World Book Day 2014: Which Disney Princess will you be?

clock Thursday, January 30, 2014 at 09:56AM

Ever since Snow White first hit the cinemas in 1937, every young girl has dreamed of being a princess. There has since been 12 more Disney Princesses, all with their own unique stories and personalities, and spreading from China with Mulan to New Orleans with Tiana.

All Disney Princesses are based on old legends and fairy tales such as those by the Brothers Grimm and Hans Christian Andersen, so are perfectly acceptable as Book day fancy dress. 

With such a variety of princesses, everyone has a favourite, but which one would you choose?

World Book Day 2014: Peter Pan by J.M.Barrie

clock Tuesday, January 28, 2014 at 04:56PM

Peter Pan first appeared in J.M.Barrie's adult novel entitled “The Little White Bird” in 1902, but was so popular that he soon grew to have his very own adventures.

In 1904, “Peter Pan"; or "The Boy Who Wouldn’t Grow Up” first appeared as a stage play, and was then adapted to a novel in 1911, titled “Peter and Wendy”.

Barrie never actually described Peter’s appearance in detail, even when Peter has his own stories. All he does tell us is that Peter was a beautiful boy with a beautiful smile, and tell us that he is “clad in skeleton leaves and the juices that flow from the trees”.  

On stage, the character is traditionally played by a woman and now days - probably greatly influenced by Disney's adaptation of the story - is usually seen wearing a green tunic and tights, whilst Wendy is almost always seen wearing her blue nightdress, a look often re-creatred for fancy dress.

The adventures of Peter Pan have been adapted in many ways, by many people, but the following are probably most prominent:


Disney’s Peter Pan

Released in 1953, the animated fantasy-adventure was the 14th film in the Walt Disney Animated Classics series.

Set in Edwardian London, the film begins in the neighbourhood of Bloomsbury, where we see Wendy Darling and her two brothers, John and George playing pirates in their bedroom while Peter watches on from outside her window. Entranced by Wendy’s stories, Peter teaches Wendy, John and George to fly so that they can come with him back to Neverland! All it takes is some faith, trust and pixie dust, then follow the second star to the right and straight on until dawn. Once there they meet the Lost Boys and Tinker Bell, adventure with mermaids and red indians, and fight off pirates and the wicked Captain Hook.

The movie has been a hit with children and adults of all ages - even Michael Jackson naming it as his favourite movie of all time and naming his estate after it: The Neverland Ranch. The movie has since been re-released 5 times, in 1958, 1969, 1976, 1982, and 1989.

Besides it’s re-releases, there have also been several spin-offs from the movie, including Peter Pan 2: Return To Neverland (released in 2002), Tinker Bell (a series of films all about Peter's pixie friend, affectionately nicknamed ‘Tink’) and Jake and the Neverland Pirates (a Disney Junior TV series following a band of young pirates named Jake, Izzy, Cubby and their parrot Skully, who spend their days competing against Captain Hook and Mr. Smee for treasure.)



‘Hook’ was released in 1991. The film directed by Steven Spielberg tells the story of what happened when Peter Pan left Neverland for good. 

Having left Tinker Bell and the Lost Boys behind, Peter Banning as he is now known, has grown up and forgotten everything of his time and adventures in Neverland. He is now a successful lawyer and happily married (to Moira) with two children, Jack and Maggie. That is until they return home one night to find the house broken into, and Jack and Maggie gone. Left behind is a note, signed Captain Hook.

The film follows Peters journey back to Neverland as a grownup, where with help from the lost boys, their new leader Rufio and Tink - he must re-learn to fly and how not to be a grown up in order to save his children from Hook.

The movies all-star cast includes Robin Williams as Peter, Dustin Hoffman as Captain Hook, Julia Roberts as Tinkerbell, Bob Hoskins as Smee and Maggie Smith as Wendy Darling (Gwyneth Paltrow also appears as a Young Wendy in flashbacks.)


Peter Pan – Universal Pictures

The most recent delve into the world of Peter Pan was taken by Universal Pictures in 2003, with their live action take.

Much like Disney’s portrayal of the story, the picture follows as Peter takes Wendy and her younger brothers off to Neverland.

This re-make of a classic brings Neverland back to life, with new twists and turns, whilst staying true to the classic.


G.O.S.H - Great Ormond Street Hospital

In 1929, J.M.Barrie gave all rights to Peter Pan to the Great Ormond Street Hospital, often abbreviated to G.O.S.H, the hospital provides world class care and pioneering techniques to care for sick children in the UK.

They have received royalties every year since, with proceeds from every production of the play, every book sold and every movie made going to them and their charity.

To this day, a bronze statue of Peter Pan and Tinker Bell sits outside the hospital entrance in tribute to the author.



It's Pans childish nature that appeals to all of us, and with the lessons taught throughout the stories, its no wonder Peter Pan has lived through the ages, and continues to thrive over 100 years after he first appeared.


"Dreams do come true, if only we wish hard enough. You can have anything in life if you will sacrifice everything else for it.” 
― J.M. BarriePeter Pan

World Book Day 2014 : A teacher’s guide to dressing up

clock Monday, January 27, 2014 at 12:49PM

With world book week quickly approaching, it’s not long until your pupils are going to be running down the halls dressed as Mr Fox and Where’s Wally, while Dorothy Gale and Verruca Salt watch on giggling.

But why should you miss out on all the fun?

Here are just a few ideas of how you can dress up and join in the fun this book day.

For Her:

Maid Marion – Robin Hoods leading lady. Try this long burgundy dress, quite simple and elegant, but more importantly, long, to avoid any mishaps and keep you warm!


Queen of Hearts (Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Charles Lutwidge Dodgson) – This villainous character from Alice In Wonderland will have them following your every demand. Otherwise,  Off with their heads!



Cruella De Ville (101 Dalmatians, originally written by Dodie Smith) – Dalmatian print at the ready!  An Unmistakable look, grab your black dress, poof your hair and drape with generous amounts of animal print!

Glinda (The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum) – Glinda the Good Witch helps Dorothy on her way to the Emerald City. Seen here in the 1939 film adaptation in her large pink dress and glittering crown.

For Him:


Mad Hatter (Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll) – Alice’s kooky friend is sure to make them giggle! Don you top and tails….with a few accessories here and there...

Where’s Wally (Author: Martin Handford)– We apologise in advance for the countless yells of ‘THERE HE IS!’ you’ll hear walking through the corridors as this one. Quite easy to knock together, just find yourself a red and white striped jumper, some glasses and a cane, all of which can be paired with your own jeans

Mr Twit (The Twits by Roald Dahl) – Make a hideous transformation into Roald Dahls Mr Twit from the book, The Twits.  Grab a large beard, cram it with food and dirt and you’re on your way.


Lord Voldemort (Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling)– there’re sure to be more than a few little wizards and witches floating around the halls. Keep them under control as the Dark Lord himself. You could even hook in a few colleagues to be your death eaters.



Meet the Minions!

clock Friday, January 24, 2014 at 04:27PM

Some of the most popular characters to come out of Despicable Me are the loveable minions. They are small yellow creatures who wear blue dungarees and black gloves. They have one or two eyes and wear goggles. Their master is the super villain Gru and they are fiercely loyal to him, helping him to build and operate weapons for his crazy plots! Although they understand English their own language is a mixture of English, French, Spanish, Korean and Italian. They have a great sense of humour and find most things funny. After the success of the first Despicable Me film it was obvious that the minions stole the show and they were given a much bigger part in Despicable Me 2. They have even become Illumination Entertainment’s official mascot. So let’s meet them!


Dave’s signature weapon is his rocket launcher. He is kind and caring and very intelligent. He loves ice cream or gelato as he calls it!



Kevin is the smallest minion after he was shrunk by Gru while he was demonstrating his shrink ray machine! He loves to play golf and often makes fun of his companions.



Stuart loves playing the Xbox with Dave. He is sincere and innocent and in the film he gets turned into a glow stick to provide light for the others!



Tim is tall with a beard and he has a bit of a temper! He likes being in charge and playing the dad role.



Jerry’s quote is “Whaaa” which he says with a confused face. He is playful and loves playing with Gru’s daughters until he gets in trouble!



Phil gives Agnes a unicorn that he made which he calls Papoi. He laughs at everything and is extremely happy.




Mark looks similar to Dave. He goes to the store dressed as mum to try and get Agnes a unicorn toy and ends up singing on the Karaoke machine!

If you love the minions as much as we do why not make your own with the minion maker! Despicable Me 3 titled Minions is due to be released in 2015 and includes Sandra Bullock voicing Scarlet Overkill. It is definitely one for the diary!

Harry Potter by J.K.Rowling

clock Thursday, January 23, 2014 at 10:39AM

The Harry Potter series by J.K Rowling is undeniably one of the biggest phenomenon’s of our generation. The story of a boy wizard, originally only given a 500 book print, has sold over 450 million copies, making it the best-selling book series in history. It has been published in 67 different languages  The last four books consecutively set records as the fastest-selling books in history, the last in the series (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows) selling over 11 million copies on the first day of release!


(The series in order: Philosophers Stone, Chamber of Secrets, Prisoner of Azkaban, Goblet of Fire, Order of the Phoenix, Half-Blood Prince and The Deathly Hallows)

The series has since been made into 8 record breaking movies (the last book being split into 2) and even has its own theme park in Florida’s Universal Studios Orlando, and hugely successful studio tour at the original set at Leavesden Studios.

(Hogwarts at Universal Studios, Florida)

Not bad for a book thought up by a secretary delayed on a train from Manchester to London!

World Book Day!

clock Tuesday, January 21, 2014 at 11:37AM

 Thursday 6th March is World Book Day in schools all over the globe.

This year is the days 17th anniversary; with over one hundred countries around the world participating, and the successful addition of pre-school readers last year, it’s sure to be the biggest and best book day yet! Which in the days of the Nintendo DS, Playstation and Xbox, is more important than ever as we encourage children to put down the consoles and pick up a book!

The organizers of World Book Day (UNESCO) even select 10 books for a range of ages, which can be bought for free with the books tokens handed out at schools, therefore encouraging you to try something new!

Alternatively, you can use the token as money off for your old favorites, classics like stories by Roald Dahl or more recent phenomenon’s like Harry Potter.

Now days, schools are making a big deal of the day, decorating the halls and encouraging kids to dress up as their favorite characters! Some of the most popular including:

  • - Harry Potter & Hermione Granger (Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling)
  • - Horrid Henry (Horrid Henry series by Francesca Simon)
  • - Willy Wonka & Oompa Lumpas (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl)
  • - Dorothy (The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum)
  • - Mr. Fox (Fantastic Mr. Fox by Roald Dahl)


With a world of literary gold at your fingertips, who knows where you’ll end up?

So whether you’re adventuring through Oz with the Tin Man, Scarecrow and Cowardly Lion, Flying around on your Nimbus 2000, or chasing after the White Rabbit with Alice, who know where you’ll end up?

The world of books is a wide as a childs imagination.

National Dress Up Your Pet Day 2014

clock Friday, January 17, 2014 at 02:42PM

Tuesday the 14th of January 2014 was National Dress Up Your Pet Day. This fun day is designed to celebrate our furry friends and also to raise awareness of how many animals are waiting for adoption. The day has been running yearly since 2009 and was founded by Colleen Paige. Dressing your pets up in fancy dress costumes is always comical. Whether you’ve got a dog, cat, horse, guinea pig, rat, rabbit or hamster, seeing their little face while they are dressed up as a superhero is classic and makes for a great photo opportunity. Of course we must always make sure that our pet is comfortable in the costume. I’m sure many outfits have lived a short life after being eaten or ripped apart by a dog! I myself have two border terriers and I dressed them up as Santa and Rudolph for their Christmas Day walk. So many people smiled and stopped to see them, we were spreading joy around the streets!


Dress Up Your Pet Day also helps local pet shops as sales of their costumes rise. Some of the most popular designs are:

  • Cartoon or TV characters
  • Superheroes
  • T-shirts with a slogan
  • Food (think hot dog!)
  • Fairytale
  • Other animals e.g dog dressed as a lion



Although still relatively unheard of, we think this day will soon become a date in everyone’s calendar. We Brits love our animals and an estimated 13 million people own one. That’s 45% of households in the United Kingdom. Imagine if every one of those dressed up their pet, it could be a holiday as big as Halloween!

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


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!


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.


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
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 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.


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.


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!