30 Aug 2012

Fancy Dress Costume Review! (Warning: rambles)

Product Placement Alert!  It finally happened, folks - I sold out to The Man.  I made a deal with The Devil. 

Actually, what's happened is the lovely folks at Jokers' Masquerade have asked me to review one of their costumes on the site.  And here at Falconer Towers, we're complete fancy dress nuts, so of course I was up for it! Yes, I know this is a music blog, but fuck it - it's my blog and I can write about whatever I want. Hmpf!

They asked me to choose a costume from their website, which was perfectly straightforward to navigate.  Each costume page also suggested extra accessories to purchase and make the costume complete.  My choice of costume for review was this delightful Sherlock Holmes costume, complete with magnifying glass and pipe set. 

Ironing: it's elementary









Very dandy I'm sure you'll agree!  It's a good quality cape, doesn't feel like it's going to fall apart in two minutes like a lot of shop-bought gear you get.  The dearstalker is suitably ridiculous.  Meanwhile, the pipe and magnifying glass are nicely put together - the pipe's not functional, but the magnifying glass works a treat!  I was investigating the shit out of the garden with it, I can tell you!  Everything fit marvellously, and due to the nature of the cape it probably would have fit a larger or smaller person no problem, though unfortunately I didn't have one to hand to try this out. 

I put it to you, sir...



As you can see, while the gear arrived properly packaged, there was a bit of folding and scrunching involved (the cape came in a flimsy but functional suit bag, but the hanger had snapped so it had all fallen to the bottom), which of course I didn't bother ironing out before these photos were taken.  I'm sure Sherlock himself wouldn't have bothered with such a thing.  My own Mrs Hudson, however, when asked if she would perform the necessary sartorial sprucing, suggested in no uncertain terms I "Fuck off and do it yourself."  One simply can't get the staff these days...

But all in all, very pleased with the costume.  If I turned up to a party wearing it, everyone would say, "Good Lord - you've come as Sherlock Holmes!" Which, of course, would be the goal.  Quickly dispatched, well packaged, everything in the size ordered, no bits falling off... grand.  And I'm pretty  confident I could wear this thing to a dozen parties and it would still be in good nick. Good job, Jokers' Masquerade!

So of course the big question is: Home-made costumes or Shop-bought?  Well if you buy a costume ready made, to be honest there's always that whiff of cheating about it.  I mean, yeah that penguin costume you've bought looks great, but what about the guy who spent hours perfecting his pervy uncle costume? (I've got a photo of this very thing somewhere, but I'm buggered if I can find it. Gutted!)

My personal favourite costume I ever came up with was for an 80s-themed festival, which I attended as a Bullseye contestant:
Shirt £12; Jeans £4; Trainers £6. Thank you Tesco
Complete with this SERIOUS hair cut with real hair extensions:

That is real hair.  Fitted using a glue gun.


Part of the fun of it all is trawling the charity shops, finding the perfect bad shirt or whatever.  Buying from a website is just too easy in some ways...

... but then again, isn't the fun of it just that people look good?  Who cares if it's been bought or made?  Just so long as people get dressed up in the spirit of things - and God knows not everybody can be arsed to wander around charity shops like a crazed rag & bone man.  And not everybody is handy with a needle and thread - that Spiderman costume you envisaged doesn't look quite as good as the real thing, does it?  Washing some pyjamas on hot so they shrink, popping on a balaclava and stapling a print out of the Spidey logo to your chest?  Not great.  You'd have been better off going to Jokers' Masquerade and buying one!

So yeah, if you want a good costume in a hurry, or need help with a more sophisticated outfit, I'd definitely recommend buying or hiring one.  Let's be honest, you're not going to attempt to make a gorilla costume yourself, are you?  Or indeed your Bernie Clifton jobs (I'd fucking LOVE one of these!)

Personally, I do like creating my own monstrosities as well.  The thrill of the hunt, trying to work out just what sort of trousers a 1970s geography teacher would have worn (pretty obscure party theme there, but that's fine!) 

Come on, then - send me your best fancy dress photos.  I'm on twitter at @falconermusic which is probably the best place to send me a pic, or feel free to comment and leave a link!  I'll post the best ones on here.  

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