Looking for a little inspiration for a themed party? We’ve got 21 amazing ideas, plus everything you need to give your celebration that special touch!
Written by Paula Jones Last updated: June 6, 2006
When an invite for a themed party drops on the mat, even the most hardened party animal can be forgiven for having a few reservations. But don’t forget that the idea is to have fun ‐ and you will, with a bit of effort. Here are a few ideas to get you started…
Dressing for a themed party
When an invite for a themed party drops on the mat, even the most hardened party animal can be forgiven for having a few reservations… What should I wear? Will everyone be dressed up? What if I look a fool? What if I take ages over my outfit and no one recognises what I’ve come as?
These are all common misgivings, but don’t forget that the idea is to have fun ‐‐ and you will, with a bit of effort. Here are a few ideas to get you started…
Parties with a colour theme are all the rage, and the beauty of them is that you can be as subtle or as outrageous as you like. For a red theme, for example, you can go dressed from head to toe in scarlet, but a simple red top or a flower in your hair will save you from being a party pooper. Black and white is another popular choice for a sophisticated evening, and even the most unimaginative amongst us shouldn’t have too many problems dressing for this.
Parties based around bygone fashions have always been popular, and as with all themed parties you don’t have to turn up dressed head to toe in authentic gear in order to enter into the spirit of the event. An afro wig instantly says 1970s, while a boa is distinctively 1920s. Remember, if you’re on a tight budget charity shops can be a great source of cheap costumes.
While you can always hire or buy costumes from most fancy dress stores, why not use a bit of imagination and create a look yourself? Before you start, it’s always a good idea to find some images of the era to get an idea of what, or who, you want to look like.
60s: think CND, flower power, mods and rockers and Mary Quant
70s: flares, punk rock and afro wigs should give you ample scope for ideas
80s: forget the new romantics and City wide boys, how about a night out as Maggie Thatcher?
Themes centering on popular films or TV shows past and present are always a popular choice for parties, and give you loads of scope for costumes. Children’s programmes are a particular favourite: haven’t we all secretly been longing to dress up as a Clanger for years?
If your party theme is specific to a particular film and you really can’t find any inspiration for a costume, try downloading some images from the film and getting them printed onto a t‐shirt. Nobody can say you haven’t thought about it…
This can cover anything from toga parties through to Henry VIII or the Battle of Britain. If the theme is broad enough you shouldn’t have too many problems finding inspiration. Again, look online for images that will help you. Children’s toys can make great props too: plastic swords, helmets and the rest.
If you’ve always wanted to go Hawaiian or fancied wearing lederhosen, a geographically‐themed party will be right up your street. If, however, you’re stuck for inspiration you can always try painting the national flag onto a sheet or towel and wrapping yourself in it…
Finally, remember that themed parties only work if everybody gets into the spirit of it. Even if you are a fancy dress skeptic, if you’ve decided to go pull all the stops out and see what happens. You may well find yourself converted…