Quick and Easy Costumes for Themed Parties

We all know the story. You’re sitting at home or in your dorm room at 7pm on a Thursday, Friday or Saturday night casually snacking on chips and pizza when suddenly your phone beeps. Oh, it’s a text from your best friend, Brittany. She really wants you to come to a party with her at 11 that night. Just one problem, it’s themed and you don’t have a costume.

Lauren paired her cut-up shirt from last week with neon pink shorts, pink sports bra and teal pre-wrap to make her 80s themed party outfit.

Themed parties are notorious in college. Some of these themes include ‘Murica (America for those of you who live under a rock), white/black, devil/angel, toga, 80s, 90s and the personal favorite, bright and tight (basically neon). Some of the themes can get even crazier and more creative such as When I Grow Up, Rescue Me, Candyland, Noah’s Ark, CEOs and Office Hoes, I’m on A Boat, Partners in Crime and so much more.

Why are there so many of them? Simply because they are just so ridiculously fun! And don’t think that themed parties are for Greek life only; they occur all over campus and are very popular. However, with this inevitable fun also comes major stress. Who has dozens of costumes laying around in there dorm room especially when you’re a freshman and don’t know any better?

The ability to adapt is crucial when designing costumes. So, here’s a guide to creating them in a flash.

What did Lauren buy to create this “I’m on a Boat” themed outfit? Just two strips of fabric (headband and waist), a necklace and black tank to tear up. Everything else was already in her closet!

1.You need a ‘Murica outfit. It doesn’t even have to be an entire outfit. Just at least own American socks, a flag, headband or red, white and blue separates. These will be CRUCIAL during that crunch time before the party.

2. Invest in neon. A neon shirt, sports bra and pair of spandex shorts or tights can go a loooooong way. Think about how many themes above these are applicable to? Exactly.

Jamie Belin, 21 and a senior member of Greek life, has been to and seen her fair share of themed parties. “Neon is by far the easiest outfit to pull together,” she said. “You can also use thigh-high socks as leg warmers for 80s themes.”

3. Never underestimate the power of head gear. No, not orthodontic headgear but rather headbands, bandanas, fabric or anything you can use as a forehead accessory. Heck, even pre-wrap works because it comes in many colors (teal, hot pink, white!).

Lauren demonstrates the easiness of putting together a “Pajama” themed outfit.

4. Also invest in a simple and tight black dress or bandage skirt. This basic has saved so many people it’s unbelievable. You can literally pin or paste anything on these to create an outfit that you desire.

“Don’t underestimate a pair of animal ears or animal print either,” said Alyssa Michael, 21 and an ASU senior. “Any jungle or animal themed party is super easy with those items.”

5. Don’t forget about office attire. High waisted pencil skirt and a flirty blouse and you’re good to go for some themes!

6. Make friends with a guy or two. You never know when you will need a men’s oversized button up shirt for a Risky Business or Pajama Jam party. This costume=free.

7. If you do have a day or two, don’t stress and don’t end up spending tons of money on one night’s costume.  Target  is open until 11pm and Party City is a great place to find semi-cheap accessories.

Looking for more easy and quick costume ideas? Check out Halloween.com for some hilarious and somewhat questionable costume ideas. If you’re thinking about throwing your own themed party visit College Party Themes for more theme ideas.

Now that you’re fully armed with tips on to handle these stressful themed situations, go out and party hardy!

Happy Crafting ❤


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