turner first. FYI, I do). This will also help with rule 4, as they’re more likely to know what you are if it’s something they’re familiar with.

    6) Keep your outfits
    You never know when something will come in handy again and can be recycled into a new costume. It also saves you money, and it can give you ideas for new outfits because you can think ‘I’ve already got this, so I could add this and that and I’m done’. Fancy dress can come up at short notice too, and there’s no reason you can’t reuse an outfit if you’re with people who haven’t seen it before.

    7) Plan ahead
    Once you know you’re going somewhere in fancy dress, think about what you want to wear and don’t leave it to the last minute. Your outfit might look amazing if you have time to buy the right accessory on the internet; or the fancy dress shop might have sold out of fangs if you leave it to the day before Halloween, throwing your whole Dracula outfit into disarray. So decide what you want to be, check if you have everything you need (see rule 6), and allow time to get anything you’re missing. Failure to plan ahead and throwing an outfit together at the last minute can lead to an automatic and needless default on rule 1.

    8) Let people believe you’re fun, even if you’re not
    There’s something about being in fancy dress, especially if you wear it somewhere that isn’t designated fancy dress for everyone, that makes people think you’re a fun and outgoing person. They’ll come and talk to you, dance with you, and think you’re great. I’m not outgoing at all, but it’s nice to pretend on these occasions that I am. You’re wearing a mask for the evening (especially if you literally are wearing a mask),  so you don’t have to be constrained by who you are underneath. And if you pretend to be lively and fun that’s pretty much the same as being so anyway.

    9) Key features make the outfit
    You don’t have to get every aspect of the costume right, and often you can’t unless you’ve got a lot of money or a sewing machine. But get the key aspects of it right and you can fudge the rest. You can make a good Frankenstein’s Monster outfit with normal clothes if you get the head right. You can’t be Batman without a cape and a good logo, but people won’t notice if you don’t have a utility belt.

    10) Dress as a couple or group for bonus points
    This isn’t a must-have on all occasions and won’t always work. But it’ll be more obvious what you are if you’re part of a set, and you can automatically dominate the space because there are more of you than anyone else. If you’re a fancy dress novice and are feeling embarrassed it’s also a good way of avoiding too much individual attention. Keep rule 1 in mind though – if you dress as a group and you don’t make as much effort as everyone else, you will look like a dick and will single yourself out as the lame impala in the group. We all know what happens to the lame impala.

    So those are my 10 golden rules of fancy dress. Now fly, fly my pretties! Your winged monkey outfits aren’t going to make themselves.


  2. Christmas and New Year

    January 4, 2011 by superlative

    As part of my ‘blogging once a week’ endeavour, check out my flying start with two posts in one day! It’ll never last.

    Anyway, I had quite a nice Christmas and New Year all in all.

    First of all, I was ill from about five days before Christmas until Christmas day. OK, so that bit wasn’t so nice really, and I was furious with the friend who I know gave me the cold. I mean, who comes round to a person’s house with a fever and then sits on their sofa spluttering and sneezing for two hours just before Christmas? Who would do that? Who?? My friend, obviously.

    But the illness did mean I had an extra four days off in total, so I had a full two weeks away from work which was LOVELY.

    I spent quite a bit of Christmas up at Chris’ Mum’s house, and for the first time ever my parents came up there on Christmas Day. It was really kind of Chris’ Mum to invite them, as normally I either don’t see them on Christmas Day or I have to drive down there in the afternoon or evening and miss out on the copious amounts of wine that’s always at Chris’ house. Mum doesn’t really like Christmas much anyway (she’s such a jolly person), so they don’t even do anything when it’s just the two of them on their own, and then she wails that their day was boring (i.e. I should have come and entertained them).

    But this year they were graciously invited to have lunch at Chris’ house, which made my life quite a bit easier and was actually really nice. It was a bit touch and go whether they would come or not, as Mum hasn’t had a good month and has generally been feeling pretty rubbish. Even on Christmas Day morning she still wasn’t sure, but then lo and behold they arrived at the allotted time and all was good.

    It was a little bit stressy for me having them there, as Mum can be fairly demanding (really, who’d have guessed?), but it’s quite nice and relaxed at Chris’ house, and they only actually stayed for about three hours or so.

    Boxing Day was dire, as usual, as it involved my annual torture trip to have lunch with my Horrible Grandad. He can barely walk now and is no less cantankerous than he was before. Mum didn’t come to that at least, which reduced the stress a little, but I still couldn’t get out of there quick enough.

    “I only see you at Christmas now,” said Horrible Grandad pointedly as we left the restaurant. He always gets his digs in at some point during the occasion.

    “Yes, there’s a reason,” I thought as I muttered a goodbye and scarpered back to the car I share with my male life partner he knows nothing about and will never meet.

    So that was Christmas anyway. We spent New Year down here as we normally do, and this year ended up going to a masked ball, which was quite fun. It’s any excuse to dress up with us really, as you can see.

    And then there was barely time to watch half a dozen films, eat two boxes of chocolates and a packet of biscuits and take the Christmas tree down before we were back at work. Trudging along in the pitch black and freezing rain at 7.30am this morning was not pleasant, but at least the office is dead today and I have the chance to catch up on my blog.

    Things I need to do during the first half of this year are:

    • start going to the gym once or twice a week, seeing as I’ve paid for it already and have barely used it.
    • find a lovely flat, buy it and move into it.
    • sort out some kind of celebration for my 30th birthday which is in four short months’ time.
    • turn 30 in a blaze of vodka.

    Let’s see how many of those I achieve shall we? The last one is the most certain as I only need to remain alive to achieve that bit. So if I sit very still and do nothing for the next four months I’ll at least have one thing I can cross off my to do list.


  3. Blue sheets in the morning

    November 12, 2010 by superlative

    I haven’t been blogging much lately partly because I’ve had a cold for three weeks that simply will not fuck off, and partly because I’m just a rubbish blogger. I’ve actually been doing a fair few things though, so I shall try to catch up on them now.

    Flat hunting
    We are still looking officially, but it has slowed way way down in the last week. After the flat I talked about before that we made an offer for, we upped our offer a bit but he still wanted more money and so we had to walk away. He actually seems to be a completely unrealistic seller, and he has since raised the asking price again have previously dropped it by £20K, so I really don’t know what he thinks he’s doing. It won’t sell at that price, he’s just wasting everyone’s time.

    We found a second flat in a posh listed building further into Kemptown, and again we put in a couple of offers, but they wanted more than we could afford to pay and we didn’t get it. And other than that there has been virtually nothing coming onto the market that we’re interested in. It’s not the best time of year to be looking at all, so I think we’re going to end up waiting until after Christmas when lots more stuff will come up for sale and we’ll have a bit more choice. And actually our flat isn’t too bad at the moment – it’s freezing cold in the winter due to the lack of double glazing and central heating, but the current neighbours are quite good and living there hasn’t been too annoying.

    Halloween
    We had another little dressing up outing for Halloween, which was quite successful. I was Frankenstein’s Monster, Chris was Mumm-Ra The Ever Living, and our friend Sarah was a demonic china dolly:

    The house party we went to was quite good, but from what I gather we left at the right time because it all turned a bit ugly towards the end of the night. 30 people the hosts didn’t really know turned up, then basically refused to leave, did loads of coke in the bathroom, and one of the hosts nearly got involved in a punch up with one of them. The neighbours started complaining about the noise, and it was all rather stressful and annoying for them.

    We did try to go clubbing after the party, but failed miserably due to the amount of gin we’d already drunk. We staggered from the party to Legends, got as far as ordering and  paying for some drinks at the bar, and then Chris pretty much passed out on his feet. The barmaid, handing me my change, noticed and said “Erm, he needs to go home right now”, so we had to abandon our untouched drinks on the bar and escort him from the building.

    He managed to do that thing drunks do where they suddenly perk up and move at high speed (I think he thought he might be sick), and to my horror he charged into the revolving door unaccompanied. I was afraid he’d get his cape caught, or simply pass out inside it, but after looking slightly confused for a moment he emerged from the other side successfully and the three of us tottered home.

    Chris didn’t last beyond getting home, obviously, and promptly passed out on the bed still in full blue body paint. In the meantime Sarah had passed out on the sofa, so all I could do really was put a blanket over her, wash off my green face, and pass out myself. Needless to say our sheets were rather blue in the morning with a distinctly Mumm-Ra-like shape all over one half of them. Chris woke optimistically hoping that we might have bathed him before putting him to bed, and was disappointed that we hadn’t.

    We had fun anyway, and I think I’ve got the various body and face paints out of most of my furnishings now.

    And that’s been my last couple of weeks really. Oo yes, my other exciting thing is I’ve bought myself a Kindle, which arrived yesterday. It was meant to be something I got for Christmas, but I couldn’t be bothered to wait so I’ve just treated myself to it. I really like it so far – it’s ever so thin, and reading on it is really easy. There are LOADS of free classics you can get for it, so I’m not actually planning on paying for any books on it for a while yet, and it will let me read lots of things I’ve always wanted to read but without hard copies of them cluttering up my house.

    It was a bit extravagant just to buy it for myself, but whatever. As Cheryl would say, Ahm worrth et.


  4. No I’m not a fucking dormouse

    March 19, 2010 by superlative

    I haven’t had much time for blogging this week, due to a combination of going out on staff jollies and actually being really busy at work. I know, me, busy, who’d have thought?
    But anyway, I had a fun time last weekend on an Alice In Wonderland night out. It was our friend Alice’s birthday, and so she had decreed that the night out would have a dressing up theme in her honour. This was fine, except that as with all these things you have to say ‘dressing up optional’ so people aren’t put off. We like dressing up though, so we thought we’d make the effort, and here was the result of our labours:

    In case you can’t tell, I am the Cheshire Cat and Chris is the Mad Hatter. Pretty obvious, no? But apparently not to the people who said “Are you the dormouse?” to me on more than one occasion. Of COURSE I wasn’t the fucking dormouse, look at my smile! So I glared at them, but this was rather undermined by the perma-happy expression painted onto me.
    Here’s another picture, complete with inflatable flamingo:

    The other girl in it isn’t dressed up, but that didn’t stop someone saying “I like your wig” (it’s her actual hair) which amused me immensely.
    Anyway, I mentioned that it was ‘dressing up optional’.
    “There will be other people dressed up won’t there?” we said.
    “Oh yes, don’t worry,” said Alice. “I’m doing face paint and everything.”
    So we get to the pub and, er, NO ONE is dressed up. And we’re stood in a normal pub, full of bemused looking staff and clientele, me in a pink and purple stripey H&M fucking cat print hoodie, and all our friends saying “Oo your costumes are great”. Where the fuck are their costumes???
    Alice is the one holding the flamingo. Can you see her face paint? It’s there, look again. She had painted a SPADE on her face. A spade from a deck of cards, not a shovel. And that was it! That’s not fucking face paint!
    So I was mortified anyway, and sat in the furthest corner of the pub where people couldn’t see me.
    A few other people turned up in costume later, and they’d made quite a bit of effort actually, but bizarrely they’d “only come out for a couple” and weren’t coming clubbing. Would you really get all dressed up in fancy dress just to come to the pub? So that was a bit odd anyway.
    I had a good night once I got going, and we moved on to the Hanbury Club for We Love Pop after a while. I have to say though, £8 to get into the Hanbury Club is ABSURD. It’s only a little out-of-the-way kooky club. So I’m not going there again if they’re going to charge that for We Love Pop. It’s never that expensive for Pop Kraft, I don’t know how they can justify it.
    Since the weekend I’ve had a fairly good week at work, but have been a bit rushed off my feet. This is good though because it makes a change from being bored.
    We went on a nice staff social/jolly on Wednesday, in the form of a lunch out at Pinocchios and then a trawl around Brighton Museum. Everyone was horrified I’d never been to the museum considering you can nearly see it from my house, and actually I’m really glad we went because it was really, really good. I heartily recommend it to anyone looking for something to do for an hour that’s free (well, voluntary donation, i.e. free).
    And now it’s Friday again and I don’t know where the week went. I might allow myself a little drinkie tonight (as you know, I hardly ever drink) as a reward for being so busy and important this week. I deserve it after all.


  5. Tea cosies, booze and Simon Amstell

    October 12, 2009 by superlative




    I’ve had a great weekend involving all of the above items. Fortunately they weren’t all at once, that would have been a bit odd and probably rather confusing for Simon Amstell.

    It was Chris’ birthday on Friday, so we had a number of nice things planned over the weekend to celebrate this auspicious occasion. We had a nice dinner at home on Friday accompanied by a bottle of Marks and Spencer Vouvray (one of my favourite wines, try it!) and then we had a cosy night in doing SingStar on his new wireless SingStar microphones.
    Then on Saturday we went for a Birthday High Tea at the Tea Cosy teashop. You may have seen it briefly on Brighton Beach Patrol on Channel 5 last week. Basically it’s a camp little teashop crammed to bursting with royal memorabilia, where they do great tea and cakes and sandwiches and things. The guy who runs it is lovely and always keeps us entertained with local gossip.
    I had the Princess Margaret Memorial Low Tea, which came with the most yummy lemon Madeira cake ever. It was the size of a breeze block too, so I was on a bit of a sugar and caffeine rush for quite a while afterwards and had to have a bit of a lie down in the afternoon (I’m such an old woman)
    And then in the evening we had people over and then went to We Luv Pop’s We Luv Movie Soundtracks at the Hanbury Ballroom. Chris had decided our evening should have a fancy dress theme, and that theme ended up being “Things you never thought you’d wear again”. It was subverted a little by some people buying new fancy dress outfits for it, but they were so horrific we decided it was admissible. Chris and I went in our school uniforms, and were both quite smug that they still fitted fairly well.
    The We Luv Movie Soundtracks theme was great (from what I remember), and we did quite a lot of crazy dancing to such classics as Dance Magic Dance and the Neverending Story. It was really busy in there too, which was good. It’s run by Dynamite Sal who used to do Dynamite Boogaloo, so I’m glad it’s doing well.
    Sunday was a necessarily more subdued day, and all I really wanted to do was loaf about and watch Come Dine With Me. We couldn’t do that all day though, because we had tickets to see Simon Amstell’s stand up show at the Brighton Dome in the evening. We saw him there last year too, and he’s been really good both times.
    Lots of his act this year seemed to revolve around him being a bit lonely and crap at relationships, which made me think awwwwwww and want to give him a hug. He also said that his ideal man is one who is skinny (check), only says about three sentences an hour (check), and is rather sickly (check!). So I’m definitely in there if I ever get to meet him. I’m not 18 unfortunately, his other stipulation, but I might be able to get him to overlook that with enough vodka.
    Sometimes with celebrities who seem a bit vulnerable like that, I think “aw I bet we’d be really good friends”. Which is a stupid thing to think I know, because what he says on stage quite possibly bears no relation to how he is in real life. He might be horrible. He’s certainly very highly strung I think. You can tell that he’s quite tense about his act going well, he doesn’t really like hecklers (even good natured ones), and he got quite cross in the middle of his act about the spotlight not following him properly. I imagine he’s quite high maintenance. But he’s so sweet, I just wanted to take him home with me.
    Chris seemed to have a very good birthday weekend anyway, with all these activities to entertain him. I’m thoroughly exhausted now though and will need to try to catch up on some sleep. Particularly as we’re probably having another big night out next weekend (again at the Hanbury, which seems to be taking all my money at the moment) for Boogaloo Stu’s Pop Kraft.
    Honestly, with all this socialising and debauchery it’s getting quite difficult to maintain my shy and retiring image.