1. Always choose fancy dress costumes which fall within the theme of the party: If the partys theme appears unclear, it is your responsibility to check the details with the host.
It is entirely your fault if you show up to a party dressed as a large black insect, when you were actually supposed to dress as John, Amitab, George or Ringo.
2. If going to a fancy dress party with a spouse, or family member (for example a brother), it is always more effective to have matching or corresponding fancy dress costumes:
Batman and Robin or Laurel and Hardy are double acts that will double the impact of your arrival at the party, however if you opt for mismatched duos such as Butch Cassidy and The Milkybar Kid or Bonnie Langford and Clyde, idle gossips might wonder whether you are having a rocky patch in your relationship.
3. The best fancy dress outfits are the ones which reflect your true nature, or exaggerate aspects of your personality for comic effect:
Fancy dress party is an opportunity to have fun, and also an opportunity to be what you have only previously dreamt of being. Fancy dress can be disguise, but remember that people are still judging you on your appearance, so opt for something that you are both comfortable wearing, and best reflect what you are really about. For the office peacemaker to come to the party dressed as a nun is funny, because it plays up to people’s expectations, whereas to show up as Napoleon or in military uniform is frankly confusing.
4. Do not wear costumes which might cause offence:
It always takes a certain degree of bravery to wear a really good fancy dress costume, and can be fun to wear something slightly risqué, but courage turns to stupidity when you overstep the boundaries of good taste. Even though the choice of a fancy dress costume is a personal thing, as soon as you step into the party, you become a public spectacle. Not everyone at the party will be your age, nor will they necessarily share your religion, politics, and sense of humor.
Be warned unless you really want to run the risk of getting into an altercation with a spaceman, a giant cat, and Elvis Presley (or, in some rare instances, Fleet Street) do not come dressed as something that is likely to offend.
5. Take care when traveling for long distances in costume:
For the sake of preserving the costume, and looking your best upon arrival at the party, do try to avoid traveling for very long distances via public transport. A more affordable option would be to go by taxi or get a lift with other partygoers. After all, if you travel by tube in fancy dress as a doctor or a nurse, at best you will be bothered by every hypochondriac in the carriage, at worst, called in to help someone who has fainted from the heat.
6. Only ever wear fancy dress outfits obtained from professionals:
Home-made efforts rarely work, and most people do make a real effort to get the real thing. To be told that you are a dead ringer for Winston Churchill might well ruin your evening, especially when you thought that the Superman outfit that your mother spent three days putting together was a dead ringer for the real thing. Never be half-hearted when it comes to fancy dress!
7. Only ever wear fancy dress costumes which fit you properly – always supply the costumier with your correct measurements:
The sparkle will soon be taken out of your evening, if you find yourself constantly having to explain your costume to other revelers because it does not fit you properly. Novelty will soon turn frustration when you say, for the fourteenth time. Be honest about your measurements!
8. Always get a second opinion from someone you trust:
For a number of the reasons outlined above, it is best to get a loved one or close friend to give their input into your choice of fancy dress
9. Think laterally, or research what others are wearing to the party:
Often it pays to be clever when deciding upon a choice of outfit, as there is a risk that you might find yourself wearing the same outfit as half a dozen other guests If stuck, resort to some pre-party espionage, and try and find out what others might be wearing
10. Try to avoid forgetting that the party is a fancy dress party:
To be told that your costume looks hilarious when you are simply wearing your favorite Saturday night clobber would be deeply embarrassing.