If you have a fancy dress party coming up, chances are that you’re feeling stressed. Part of the reason that the costume industry has grown into a $2 billion a year behemoth is because of the staggering level of choice it now offers to consumers.
An invitation to a costume party throws up numerous dilemmas, especially for the ladies. There’s the issue of whether you want to dress up as something culturally relevant and topical, ensuring that whatever costume you do choose isn’t problematic; choosing a costume that looks well-planned without having to spend lots of time and money on it, and countless other things to consider.
The best solution to this is to just have a couple of trusty, timeless, and stylish looks to hand that you can bust out whenever the need arises. Here are the most gorgeous costume party looks that will never go out of style.
The 1920s gave us a lot of things, not least prohibition, jazz music, and a catastrophic stock market crash. Perhaps the most positive thing to come out of the age of excess was the so-called “flapper” fashion, which remains highly influential in the world of high fashion to this day.
The streamlined dresses, gel-styled hairlines, winged eyeliner, and fierce accessories of the original party girls continues to ooze elegance to this day, making it a perfect costume look for any occasion.
The flapper look has surged in popularity in recent years, thanks largely to hugely popular TV shows and films such as Baz Luhrmann’s Great Gatsby and the more recent hit Babylon Berlin, so you are unlikely to find yourself as the only flapper at a costume party.
There are many Cleopatra looks to choose from, all of them stylish and highly versatile. Undoubtedly the look that immediately comes to most people’s minds is Elizabeth Taylor’s stunning portrayal of the unfortunate queen in the 1963 Hollywood epic Cleopatra. This is the most instantly recognizable look, thanks to a pop culture machine that has based every subsequent portrayal of Cleo off of Taylor’s iconic performance.
Her depiction in music videos such as in The Cranberries’ hit Zombie and Katy Perry’s floor-filler Dark Horse, as well as in numerous video games such as Dante’s Inferno, Assassin’s Creed, and the Cleopatra slot game at Betway online casino all use the Taylor look, so this is the one you should have handy in your closet. However decide to rock this look, make sure not to forget the piercing blue eyeshadow.
Breakfast at Tiffany’s
You don’t have to have seen the movie to instantly recognize Holly Golightly when you see her. People have been dressing up as the Midtown Manhattan glamazon ever since Breakfast at Tiffany’s was first released over 50 years ago, in part because the outfit worn by our chic heroine is such an easy look to put together.
All you really need is your Little Black Dress (ideally an ankle-length number with a slit on the side), some costume necklace jewelry, a cigarette holder, and those bug-eye Chanel shades (knock-offs will suffice). The fashion bible Harper’s Bazaar has a brilliant guide on how to get the Holly Golightly look without breaking the bank, which is definitely worth a look.
A Touch of Pulp Fiction
This one’s a winner because it is always culturally relevant and everything you need to put the look together is probably already sitting in your closet. Mia Wallace, played brilliantly by Uma Thurman, was instantly recognized as an iconic character from the moment Pulp Fiction was first released back in 1995.
The razor-sharp black bob haircut coupled with the tight black pants and oversized boyfriend shirt is perfect for the lazy partygoer, just don’t forget the signature dash of blood above your top lip. The look is pretty simple yet memorable, which is part of the reason why Elle recently wrote a lengthy essay on why it’s the best movie look of all time. This is one costume that is guaranteed to stay in style long after the current 90s revival trend has passed.
The next time you’re invited to a costume party, don’t bother fretting about your look. As long as you have Holly, Cleo, Daisy (from the Great Gatsby), and Mia in your closet, you have nothing to worry about.