English fancy dress ideas for the best St George's Day celebrations

clock Wednesday, April 10, 2013 at 11:57AM
Since 1222, when the Council of Oxford declared April 23 as St George’s Day, the people of England have celebrated the life of the county’s Patron Saint.

St George’s bravery and loyalty to his religion inspired generations and for those looking to pay homage to the medieval legend and display your patriotism then you’ve come to the right place with our top fancy dress ideas for St George’s Day festivities.

The dragon slayer


Legend has it St George fought the might of a dragon to protect princess Cleolinda, who was offered up by the Monarch to the dragon as a distraction to enable the people of Silene in Libya to collect fresh water.

After the people had ran out of sheep to use as a tasty distraction, Cleolinda was the next sacrificial lamb, with St George slaying the beast, protecting himself with the sign of the cross, and saving the princess. The tale indicates the people of Silene were so grateful they abandoned their traditional pagan beliefs and converted to Christianity.

St George outfit

OUTFITS


Dress up as the hero himself


If you want to hit the town dressed as the hero himself then our knight costumes complete with tunic, headpiece and belt will give you that perfect medieval look. Perfect if you feel like portraying yourself as a great warrior, you could pair our knight outfit with an Excalibur sword. You are sure to look powerful and exceedingly dashing wielding this blade – especially if you’re looking to woo a special sweetheart!

"Your Country Needs You!"


There are many other ways in which we can celebrate our fine country by dressing up in patriotic outfits and accessories. Head to the party wearing our Billy Bob England teeth and although they are possibly the most hideous looking false teeth they certainly portray your love for your country with an English flag emblazoned proudly on one front tooth!

Old-school 'London Bobby'


In order to celebrate everything that is so typically English why not take to the streets dressed as one of our Victorian style London ‘Bobby’ policemen? Wear our London Bobby moustache with a policeman’s uniform and you’ll look like something straight out of the Tales of Old England.

"They think it’s all over... it is now!"


Football hasn’t come home in almost 50 years but you can bring it home for St George’s Day with our 1966 World Cup hero costume. This replica kit modelled on England’s 1966 winning design comes complete with a Bobby Charlton-esque comb-over wig – perfect if you want to look like the one of the greatest English midfielders of all time!

ACCESSORIES


Teddy Boys


Nothing describes English subculture in the 50s and 60s better than the Teddy Boy look. Defined by Edwardian clothes and that unforgettable quiff hair style, our Teddy Boy wig is a great starting point for anyone wishing to create a realistic look for April 23. All you need is a black leather jacket and a smart shirt and you’re good to go.

St George wig

English hair dos


You can show your support for dear old Blighty without having to go the whole hog by wearing a fully-fledged outfit. Our St George’s babe wig is a cheap and simple way of displaying support for your country whilst also looking super-playful at the same time!

St George’s Day face paint


Families looking to celebrate England’s Patron Saint will undoubtedly have young children who want to get in on the fun too. Face paint is a fun and inexpensive way to get them involved and our great range of face paint colours and kits are guaranteed to put smiles on people’s faces whether it’s the St. George’s cross or something else equally patriotic.

Fashion contact lenses


Red and white is the colour on St George’s Day, so why not decorate those big and beautiful eyes of yours with our deep red fashion contact lenses. They are non-prescription so you don’t have to worry about them altering your eyesight!

Royal face masks


The face of our nation – transform yourselves into English royalty for one day only with our hilarious royal face masks. Whether it’s Prince Charles, Harry or Queenie herself these light-hearted masks will demonstrate your sense of humour with friends or family.

April 23rd should be a day when all English people come together to celebrate our proud nation and have fun; so what are you waiting for?

"Cry God for Harry, England and St George!"


Five top St Patrick’s Day party ideas for March 17th

clock Wednesday, March 13, 2013 at 09:42AM

St Patrick's Day partyAre you the hostess with the mostess for St Patrick’s Day? Fretting about making sure everyone has a good time? Worry not; here are some fabulous party ideas to help ensure March 17th celebrations go off with a bang.

It doesn’t matter whether you’re Irish or not, everyone recognises St Patrick’s Day as one of the busiest times of the year to have a good party and if you are planning a big bash this weekend you’ll be thankful of our inspirational party ideas that are sure to bring you the luck of the Irish!

How to make ‘green’ drinks for your guests


Green is most definitely the colour on St Patrick’s Day and if you are going to the trouble of decorating your living room then why not ensure your refreshments suitably match the overall colour scheme!

March 17th is synonymous with the drinking of alcohol and what better way to sip on a celebratory St Patrick’s Day ale than with a patriotic green pint? It couldn’t be easier to decorate your beers. Bear in mind this works best with lighter-coloured beers; here is what you need:

• A clean, clear glass
• Green food dye
• A teaspoon for mixing

1. Pour the beer into the glass ensuring there is very little head at the top.

2. Add the green food colouring one drop at a time and you’ll be able to watch the shamrock-coloured dye work its way down the pint.

3. Gently stir the beer, avoiding excess froth and bubbles and you will have an appetising beer with a gorgeous uniform green colour right through it!

St Patrick’s themed party food


Whether you’re catering for young ones or your adult friends, everyone loves a light-hearted array of themed party food. We’ve got some dead good creative ideas for foodies to create an attractive St Patrick’s Day menu. Practically any food can be dyed green with a little food colouring and here are our suggested morsels:

• Mint chocolate Shamrock cupcakes
• Chocolate Guinness cake
• Lucky Leprechaun chocolate gold coins
• St Patrick’s Day green popcorn
• Shamrock cookies
• Irish stew
• Colcannon
• Blarney stone soda bread

St Patrick's Day celebrations

The best party decorations and fancy dress accessories


If you are looking to give your living room a healthy dose of Irish colour then consider the following ideas to transform your room into the home of St Patrick himself:

• Shamrock/three-leafed clover decorations
• Irish flags and bunting
• Leprechaun figures
• Shamrock table confetti
• Green face paints
• Emerald green wigs
• St Patrick’s Day hats
• Green balloons
• Irish stickers and badges

Are you going the whole hog and wearing fancy dress to celebrate St Patrick’s Day? Read our detailed guide to choosing a St Patrick’s Day outfit.

Karaoke


Have you got the X Factor? Get your party guests into the spirit of the Emerald Isle and sing along to some traditional Irish songs! Karaoke is a great way to break the ice and encourage people to really let their hair down. Here are some song suggestions to get you going:

When Irish Eyes are Smiling
Danny Boy
Molly Malone
On My Father’s Wings
Too-ra-loo-ra-loo-ral
Whiskey in the Jar

St Patrick’s Day party games


If you are planning at St Patrick’s Day party you are sure to need some games to bring the luck of the Irish to you and your guests. Try these party game suggestions for size and you’ll soon be buzzing around like a leprechaun prancing in a pot of gold!

• Pin the Shamrock on the Leprechaun
• Irish folk dance-off
• Traditional Gaelic ‘Heave Ho’ game
• Gold coin Leprechaun hunt
• St Patrick’s Day trivia quiz
• ‘Who can make the best green cocktail’ contest

However you decide to celebrate St Patrick’s Day, we at www.allfancydress.com wish you a wonderful day and hope that our party ideas provide plenty of joy and laughter!


The ultimate guide to St Patrick's Day fancy dress

clock Monday, March 11, 2013 at 05:20PM

Leprechaun St Patrick's DayAs the people of Ireland gear up to celebrate the St Patrick’s Day on March 17th, many partygoers take the opportunity to go out and have some fun dressed up as an archetypal Irishman for the day.

Whether you’re Irish or you just appreciate a good pint of the black stuff – that’s Guinness if you’re not on our wave length! – it is one of the most popular occasions of the year for parties and weekend celebrations.

St Patrick is credited with bringing Christianity to Ireland and as the patron saints and national apostle of Ireland it is little surprise why thousands of people hold the man in such high esteem. But if you are planning on hosting or you’ve been invited to a St Patrick’s Day party you will surely want some inspiration to bring your typically Irish fancy dress to life.

Here is our ultimate guide to the most popular St Patrick’s Day costumes and accessories:

How to be the perfect Leprechaun

Whether you’re male or female there are plenty of costume ideas for those considering dressing as a lucky leprechaun. For the men a typical Leprechaun outfit consists of a bright green jacket and trousers, or even a onesie jumpsuit, complete with a vest and boot tops.

In Irish folklore, a leprechaun is viewed as a kind of fairy, but usually in the figure of an old man. Therefore you’ll need a suitable attachable ginger beard for your face to reinforce that playful mischievous nature!

The popular depiction of a Leprechaun is a man that traditionally spends their time busily making shoes, and in folklore they are often drawn or described as wearing clumpy black shoes of their own with gold buckles. These kinds of shoes would be the perfect complement to any leprechaun costume.

Perhaps the best finishing touch to any leprechaun outfit is a suitably green hat. There are many oversized green hats that bear the three-leaved clover symbol, synonymous with St Patrick’s Day and Ireland in general.

The female of the species can also still look super sexy with a lucky leprechaun costume. The outfits will enjoy the same hallmarks as the lads with matching hats and belts, although the sultry satin dresses will certainly turn plenty of heads!

 

St Patrick’s Day dresses

You ladies can give Guinness a good name by wearing a emerald green dress that gives you the freedom and flexibility to customise your outfit with hats, make-up, tights and shoes to really make an impression at the party.

For instance, our sexy fever St Patrick’s Day outfit for ladies includes a matching hat and bow tie. Complete the look with some knee length tights and a shamrock wristlet and become the ideal Irish reveller.

St Patrick's Day lucky charmIf you wish to flaunt your spirit for St Patrick with a touch of razzle-dazzle then our bling costume will certainly suffice. This sparkling gold and green sequinned party dress is ideal for those who want to look their best and can be complemented by a St Patrick’s Day mini-top hat.

Shamrocks

The Shamrock is one of the most popular St Patrick’s Day Irish emblems; and so is the lucky four-leaf clover. If you’re feeling particularly lucky you could dress up as a shamrock or four-leaf clover on March 17th.

Over-sized, shamrock costumes are far from traditional Irish dress, but they are certainly on topic and you certainly won’t be accused of not showing your patriotic colours!

"Beer, beer we want more beer!"

As many people stereotypically celebrate St Patrick’s Day with a pint or two of Guinness or traditional Irish ale why not dress up as your very own pint of beer to celebrate with the lads. Our brown and green beer bottle costumes are just the thing to get you into the party spirit.

With a one-piece foam beer bottle outfit and a hole for your face in the neck of the bottle you’ll still have the perfect view of St Patrick’s Day celebrations in your local or wherever you intend on celebrating the day.

Costume accessories

Aside from the outfits, your St Patrick’s Day look can also be very much influenced by how you accessorise. If you really want to make an Irish fashion statement for one day only why not consider an emerald green or lime green wig that looks super-sleek and shiny when paired with any St Patrick’s Day outfit.

If you’re still intending on dressing up glamorously for St Patrick’s Day you can still make a subtle nod to the Irish with our neon green legwarmers that can be paired with an outfit, particularly if you are wearing tights.

JedwardOur green face and body paint is also perfect for use as eye shadow and any other creations you wish to consider. It is water-based so it is therefore very easy to apply and remove.

Celebrities

Even the world’s most famous Irish celebrities will be out in force celebrating March 17th so if you can’t beat them why don’t you join them! Those little scamps, Jedward are still very much in the public eye and their unmistakable blonde quiffs are a great look for any St Patrick’s Day celebration, complete with shiny silver suit.

If you’re out with the lads for a night on the tiles to celebrate St Patrick’s Day you could always dress up in the Republic of Ireland national football strip or the Ireland rugby kit and parade yourselves as the national team around town!


An insight into the world of Beatrix Potter

clock Thursday, March 7, 2013 at 03:24PM
Beatrix PotterOn behalf of everyone at www.allfancydress.com we hope you are all enjoying a fantastic World Book Day and that children are inspired to read even more by the many great authors past and present. With this in mind we decided to do an in-depth feature on another successful children's author, the best-selling Beatrix Potter.

A Kensington-born girl born into a privileged Unitarian family, Beatrix Potter displayed her artistic talents from a very young age, developing her love for art and the natural world during holidays in Scotland and the picturesque Lake District.

But few could surely have predicted the impact this prodigious young girl would have on children’s literature over the last century and to this very day.

Inquisitive nature


Potter’s love for writing began at the tender age of 14 when she began to keep a diary, with her accounts fostering her creativity as she reported on society, with detailed observations of life evolving around her. Although her accounts do not provide an accurate record of her personal life it provides invaluable insight into British society in the late 19th Century.

Artistic talents


Her fascination with mycology encouraged Potter to draw regularly wonderfully accurate fungi drawings that developed her illustrative talents. But determined to profit from her artistic talents, Potter switched her attentions from the theoretical wonders of the world to the rather more fanciful.

A student of classic fairy tales of Western Europe, she developed and published her first tale about “four little rabbits whose names were Flopsy, Mopsy, Cottontail and Peter”. ‘The Tale of Peter Rabbit’ was an immediate success and was to become one of the most famous children’s letters ever written, providing the springboard to Potter’s career as a children’s storyteller.

She followed up her first book with ‘The Tale of Squirrel Nutkin’ and ‘The Tailor of Gloucester’, working in close contact with editor, Norman Warne and eventually crafted 23 short stories – the last of which, ‘Cecil Parsley’s Nursery Rhymes’, and published in 1922 was a collection of popular nursery rhymes.

The immense quality of Potter’s illustrations brought each story to life, along with her charming depiction of traditional rural Britain and the imaginative qualities she used to bring her animal characters to the fore.

The beginning of the Beatrix Potter legacy


As an innovative businesswoman of her time, Beatrix Potter crafted a host of spin-off merchandise that was to form part of her lasting legacy, including figurines, china tea sets and many other items.

Romance


Her close working relationship with Norman Warne eventually saw them become an item and they were unofficially engaged in 1905. Potter’s potential marriage to Warne courted controversy from her parents who objected to Warne’s ‘in-trade’ social status, but tragically their romance came to an abrupt end following Warne’s death with Leukaemia aged 37.

Both Potter and Warne were set to purchase Hill Top Farm in Lancashire as a holiday home prior to his passing and Beatrix went ahead with buying the property where she lived and wrote many of her later stories.

Potter later married in 1913 to widely-respected man William Heelis, the man charged with acting on Potter’s behalf to protect her estate. Heelis was again disapproved by Potter’s parents as he was only a country solicitor, but the couple married at St. Mary Abbots in Kensington on 15th October, 1913.

Settled in countryside life and in a stable relationship with her country solicitor husband, Potter’s next stories, ‘The Tale of Jemima Puddle-Duck’ and ‘The Tale of Tom Kitten’ were entirely representative of her contentment with her newfound rural lifestyle.

The latter years


Beatrix remained committed to her writing and illustrations, although mostly for her own pleasure in her later years. Following a happy and rewarding 30 years of marriage to William Heelis, Potter passed away in December 1943 following complications from pneumonia and heart disease.

The National Trust


Such was her love of Britain’s countryside that she left almost her entire estate to the National Trust, with over 4,000 acres of land, including 16 farms, cottages and cattle. In terms of her literary legacy, Potter also left many of her original illustrations to the National Trust, while copyright to her published books were left with Frederick Warne & Co. which is now a division of the Penguin Group.

Hill Top Farm is now open to the general public by the National Trust, while much of her artwork is now displayed in the Beatrix Potter Gallery in Hawkshead. Many of Potter’s stories have been retold in many forms, from song and ballet to film and animation and she is still remembered fondly as one of the world’s best-loved children’s authors who did much to convey the wonder of the traditional 19th Century Britain.



Image: www.gis.net

The life and times of children’s author Roald Dahl

clock Tuesday, February 26, 2013 at 12:19PM
Roald DahlWidely regarded as one of the finest children’s storybook authors of all time, Roald Dahl has done and continues to make an impression on people’s lives decades after his passing. As part of our World Book Day celebrations we discover the life and times of Roald Dahl.

Dahl: The ‘Flying Ace’


The Welsh-born writer, poet and screenwriter was an officer in the King’s African Rifles in World War II, serving in both the British Army and the Royal Air Force between 1939 and 1945.

As a Hurricane fighter pilot during World War II Dahl suffered multiple injuries and required two steel hips and six operations on his spine. In August 1946 he was invalided out of the RAF, retiring as a flying ace.

First foray into writing


Dahl first published his written work in August 1942, with the tale “A Piece Of Cake” inspired by his wartime adventures, which was eventually bought and published by The Saturday Evening Post for $1,000 – a clearly substantial sum way back in 1942.

His first children’s tale was titled “The Gremlins” and was based on mischievous little Gremlins who were part of RAF folklore, with pilots regularly blaming Gremlins for faults with planes. The tale was in fact commissioned by Walt Disney in 1943 to be made into motion picture but the film was never eventually made.

Initial acclaim from Walt Disney appeared to give Dahl the motivation to create some of the best-loved children’s novels of the 20th Century.

Did you know: Roald Dahl wrote all of his children’s stories in a small hut at the bottom of his garden!

Told from the point of view of child, much of Dahl’s children’s works involved an adult villain that treats children badly and a ‘good’ adult that seeks to counteract the horrible villain. Who can forget Matilda’s run-in with Miss Trunchbull or Sophie and Mrs Clonkers in The BFG?

Roald Dahl once said: “I make my points by exaggerating wildly. That’s the only way to get through to children.”

And exaggerate he did! In many of his most successful children’s books contain characters that are very fat. Bruce Bogtrotter, Augustus Gloop and Bruno Jenkins to name but a few. All of these characters are either villains or rather unpleasant gluttons and are eventually made to pay for their indiscretions.

Literary inspiration


Many of Dahl’s literary influences were taken from his very own childhood. A regular reader of Rudyard Kipling, William Makepeace and Charles Dickens, their works left such an impression that they moulded much of Dahl’s own work.

Dahl also said: “She (Dahl’s mother) was a great teller of tales. Her memory was prodigious and nothing that ever happened to her in her life was forgotten.”

Dahl didn’t just specialise in children’s books. His adult tales were a mixture of fantasy and macabre and were typically full of imagination and flair. A typical theme that runs through many of the stories is that people are not what they may appear to be.

Television fame


The success of Dahl’s children and adult fiction saw him host his own science fiction and horror television series, called ‘Way Out’ as well as a British television series, ‘Tales of the Unexpected’ aired between 1979 and 1988, based on Dahl’s popular collection of 16 short stories.

Lasting legacy


After passing away on 23rd November 1990 at the age of 74 due to a blood disease, Roald Dahl’s legacy lives on through his very own Roald Dahl Day, which takes place every year on the birthday of the man The Times labelled “one of the most widely read and influential writers of our generation”.

Last year saw fans celebrate 30 years of the Big Friendly Giant, with a host of other Roald Dahl fancy dress and party tips to encourage the next generation to marvel at the wonder of Dahl’s stories at home or at school.

Ranking among the world’s best-selling fiction authors with staggering sales at over 100 million copies and with books being published in almost 50 languages, Roald Dahl was loved the world over.


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 www.allfancydress.com 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


Goldilocks

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


Starter
Traditional cock-a-leekie soup

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

Dessert
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."