I don't like spending a lot of money on fancy dress costumes. You can hire some great stuff, but it seems such a waste. And then there are the cheap costumes you can buy online. I did that once and it was a once-only deal. My 'sexy sailor' suit was barely intact by the end of the night, which was a little embarrassing.
So here's what I did for our 80s theme:
1. I set a budget of $40 for each complete outfit.
2. I searched the internet for ideas of a) what to wear and/or b) 'who' to go as. From this I decided to go for the general blue-light disco attendee. Geege decided on Marty McFly from Back to the Future.
3. I 'shopped my wardrobe' for possible options. From this, I came up short on all fronts (no fluoro in my current wardrobe. Who'd have thought?), except for some shoes and a skinny white belt. Oh and a crimper! For the Geege, we found a puffer vest, shirt, red t-shirt, and blue jeans.
4. I headed to the op-shop. For my 80s vibe, I found an awesome purple taffeta number, but it was sadly not my size. I think the fact that 80s is also 2013 made for slim pickings. We also found nothing for the Geege.
5. I went to the cheap and cheerful retail store to see what I could find. I hit the jackpot at one store which has a wide variety of fashion straight from the 1980s. At this stage, I tried to think about re-wear factor, but the cute little shop assistant kept telling me I was being 'too safe'. I guess I will be donning the hot-pink tights for my early morning walks. The Geege found some high top white sneakers for $9, some headphones for $3 and some black braces.
6. When I had the bulk of the outfit sorted, I borrowed what I could from friends (and neighbours) to finalise the look. I got some great jewellery from a friend from school. The Geege got Marty's denim jacket from our neighbour.
If I'd had more time, I would have reversed 5. and 6., but I was limited by my procrastination.
All in all I spent $50 (including the leg warmers I went back the next day for*) and the Geege spent $23.
We had such a fun night. I danced all night, including a group rendition of the Bus Stop (with local variations). It was like being at the Leagies again.
Funny thing was, it was the only party I can recall in a long time where I knew every word to every song. All those teenage years spent listening to the Top 40 seem to have left the lyrics permanently implanted in my brain.
What are your tips for dressing up on the cheap without looking cheap?
* I can't believe you can still buy them. You should have seen my face when the lovely ballet dancer-type asked me what colour I was after. I actually had choices!