Easy Fancy Dress Ideas

Updated April 17, 2017

Creating an outfit for events such as costume parties, masquerade balls and formal dinners requires fancy dress ideas. Taking time to research specific historical periods or themes reduces the stress of creating the fancy dress ensemble and makes it easy. Another method to try is mixing and matching pieces from your wardrobe to create an ensemble that won't break the monthly budget.

Costume Party

Receiving an invitation to a costume party often sparks excitement as well as confusion when selecting the right garment. Narrow the search for the right outfit by choosing a costume pertaining to the theme of the party. If the event also includes a competition, innovation is required to win the prize, much like creating an original character for a Halloween party. Look at historical books that relate to the theme of the party and choose clothing and accessories reflecting the theme. For example, if the theme revolves around the roaring '20s, dress as a flapper. This look consists of wearing a "chemise" dress that has a dropped-waist silhouette. Recreate the look by wearing a sheath dress and tying a sash below the hip line. Wear a cloche hat that resembles a bell shape and has a brim or make a stretch lace headband by attaching feathers and sequins. Finish the look by wearing medium-heel pumps.

Masquerade Ball

Romance and mystery are usually associated with masquerade balls. These event types usually call for fancy dress concepts from specific eras or periods in history. For example, if you are attending a Venetian ball, make a decorative mask with feathers, glitter and beads. Wrap a dowel with decorative ribbon and attach it to the mask to hold it in front of your face. If renting a costume is not within the budget plan, coordinate a form-fitting corset with a full skirt. If you have a tulle or crinoline petticoat, wear it underneath the skirt to add fullness. Embellish the corset and skirt by attaching beads in a specific pattern as another idea. Keeping a on the detail of the costume adds a touch of authenticity to the ensemble.

Mixing Everyday Garments With Evening-Inspired Styles

Combining a piece from your everyday wardrobe with an evening-inspired garment transforms the ensemble into a fancy dress idea. Designers have featured classic white cotton button-down shirts with full skirts made out of fabrics such as duchess satin, brocades and silks. Celebrities have worn such ensembles at red carpet events featuring hand painted silk skirts with front pockets. Create this style yourself by hand-painting a delicate flower pattern with fabric paint. Draw the pattern on paper with a felt marker and cut out the area within the lines to create a stencil. Place the stencil above the hemline and paint the pattern onto the skirt.

Monotone Dressing

Mixing pieces made from the same colour family instantly glamorises an ensemble making it appear fancy and pulled together. For instance, wear a beige turtleneck with a khaki coloured skirt and layer with a tan overcoat. Add nude coloured pumps with a nude clutch to accessorise the look. Use the same format to style grey tones within the same ensemble. Glamorise a grey shift dress by wearing a tight long-sleeved silver shirt underneath and shimmering tights.

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About the Author

Mercedes Valladares is the founder of M721Organics and has been an independent designer for over 15 years. Her work experience commenced during college with manufacturers based in New York and Hong Kong. Her education includes LIM College, International Fine Arts College and design certification from the Paris Fashion Institute. She produces eco-crafting videos and writes recycling articles online.