Themes for a Fancy Dress Party

Amy Hoover
Fancy cocktail party

Coming up with some themes for a fancy dress party can help you host a fabulous soiree. Fancy clothing can range from preppy country club fashion on hot summer days to black tie affairs year-round. Make sure your guests know that their attire is part of the fun when wording the theme party invitations.

List of Themes for a Fancy Dress Party

Before you begin planning your fancy dress party, it is important to remember that a party is supposed to be fun. Many people may not have the time or monetary means to purchase extravagant outfits just to attend a party for a few hours. Be flexible in your attire requests so that all of your guests have a chance to participate. Some themes require more effort and fancier attire than others, so keep your guest list in mind when choosing the theme. In fact, you may want to include a list of second-hand stores or costume rental shops to make things easier on your guests.

Dance Themes

A dance theme party is an excellent choice for a fancy dress party. Take it to the next level by adding a theme to the dance.

An amusing yet fancy theme for an adult party is a prom theme. Create a dance area in a large family room or dining area and add long rectangular tables around the perimeter of the room that hold cake, punch and snacks. Set up a photography area with a backdrop so all your guests can have their photos taken as a couple or in groups. Remember to add some prom decorations, like hanging stars or streamers, to complete the scene. Ask that everyone wear prom attire and hand out boutonnieres and corsages as favors.

Guests can don their finest frocks for a fancy ball. Rent a party hall and set up a lovely ball, whether it is a medieval ball, renaissance ball or masquerade ball. For guests who cannot afford to rent a costume for a masquerade or otherwise, ask that they simply dress in their finest attire. Play waltzes and other period pieces to fit with the theme of the party.

Movie and Book Themes

Movies and books offer plenty of ideas for people to dress up and attend a party. One great summer party idea is to host a party based on the classic novel The Great Gatsby. Plan a garden party, either at your own home or at a nearby park. Ask that everyone wear 1920's finery to this fancy party. Plan activities like croquet and have plenty of light drinks available for everyone to enjoy.

Ask guests to dress up like characters in a favorite movie like Titanic or Moulin Rouge. Pick up a soundtrack from the movie of your choice and try to decorate the dinner area like a scene from the film.

More Fancy Party Themes

Themes for a fancy dress party really depend on exactly how much you are willing to do in order to prepare for the party and what you think your guests will enjoy. A few more themes for a fancy party include:

  • Black and White: Drape furniture and walls with white and black sheets. Tie black bows around chairs and have white centerpieces on tables. Ask guests to dress in just black and white formalwear.
  • Holiday: The holidays are an excellent and easy theme for a fancy dinner party. Ask guests to wear their Christmas finery or stunning Valentine's Day dress clothes for a holiday theme party.
  • Rock the Red Carpet: Host a great fancy dress party for viewing an awards show. Pick up cheap red table runners and line your front walk with them. Have kids or teens snap pictures of guests as they arrive in their black-tie attire. Set up small round tables in the living area so everyone can see the television and serve mini courses for a meal.

Fancy dress parties with great themes provide a fun way to add some pizzazz and sophistication to traditional parties.

Themes for a Fancy Dress Party