If you go all out, fancy dress parties are huge fun. You can either express your own personality or go as random as possible. But whatever you do, go big! London is full of great shops catering to costumes that you really can decide to be whoever you want. Just don’t be boring!
With a legacy of over 175 years, Angels is the most notable of costume stores in London. They have been long known to provide costumes to Oscar-winning movies. In 2015, all the five Oscar nominated movies were costumed by them – now those are some huge shoes to fill!
Trained costumiers with know-how in TV, film and theatre make their costumes. The exquisitely designed outfits exude high quality and are available for purchase or hire.
Address: 119 Shaftesbury Avenue, London WC2H 8AE
Tel: 0207 836 5678
Nearest tube station: Leicester Square
Only Fools and Peacocks
Whether it’s an impulse buy or a party purchase, you are sure to get your choice here. A basement in the store holds dozens of costumes and props. From space outfits to cowgirl costumes, (or if you fancy, an Austin Power jacket!), you can pick your favourite from here. They also have an impressive collection of prosthetics, hats and headgear. In addition, their costumes are available for hire and sale, and are priced according to the requirement.
Address: 120 Stoke Newington High Street, London N16 7NY
Tel: 0207 241 5552
Nearest train station: Rectory Road
This online fancy dress boutique offers fashionable and quality fancy dress outfits. You can find tea dresses and Indian headdresses here. The wide range of products they sell includes 1920s collections, vintage outfits and Japanese kimonos.
If you want non-themed outfits, rely on their exquisitely designed corsets, which are a popular choice.
Pantaloons Fancy Dress
If you want fun costume outfits, Pantaloons is a good option. It offers various costumed outfits for adults and children. Customised outfits to match your unique needs are also on sale or are available for hire.
So come here and find a cartoon-themed outfit, or opt for one from their Film & TV or Halloween collections.
Address: 119 Lupus Street, London SW1V 3EN
Tel: 0207 630 8330
Nearest tube station: Pimlico
If you are looking for outfits for parties or carnivals, this is where you need to head. Prangsta offers bespoke costumier services. Based on your ideas and requirement, they will create a costume that is unique to you. From circus style to Victorian classics, party wear to outfits in vogue, all of these can be found here.
Their clientele includes Prince Harry, Kate Moss and Katy Perry.
Address: 304 New Cross Road, London SE14 6AF
Tel: 0208 694 9869
Nearest train station: New Cross
The Costume Studio
This costume emporium is a class apart. You won’t find cheapskate costumes here. You will find an impressive catalogue of exquisite costumes. All of the costumes sold here are expertly created, right from design to the final output.
Their clients include industry stalwarts from the film industry, commercials and events. You can hire the costumes for around £30 or choose to purchase them for £65 to £85.
Address: Montgomery House, 159-161 Balls Pond Road, London N1 4BG
Tel: 0207 275 9614
Nearest tube station: Highbury & Islington
While there are several stores across London, Beyond Retro is an institution. They are one of the biggest second-hand stores to grace the London scene. It’s difficult not to be mesmerised when you take in the various costumes across the store.
The hand-picked designs are transformed into beautiful outfits right before your eyes. Take time off your weekend activities and visit this costume store to find the perfect fit for your costume party – you are sure to find one!
Address: 110-112 Cheshire Street, London E2 6EJ
Tel: 0207 729 9001
Nearest train station: Shoreditch High Street
Expect to find an extensive selection of film, TV and superhero costumes here. Their range of themed costumes and creepy outfits are also quite popular. To the relief of partygoers, they also have a hiring service. Escapade is known for their full character costumes, which are magnificently put together.
Address: 45-46 Chalk Farm Road, London NW1 8AJ
Tel: 0207 485 7384
Nearest tube station: Chalk Farm
Established in 1952 by Dmitri Stephanides, this shop continues to enthral customers. Fun costume party or Halloween fancy costume dressing up becomes easier with this store.
They have an excellent selection of costumes for adults and kids. Expect to find numerous accessories, such as face paint, prosthetics, wigs and masks, to go with your costume. So whether you are dressing up as Dr. Who or as Lady Gaga, this is the place to be. You can conveniently place an order on their online store and rest assured that it will be delivered to you.
Address: 95 Hammersmith Road, London W14 0QH
Tel: 0207 603 2918
Nearest tube station: Kensington Olympia
National Theatre Costume Hire
The National Theatre has its own hire store for fancy dress, props and costumes. Women can find 18th century ball gowns and 1920s flapper dresses, while men can choose from top hats and tails. All the costumes are high-quality and well cared for.
Customers can book an appointment and choose from the chronologically arranged line up of costumes for a party or themed wedding. The friendly, knowledgeable staff are ever ready to help you out. Furthermore, the store has dressed countless people for parties and events, and it continues to be a popular choice.
Address: Chichester House, 1-3 Brixton Road, London SW9 6DE
Nearest tube station: Oval
Earlier known as Charles H. Fox in London, this global chain has been the go-to place for the film, theatre and television industries for over 70 years. They have been formulating and developing their own make-up products since 1945. Their formulations are customised as per requirement. For example, the theatre make-up is formulated to be long lasting. Kryolan has been one of the major suppliers of wigs and latex to the movie industry, which has helped them achieve the avant-garde looks that mesmerise us on screen.
Address: 22 Tavistock Street, London WC2E 7PY
Nearest tube station: Covent Garden
Mad World Fancy Dress and Costume Hire
Mad World offers themed outfits in styles such as Gregorian, James Bond, Fairy Tale, Wild West, etc. Their Venetian masks are stellar, and made with attention to detail. Here you can buy various masks and disguises as the mood or theme fancies you. With over 35,000 costumes, it is a treasure trove for anyone who loves clothes. Finally, their corporate clientele include Coca-Cola, Claridges, The Savoy, etc.
Address: 69-85 Tabernacle Street, London EC2A 4BD
Tel: 0207 253 1003
Nearest tube station: Old Street
So High Soho
Find dozens of themed costumes and masks galore here. From Christmas to circus costumes, hippie to military-themed outfits, dresses for a range of occasions are available here. So if you feel like rocking in a fairy tale costume this Halloween, find one from their extensive collection.
Or, show up at your next party as Marilyn or Elvis!
Address: 7 and 9 Berwick Street, London W1F 0QQ
Nearest tube station: Tottenham Court Road