Dress Up on Themed Party

Edited by Nerissa Avisado, Eng, Lynn, Julia Moliere and 1 other

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A themed party is a type of party where decorations, food, and guests are dressed up in amusing pretence to go along with the motif or subject of the party. The best thing about being invited to a themed party is that it gives you the ticket to try on a new personality and be someone or something you've always secretly wanted to be - a princess, witch, siren, pirate, or a monster. After all, there's a Belle or a Robin Hood in each one of us dying to get out.

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Origin of Themed Parties

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Parties that require guests to come in a fancy dress can be traced back to Italy, during the Renaissance of the 16th century, to masquerade balls that were typical of the higher classed social scene in the United Kingdom during the 18th century. By the early 20th century, these events became elaborate affairs attended mostly by people with considerable means. From the late 1940s onward, themed parties became increasingly popular among the general population wearing cheap costumes imported from the Far East. Much later, party-goers were wearing hired or homemade costumes to fit into the theme.

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Today, themed parties are practically the flavor of every celebratory event, especially for children's birthdays and around special annual events such as July 4th, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's. For these happy occasions, the host or organizer will create a theme to adapt to the entire concept of the party.

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If you've been invited to a themed party, it can be difficult to decide how to dress up. Apart from the countless outfit options, you also want to be sure you're wearing the right one. Maybe you're that kind of person who shivers at the thought of being garbed in a fancy dress, or conversely, maybe you've always waited for themed parties to come by so you can dress up in some costumes that will bring out your animal sex appeal. Regardless of your preference, there is basic etiquette to observe when it comes to dressing up for an event.

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Party Dress Code Etiquette

  1. 1
    To be or not to be, that is the question.
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    Is it necessary to dress up based on the theme? The answer is yes, no matter how much you despise dressing up as an out-of-this-world character. If the invitation specifies the theme and that it is a costume party, like all the other guests, you are expected to come in a costume. Even if you feel uncomfortable, you will certainly want to please the host. Seeing all others garbed in outrageous outfits will put you at ease, unlike guests sans costume who don't only disappoint the host, but also will realize they've become totally out of place. Party poopers are people who would attend a costume party, and don't dress up.
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  2. 2
    Decline the invitation.
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    If for whatever reason you can't find the courage, or you don't want to make the effort to get into a costume, be courteous, but decline the party invitation. It will do you good not to come at all rather than attend in inappropriate attire.
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  3. 3
    Creative exercise.
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    Accepting an invitation to a themed party does not mean your outfit has to be elaborate, glamorous, or expensive. You can create an original look by putting together items you already have. Give a new twist to classic costumes and you never know - your creativity might just catapult you into an overnight sensational – the star of the party.
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  4. 4
    Know the party ambiance.
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    Before finally deciding how to dress up for the themed party, ask the host what type of crowd will be attending. If there will be children, you'll have to avoid wearing too costumes that are too scary, or overtly sexy outfits. You may prefer to wear makeup instead of a mask. Categorize the type of party, whether it is casual, fancy, political, or anything-goes party. Once you've determined the general mood, you're ready to select your getup for the party.
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How to Choose the Perfect Outfit for a Themed Party

  1. 1
    Know the theme.
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    The starting point is to look at what the invitation specifies. It eliminates a lot of guesswork because you're provided with the idea of how to dress up for the event.
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  2. 2
    Know the venue and time.
    These are two party elements than can influence your choice of costume.
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    If you're set on wearing that Gothic Victorian dress, check first to see if the venue has enough ventilation to allow you to breathe in all the air you need. Also, if the party is held during the day, an over-the-top skin-tight dress may not be appropriate.
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  3. 3
    Think of who your heroes are.
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    Who you choose will say something about who you are. Whether you choose to dress up as the good or bad guy, that's the image you want to imprint upon people.
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  4. 4
    Be unique and original.
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    There is always the possibility of dressing up similarly to other guests. Once you have the basic costume, personalize it by putting on different make-up, adding accessories or playing with color combinations. Own the character.
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  5. 5
    Try the outfit on.
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    Any costume will look different on the hanger, than they will on your body. If you are worried about how skimpy the dress is, why not wear something over it? How comfortable does it feel? Can you move around in your dress? If you can walk around, sit down, climb up and down the stairs, and go to the bathroom without any difficulty you can be sure you'll have a night of fun wearing that fancy dress of yours.
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  6. 6
    Consider the transport mode.
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    How will you get to the party? If you're arriving by cab, the driver will not mind having Miss Piggy as a passenger. But, think of all the stares you'll get if you choose to ride mass transit, although for some of you, that might be fun, and likewise, might be amusing for the other people riding the bus.
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  7. 7
    Solo, Couple, or Group.
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    If you prefer to stand out on your own, you can think of an outfit that's difficult for others to copy. If you're coming as a couple, you have various options to dress up in playful reference to your relationship. For example, you can be Eve and he can be the Snake, or he can be Popeye, while you're Olive Oyle, Cleopatra and Anthony, Bonnie and Clyde, etc. If you're all going to be dressed up as a group of characters, you can still manage to look good and puzzle everyone as to why you're picked out singly as best dressed.
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A themed party allows you to step out of the comfort zone of your everyday appearance. You can either choose an outfit that will magnify your personality or a dress that will reduce you to the background. It is important to remember that themed parties are opportunities to be creative so you can ultimately look swanky without appearing like a lame fool. There's a big difference between a cool costume and a hideously repelling outfit. Which one would you rather wear?

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Tips and Tricks

  • If it's going to be an adult party, it's safe to wear whatever outfit you like. But, you need to be more conservative if there are children at the party.
  • Re-use various items from your collection of costumes. You can save much if you can transform Snow White's yellow skirt into a Teletubby body, or the lion's mane into a clown wig.
  • Search for a fancy dress costume in budget stores since it is unlikely to be worn repeatedly unless you get invited to parties with the same theme again.
  • Pick an outfit that people will recognize. Thinking outside the box is different from picking a totally unknown costume.
  • The party might be a Murder Mystery night, when you'll be assigned a character in the game. It's up to you to do a little research. For instance, you've been invited to a Murder Mystery set in the Roaring Twenties, and your character is a flapper. Do a Google search in images on "Flapper", and you'll get an idea how to dress.

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Categories : Fashion | Holidays & Traditions

Recent edits by: Julia Moliere, Lynn, Eng

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