10 Last Minute Fancy Dress Ideas

Everyone loves a good fancy dress party where everyone makes an effort. However, if you’ve been busy and left it too late to find a costume you could end up sticking out like a sore thumb. Here’s my DIY list on creating a minimally priced last minute costume just as wearable as those that have been planned for weeks.

  1. Roman/Greek Goddess

This is by far the most simple yet effective last minute costume idea. All you need to do is drape a white bed sheet over one shoulder, securing with safety pins, and wear gold or brown sandals. For extra detail, you could even plait your hair, add a rope belt, wear gold bangles, or put a wreath headband on. As you can see, I only had a double bed sheet so had to make do with a towel.

  1. Bank robber/Sailor/Where’s Waldo

If you don’t have one striped item in your wardrobe already I will be extremely surprised. Whether it be black and white, blue and white, or red and white, you can make a costume out of it.

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  1. Addams Family Member

If you happen to have black clothing in your wardrobe and hair long enough to split into two plaits, you can’t go wrong with this effortless Wednesday Addams costume. Add a white collar to get the complete look. For Morticia Addams split your hair into a middle parting, wear a full length black dress and add heavier make up with lipstick.

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  1. Cowgirl

Denim shorts, checked shirt and a cowboy hat because why not? The costume should not be exclusive for men.

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  1. Animal Onesie

Although I myself do not own a onesie, most of my friends do, and the cosy one piece can be used as a costume. If you happen to have a lion one, you can say you’re dressed as Narnia’s Aslan, if it’s a monkey, you can be curious George, if it’s a zebra print you can be Marty from Disney’s Madagascar etc.


  1. Cat/Cat-woman

Sticking to the animal theme, going as a cat/cat-woman is another costume idea that requires little effort and minimal spending. Below to create the cat look I am wearing black faux leather trousers, with a white slogan top with the word ‘meow’ on it, cat ears, and face painted whiskers. For the cat woman look I suggest wearing black faux leather trousers, although jeans/leggings would also work, with a black top, cat ears, and a hand made mask if you don’t have one.

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  1. Minnie/Mickey Mouse

Whether you have the items for the female or male equivalent, this Disney costume never fails to go down well. It can be reenacted without buying the costume form the shop and instead using your own wardrobe items. The only feature you need to purchase is the ears, the rest of the clothing are things you may already have and can even wear on separate occasions.

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  1. Egyptian Mummy

Wrapping yourself in toilet paper and tape is more fun than it should be. In the picture below I wore a white long sleeved top and leggings and wrapped myself, with the help of friends, in two parts so I could still use the loo. I’d recommend doing the same if you were to repeat the idea. The costume was durable and withstood a sixth form sports day, so you don’t have to worry about leaving a trail of tissue everywhere you go.


  1.     Geek

Geek chic is always in fashion, but if it’s a cry away from your usual attire making it into a fancy dress costume is easy. Simply wear a shirt and tie (with a pocket full of pens) with a black skirt and white knee high socks. Add glasses, face painted freckles and wear your hair in pig tails to complete the outfit. Maybe even carry a calculator if you want to go all out.

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I hope my DIY costume list has helped give you some inspiration! Feel free to comment with photos of you trying out the looks or sharing your own last minute fancy dress ideas.

Rae Coppola

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