The most popular World Book Day themes for children

clock Wednesday, February 20, 2013 at 11:51AM
World Book Day is fast becoming one of the most enjoyable dates on the school calendar for boys and girls, who enjoy the thrill and escapism of being able to dress up as their favourite storybook characters.

Designed to encourage reading and broaden children’s horizons to exciting new material, it is also a great time to recognise some of the timeless classics and story themes that have remained popular throughout the generations.

Here are some of the most popular World Book Day themes for kids in 2013, in a bid to give you parents some idea just what to provide them in the way of an outfit to help them enjoy the day with their friends at school.

willy wonka

Roald Dahl characters

The birth of Roald Dahl day as a celebration of arguably the finest children’s storyteller increased the attention on many of the vibrant, three-dimensional characters from Dahl’s classics. The likes of Matilda, Willy Wonka, The BFG, Mr Fox and many more are just a handful of the wacky and magical figures that will give children great pleasure in re-enacting.

Comic book heroes

Everyone loves a good superhero and you could become the toast of your comic-buff son or daughter with a comic book costume – perfect if they’re looking to save the day! Let them flex their muscles or soar to safety with outfits for boys and girls alike, from Batman and Spiderman to Supergirl and Wonder Woman.

‘Chronicles of Narnia’

Kids appear to have been increasingly enchanted by the fantasy series of books and films ‘The Chronicles of Narnia’ and with a great range of medieval style outfits available they can whisk themselves away to another world!

Storybook animals

There’s nothing cuter than seeing your children dressed up in an animal onesie costume! Storybook animal outfits prove to be very popular each and every World Book Day just because they are fun, furry and affectionate and are modelled on some of the best-loved storybook characters from Fantastic Mr Fox and The Very Hungry Caterpillar to the 101 Dalmatians and Goldilocks and the Three Bears!

Harry Potter

Never underestimate the power of wizardry! If your children are lovers of Hogwarts and everything Harry Potter then fear not, there are many Harry Potter themed outfits and accessories available each and every World Book Day. With authentic Harry Potter robes, clasps and wands your kids will be casting spells in no time.

Quick and easy kids costume ideas for World Book Day

clock Tuesday, February 12, 2013 at 11:00AM
Is your children’s school preparing to celebrate World Book Day by encouraging the kids to dress up as their favourite storybook characters? The thought of having to get your creative thinking cap on can send even the most enthusiastic of parents into frenzy.

So how can you create a quick and easy fancy dress outfit for your children that helps to feed their imagination and ensures they stand out from the crowd in the busy playground?

Fortunately, we’ve got plenty of ideas and outfits of our own here at to help you out of a hole. Read on for some of our most popular World Book Day costumes guaranteed to put smiles on young faces on March 7th.

Ideal for mischievous boys

bilbo bagginsHarry Potter

Help your son relive the magic of J.K. Rowling’s fantastic series of novels with our officially-licensed Harry Potter costume. With our own extensive range of Harry Potter costume accessories you’ll be able to make him feel like Daniel Radcliffe himself!

Willy Wonka

One of the most eccentric children’s storybook characters of all time, Willy Wonka is a great choice for your boy to bring out his personality. All he’ll need is his team of Oompa Loompa workers and he’ll be ready for a hard day’s work at the chocolate factory!

Bilbo Baggins

For those who were enchanted by the recent Hobbit film, ‘An Unexpected Journey’ our Bilbo Baggins outfit modelled on J.R.R Tolkien’s hit character, could be the perfect answer for World Book Day. He will soon want to explore the ‘shire’ just like Baggins himself!

Dennis the Menace

The old ones are always the best! If your son is a big fan of Dennis the Menace, the Beano and his cartoons then why not transform him into the perfect outfit for any cheeky chappy.

Classic fairy tale themes for the girls


Every young girl loves a classic fairy tale and our Goldilocks outfit is one of the most popular World Book Day outfits for girls, with this charming out perfect for portraying the innocence of one of the best-loved storybook characters. But beware of the three bears!

hermione grangerMaid Marian

Fascinated by Sherwood Forest? If she’s always wanted to be the most beautiful maiden of Sherwood Forest then why not feed her imagination with this traditional Maid Marian outfit that’s equally great for medieval days as well as World Book Day.

Snow White

Another popular traditional girl’s World Book Day outfit is that of Snow White. As the very first Disney animated princess and one of the best-loved bedtime storybook characters, her cute sparkly dress and matching tiara will make your daughter feel very special as she arrives at the school playground!

Hermione Granger

The most famous female character in the Harry Potter series, Hermione Granger is likely to be a popular choice for many young girls obsessed with the world of Hogwarts! This Gryffindor outfit is ideal for World Book Day especially if they have a friend dressed as Harry Potter himself.

What is the main aim of World Book Day?

clock Friday, February 1, 2013 at 10:23AM

World Book Day

It is just a month away from one of the biggest days in the calendar for book-lovers across the country. Celebrated for the first time on April 23rd, 1995, World Book Day has become an incredibly successful annual event organised by UNESCO. But just what is the main aim of the initiative?

As a worldwide celebration of books and reading in over 100 countries across the globe, the day is designed to promote reading, publishing and copyright in all for corners of the world.

While the rest of the world celebrates annual on April 23rd, in the UK the day is recognised on the first Thursday in March in order to avoid clashes with Easter school holidays, allowing children to enjoy the best that British authors have to offer.

Undoubtedly the main aim of World Book Day in the UK and Ireland is to inspire children to explore the pleasures and excitement of books and reading by encouraging them to own a book of their own.

With that in mind nurseries, primary schools and secondary schools across the country receive over 14 million Book Tokens and vouchers to enable kids to get their hands on some of the best children’s stories to feed their imagination.

Reading is essential for a child to understand that they can imagine the world and life as something entirely different from reality. In contrast to a television programme or motion picture movie, where those images are projected on a screen for people to see for themselves, a book engages with a child’s brain and challenges and entertains them in ways TV and film never could.

Schools up and down the country will also encourage children to get into the spirit of things with fun-filled themes for boys and girls from Harry Potter and comic book characters to storybook animals and even Roald Dahl characters!

Some schools may also invite authors in to perform for the children in special book readings giving kids the perfect chance to dress up as their favourite fictional character.

What outfits are likely to be most popular for World Book Day 2013?

The recent release of ‘The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey’ has proven very popular with youngsters at the UK box office. With Bilbo Baggins becoming a hero in the eyes of many kids our Bilbo outfit and elf accessories are almost certain to go down a storm!

Similarly, the impending release of Michael Rosen’s new biography, dedicated to the life and works of Roald Dahl, will also raise awareness of the timeless characters from Dahl’s best-loved children’s stories such as the BFG, Matilda, Fantastic Mr Fox and many more.

World Book Day costume tips for struggling parents

- Horrid Henry
- Alice in Wonderland
- Harry Potter
- Robin Hood
- Peter Pan
- Where's Wally
- Dennis the Menace
- Cinderella

Top fancy dress ideas for Valentine’s Day Singles Nights

clock Tuesday, January 29, 2013 at 02:54PM
Wonder WomanIt is almost a fortnight until Valentine’s Day and for many of you loved-up couples out there you might be planning a cosy night in or a spontaneous weekend away. But for the singletons out there you may be looking to get your glad rags on and take the opportunity to meet some new people at the many Singles Nights organised over the Valentine’s weekend.

If you have been invited to a fun-filled fancy dress Singles Night then you will want to make an impression upon arrival! Take a look at our head-turning and provocative outfit ideas perfect if you are hoping to meet that special someone or if you just want to let your hair down with friends.

One for the girls

Wonder Woman
Keen to show that you’re a woman not to be messed with? Turn up to the party dressed as the sexy superhero, Wonder Woman complete with flattering red corset, tiara and cape. You’ll be sure to have them eating out the palm of your hand with your super-hot aura!

Naughty but nice
You’ll be able to give the guys some Grade A fever with our playful school girl costume, perfect for school disco themed Valentine’s parties. Put down that exercise book and pause that revision with a cute and sassy pink skirt and matching tie ready to wow those rebellious school boys!

Gangster’s paradise
Perfect for a ‘roaring 20’s’ American gangster look, this uber-sassy black dress and pink scarf is a devastating look that is sure to keep the mob occupied all night long. This fever gangster lady outfit disproves the theory that gangster outfits are just for the men!

Something for the guys

Maverick Top GunCome fly with me
Every woman likes a man in uniform, especially a seriously cool pilot! Stroll into the party dressed as an authoritative leader of the skies complete with aviators and your stripes! You’ll be fighting them off as you run for cover in your cockpit!

‘Maverick’ Top Gun outfit
Are you a fan of the 80’s hit film, Top Gun? Always fancied yourself as a Tom Cruise look-a-like? Now you can put it to the test with our Maverick Top Gun costume. Dressed as an impressive fighter pilot you’ll be able to walk around with attitude.

Camouflage combat
Are you ready to go undercover? Don those camouflage overalls and slap on the face paint as one of the armed forces! Why not purchase an army style gun and have it with you at all times in case you have some chicks to save at the party!

Whatever you do we hope you have an amazing day and fingers crossed there is romance in the air!

Burns Night traditions for January 25th

clock Monday, January 21, 2013 at 04:50PM
Burns Night mealAs a commemoration for the life and works of Robert Burns, Scotland’s most celebrated poet, January 25th holds a special place in the hearts of Scots across the globe. For over two centuries patriotic friends and family have enjoyed informal and formal gatherings for a night of Celtic tradition.

A keen social commentator, Robert Burns was unprecedented in his approach to poetry, writing with outstanding verve and passion about many heartfelt topics such as universal brotherhood, love and the human condition. To this day, Burns’ words are still world-renowned as timeless classics.

So how did Burns Night begin as a tradition? Five years after his death, a group of Burns’ friends got together to reminisce about his life and his works. The tradition became established year-on-year and on January 25th, Burns’ birthday, Scottish people around the world toast the man that many suggest put Scotland on the map.

A traditional Burns Night supper is as follows:

1. A piper will welcome guests with traditional Scottish music until all are seated, at which point applause is due for the piper.
2. At formal celebrations a short but important prayer is read before eating. The Selkirk Grace, known as Burns’s Grace, is usually recited in Scots.
3. The meal’s star attraction is usually the Haggis, which is delivered into the room on a silver platter to the sound of another bagpipe procession.
4. The nominated reader then addresses the haggis with a fiery rendition of ‘To a Haggis’ before cutting open the haggis along its length, ensuring some of the tasty entrails spill out for full effect!
5. The audience then toasts the haggis and enjoys the Scottish fare with some suitable background music.

A typical Burns Night meal

Traditional cock-a-leekie soup

Main course
Haggis, neeps and tatties (turnips and potatoes)

Clootie Dumpling (traditional pudding prepared in a linen cloth or cloot) or Typsy Laird (a typically Scottish sherry trifle)

Entertainment usually follows immediately after the meal with singers and musicians stepping forward to perform some of Burns’ many songs and poems. The festivities are then closed with guests invited to belt out a heart-warming rendition of Auld Lang Syne.

If you are thinking of planning a rather less formal family gathering on Burns Night then there are plenty of ideas to entertain both young and old.

There are printable Robert Burns worksheets for kids to decorate the man himself, as well as patriotic Scottish flags, quotes and printable poems for friends and family to read at the table.

You could even go the whole hog and dress up in typically Scottish fancy dress. Our own range of patriotic outfits includes a Scots kilt and hat and an authentic tartan Tam ‘O’ Shanter, perfect for a themed Burns Night.

January 25th is one of the most important nights of the Scottish calendar. As J.S. Blackie once said; "When Scotland forgets Burns, then history will forget Scotland."

Cirque du Soleil returns to the UK with its electrifying show 'Kooza'

clock Thursday, January 10, 2013 at 09:48AM
At HQ we are, by nature, great fans of entertainment and theatre and the news of Cirque du Soleil’s return to the British Isles has certainly set the pulses racing throughout the team!

The electrifying new show, ‘Kooza’ is coming to London’s Royal Albert Hall for the very first time and reports indicate the production is a return to Cirque du Soleil’s origins of combining the two primary circus traditions of acrobatics and clowning in their own unique style.

This new production encompasses the story of a loner searching high and low for his place in the world, infused with a sumptuous array of aerial, trapeze and high wire stunts including the breath-taking ‘Wheel of Death’!

Founded in 1984, Cirque du Soleil’s popularity expanded rapidly over the 1990s and at the turn of the Millennium, performing 19 shows in over 271 cities in almost every corner of the globe.

Famed for its dramatic blend of circus arts and old-fashioned street entertainment, not only has it provided a new line of theatrical entertainment for the public, it has dragged the circus out of the doldrums, making it fashionable once again. If you are thinking of taking in the show whilst it is in town then you can get tickets from the official Cirque du Soleil site.

‘Kooza’ has been touring across the globe for almost six years having first launched in Canada back in April 2007. The show’s musical scores are partly influenced by the sounds of India, while the biggest on-stage feature is the traveling tower called a ‘bataclan’ which moves during the course of the show.

Later this year Cirque du Soleil is planning to unveil a residency show as a tribute to the music of the late Michael Jackson as an offshoot of the currently touring ‘Michael Jackson: The Immortal World Tour’ production. This is expected to be premiered in Las Vegas this summer.

Whether it is entertaining at a children’s party or playing the jester for a night on the tiles, the awe-inspiring Cirque du Soleil has undoubtedly helped breathe new life into the artistry of circus acts.

Similarly, if you are planning a party in the New Year and are struggling to choose a theme to put smiles upon the faces of friends and family then take advantage of our great range of circus themed outfits designed to help you own the ring like the best in showbiz!

Texas Chainsaw 3D hits the nation’s cinema screens

clock Monday, January 7, 2013 at 02:04PM

Originally one of the most controversial and thought-provoking additions to the horror genre, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre has had a lasting impact on the film industry. With three sequels following the original – the latest coming back in 2006 – Tobe Hooper’s cult-classic has been revisited once again as a 3D version of the franchise hit the nation’s cinema screens earlier this month.

Directed by John Lussenhop and written by Debra Sullivan and Adam Marcus, Texas Chainsaw 3D is the seventh film in the entire franchise and was created as a direct follow up to the original.


The plot focuses on Heather, who finds out that she was adopted after being notified of an inheritance from a long-lost grandparent. Whilst en-route to retrieving her inheritance with friends, Heather and co. encounter Leatherface who is later revealed as Heather’s cousin and protects Heather as the only family she has left.

Film fanatics of the franchise predicted that the 3D version would flop at the Box Office, but it transpired that people were yearning for a new Texas Chainsaw Massacre movie after all, with sales of $23 million from US and Canadian audiences, slaying rival films such as The Hobbit and Django Unchained.

In the US alone The Texas Chainsaw Massacre franchise has grossed around $416 million and the success of this latest release has been attributed to a successful social media promotional campaign from Lionsgate, targeting the world’s ever-growing horror fan base.

The horror genre is still one of the most talked about movie genres of all time, with so many truly terrifying bad guys to rival Leatherface. From Freddy Krueger and Jason to Scream and Pinhead, these characters are ingrained in horror culture and are the most common faces we see at Halloween and other spooky occasions.

Hooper's seal of approval

Texas Chainsaw 3D also appears to have the approval of Tobe Hooper, writer and director of the original back in 1974, who recently spoke of his delight that the latest release stayed true to the film’s initial origins.

"They studied why the original film works, by breaking conventions, not doing it as the Hollywood version," he said.

"Also, the 3D is really good. I’m turning into a fan of 3D. It’s so different than the 1950s kind of 3D. This has such depth."

Hooper also spoke of Leatherface and how his character continues to haunt nearly 40 years later.

"There’s just something about him. Leatherface has family problems. There’s dysfunction in that family."

Let’s be honest; everyone enjoys being scared to their wits end now and again. Check out our own terrifying assortment of horror outfits for men and women alike, perfect for sending chills down the spines of friends and family.

5 fun New Year’s Eve party theme ideas to welcome in 2013

clock Friday, December 21, 2012 at 03:58PM
champagne bottleNo sooner will Christmas come and go then we will all be frantically focusing on last-minute preparations for New Year’s Eve. 2013 is almost upon us and if you are planning on hosting a New Year’s Eve party for your friends and family then you will want to make sure it is one to remember – for all the right reasons!

Here are five creative party ideas that you could implement quickly and effectively, whether you are looking for something a little sophisticated, a kids-friendly theme or something to bring out the party animals within you!

Night at the Oscars

Roll out the red carpet and host your very own Oscars-themed night, encouraging friends and family to get dressed up as their favourite Hollywood film stars. There are plenty of outfits for men and women alike to choose from, whether it’s Tom Cruise’s Top Gun outfit, Harry Potter, Princess Leia or Minnie Mouse herself! Even the kids can dress up as their favourite superheroes and cartoon characters to have hit our cinema screens.

Full Moon party

It might be too cold to head to the beach and have a real Full Moon party, but you could always host your own Hawaiian-themed Full Moon party at home. If you are a fan of those garish, brightly coloured shirts or you’d love to dance the night away in a sassy grass skirt then get out those cocktail bowls, set up the hulas and have a whale of a time!

Best of British

2012 has been a year to savour for everyone in the United Kingdom. Not only have we experienced a stunning Royal Wedding, London also played host to the Olympic Games in typically British fashion. We have plenty to be proud about little old Blighty so why not celebrate our nation with a Best of British New Year’s Eve party – with patriotic outfits from Beefeater outfits and Queen Elizabeth costumes to Spice Girl outfits and Royal face masks!

Rave-themed party

If you are looking to party on New Year’s Eve until the sun comes up then why not host a rave-themed fancy dress party. Very popular last year, brightly coloured rave-style costumes are the best way to dance your way into 2013. Morph suits prove very popular for dance and rave themed parties as they are not only really cool to look at, they create an air of mystery that is perfect for counting down the minutes.

Mexican mayhem

For a theme idea that can incorporate fantastic party food, music and dancing with verve and passion, look no further than a Mexican themed bash. Whether you opt to look like something out of a spaghetti western or you want to go the whole hog and rock up as a Tequila-popping gringo there are plenty of outfits out there – just don’t forget your sombrero! Mexican food and drink is also perfect for sharing with friends and family so you will be well set to party into the early hours.

What are you waiting for? Select your party theme now and get the party started!

2012 Christmas Questionnaire

clock Wednesday, December 19, 2012 at 11:45AM
christmas tree

It’s nearly here, Lapland is readying its reindeer to ferry Santa’s sack loads of presents across the world and at HQ we are certainly getting into the festive spirit!

Earlier this month we created a cool Christmas questionnaire for our customers to complete to be in with a chance of winning one of two £25 costume vouchers.

The questionnaire focused on your festive rituals, from gift buying to what you’ll be having on your lunch plate on Christmas Day!


The days of trawling the High Streets for Christmas presents appear to be numbered according to our survey, with only four per cent of respondents revealing they would do all of their Christmas shopping offline. Over half (55 per cent) of respondents will be doing more than half of their Christmas shopping online. One-in-four shoppers will in fact do nearly their entire gift buying on the internet.

Interestingly, our male respondents appeared more likely to buy presents for their loved ones from the comfort of their own laptop or desktop. Our results indicate men are twice as likely as women to do all of their Christmas shopping online. This may be due to the fact women appear more considered in the present buying approach, putting more time and effort into the process than men.

The increasing ease with which users can purchase goods online and via smartphone devices means that consumers no longer need to brave the cold and the High Street crowds; they can simply wait for the postman to bring all their presents right to the front door.

There does still appear to be a generation gap regarding online buying trends however. Respondents in their 40’s are three times less likely to shop online at all for their Christmas presents compared to those in their 20’s, preferring the traditional High Street plan of attack.


Despite the economic downturn and talk of a double-dip recession there appears to be no letting up in the spending on Christmas gifts. Almost half (43 per cent) of those surveyed will be spending over £250 on presents this year.

Less than a quarter of respondents (24 per cent) without children revealed they would be spending upwards of £250 on Christmas presents. Meanwhile busy parents with three or more children were increasingly spending £250+ with 62 per cent splashing the cash.

In a statistic that will infuriate many women (!), it is the men who appear to spend less on Christmas presents. 25 per cent of men surveyed revealed they spend less than £60 on gifts, compared to the 19 per cent of women surveyed who also said they spend less than £60 at the tills.


Tradition certainly seems alive and well among most UK households with 72 per cent of customers surveyed revealing they will be having turkey for lunch on Christmas Day.

The vegetarian option appears to be more attractive to women than men, with females more than twice as likely to be eating a vegetarian meal on Christmas Day (3 per cent male to 8 per cent female).


However, less than half of respondents (44 per cent) said they would be watching The Queen’s speech mid-afternoon. The speech appears to resonate most with people in their 60’s and 20’s, with half of respondents in their 20’s thinking of watching on the box after their Christmas lunch.


Many of you still enjoy transforming your homes into Christmas grottos with a very eager 10 per cent of people admitting they had their Christmas decorations up at home in November. The younger demographic are the keenest festive decorators with those in their 20’s or younger twice as likely to put up their Christmas clobber in November as any other age group.

Christmas decorations appear to be less important to those without children. Our survey found that those without kids were three times more likely not to put up festive decorations at home at all as a result. The questionnaire revealed nine per cent of adults without children will not be putting up any Christmas decorations at all.


One of the most surprising statistics to come from the survey was that almost two-thirds (59 per cent) of respondents revealed they preferred fake Christmas trees to real ones. Many people will no doubt cite the practicality of a plastic tree, particularly for those with young children. Only a third of respondents (38 per cent) with two or more children revealed they would be buying a real tree this Christmas.


The questionnaire also served to reinforce the view that Christmas pantomimes are a very popular tradition for families over the festive season. 62 per cent of respondents with three or more children revealed they would be going to at least one Christmas production as opposed to the 43 per cent of people without kids who will partake in the festivities.

What our 2012 Christmas Questionnaire does show is that our customers love to celebrate Christmas in so many different ways. Statistics show that you don’t have to spend a fortune to have fun at Christmas, while Christmas Day lunch will taste just as good whether it’s turkey, chicken or even duck!

Whatever your plans are at Christmas, on behalf of everyone at we wish you all a wonderful festive season.

The Anatomy of Christmas - Infographic

clock Tuesday, December 18, 2012 at 05:05PM

We are huge fans of Christmas here at so we thought we would get together some of our favourite Christmas facts into an infographic!! Have a look below and get back to us with your thoughts.

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