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International Costume Fancy Dress Ideas

Lauren Perry

Posted on May 01 2020

When you’re invited to a fancy dress, it’s rare that you have total flexibility over what you wear. The host usually sets some sort of theme for the costumes, which could be anything from sports to 70s psychedelia. One of the more common choices of themes is international dress. At first glance this might seem a difficult theme but in fact, international dress is one of the easiest to find a great outfit for.

Mexican Ponchos and Sombreros

Mexico is the first place to stop on your voyage around the world of fancy dress. Buy a one size fits all colourful Mexican serape, and just wear it over a pair of plain black trousers and black t-shirt. You can push the boat out with the addition of a Mexican sombrero too, and turn up to the party with a bottle of tequila, a tub of guacamole and a bag of tortilla chips. Mexico is a goof place to look for Halloween inspiration too, with day of the dead masks and face paints offering a twist on the usual vampires and witches.

Hawaiian Themed Summer Parties

The Hawaiian theme is perfect for summer parties with a holiday vibe. Many of us will have a brightly patterned shirt in our wardrobe already, and it’s perfect worn with shorts, sunglasses and a flower garland at any time of the year. Another option for women is a dress made out of Hawaiian print fabric, which can be worn with sandals and flowers in your hair. This is the ideal choice for a casual fancy dress or garden party. If you’ve been asked to bring a snack to match your outfit, choose some tropical fruit or cocktails.

French Flair

A closer to home option is looking across the Channel for inspiration. Stereotypical French dress is easy to achieve with things you probably already have, such as plain navy or black trousers, a stripe shirt and smart blazer. A beret is the perfect complement to the look, and if you want to go even further, string some onions together and arrive at the party on your bicycle. At a push, anything with white and blue or black horizontal strips will give a French air to your fancy dress outfit. French themed food and drink is easy too – you can’t go wrong with a bottle of great French wine and some cheese.

German Oktoberfest Style

Tyrolean German style means leather shorts with straps for the men, and dresses with bodices and full skirts for the women. Don’t forget the little hat too. Although you’ll probably have to buy the bodice and the leather shorts, you might be able to make do with a large circular skirt which you already have in the wardrobe. If you’re crafty, you can customise your skirt with ric-rac and other trimmings. Wear knee length white socks and plain shoes to complete the look. In terms of snacks, the traditional German choice would be pretzels and lots of lager, preferably served in oversized glasses.