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How to make your trip to Lisbon for the Champions League Final more colourful

It may only be a short flight time of just over an hour for the two Madrid sides that have made it to this year’s UEFA Champions League Final in Lisbon, but the journey has been anything from straightforward. Real Madrid CF have had to overcome current holders Bayern Munich to get there, while Club Atlético de Madrid have arguably had it even tougher by having to get past Barcelona and Chelsea in order to make the showpiece in the Portuguese capital.

As fans of the two Spanish clubs prepare to make the short trip over to their neighbours in Portugal, we will be taking a look at how visitors can make the most of their time in the city – and attend the event in style. For those fortunate enough to be there for the final, you can be sure there will be plenty planned for football fans in the week leading up to the Saturday 24 May showdown – especially now the UEFA Champions Festival at Praça do Comércio is in full swing.

Festivities for football aficionados

The festival is just one of a series of initiatives to make the vibrant city a focal point for football lovers from all nations as the Portuguese hosts welcome an influx of visitors as we near the final this Saturday evening.

One of the highlights of the festival is the UEFA Champions League Gallery, which displays a number of photographic gems for fans to admire as they check out the 150-plus iconic images taken of players involved in the competition since it began in 1992 – in addition to the European Cup, in its previous form. The UEFA Champions Museum is only across the street and so you won’t have to go far to fill up on your share of memorable moments from the past to get you in the mood for the biggest club match in Europe.

The perfect city/beach balance

Away from the football due to take place at the Estádio do Sport Lisboa e Benfica in less than a week’s time, you will surely want to experience all that the place has to offer. Many see Lisbon as the ideal city to enjoy the best of the sun during the day and the more than ample nocturnal activities on offer later on.

There are lots of cafes, restaurants, bars as well as clubs catering to those who like to party well into the night, but the beautiful beaches along its Atlantic coastline are paradise for travellers looking to soak up the sun and laze away the daytime hours – and most are just a 30-minute drive away too.

Dressing for the occasion

Natives of Lisbon, referred to as Lisboetas, do love a good street party and often don the most elaborate and flamboyant fancy dress imaginable, so if you are planning on kitting yourself – and other members of your group – out in suitable costumes, remember to think bright and colourful.

With the average temperature in May being 18°C, you can dress yourself up accordingly to ensure you remain comfortable in your outfit. At this time of year it is usually warm but not too overbearing like it is during the summer months. So, you might want to think about bright and colourful Hawaiian and beach party-themed fancy dress if you’re thinking of escaping the city for a refreshing day in the sun.

To put the finishing touch to your fancy dress costume, you might want to consider a soccer hat or something else fitting for the occasion. This really gets you into the spirit of things as you look forward to that special night when the two Spanish sides clash and you will find out which one will be crowned the champions of Europe for the 2013/14 season.

One the excitement of this has calmed down, football fans won’t have long to dwell on what has been, as thoughts turn to the World Cup in Brazil which starts next month – which we’ll be covering in a feature article at some point within the next few weeks.


Top five video game character fancy dress

Eurogamer Expo, the biggest video game event in the UK, has ended for another year with around 50,000 gamers in attendance at the end of last month. The majority relished the opportunity to check out some of the most eagerly awaited titles to be hitting stores this Christmas – as well as being amongst the first to witness the new next-generation consoles from Microsoft and Sony.

As usual, Earls Court in London was the place to be if you wanted to get hands-on and play some impressive demos, compete in tournaments, take part in developer sessions where you get to hear all the top secrets from the game makers themselves, as well as sampling all that retro gaming has to offer in a dedicated zone.

This year’s games show was no different in that it was a sell-out with so much to get involved in, while many fans chose to dress up as their favourite video game characters and take part in cosplay.

What is cosplay?

Cosplay, or costume play, for those who haven’t heard of the term, is the dressing up and taking on of the persona of a fictional character. However, most cosplayers do not pretend to be the actual character, but just enjoy wearing these outfits to conventions such as the Eurogamer Expo and meet other like-minded people.

As well as showing their support and interest in a particular video game creation, wearing these costumes allows fans to take pride in the costume they have bought or made.

At this year’s Expo there was a cosplay area where those dressed up could get together and interact with the other characters on display. There was the usual assortment of well-known and more obscure characters – with some even pushing the boundaries to be classed as “video game characters” – but it was all good fun. Here are the top five icons we spotted at Eurogamer Expo 2013, with pictures courtesy of one gamer’s Flickr account:


There have been a number of Predator video game titles that have made its way into the public realm since 1987 (the year of the original film’s release). In recent years, the Alien vs. Predator games have helped to rekindle interest in this franchise, as well as boosting the Alien series.

At the Eurogamer Expo it was quite surreal to witness a group of Predators standing around conversing with one another. Whatever the merits of the computer game titles that have been produced so far there is really no denying that the Predator makes for one cool alien character.

The Joker

In a recent post, we discussed how many actors see it as a challenge to take on the villain role rather than play the good guy. There is no better example of how a villainous comic book creation can enthral viewers when brought to life on the big screen than The Joker character from Batman. This was all down to the performance of the late Heath Ledger in the 2008 Christopher Nolan picture, ‘The Dark Knight’.

The Asylum Joker costume is a great option for those who love playing the critically acclaimed Batman: Arkham Asylum video game from 2009. Batman’s arch-enemy is voiced by Mark Hamill of Star Wars fame and this character is another take on the super-villain who is not to be messed with.


Sticking with DC Comics and the Batman theme for the moment; following on from The Dark Knight was not an easy prospect. Fortunately, Tom Hardy’s Bane proved to be another worthy adversary for the Caped Crusader.

While Gameloft’s open-world iOS release of The Dark Knight Rises didn’t pull any punches with games reviewers, the character himself was a militant revolutionary that tested Batman physically as well as mentally – proving a hit with most cinemagoers. At the Eurogamer Expo, one fan showed off an impressive-looking Bane costume he had made himself. For an officially licensed Bane fancy dress outfit, check out the one we have for sale on our site.


Over the years, a number of Ghostbusters video games have been released, with the original Activision title for Commodore and Atari computers (1984) being followed by The Real Ghostbusters arcade game (1987), and many other titles since. One of the more recent efforts, Ghostbusters: The Video Game (2009) was actually voiced by Dan Akroyd and Harold Ramis, who both also contributed to the script.

Looking more like Peter Venkman, this Ghostbuster was dressed and ready to take on some spooks at this year’s gaming event in London. Again, for an officially licensed Ghostbusters costume, don’t forget to take a look at what’s now available at Party Britain.

Assassin’s Creed

The fourth release in the Assassin’s Creed series entitled ‘Blag Flag’ will be available from November 01 in Europe and so a number of eager gamers were excited at the prospect of playing a demo of the game at the recent Eurogamer event. One attendee went as Ratonhnhaké:ton, the main character from Assassin’s Creed III, who also goes by his adopted name of Connor.

Don’t agree with our selection?

These particular video game characters were just those that stood out to us at the event, so if your favourite does not feature on the list, let us know. There were some fine examples of homemade costumes present, but if you don’t have the time to create your own, we have a wide variety to pick from on our website.


So who wants to play the villain?

The proposed sequel to the relatively successful Man of Steel movie is all set to feature Batman as well as Superman. Since this fact was made public there have been all kinds of rumours as to who would be suitable for the role of Superman’s nemesis Lex Luthor.

While the July 2015 release doesn’t yet have a title, it has been suggested that Superman vs Batman is a strong contender. Henry Cavill is expected to reprise his role as the Man of Steel and Ben Affleck is ready to fill the shoes of the Caped Crusader, so thoughts now turn to the super villain.

One of the leading actors championed for the role, Breaking Bad’s Bran Cranston, has revealed he would certainly be interested in taking on this iconic role.

After topping a recent readers’ poll carried out by Digital Spy, the 57-year-old put his name forward to be considered against others rumoured to be in contention for the honour – such as British actor Mark Strong.

Cranson said: “Give me a call. I like Lex Luthor. I think he’s misunderstood. He’s a loveable, sweet man.”

So, just what is it that gets actors enthusing about the possibility of playing a villain?

Maybe it’s the complexity of the character or the chance to play against type. The late Heath Ledger in his posthumous Academy Award winning role as the Joker in 2008’s The Dark Knight seemed to relish playing the part of the bad guy and received justifiable acclaim for his performance.

In fact, the public response to the Joker character has been such that the costume is now one of the most sought after outfits for fancy dress parties. If you have been invited to a superhero party and don’t fancy going as the hero, you might want to think about donning the purple suit and distinguishable mask yourself.

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What to expect at Oktoberfest

With the 180th Munich Oktoberfest event well and truly underway, we thought we’d take a look at what Oktoberfest actually is, the kind of people who go to it and what people generally wear to the festival. This post will also be providing some top fancy dress ideas for those celebrating this annual occasion, either over in Germany or somewhere closer to home.

How Oktoberfest began

Okay, so most of you will be aware by now that Oktoberfest is an annual beer festival held in Germany, even if you’ve never knowingly partaken in the jovialities of the occasion yourself. However, it is not common knowledge why this even exists and how us non-Bavarians even get to hear about it over here in the UK.

Oktoberfest originated back in 1810, although its format was completely different – seeing as it was actually a horse race organised to celebrate the wedding of King Ludwig to Theresie. Due to the popularity of the race, it was decided that this would become an annual event. Over time, the focus shifted away from the sport towards the drinking of beer and enjoying fun rides.

Why the event starts in September

As Oktoberfest became more than just a one-day horse racing event, the duration of the festival gradually increased until it reached its present day length of 16 days. The weather also played a part in the early commencement of the occasion as it can get very cold and even snowy by mid-October. The fourth week of September was finally agreed upon, as the early start would help to alleviate these concerns.

Where the festivities take place

An open space in Munich’s city centre known as Theresienwiese is the official home of Oktoberfest, now considered the largest fair in the world.

Who goes to Oktoberfest?

While the festival is an important part of Bavarian culture, over six million people from across the globe attend each year. Many bars and pubs in this country also get involved from afar by offering a selection of fine Bavarian beers and putting on Oktoberfest themed events of their own.

All about the beer

The people of Munich have always had a taste for beer. It has been said that in times gone by the drinking water quality was so poor, the city’s inhabitants felt a lot safer drinking this alcoholic beverage (where germs are killed during the process of brewing) rather than take risks in catching the plague or infectious diseases like cholera.

Munich beer served during Oktoberfest is usually a strong lager (around 6% to 6.5% alcohol by volume). You would normally order these drinks in one litre measures.

Food is also served

Bavarians do feel the need to consume food with their beer from time to time, so the popular local options are roast pork with dumplings or half a crispy, spicy chicken.

The atmosphere

From the moment the Mayor of Munich taps the first beer barrel in the Schottenhamel tent, the celebrations are underway. There are 14 tents of varying size set up for visitors to enjoy, with some featuring activities as diverse as crossbow firing and bizarre cabaret shows.

In a place where drinking is encouraged, you can expect the Oktoberfest venues to get a little rowdy. Standing on the benches is not encouraged, but many revellers get carried away by the buzz of the party, especially during the evening.

The dress code

Technically speaking, there really isn’t one. You can wear whatever you like. However, many still choose to opt for the authentic Bavarian look. Along with proper, sturdy shoes, you can consider the selection of traditional Bavarian costumes and accessories we have listed below.

Join in and wear Bavarian fancy dress

As we’ve already pointed out, fancy dress is not compulsory, but to get into the true spirit of things and really party like the locals, you may feel compelled to put on the appropriate Bavarian attire. To this end, you should check out these suggested outfits for men and women:

Lederhosen for the guys

This Bavarian lederhosen costume for adults, which includes a white top, brown shorts and hat, would be perfect for your trip to Germany or indeed any Oktoberfest themed event.

Oktoberfest costume for the ladies

This German-style outfit for women, which consists of a white, green and yellow, knee-length dress with decorative tie and apron complete with a floral trim finish, would suit any lady looking for traditional Oktoberfest garb. Don’t forget to add the Bavarian hat and feather.


Greatest cartoons from yesteryear making a comeback

A leading online film rental company has recently reported a huge surge in demand for classic animated shows from the 80s and 90s. This should really come as no surprise as the kids of this era begin to take a nostalgic look at their childhood favourites – with many of them being reimagined and returning as brand new programmes to appeal to the new generation.

The recent popularity of series’ like He-Man: Masters of the Universe, X-Men and The Real Ghostbusters has been highlighted by LoveFilm, with the online media outlet reporting a rise in the number of downloads for these shows via its online streaming service.

These vintage cartoons are certainly worthy of a watch and these animated gems from past decades are far removed from the majority of programmes you will find on TV today.

If you happen to be invited to a fancy dress party in the near future with either an 80s, TV characters or superheroes theme, you may wish to consider going as icons from the following three shows:

He-Man and the Masters of the Universe (1983-1988)

Once Prince Adam turned into He-Man you could expect all manner of action and adventure. Featuring plenty of colourful characters, the original He-Man series is certainly worth checking out again.

The Real Ghostbusters (1986-1991)

This was a quality animated spinoff from the well-known film franchise. Dressing up as one of the Ghostbusters – or even the Stay Puft Marshmellow Man – is so much fun!

X-Men (1992-1997)

X-Men managed to provide thrills and twists for Marvel fans with this show proving a hit in the 90s. The most popular characters from this comic book publisher are now available as fancy dress costumes, with Spider-Man, Iron Man and Captain America amongst the superhero offering from Marvel.


How to create the best 70s, 80s and 90s outfits for Freshers’ Week

Most people are in agreement that freshers’ week (the week before the term starts) is supposed to be fun, so for those about to embark on this exciting new adventure at university, it is certainly worth embracing this fine opportunity to let their hair down before all the hard work gets underway.

If you want your freshers’ week experience to stay with you for life, why not up the ante by just throwing yourself in and getting to know all these strangers going about the place? One of the best means of breaking the ice is by choosing the right costume for those big nights out. Dressing up really is a great way to enjoy this youthful rite of passage.

Freshers’ fair is a chance to sign up for all those clubs and societies that interest you (and get a trolley-full of freebies in the process), but the real buzz can be found at those evening events put on during the first week or so to introduce students to the other side of life at university. So, you can expect to finish the week dazed and completely exhausted.

To this end, we have put together a guide to the essential decade-themed fancy dress outfits for students looking to immerse themselves in the whole freshers’ week thing and attend as many bars and night clubs as possible within such a short space of time.

Price is an area that can’t be overlooked when it comes to conserving those much needed pennies during the first term, but there are plenty of affordable outfits available if you search hard enough online. By checking out this article, you won’t really have to.

Disco hair or Star Wars?

Okay, so this decade now seems so far away, especially for those born in the 90s. However, what mustn’t be overlooked is the influence it still has on the popular culture of today and why people still hark back to the era of such diverse musical styles – from jazz rock, prog rock and early metal to funk and disco. When it comes to the latter, the disco diva outfit for the girls is an excellent choice for a week of full-on partying. The cost-effective ABBA costume is great for all those dancing queens out there. The Dr Styles pimp costume would be the perfect foil for the guys, while male rockers may prefer Gene Simmons and the face-painted KISS look.

The hippie fashions and values of the late 60s were in full swing for the first half of this era, so you can still get away with going as Austin Powers, a man from another time who always had an eye for the ladies.

In an era of blockbusters and ever more advanced special effects, true film buffs still go back to golden eras of cinema such as the Seventies. Who would have thought that they would still be making Star Wars movies today? If you can’t afford the deluxe version, you can still hit the bar dressed as Darth Vader where instant recognition is guaranteed. Princess Leia and Yoda are other excellent options for Star Wars fans. With Halloween approaching, a scary-looking Michael Myers outfit from the hit horror flick could be another possibility.

Back to the Eighties

While it is hard to think back to the days of outrageous hairstyles, shoulder pads and yuppies without shuddering, there is still much to be celebrated about the 1980s.

Even if you cannot immediately recall anything of note, once you get thinking about the era that brought us Back To The Future, Top Gun, Scarface, Robocop, Mr T, Hulk Hogan and He-Man, you’ll start to see it in a completely different light.

So there is nothing stopping you from dressing up as one of these iconic characters from the Eighties decade or deciding to don a mullet wig to look like Pat Sharp or Jason Donovan from the popular TV shows of the time. A Mohawk hairstyle is a cheaper way of achieving the 80’s distinctive style.

For the females, neon gear is great for clubbing, so check out the mesh tops but don’t forget those legwarmers for the full effect.

If you are on a strict budget, an 80’s pop star costume could be just the ticket to a night out with your new buddies.

With all the costumes mentioned so far, you can always mix and match pieces, as well as getting accessories and props to make things even more fun and adventurous.

Born in the 1990s?

If you were, the chances are that you missed a lot of what defined the decade. Fear not, there are going to be many things that you can associate with and which are still going strong today. Remember, this was the era that first introduced the Internet and cable TV.

Horror fans will certainly remember Wes Craven’s slasher franchise Scream (which began in 1996), with the now iconic ghost face costume providing a great value option for students wanting to make a point when they hit the town during freshers’ week.

Toy Story and Buzz Lightyear may very well be firmly engrained into your childhood memories, so why not decide to put on the costume of your younger days when you aim to make an impression on your fellow freshers?

Earlier on in the decade there were many shows that really epitomised the period, so even if you don’t remember them when they were at their peak, you could still consider going as a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle, a lifeguard from Baywatch, Bart Simpson or Mr Blobby (from Noel’s House Party, in case you didn’t know!)

The rave scene really took off in the 1990s, so the raver costume would make for an excellent, not to mention affordable, option for the club. In keeping with the music theme, you couldn’t talk about icons from the era without mentioning the impact of the Spice Girls. “Girl Power” really did define the decade, so girls can now choose to go as their favourite band member – Scary, Sporty, Baby, Posh or Ginger – without breaking the bank for the privilege.

Go out and enjoy yourself

Whether you’ve been invited to a decade-themed party or just wish to take some inspiration from these costume ideas, fancy dress is always a great excellent way to overcome any apprehension you may have about meeting new people.

When everyone else is in the same boat and gets to put on some crazy outfits as well as dressing up as recognisable characters, this is the perfect occasion for fun and good times before you get to grips with your course and the serious aspect of going to university. It is also an opportunity to get to know the city or town where you’ll be spending the next few years, so be sure to make the most of this occasion.


Summer Fun for Little Ones at Party Britain

Are your little darlings glad not be at school at the moment? We thought so. But are you?

One way to keep them amused over the summer hols is to provide them with some fancy dress outfit fun. Here at Party Britain, we’ve got loads of options for kids. All they need is their imagination and suddenly they’re in a movie or picture book of their own making.

We’ve got TV and film characters supreme including lots of superheroes – hey Superman, that’s your name we’re calling. There’s also animals, pirates, fairies, wicked witches whatever your little darling desires to be.

If history is their thing there’s plenty of period fancy dress costume options – great if they have a school history project coming up next term. The professions are covered too -doctors, nurses and police officers – just make sure it’s not you who ends up being the victim and the one being administered to!

What’s great about dressing up in fancy dress gear is that it encourages active play. If you little one is dressed up as Spiderman or Batman, then they’re going to be running around saving the world. And if they’re a mini cop they’ll be chasing after the bad guys. And what does active play equal? That’s right – happy and tired kids. Here at Party Britain that’s what we call a win-win situation!

Check out our web pages for ideas or come and see us in Bridgend, Wales to see the outfits at face value.


Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow

Here at Party Britain fancy dress outfitters this month we have in store what can only be termed as some horrendously hair-raising sights – quite literally.

That’s because our new selection of hair pieces, rugs, wigs – whatever you want to call them – range from funky green afro to polished pink punk, 70’s long black wig (with curl up ends) and everything in between.

Stripy Mohican? You got it! Sassy schoolgirl with long blond plaits? Yep! Sexy siren? Absolutely! And our own personal favourite – the curly Wild Child (Madonna-style).

So what’s brought all these hairy offerings into our store you ask? Well, we just thought that there’s nothing so transforming as a new hair cut. This way you get a new hair cut without having to have your locks shorn and can go into the office next day following a riotous night out (where no-one recognised you at all) and you’re all respectable once again.
Having said that, we look as if we’re wearing the caveman wig most mornings.
Of course, it’s not just wigs and hair pieces that we sell at Party Britain. For most of our wigs – if not all – you’ll usually find a rather fetching fancy dress costume to match. Take a look for yourself through our site at Party Britain


Shine some light – on this fancy dress costume

“You light up my life,” the romantic said to the delighted lovelorn. Well here at Party Britain we can go one better than that – we can light up your clothing! Yep, you can literally sparkle to your heart’s content thanks to new technology on our fancy dress outfits and which is perfectly safe to wear too.

Talk about eye – and now light – catching! Our favourite just has to be the Light Up Snow Beauty fancy dress costume with its layered underskirt and controlled lights. And just look at that gorgeous bodice and short puffed sleeves! Cute.

Next up is the Light Up Red Riding Hood fancy dress outfit, again with its layered underskirt of lights and red ribbons, sweetheart bodice and red cape. And, while we’re on the subject of Little Red Riding Hood we just had to show you the matching wolf’s head in basket accessory. No respectable Red Riding fancy dress costume would be complete one!

Both outfits incidentally look fab with white stockings and black bow and which we just happen to have in stock.

In fact at Party Britain we stock a whole range of adult costume fairy tale characters. It’s always worth taking a look through our web pages – or come into our store at Bridgend in South Wales – to see if we have what you fancy. Chances are, if we don’t have it right there and then we’ll probably be able to order it for you so it’s always worth asking.


Jay Gatsby has a lot to answer for here at Party Britain

Everyone’s going mad these days for the sartorial elegance of the Great Gatsby movie, just released in May.

And here at Party Britain we’re no exception. In fact, just the other day, I caught Ben nipping out the side door in this 1930s Golfer fancy dress costume – all checks, baggy pleats and an intent look on his face.

He’d even managed to find himself a wooden golf stick. That’s the thing with Ben. If he’s going to do a look, it has to be 100 per cent perfect – which is why the Jay Gatsby look suits him to a tee of course.

But it wasn’t only men who were praised for their elegant clothing during this fashion-conscious period. Ladies too had a ball during the 1920s and 30s with stunning dresses such as this Gatsby Girl fancy dress outfit we currently have in stock.

Dresses for the Gatsby movie itself were designed and produced by Prada while the men’s wear – all 500 suits – were supplied by Brooks Brothers (who also incidentally now have a Gatsby-style button down male shirt on sale). Ben’s going to be coming in to work wearing one any minute, I just know it.

You can find a whole range of Gatsby-style dresses and 1930s suits at our Party Britain online store. Why not take a look today?


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