Nobody knows for sure when fancy dress parties were originally held and organised, but a lot of literature suggests that these type of parties were popular in Europe in the 16th and 17th century – to find out more click here. The masquerade ball was a particularly popular pastime during the late 18th century, but started losing its popularity during the reign of Queen Elizabeth. However, fancy dress parties were often organised to ensure that social events were not dull and dab affairs, and it was in fact the royalty that organised many of these types of parties. Within Britain, Shakespearean costumes were popular choices for costumes, but with the move to industrial and consumerism, these historical costumes were replaced with more socially relevant costumes from the mainstream media.

Often, themes would revolve around particular events, like Halloween in the United States, which would have a theme of horror, or St Patrick ’s Day in Ireland. Nowadays, throwing a fancy dress party and getting everyone to dress up is actually quite easy, as there are specialised stores that will assist with any form of fancy dress that you can imagine. If you are the host of the party, make sure that you send out the invitations to your party far in advance, as some people will even want to make their own fancy dress costume. For those without much time, going into a fancy dress costume shop will provide a plethora of options for whichever theme you provide. So get creative and go and host that fancy dress party that you have always wanted to.

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