When did fancy dress originate?

Fancy dress costumes and parties have been around for years and were extremely popular in the 16th and 17th century. Italy was the most well known place for holding fancy dress and costume parties, such as the masquerade balls.

Years ago, fancy dress parties were held to make light of the usual social events, to add fun and excitement to the evening. It is believed that many well known historical figures attended and hosted many fancy dress parties. Shakespearean plays provided people with inspiration for many creative and unique fancy dress costume ideas.

Fancy dress parties were hosted by people of means who were able to spend money on such magnificent events. However, the odd peasant managed to wheedle their way on to the guest list.

During the 19th century the majority of fancy dress costumes were reflected and modelled on the less fortunate, so it was often found, that woman in particular, who were high in society, dressed as poor people and peasants. This then allowed woman to show off more of their ankles than they normally would have done. Dressing down a social class or three is not always done by the toffs of today. Being posh is becoming more popular and prejudice against so-called chavs is acceptable in some snobbish circles. How this feeds through into fancy dress is complex.

Today’s style of fancy dress has become a lot more exciting than in the past and you often find that many women are dressing as sexy builders and sexy gangsters, making a statement about gender. Fancy dress parties and nights out have now become the norm, especially for hen and stag parties.

If you have a fancy dress party to attend, or perhaps you are hosting a fancy dress party, then here at PropsnFrocks, we have a wide range of fancy dress outfits that you can choose from.

Leave a Comment