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Dressing up for a special themed occasion has been a tradition dating back hundreds of years ago. It started in Europe during the 15th century with the Italian masquerade balls, and progressed to London during the 18th century. Party goers during that time were still using masks to their identity. But later on, masquerade balls became unpopular because it was linked to immoral behavior. The social elites created dress up parties without the masks, which started the tradition of fancy dress parties that even Queen Victoria became very fond of.

From then on, every costume eventually evolved. Ladies started to change the way they dress up. From the more elaborate and colorful dress as a Victorian era lady, they started a new trend of figurative costumes.
Characters from Shakespeare’s plays like Romeo and Juliet became the favorites during the 18th and 19th century.

As time went on, foreign people like the Africans and the Red Indians also became involved in these dress-up parties. The new world slowly adopted these costume parties, and it continues to evolve until now.

Fact is, what the British today refer to as “fancy dress” is what Americans call as “costumes”. This means that there is actually no difference between the fancy dress in the UK and in the US. Wherever the party is, whether in the UK or in the US, it is celebrated the same way – dressing up like your favorite character or a classical figure from centuries ago or even personalities of this modern era.

Fancy dress in the US is the influence brought by the citizens of the UK. Nowadays, it is not limited anymore to these two geographical locations because fancy dress parties have now reached other countries especially in the east.


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