Have a Hawaiian Party | Party Connection

Summer’s finally here – for now at least – so it’s time to seize the moment and break out the BBQ. And what better way to get in the summer holiday mood than by partying Hawaii style?
Stick on some chilled-out tunes from born and bred Hawaiian surf dude Jack Johnson and hang some of our vibrant Tiki, Tropical Bird and Pineapple Cut-outs on your garden fence for extra island ambience. Leave a couple of our cute coconut ukuleles propped up against the trees for your more musical friends to pick up and play as the night draws on – those lovely plinky plonky sounds are sure to help create a Caribbean paradise in your back garden…
Greet your guests with one of our gigantic greeting banners that proclaim either ‘Island Party’ or ‘Aloha’ in a bold bamboo font, and drop one of our Hawaiian Couple Stand-In Cut-outs in your shopping basket to ensure laughs from your guests as they pose for snaps with their faces in the holes. An alternative to this is out Hula Dancing Doorway Photo Cut-out for you to stick mug shots onto – a great idea for a surprise birthday party.
Our bright floral TikiIsland straws are a must for those rainbow-coloured island cocktails – pour your drinks into hollowed out coconut shells for a really authentic feel – and our Totally Tiki Table Skirts will give your tired garden furniture an instant Caribbean makeover. Scatter handfuls of palm tree table confetti and choose from our various palm tree table centrepieces (including our fabulous blow-up palm tree drinks cooler) and serve your nibbles on Tropical Jungle Serving Trays in the shape of giant palm leaves.
String a Palm Tree Garland between the trees, and don’t forget to grab a Hula Girl Piñata for the kids at your party (or the grown up kids!) and you’re good to go! Optional extras are hammocks, a paddling pool and a dusting of sand on the patio (available from all good DIY stores).
If you’re looking for costumes, you can call off the search now – you’ve come to the right place. We’ve got grass hula skirts in all colours for all shapes and sizes, and bagfuls of brightly coloured lei to adorn your guests with on arrival. Men – you can pick up a loud Hawaiian shirt here, too. Pair it with cut off chinos, board shorts or just a grass skirt if you’re feeling extra brave!
Have a great time from all of us at Party Connection!
by Peter Walker

What to wear to a 1960s party | Party Connection

The Swinging Sixties was an iconic time of rebellion, flower power, breakthrough music, and remarkable fashion. The 60s make the perfect theme for a party, embodying a time of fun, freedom and funky fashion!
If you’re throwing or going to a Sixties party, there’s a fabulous range of looks to choose from. From hippy chicks  and psychedelic dudes  to beehived beauties  to monochrome Mods  to the swinging look that inspired the Austin Powers movies, the 60s is a mine of fabulous dressing-up ideas guaranteed to get your 60s party vibe going.
To get in the Sixties Woodstock party mood, put some Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin on to set the scene while you’re getting ready. Guys, get on a long hippy wig , pull on some flower power printed bell-bottoms and a funky fringed vest and a peace sign necklace then tie a colourful scarf round your long locks and rock some hippy specs . Get in on the flower power action in a crazily-coloured tunic and flares , teamed with a tambourine and a jumbo “spliff”.  Peace man.
Hippy chicks can get their groove on with a psychedelic print hippy mini-dress , long white boots and a flowing hippy party wig  adorned with bright and colourful beads. Or go for loon pants, teamed with a multi-coloured floaty top , hippy headband and a CND necklace . Peace out in a bright hippy top and bell-bottoms adorned with flowers and peace signs and spend a blissed-out evening with your hippy friends.
Get the stylish and sophisticated Mod look with a bold, sexy mini-dress and baker boy hat , or a flirtatious metallic cutaway dress . Yeah baby!
Become a Sixties pop star by recreating the early days of the Beatles in a sharp suit, thin tie and bowl-cut style dark wig . You might even get some adoring fans dressed up like Mary Quant in monochrome mini-dresses  topped off with authentic looking beehive wigs  to scream as you pass the drinks…
Channel the late, great Jimi in a Purple Daze costume which rocks flared purple trousers, a psychedelic shirt and flamboyant feather boa in, you guessed it, vibrant purple.
Don’t forget the music – the 60s was a time of incredible tunes, with so many different styles vying for space in the charts and in the dance halls. Mix it up Sixties style with a playlist blend made of The Beatles, Bob Dylan, the Rolling Stones, Lulu, Hendrix, The Hollies, Fleetwood Mac, Petula Clark, Eric Clapton, Freddie and the Dreamers and Pink Floyd. There should be enough variation in there to get anyone swinging their pants!
by Peter Walker

Celebrating Your Flirty Thirties | Party Connection

Those of you hitting the bit 3-0 this year are no doubt wondering how to mark the occasion. Next stop is forty, so you’d better make this one a birthday to remember! And what better way to mark your thirties than by rewinding to the decade of your birth and having a ‘Back to the Eighties’ party?
First on the agenda: tunes. Big hits in 1983 were ‘Billie Jean’ and ‘Beat It’ by Michael Jackson, ‘Rock the Casbah’ by The Clash and ‘Come on Eileen’ by Dexys Midnight Runners. Add these to your party playlist along with other 80s classics from INXS, Prince and Spandau Ballet, and break out the cheese and pineapple cubes on cocktail sticks for pure 80s nostalgia.
Kit your party venue out with our Totally 80s and 80s Shapes drinks coasters and make sure there are plenty of inflatable microphones and guitars for your neon-clad guests to strut their stuff with. Add a couple of inflatable ghetto blasters for posing with, and you’re sure to have a hilarious night throwing funky shapes to those electro beats.
Decorate your venue with printed and laminated posters for 80s movies like Back to the Future, The Goonies and Ferris Bueller’s Day Off – or go for cartoon posters: think Button Moon, Postman Pat and Rainbow! Another option, of course, is to print album iconic 80s album covers. If you’re feeling creative you could photoshop your face onto the existing images and give your guests a good laugh!
Club Tropicana drinks are free, remember – so kit out your bar area with a couple of inflatable palm trees or even an inflatable palm tree cooler so your pals can help themselves to something cold and alcoholic throughout the evening. If you can rope someone in to running a bar for you, cocktails should be the order of the day. The more garish the better, so grab someone of our Summer Brights drinks stirrers. Paper umbrellas optional!
f you’re stuck for a costume idea, you’ve come to the right place – we’ve got Ghostbusters and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle outfits if you feel like dressing up as a childhood superhero. If neon and netting is more your thing, knock yourself out with our kaleidoscope of all things tight and bright, from oversized lacy headbands á la Madonna to Cher-inspired neon garters, fishnets and tutus. And remember, the 80s was the era of the androgynous look perfected by Prince and Adam Ant, so feel free and express yourself!
Our 80s Video Star costume kit includes a shocking pink wig and gold leggings, and our 80s Video Superstar costume is the very thing for those who can (or think they can) breakdance like MC Hammer. Arm yourself with a host of colourful eighties wigs to plonk on the heads of any guests whose outfits don’t quite make the grade, and get ready to vogue the night away…
by Peter Walker

What to wear to a fabulous forties themed party | Party Connection

The 40s were a time of war, austerity and rationing, but the era is also remembered as a time of glamour and excitement as World War II came to an end.
Women were always well groomed, in elegant tea dresses topped with a head of gleaming coiffured curls, despite the fact that they would often barely have two pennies to rub together, gravy browning for stockings and only meagre clothing coupons to buy clothes. Men were suited and booted, glossy Brylcreemed barnets matching the shine on their highly polished shoes, or sporting smart military uniforms as they defended our country.
The 40s make a great theme for a party. The big band sounds of Glen Miller and Duke Ellington, the soulful warbling of Vera Lynn and the smooth crooning of Frank Sinatra all make for a great forties party soundtrack. There were many cultural influences that feature in the forties look – from military glamour to land girls to film star beauty.
Create your own fabulous forties party look with our guide to 40s fashion.
Military glamour
Dress up as a Forces sweetheart with a glamorous twist in a ladies wartime officer suit , complete with authentic green officer’s jacket with medals, green pencil skirt, and mock shirt with tie and a matching jaunty hat.
Put the Tommies through their paces with a smart men’s wartime officer costume . Medals on the green khaki jacket, trousers with a razor-sharp crease and a mock tie, shirt, and matching beret complete the military officer look.
Get your forties party off to a flying start and take to the proverbial skies with a squadron leader’s outfit – add a bomber jacket, flying hat and goggles, and a splendidly abundant moustache and it’s chocks away my old son!
Land girls
Land girls were known for their true-Brit grit, strength, stamina, and above all, earthy glamour. Create the land girl look at your own 40s party with a pair of wide-leg trousers, a short knotted at the waist, and a pretty knotted scarf tied up in a glamorous pin-curled forties-style wig .
Shovel and fingernails full of dirt optional!
Forties tea party with film star glamour
If there’s one thing that ladies in the forties knew how to throw, it was a fabulous tea party. Scour flea markets and antique shops for pretty little china cups and saucers, put up some Union Jack bunting, and pop some Vera Lynn on the gramophone (or MP3 if yours is in the pawn shop).
Fill cake stands with sugary delicacies and little sandwiches with the crusts cut off, and invite your friends round to sip on cups of naughty Earl Grey (gorgeous when laced with a little gin), nibble on cupcakes and gossip.
As well as being great sources of authentic forties chinaware, flea markets are a treasure trove of vintage clothing. Search your local one for forties style tea dresses – think nipped-in waists, sleeves puffed-up on the shoulder, and floral or polka-dotted prints.
Or hunt for a dress fit for a film star – channel Marlene in a long slinky silk or satin number, with the addition of a white feather boa and sequinned cigarette holder.
Add a glamorous wig to make you look like a true pin-up girl, some cute T-bar shoes and some stockings with a saucy line down the back – or go the whole authentic austere forties hog and rub some fake tan into your legs and get a chum to draw a line down the back of your legs with black eyeliner! Well, not absolutely authentic – I wouldn’t ask you to do the gravy browning trick now would I?
by Peter Walker

What to wear to a 20s party | Party Connection

The release of Baz Luhrmann’s Gatsby movie, set in the Roaring Twenties, has reignited interest in this glamorous era of gangsters, molls, jazz, dancing and parties parties parties.
In the 20s there was always an excuse for a party and you can capture the essence of this feeling of flighty freedom at your own twenties themed party.

The twenties were also referred to as the “Jazz Age” and the soundtrack to your 20s party has to include the tunes to get your guests up on the floor doing the Charleston, Tango, Foxtrot and Waltz.
Think fun, frivolity, dancing and a little bit of danger, get your flapper wigs and spats  on and follow our guide to 20s themed fancy dress.
What to wear

When it comes to choosing what to wear at your twenties party, remember that it was a time when girls were girls and boys were boys. Women dressed in flirty flapper dresses , their hair in neat bobs or waves, wearing cute little shoes made for dancing.  The men were elegant and dapper, rocking a zoot suit , hair slicked back, spiv tash at the ready.
20s themed fancy dress
The Great Gatsby
Parties, glamour and excess run through the iconic book and the Gatsby movie, which sums up the danger and decadence of the era. Modern designers have taken up the glamorous Gatsby mantle – all slinky flapper dresses and jewelled headdresses.
You can get the Gatsby girl  look for a fraction of the designer price label – our slinky Gatsby Girl costume , topped with a jaunty Charleston headband , embodies the sophisticated but flirty look. Add a sleek 1920s bob wig , a feathered boa and a sexy garter , slipping a tiny gun in there to add your own dark and dangerous secret to your look.
If you’re dressing up as the Great Gatsby himself, you can recreate the power and glamour of the enigmatic tycoon with a sophisticated pinstripe suit . Sling a white tasselled scarf around your neck and revive the 20s look with a seriously dirty martini and a flapper girl on each arm.
Gangsters and molls at the speakeasy
Prohibition in the twenties made the manufacture, import and sale of beer, wine and hard liquor illegal. So what did people do when they wanted a drink and a dance? They went to a speakeasy of course.  And no real speakeasy’s to speak of unless it’s full of gangsters and molls. Signpost your guests to the action with a glitzy Speakeasy sign.

Speakeasies were the birthplace of infamous gangsters including Al Capone, Lucky Luciano, and Bugs Moran. Invite your guests to come dressed as gangsters and molls. Give it a twist by getting the women to come as the gangsters and the men as the molls!
Al Capone was the archetypal American gangster and head of a crime syndicate called The Chicago Outfit.  Smuggling and bootlegging liquor was a serious business, and they had the serious suits to go with it.
Act like a crime heavyweight in a hefty fat cat costume or get suited and spat-booted in a sharp double breasted chalkstripe suit . This get-up instantly becomes gangster with the artful addition of a white tasselled scarf. Add some white spats  to shoes so shiny you can see your pencil-thin moustache in them, an Al Capone hat tipped at just the right angle so your victims can’t see the whites of your eyes as you approach, and bring the whole dangerous look together with a gangster gun .
Molls won’t be messed with either – you might look like a doll but tuck a gun into your garter under your elegant flapper dress and accessorise with a sequinned cigarette holder and a sweet smile and those philandering gangsters won’t know what’s hit them.
Broadway Babes
Dress up as Roxie Hart or Velma Kelly, the glamorous but deadly murderesses whose story is told in the musical Chicago. Think fringed flapper dresses , a wig of glossy waves , fishnets and killer heels.
Don’t forget to dress your venue too – you might not have Chicago’s skyline silhouetted in your kitchen window, but the next best thing is some great silhouettes of instantly recognisable 20s images.
Pick out a trumpet blowing musician, pinstriped mobster, flapper girl, Tommy gun and the classic Lincoln Coupe styled gangster car  in shadow on your walls and bring the 20s to life in your 21st century living room.
by Peter Walker

Party Traditions we’re never too old for | Party Connection

We reckon you’re never too old for some good old fashioned party games and accessories at your big celebration this summer. Party props and attractions like a piñata, a dressing up box and pin the tail on the donkey will also help get people in the party mood – and if you’re having a fancy dress party, that’s even better! Check out some of our party tips, whatever your celebration.

Dressing Up Box
This is a must for any celebration from hen nights to weddings, “grown up” birthdays – no longer is tussling over tiaras an activity limited to children’s parties! Whatever your party theme (and even if you have none), a clearly situated and signposted basket or suitcase full of dressing up props is a fantastic way to break the ice among your guests whilst creating hilarious photographs. Even better if you can set up a backdrop or ‘photo booth’ for taking pictures in front of. Bung in a load of old costume jewellery and scarves along with a few wigs, a selection of hats (perhaps a few trilbies, Rasta hats and top hats), some oversized glasses and masks and a few packs of comedy moustaches. A clutch of leis and feather boas will bring a little glamour to the occasion, and there’s nothing like a few blow-up microphones, champagne bottles and other musical instruments to get your guests strutting their stuff on the dance floor.
Pin the Tail
Forget the donkey and get creative with the endless fun possibilities presented by this age-old children’s party game – just a bit of cutting and pasting is involved here. Blowing up a large photograph of the birthday girl or boy is a good way to start – then have a think about what prop you might associate with them. Mortar boards, chefs’ hats, stethoscopes, bottles of wine – you get the idea! The same fun can be had on hen and stag weekends… and you decide how rude you make the ‘tail’ substitute! Is your stag a keen footballer? Use a large picture of him and get fellow stags to try to pin a cardboard football to the end of his foot! Hens could follow this suggestion and try pinning the garter on the bride. The possibilities are endless…
Piñata
A long-time children’s party staple from America, piñatas are now found at summertime parties all over the UK, too. Your piñata (which we offer in a variety of themes and designs) is stuffed full of treats and surprises, then hung from a tree branch and whacked mercilessly with a piñata buster by blindfolded guests (causing much hilarity…) until it’s ripped open and the treats come tumbling down. Fill your piñata with sweets, decorations or favours – things that aren’t too heavy, for obvious reasons. Otherwise we’d suggest mini bottles of flavoured vodka…
Table Decorations
Keep your party theme consistent by dressing your table properly. Paper centrepieces will create striking focal points, and table cloths or table skirts (if you’re going Hawaiian…) will add to the tone. Table confetti is an easy way to jazz things up, and nobody in our experience is ever too old for a couple of party poppers… or a party bag, in fact! If you’re planning a party without a specific theme, look out for our coloured, sparkly and champagne bottle shaped table decorations!
Have fun!
by Peter Walker

Gatsby FEVER | Party Connection

Thanks to the roaring success of Baz Lurhmann’s blockbusting adaptation of ‘The Great Gatsby’, this summer is seeing a wild influx of 1920s-inspired ‘speakeasy’ parties. Think flapper girls, bootleggers, sequins and pearls. Sip champagne, let your hair down and do the Charleston. And leave the costumes and decorations to us…www.partyconnection.co.uk/1920s-party-theme/
Invitations
The fun starts here! Set your expectations high by carefully designing your invitations – your guests will then know that fancy dress is NOT optional but strictly mandatory, darling! Stuff your invitations with a pinch of Hollywood or top hat confetti, then pick a vintage font and stick to black and white colour schemes. Decorate with images of dancing flappers and musical notes, art deco sunbursts, moustaches, beads and feathers. You could even theme your invitation on a ‘Wanted’ poster to ensure those RSVPs and provide a secret password for entry to your speakeasy.
Set the scene
Set up your party venue like a genuine New York speakeasy bar by keeping the lighting low and the jazz turned up high. Your bar will need cocktail glasses for martinis and tumblers for whiskey. Entertainment should be strictly of the illicit kind, so gambling is the order of the day – or night. Bring in roulette wheels and card tables and give your guests a handful of chips for playing with on entry. Amuse your guests by putting their mug shots on ‘WANTED’ signs on the walls and doors and use our gangster silhouette cutouts of jazz musicians, gangsters and molls to set the tone. You could even stage a raid!
We’ve got the props
Get your guests in the mood by providing an exciting dressing-up box and a backdrop to pose for snaps in front of – our art deco ‘Speakeasy’ sign is ideal for this. Grab an armful of feather boas and pearls, wigs, braces and tommy guns and throw them in a large basket or chest for rummaging around in. Gun holsters and spats might encourage any shy and retiring guests to get into the party spirit – and if in doubt get your barman to fix them up with a whiskey sour. Add a few props for posing with, like cigarette holders our gangster car cutout, and you’re good to go.
Dress it up
For the girls – molls and flapper girls, screen sirens and showgirls – it’s all about fringed dresses, ruffles and low waistlines, feathers, pearls and beads. Try out a bobbed wig and long gloves for pure 1920s elegance – and show up in a trench coat with your Tommy Gun Handbag. Guys – go for sharp pinstripes and thin moustaches, spats and gun holsters. A trilby at a jaunty angle will finish off the gangster look – or check out our Scarface mask and our brilliant Fat Cat costume for something extra-impressive. “Noo Yoik” accents optional.
by Peter Walker

Harry Potter – The story so far…

Who knew, that back in 1990, Harry Potter  was coming to life in the mind of fledgling author J.K.Rowling?  The first book in the Harry Potter series, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, was first published in 1997. The series of seven titles also includes Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Harry Potter and the Goblet of fire, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.
Following the adventures of the infamous child-wizard Harry Potter at the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, the books and films take children (and adults) on voyages of magic, mayhem, trickery and suspense. The characters including Hermione Granger, Ron Weasley, Albus Dumbledore and Rubeus Hagrid are now household names and continue to grow in popularity. As well as such heroes of the stories, Harry and friends encounter many ‘baddie’ characters too. Archenemy Lord Voldemort is arguably the most famous, but under this umbrella we can include Professor Snape, Lucius Malfoy, Belatrix Lestrange and the Dementors.
Without J.K.Rowling, we would never know the delights of mystical characters including Blood-sucking Bugbears, Hippogriffs, Basilisks, Jobberknolls or Blast-ended Skrewts.  We would know nothing of Muggles (Hermione), House-elves (Dobby), Seers (Sybill Trelawney), Metamorphmagi (Nymphadora Tonks), Squibs (Marius Blacks) or Animagi (Sirius Black, Mrs McGonagall).
Such was there popularity, the books have outsold all other children’s books, been translated into 67 languages and turned into 8 (Deathly Hallows was split into Part I and Part II) blockbuster movies between 2001 and 2011. Making global superstars out of Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint and Emma Watson, a plethora of established movie stars and TV presenters clamoured for even the tiniest roles, such was the Harry Potter effect. Top names starring in the series of films include Robbie Coltrane, Rik Mayall, Dawn French, Emma Thompson, Kenneth Branagh, Robert ‘R-Patz’ Pattinson, Gary Oldman, Julie Walters, Verne Troy, Eric Sykes and Ralph Fiennes, David Tennant and Dame Maggie Smith.
Warner Brothers opened up their studios in Leavesden, Hertfordshire in 2012 to allow Harry Potter fans to visit the sets of their favourite film.  Here, fans can mooch round the Ministry of Magic, dawdle down Diagon Alley and even knock on the door of the Durdles. Such was the global popularity of the young wizard, King’s Cross Railway Station have erected a cast-iron “Platform 9 3/4 “ plaque above a luggage trolley disappearing into the wall. Although no more plans are in the pipeline for any more Harry Potter books to be written, fans live in hope.

Party Themes

Parties are held for a variety of exciting reasons and it can be fun to add a slightly different element such as party themes or fancy dress themes to make the occasion memorable.

Whether the occasion is a birthday, reunion or an anniversary, a themed party can encourage guests to get more involved with the festivities. Here are a few different themed party ideas:

Favourite Characters

Party themes  based on a favourite character from a movie or book allows guests the opportunity to be their favourite actor or character. Television shows and Disney characters are very popular, especially for children’s parties where characters such as Hannah Montana and characters from Transformers are frequently chosen. The party host should consider purchasing themed plates, hats and napkins to really complete the fun theme. A cake designed like the host’s favourite character makes for a great finishing touch.

Fancy Dress Themes

These types of parties are popular amongst adults. A Hawaiian theme really adds a sense of the tropical as guests dress up in bright, festive clothing and grass skirts and don funky leis.

Fruity punches and brightly coloured cocktails add to the vibrancy of the theme and if there is a swimming pool available, a pool party is a good idea. Serve fresh fruit in the hollows of coconuts and pineapples and have rhythmical Hawaiian music playing in the background.

Decades

A decade party theme is always fun. Choose the ‘80s for vibrant stockings and big hair and some really fun music or the roaring ‘20s for a more sophisticated affair. Decorate your space according to the decade and play music of that era too for fun memories and forgotten dance moves. Invite guests to dress accordingly and have movies from the decade playing in the background. A fun trivia contest can be held about facts from that time with prizes to be won.

Holidays

Holiday themed parties are a festive way to celebrate a particular time of year with friends and family. Decorate according to the holiday and send out themed invitations. Serve food that’s appropriate for the time of year, such as heart shaped chocolates for Valentine’s Day, green cocktails for St. Patrick’s Day or pumpkin fritters for Halloween.

Murder Mystery

A murder mystery adds a sense of thrill to a dinner party. Ask guests to dress up from Dr. Watson’s era and play a game of “whodunnit” after dinner. A professional company can even be hired to host the mystery evening, along with props and costumes.

A themed party adds festivity and fun to any occasion and allows guests to get into the spirit of the theme wholeheartedly.

Fancy dress fantastic

There are few things that are as much fun in life as shopping for fancy dress outfits for a special event or party. There is something about the human condition that causes us to fill with giddy excitement at a clothes rail of fancy dress costumes — no doubt in anticipation of the admiring eyes that will gaze on in approval of the effort that went into looking like a pirate.

When it comes to looking for fancy dress costume ideas , there is a world of wonderful characters — fictional and otherwise — that can be used as inspiration. Here’s a list of some fancy dress costume ideas that will make an instant impact at a party.

Superhero
Real life is often mundane enough without turning up to the party dressed as someone you see every day in the street. Get into the spirit of the occasion by dressing as a superhero from a comic book or television show. This works well for both men and women. For girls looking for something sexy and eye-catching, opt for Catwoman or the Black Widow from the Avengers movie. Scarlett Johansson eat your heart out. For men, there is an endless cast of superhero characters to choose from: Spiderman , Batman, the Hulk and Superman all make for party favourites.

1980s fancy dress
The 1980s are where it’s at these days, and when looking for cheap fancy dress options it’s the decade that keeps on giving. From crimped hair and neon sweatbands, to leg warmers and skinny jeans, it’s an instantly recognisable look, and one that — most people — can remember the first time around. This is especially good for parties that involve lots of dancing, as inevitably the playlist will switch to 1980s favourites as the night progresses.

A man — or woman — in uniform
There are few things that excite a crowd like a uniform. Whether it’s a member of the emergency services or a naughty nurse, fancy dress shops up and down the country are well stocked with costumes that pay tribute to our uniformed professionals. This is a costume choice that often reflects the secret childhood career ambitions of the wearer and is fun because of the various accessories that accompany the look. Just be careful where you leave the handcuffs.

Horror fancy dress
For many of us, Halloween is the one time of year we get invited to a fancy dress party. On this holiday of ghosts and ghouls, it seems fitting to dress the part. There is an array of wonderfully spooky fancy dress costumes available, from zombies  and witches to vampires and skeletons. Moreover, with so many television series based around the paranormal, there are plenty of ideas to be mined from your favourite book or television show. Harry Potter fans might fancy a spell as their favourite boy wizard, while Twilight fans might prefer to cast themselves as a vampire or werewolf for the evening.

Across the decades
There’s more to 20th-century history than the 1980s. The 1920s, 1950s, 1960s and 1970s all had distinctive and easily recognisable styles, from the flappers of the 1920s to the groovy, bell-bottomed hippies of the 1960s. The 1970s were all about bad moustaches  and heavily coiffured hairstyles, while in the 1950s poodle skirts and leather jackets were all the rage.