National Book Week Costumes

Are you still looking for a kids Book Week Fancy Dress costume for this year’s school book week. The fancy dress shop is open until 8pm weekdays (apart from Friday when we close at 6pm). If you are not local and your kids school is dressing up later on in the week, we can despatch your costume tomorrow, and if you choose one of our next working day options, it will be with you on Thursday

During the past decade school book week alongside World Book Day (March in the UK, May in the US) and National Book Day (23rd April – Shakespeare’s Birthday and St George’s Day)  has grown in popularity. During Book week children are often invited to come dressed as their favourite character from a book. Naturally, in these multimedia days, comics, storybooks, games, TV programmes and films can often be jumbled together in a child’s mind. Thus some schools will ask you to bring the book that relates to the costume, whilst other schools might highlight specific authors such as Roald Dahl, J K Rowling, Dr Seuss, Roger Hargreaves, etc..

If you need more help in finding the perfect kids Book character costume, then why not look at our information section of this website, it has so many ideas for children’s book character costumes you’ll be spoilt for choice.

Here is just a small taster of just some of our fantastic kids book week costume ideas…

  • Peter Pan
  • Robin Hood
  • Harry Potter
  • Cinderella
  • Where’s Wanda
  • Oompa Loompas
  • Red Riding Hood
  • Horrid Henry
  • Alice in Wonderland
  • Cowardly Lion – Wizard of Oz
  • Dorothy
  • Snow White
  • The Indian In The Cupboard
  • Pinocchio
  • Dracula
  • Frankenstein
  • The Worst Witch
  • Mary Poppins
  • Oliver


Posted in Book Week Costumes | Tagged book week costumes, book week fancy dress, book week outfits, boys book character costumes, boys book week fancy dress ideas, girls book character costumes, girls book week fancy dress ideas | Leave a reply

Talk Like a Pirate Day

Pirate Boy Tattoo Costumeview

Pirate Boy Tattoo Costume

Pirate Caribbean Captainview

Pirate Caribbean Captain

Pirate - Caribbean Wigview

Pirate - Caribbean Wig


Talk Like a Pirate Day celebrates it’s 12th birthday today! What started out as a joke between friends has grown in strength year on year with even schools joining in the fun allowing kids to dress up in pirate costumes.

Maybe the reason why this novelty ‘day’ has been so popular with the general public is that it does not break the bank to join in with a few Pirate accessories, rather than having to purchase an entire pirate outfit. With so many Pirate accessories from a basic eye patch (see notes below as to why Pirates wear eye patches) to Pirate wigs, Pirate Pistols and even a Treasure Map, you can do as much, or as little as you want to.

Visit the official Talk Like a Pirate Day site

Here are a few phrases that may help you get through today!!!(or not as the case may be!)

  • Aye – Yes, I agree
  • Arrrrr – I agree to a certain extent but another drink might help
  • Arrgh – How can I come to a decision? There’s no drink!
  • Avast behind! – Look at the stern on that!
  • Black Spot – Notorious area for pirate ship collisions
  • Corsair – Unique atmosphere surrounding a gathering of pirates
  • Shanty – A pirate drinking song – usually involving stronger drink than the lemonade/beer mix with a similar name
  • Tar – Thanks, sailor

Meanwhile, has it ever occurred to you to wonder why an essential part of the pirate look is an eye-patch? They can’t all have suffered optical injuries? Apparently, the answer is that if you keep one eye ‘in the dark’, it enables you to see (and shoot) better in low-light conditions. So now ye knows!

Props & Frocks has a huge selection of pirate accessories and pirate costumes

Posted in Costumes, Pirate Costumes, Pirate Fancy Dress | Tagged jack sparrow costumes, kids pirate costume, pirate costumes, pirate outfits, pirate wigs | Leave a reply

Royalty Costume Ideas

Princess Leia Costumeview

Princess Leia Costume

Freddie Mercury Style Costume - PVC Jacket and White Trousersview

Freddie Mercury Style Costume - PVC Jacket and White Trousers


16 years ago, Princess Diana died. We cannot believe how fast the time has gone, can you?

Why not keep her memory alive with a Royals based fancy dress themed party?

Our costume themes & ideas section of this website has so many Royalty costume ideas you will be spoilt for choice

Here is just a tasty to get you going…

  • The King Of the Swingers – Orang-utan costume from Jungle Book
  • King & Queen Panto Style
  • Queen of Hearts, we stock some lovely Queen of Heart costumes
  • King of Hearts
  • Dancing Queen – wear an Abba style costume
  • Queen Amidala
  • African Tribal King
  • African Tribal Queen
  • Monarch Butterfly
  • Drag Queen
  • Freddy Mercury member of Queen
  • Kings of Leon
  • Carnival Queen
  • Lion King characters
  • Chinese Emperor
  • Emperor Penguin – wear one of our penguin costumes
  • The Frog Prince wear a frog mask with a Georgian style costume
  • Snow White – Disney Princess
  • Princess Leia we stock a good range of Star Wars Costumes
  • Prince (Musician) wear a purple suit with jabot very similar to ourMojo Man costume
  • The Prince of Darkness AKA Satan, look at our Devil costumes & accessories
  • Prince Harry Cardboard masks are available
  • Prince William Cardboard masks are available
  • Prince Charles overhead, and cardboard masks are available, look at all of our Royal masks
  • Princess Diana
  • Princess Grace of Monaco look to her films for costume inspiration
  • Harry Potter he is the half blood prince after all!
  • Prince Edmund – From Blackadder – wear Tudor costume
  • Robin Hood Prince of Thieves – wear a Robin Hood costume
Posted in Royalty Fancy Dress Theme | Tagged king costume ideas, prince costume ideas, princess costume ideas, queen costume ideas, royal costume ideas, royalty fancy dress | Leave a reply

Pop Stars Costume Ideas

80s Culture Boy Pop Costumeview

80s Culture Boy Pop Costume

New Romantic - 80s Costumeview

New Romantic - 80s Costume


August 17th Marks the end of Elvis week, where fans of the King of Pop congregate at Graceland to celebrate the life of this Rock legend. And today being  Madonna’s 55th birthday we thought a Pop Stars themed fancy dress party would be a great choice.

Pop Star Costume Ideas: Some of these are hire only, please ask us

    • Abba
    • Bucks Fizz – this costume set is only to hire
    • Tina Turner
    • Village People – a great costume idea for a group
    • Britney Spears – wear a schoolgirl costume, or red catsuit
    • Christina Aguleira – wear a belly dancer costume
    • Lady Gaga
    • George Michael
    • Cheryl Cole
    • Showaddywaddy – wear a Teddy Boy outfit
    • Amy Whinehouse
    • Elvis – we stock a wide range of Elvis hire costumes as well as Elvis outfits & acessories
    • Spice Girls – we have some lovely Union Jack dresses for Ginger spice
    • MC Hammer – Rapper costume
    • Madonna – Vogue & Like A Prayer are great videos
    • Adam Ant – wear a New Romantic costume or a Dick Turpin style costume for Stand & Deliver
    • Noddy Holder
    • Freddy Mercury
    • Boy George
    • Kiss
    • Katy Perry – blue wig
    • Meatloaf
    • The Bangles – think video, Walk Like An Egyptian (Belly Dancer or Egyptian costumes)
    • Sid Vicious – punk costumes & accessories
    • Michael Jackson – think Thriller, think Zombie costumes
    • Meatloaf
    • The Beatles
    • Madness – wear black suits, Pork Pie hats and dark glasses (don’t forget the white socks!)
Posted in Pop Stars Fancy Dress | Tagged Elvis costumes, pop star costume ideas, pop star fancy dress ideas, pop star outfits, pop stars costume | Leave a reply

Brownstock Tickets

Cowboy Hats Black Suedeview

Cowboy Hats Black Suede


Props & Frocks is the only place, near Woodham,  where you can purchase Brownstock tickets at the 3 Tier price….

30th Aug – 1st Sept

  • Rudimental
  • The Fratellis
  • Mark Ronson
  • Tom Odell
  • The Pigeon Detectives
  • Duke Dumont, and many,many more…

Check out Brownstock Festival 2013

Hurry, while stocks last and save £5.00 on your ticket price.

Posted in Festival Costumes, What's Happening At Props n Frocks | Tagged brownstock 2013, brownstock essex, Brownstock Festival 2013, brownstock tickets | Leave a reply

Gorilla Costumes

Gorilla Overhead Animal Maskview

Gorilla Overhead Animal Mask


Gorilla Costume Ideas

This is a blog post devoted to Gorillas. Not the real thing, but Gorilla costumes and costuming, which, of course, is what we do here at Props & Frocks in Essex.

We are well aware of the various variations of primates such as Gorilla, Chimp, Monkey and Orang-utan, and although our primary focus is upon the Gorilla, the piece may wander into generalised ape territory for reasons which may become clear. Incidentally, we have noticed that whilst Gorilla costumes are fairly easy to find, Orang-utan outfits are more of a rarity – unfortunately a bit like the species itself. This is especially frustrating for fans of Terry Pratchett (where an orang-utan (aka The Librarian) plays a pivotal role in many of the stories), fans of King Louie from ‘The Jungle Book’, and those who, for their own reasons, think that turning up as Clyde, Clint Eastwood’s ‘pet’ in the ‘Every Which Way’ films would be a great original ideas. But we digress..

The main purpose of our interest in Gorillas is that they are one of the few costumes (apart from those featuring weaponry) that males seem keen to wear to parties and other events; They are hot, impractical and usually feature an overhead mask, which makes speaking, eating etc. rather difficult, but the customer is king and why let practicality get in the way of a good idea? As an additional element of interest, in the City of London each year, in a somewhat unique event,  there is a major fundraising fun-run in aid of the Gorilla Foundation, called The Great Gorilla Run. In 2013 it’s on Saturday  21st September and the novelty is that those taking part by running/walking/staggering the 7km course do so dressed as gorillas. And not always just plain gorilla outfits – many are gorillas in costumes!

Inspired by this event, let’s look at the basic outfits: As with any costume, you get what you pay for – a cheap gorilla costume is usually just an all-fur suit with a rubber mask whilst the better quality outfits can feature a latex chest insert and a better quality, heavier latex-based overhead mask.(Of course it’s true that the lighter, cheaper version might be better for running in, but you make your own choice). You might also opt for a fur balaclava headpiece rather than an overhead mask for a number of very practical reasons. In the end, most people wear what they feel they will be most comfortable in – running vests and shorts over the suits –  but here are other options for gorilla dress-ups, not all necessarily suitable for fun-running unless you fancy a real challenge!

Gorilla in a Tutu (or Ra-ra skirt): An outfit with the benefit of extra visual impact with little extra effort. Unlike some other costumes, most tutus are elasticated, so should be able to fit around the waist of a gorilla costume. The concept can also be useful for a Movie party as such an outfit features in the film ‘Cabaret’.

Gorilla in a T-Shirt: Again, a fairly simple option, with the advantage that T-shirts can be found (or created) in extra large sizes to accommodate being worn over the gorilla costume.

Gorilla Bride: Third of the simple outfits – don’t need the full rig, just a white tutu or net skirt and tiara/veil will do.

The Urban Guerilla: Gorilla in combat gear or, in keeping with the City of London setting, bowler hat and bowtie (an umbrella might also be useful!).

Primate of England: Is a gorilla in an archbishop’s outfit possibly not Politically Correct? Hopefully, if it’s in a good cause, nobody will mind.

Optimus Primate: Gorilla meets Transformer in this cyber-based creation. Just add some appropriately decorated cardboard boxes to the basic gorilla suit and you’re all set to dominate.

The Aped Crusader: A variation close to our hearts as we spent time one year giving out promotional capes to the runners for the benefit of a TV series. In a more obvious costume-related incarnation, you use a Gorilla mask with a Superman costume or Batman suit. You could try getting the superhero outfit over the full gorilla suit but aside from sizing issues (most come in one size fits all, but not ‘over costumes’) you’ll be super-hot, and not in a good way. Gorilla hands (available as separate accessories may also be useful, although there may be ‘sweat issues’ with the hands.

Gorilla Carrying a Hunter in a Cage: A great illusion costume, but because of its cost, size and complexity not all outlets may stock it. If you can get hold of one, you’ll certainly attract attention, if only whilst people figure out how it works!

King Kong: Possibly the best known gorilla of all time thanks to several films. Portraying Kong, especially for a run, may pose complications: Carrying a representation or model of the Empire State Building certainly gives a clue, but can be cumbersome. One way we have seen is for Kong to have a mobile-like headpiece with various planes ‘buzzing’ around his head (as in the film), but others  have just used lightweight chains to represent the captured King of Apes.

Talking of Kong, there is a related female costume on the market which involves a dress seemingly in the grip of a large gorilla hand (channelling the scene where the heroine -Fay Wray or Naomi Watts according to your version – is carried by Kong to the top of the Empire State Building). An interesting novelty costume undoubtedly, but we are not sure how well it works out of context.

Posted in Costumes, Gorilla Costumes, Great gorilla Run 2012 | Tagged gorilla costume ideas, gorilla fancy dress, gorilla foundation fun run 2013, gorilla masks, great gorilla run 2013 | Leave a reply

Prince & Princesses Costume Theme

Frog Overhead Animal Maskview

Frog Overhead Animal Mask

Ogre Princess Wigview

Ogre Princess Wig

Princess Leia Costumeview

Princess Leia Costume

Freddie Mercury Style Costume - PVC Jacket and White Trousersview

Freddie Mercury Style Costume - PVC Jacket and White Trousers


Props & Frocks welcomes the new baby Prince George. Why not celebrate with a Prince & Princesses Fancy Dress theme?

This costume theme is always easier for the girls than the boys. We also stock a great range of crowns and royalty robes for an easy option. For lots more Prince & Princess costume ideas take a look at our Costume Themes & Ideas Section.

Here are some of our Prince & Princess costume ideas:

  • Prince Charming – our Renaissance Prince costume is great for this for kids, or we stock a wide range of quality adult hire costumes
  • Prince – the pop star, famous for wearing a purple suit with frilled jabot.
  • The Frog Prince – wear a frog mask with a Georgian style costume
  • Princess Leia – we stock a good range of Star Wars Costumes
  • The Prince of Darkness – AKA Satan, look at our Devil costumes & accessories
  • Robin Hood – Prince of Thieves – hire or purchase a Robin Hood costume, the choice is up to you
  • Princess Fiona, from Shrek
  • Prince Caspian
  • Cinderella
  • Jasmine
  • Aladdin
  • The Beast
  • Rapunzel
  • Snow White
  • Aurora
  • Ariel
  • Jasmine
  • Belle
  • Pocahontas
  • Mulan
  • Tiana

If you are struggling, why not include all Royalty costume ideas, here are some of ours…

We stock a range of Royal Family Masks if you want to take the easy option!

  • King & Queen – Panto Style
  • Queen of Hearts, we stock some lovely Queen of Heart costumes
  • King of Hearts
  • Queen Amidala
  • Drag Queen
  • Freddy Mercury – member of Queen
  • Kings of Leon
  • Lion King characters
  • King of The Jungle – Lion Costumes
  • Queen (Gay man)
  • Queenie – Elizabeth I character from Blackadder
  • King Arthur
  • Macbeth
  • Oberon, King of The Fairies
  • Rat King
  • King of The Underworld – Satan – an easy costume to put together, just take a look at our Devil accessories
  • The Wizard King
  • Aragorn – The Lord Of The Rings
  • The Burger King – eat a burger wearing a king’s crown
  • Old King Cole
  • King Kong
  • King Smurf
  • Jesus, King Of The Jews
  • The King – Elvis
  • Three Kings of Orient-a
  • Arwen – The Lord Of the Rings
  • Titania, Queen Of the Fairies
  • Edward I – wear a knight costume
  • Henry VIII
  • Mary, Queen of Scots
  • Charles II – Cavalier costume
  • Queen Anne – Georgian
  • William IV – Regency Darcy costume
  • Queen Victoria – Victorian costumes
  • George V – Edwardian style suit
  • Queen Cleopatra – look at our Egyptian costumes
  • Queen Nefertiti
  • Tutankhamen
Posted in Royalty Fancy Dress Theme | Tagged prince costume ideas, prince princesses fancy dress ideas, prince princesses fancy dress outfits, princess costume ideas, royalty fancy dress ideas | Leave a reply