Print Editor Kitty Grant offers fancy dress ideas, for both the upcoming Freshers Week and other events, showing that fancy dress can be as minimal or as adventurous as you like

Liberal Arts and Natural Sciences student and Social and Social Media Secretary

Fancy dress parties have been blowing up on TikTok with #fancydress gaining almost 75 million views on the platform, but these parties are not what you remember from childhood. With more effort, style and thought, these fancy dress parties set the bar high, raising the standards for fancy dress everywhere. For incoming Freshers, the idea of dressing up weekly can seem daunting, but here are a few fancy dress party themes for any occasion, that will hopefully see you through all of the Sports Nights and themed parties!


This theme would be great for a party with a lot of guests who do not already know each other. Guests could interpret the theme however they choose, whether that means dressing up as a famous person from their hometown, something that is often associated with their hometown, or simply in a style that is very popular where they are from. This theme would be great at university, as so many people come from all around the world, and the different costumes would be a great conversation starter.

Angels and Devils

A twist on the popular ‘iconic duos’ theme, this would be great for a group of guests who already know each other as it requires everyone to partner up. Rather than simply choosing to dress up as either a devil or an angel, pairs would decide on two costumes—one of which they would designate the ‘devil’ and one the ‘angel’. The idea is to turn iconic pairs of ‘enemies’ into a duo fancy dress. Examples could include Mario and Wario, Edward and Jacob, or more abstract interpretations like coffee and tea.

Star Signs 

Everyone has a star sign, so this could be a fun theme whether or not you believe in astrology. Your guests could dress as the symbol for their star sign, or, if anyone is a little reluctant to dress as a crab or a goat, alternatively they could dress as a famous person that shares their sign. This could also be a fun way to get to know people better, as this theme could be turned into a game by guessing what star sign people have interpreted.

Dress as your degree

Another great one for meeting new people during Freshers Week, this theme is pretty self-explanatory. Some degrees would be fairly easy to dress up as, like medicine or politics, but the fun would really come with the less obvious courses. Courses like Maths or Liberal Arts would require some creativity, and many people could come up with different interpretations of the same course.

Random Word Generator

Using a random word generator, like this one, you could either find one word for every guest to dress up as, or ask each guest to generate their own word. To make things a little easier, you could filter for just nouns, but words like ‘describe’ and ‘begin’ could be great fun for a creative friend group. Once the words have been allocated, guests could either interpret their costume from that word, or dress as it directly. The fun would come in the wackier words, where guests would have to get more creative!


If you are looking for something a little more lowkey, but still with the fun of fancy dress, a monochrome party could be great. Each person would choose a colour to dress in from head to toe. Most guests will be able to easily meet this theme from clothes they already have, or ones bought cheaply from a charity shop, which means this would be a great last-minute theme. For those who want to embrace the theme further, face paint and coloured hairspray could also be used to truly epitomise the idea of monochrome.

Kings and Queens

For this theme your guests could dress up as actual kings and queens (or princes and princess) from history and fiction (King Arthur, Queen Victoria), or other costumes that include the words ‘king’ or ‘queen’ like King Kong, a drag queen, or even a group costume of the band queen.

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