If there’s one thing that pretty much comes with the territory of being a student, it’s fancy dress. Whether it’s during freshers week or for a specific night out with your sports team or society, you’re likely going to need to dress up as something during your time at university. But there’s no point spending a lot of money on things you might only use or wear once. So we’ve put together some helpful ideas of where to look and how to accumulate a decent fancy dress stash without letting your student loan dwindle…
Raid the charity shops
Charity shops are a goldmine anyway, especially when it comes to shopping on a budget and being more sustainable in your choices. And for budget friendly fancy dress ideas? You cannot go wrong! From floppy hats to patterned shirts, vintage boots to funky belts, there are so many different clothing and accessory options in charity shops; if you’re doing a ‘granny and grandpa’ themed night, or a wacky shirt night, then we’d highly recommend heading down to the nearest charity shop!
Head to the high street
You’ll definitely be able to get all manner of fancy dress accessories and clothing from dedicated online retailers, but they’ll almost always work out more expensive than popping down to the high street and raiding Home Bargains, for example. Bargain shops and even supermarkets will have budget friendly fancy dress ideas and options, such as cheap wigs and face paint – or even full costumes especially if it’s around Halloween, Christmas or maybe Easter.
When it comes to budget friendly fancy dress ideas, you can make pretty much any costume from scratch if you try hard enough. Head to Primark (or look in the charity shops) for plain clothing that you can DIY with markets, glitter, scissors, accessories and so on. Want to be a Minion for a fancy dress night? Blue or denim dungarees and a yellow t-shirt or polo shirt will do the trick, then you can cut out their little G logo from black card or fabric and pin it on. Done and dusted – and you might already own dungarees and a yellow top, so this would really be a bargain fancy dress costume.
Create a shared stash
It’s unlikely that all of the people you share your student accommodation with will be going on every night out with you, especially as fancy dress nights tend to be more society related – like the badminton team, the debate society and so on. To save money, it’s a great idea for you and your flatmates to create a shared fancy dress stash. Some ideas for what you can club together to buy and keep in a box include:
- Fake glasses
- Various wigs
- Feather boa
- Eye patch
- Various hats
- Bow tie
- Luau (Hawaiian flower garland)
- Inflatable instruments
No matter what the theme is, fancy dress is fun and a definitive part of the student experience. We hope these tips help you do it on a budget, and do it well!