So the fancy dress market is well and truly flourishing. Whether it’s for World Book Day or Halloween or perhaps you’re running a charity marathon dressed as an inanimate object, whatever the occasion you want your outfit to provoke a memorable reaction. Wearing fancy dress can unveil the exhibitionist in normally shy and retiring types.
For a multitude of reasons then, it seems as a nation we don’t need much of an excuse to dress up. Originating in the 1880’s with the masked balls, people continue to relish the idea of pretending to be someone else for a while.
Gone are the days when attending a children’s party in a homemade creation was the highlight of your childhood . Nowadays, the ‘fancy dress’ party invite lands and you give a little whoop, if you’re anything like me that is. The next few weeks are given over to finding that all important outfit. So you trawl the internet for wholesale fancy dress, a great place to source your costume. You seek validation over your choice from everyone you know and finally party day is here. Dressed to the nines and reaching for the door handle at the venue, you pause. A pang of anxiety sweeps over you. You ask yourself the question ‘Did I read the invitation correctly, did it really say fancy dress? You go in anyway.
I do this every time as well as worrying whether the other guests will know who or what I have come as. I must confess to having to explain myself as being one half of a pair of ‘ghoulies’ or actually goolies at a friend’s Halloween party recently. I won’t expand, except to say that a couple of pink fitted sheets, some pillows and a black marker pen later, our couple’s look was complete.
So what’s all the fuss with fancy dress? Are we harking back to a childhood of imaginative role play? Absolutely, yes. You have to agree that there is a certain appeal to trying out a different persona in a relatively safe environment. Although being in costume can lead us in to escapades we wouldn’t normally dream of, especially with the addition of alcohol.
On the whole, the trend of fancy dress is growing evermore socially acceptable and allowing us to push boundaries. Once the scene was largely dominated by women using the word ‘sexy’in their fancy dress search. We have fortunately been able to prise fancy dress from the fetishists. Increasingly too, straight men are sporting outlandish outfits more typical to a mardi gras parade. Even traditionally masculine sporting events see an array of costumed grownups, just watch the televised darts finals for proof.
Any pass time that allows you to rediscover your inner child and be less inhibited has to be a good thing. So ladies and gents, embrace your inner diva, throw on a feather boa and get dressing up!