How to design your own fancy dress costumes

Updated April 17, 2017

You have to go to a fancy dress costume party and you're unsure how to put together an appropriate outfit that looks good and fits with the party. Never fear, help is here.

Decide what you want to go as. If the party has a theme, or colour restrictions, this will limit your choices. Examples of colour restrictions are: a black and white ball, red and wild or deep blues. Creating your outfit is comparable to developing a character for a play or novel.

Think about what your character would wear. Get a picture of it in your mind.

Write down a list of pieces for the costume that you will need, based on the picture in your mind. If your picture is fuzzy use a search engine's image section to help.

Make your way to the shops. If you’re buying a costume this means finding the pieces and purchasing them. If you’re making your costume pick a pattern and fabric. Then get sewing.

Try it all on. Get all the pieces together, put them on and stand in front of your mirror. Did you forget anything? Stockings? Shoes? Does anything look wrong? If so, back to the store you go.

Design your make-up, if you’re wearing any. It should match the outfit's style without looking like a circus clown.


Be sure you have the theme right. Nothing is more embarrassing than missing the point.

Things You'll Need

  • Imagination
  • Access to shops
  • Information about the party
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