The Fine Art of Fancy Dress... Without Looking Silly!

Some people love fancy dress. They adore the process of changing the way they look, making themselves look terrifying, creepy, wild or just plain weird with face paints, masks and wigs. Other people hate it because they don't feel comfortable looking silly, scary or strange.

There's no right or wrong way to feel about dressing up. It's a personal thing. But this is the party season and everyone's doing it. So how do you make the most of the next fancy dress party you're invited to, feeling your attractive best and hanging onto your sartorial elegance while you're at it?   

We'd like to propose an excellent fancy dress compromise. How about dressing up in classic or contemporary hippy style?

The clothes are lovely and while the make-up can be as dramatic as you like, there's no need to end up looking like a crazy person. The look is varied as well as comfortable, and whether you're male or female you can make it either low key, sophisticated, funky or completely over the top and in your face.

Get it right and you'll enjoy the best of both worlds: you'll look amazing without looking ridiculous or feeling too self conscious to enjoy yourself. It's a much better idea than forgetting about the fancy dress bit altogether and ending up feeling left out.

Hippy clothing – Perfect for fancy dress as well as real life  

Take a trip to any major supermarket and you'll find they sell fancy dress costumes. Some of them are okay, especially the better quality versions. But decent ready-made costumes are far from cheap, upwards of £30 and sometimes as much as £80. Ouch.

We found something called a 'Male Hippy set' for £24.99. It consists of an open neck shirt with a fancy trim, bell bottomed trousers and a plain waist sash, basically a strip of cheap fabric. There's no way you'd wear any of it in real life, the quality is too poor and you'd just look embarrassingly awful. It might only be twenty five quid, but as a one-off bit of fun it's pretty damned expensive.

Even the best quality, ready-made fancy dress costumes are nowhere near as nice as ordinary clothes, often made from nasty-feeling cheap fabrics embellished with naff decoration. And you usually only wear them once – nobody really enjoys wearing the same fancy dress outfit time and time again.

Our beautiful hippy clothes are different.  You can pick up a really great outfit for the same price as - or not much more than – an ordinary mass produced supermarket fancy dress costume. It's highly unlikely you'll find yourself one of several people wearing the same thing because everyone's bought the same outfit from Asda or wherever. And you'll make much more of a splash.    

Timeless hippy chic for men and women

When you buy hippy and boho clothing from us you get great quality at a fair price, often Fair Trade for a clear conscience. You can mix and match our stunning clothing with high street fashion or vintage classics to create a unique look all your own.

Boho fashion – Making an impact with gypsy styling

Our beautiful clothes and accessories are also a brilliant way to achieve a cool boho look. As Wikipedia says:
Boho-chic is a style of fashion drawing on various bohemian and hippie influences, which, at its height in early 2005, was associated particularly with actress Sienna Miller and model Kate Moss in England and (as "bobo" chic) actress and businesswoman Mary-Kate Olsen in the United States. It has been seen since the early 1990s and, although appearing to wane from time to time, has repeatedly re-surfaced in varying guises. Many elements of boho-chic became popular in the late 1960s and some date back much further, being associated, for example, with pre-Raphaelite women of the mid-to-late 19th century.

You can see the potential, creating a dress-up style that either perfectly mirrors or refers to the hippie fashion, bohemian-inspired styles that developed in the middle to late 1960s and have popped in and out of the limelight in various guises ever since. The same goes for '70s Glam Rock fancy dress, a look that's equally simple to achieve in real style with our clothing. You can even use our clothes as the basis for the pirate look or a country wench. 

Where to start with creating a hippy fancy dress costume?

Whatever look you want to create, from hippy to boho, gypsy to glam rock, your starting point is the basics.

A pair of flowing harm pants and a crisp white shirt, for example, are the perfect basis for men and women. For women, how about a lovely, flowing, patterned cotton skirt teamed with a strappy patchwork vest? For men, how about a pair of colourful patterned combat trousers with a plain black t shirt or flowing shirt?

We also do a collection of amazing ponchos and kaftans, wearable long after the fancy dress party you're going to has been consigned to happy memory. Kaftans also make excellent night wear when the world returns to sanity after Christmas.  

Once you've got your basic canvas sorted, it's time for essential accessories. A patterned scarf tied around your waist makes a brilliant cummerbund, perfect for men and women. We sell a wide range of gorgeous hippy hats to add a level of je ne sais quoi to your costume, many made by hand by our good friends in Nepal.   

We stock a large collection of hoodies to die for, everything from hand-torn, embroidered and patchwork masterpieces to printed fabrics in jewel-like colours. They're ideal for fancy dress but equally wearable afterwards. 

You'll find plenty of brightly coloured hair dyes on our site if you feel like changing your look temporarily. There are loads of really good hippy wigs online and on the high street, a low cost way to embellish your look without spending a fortune. And our accessories range is ideal, including bold jewellery, some with real gemstones. Plus floaty scarves, aviator shades and even sunglasses that come complete with faux flower decoration. 

Last but least, we have a fine collection of hippy, boho and gypsy-style bags to stash your essentials safely while you paint the town red.

More ideas for hippy fancy dress

  • Wear a velvet choker with a silk flower attached
  • For men and women, a scarf tied around your hair or a hair band with silk flowers attached
  • For men, facial hair - you can buy cheap false beards and sideburns if you don't want to grow your own
  • Massive dangly earrings, including silver or gold hoops
  • Bare feet are great. But in winter sandals or kinky boots might be best!
  • Tie dye simply screams 'hippy' and we do lots of it ourselves, by hand
  • Smother yourself in strings of beads and you can't go far wrong

How to do hippy make-up

Ladies... your final task is to make up your face in hippy style. But what is it, and how do you do it? We love this excellent resource, a Pinterest page of photos to follow. There's also a great YouTube video tutorial to follow, here.

What about your fancy dress ideas?

We'd love to hear about your ideas for creating a classy, unique fancy dress costume. Feel free to comment.