Ever heard the phrase ‘You’re too old for fancy dress’? You’ll find out that at university there’s always some party with a theme going on, and everyone always struggles to have the best fancy dress ideas. Decade, anything but clothes, dress as the first letter of your name, on and on it goes. But don’t worry, we’re here to help with some of the best fancy dress ideas around. So whether it’s Halloween or any other time, and whether you’re blending in or standing out, here are 50 of the best fancy dress ideas of to try now!

50 best fancy dress ideas for students

1. Winx Club

Winx Club Halloween Costume | Trendy halloween costumes, Halloween outfits, Halloween costume outfits

A trendy twist on the age old fairy costumes, the Winx is both a recent and nostalgic love for lots of university students. It’s one of the best fancy dress ideas as it works as a solo or group look but either way it’s eye catching.

2. Macaroni Cheese

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It’s easily mistook as an Otis Milburn original, but the Sex Education character neither created nor trademarked the look. If you’re a cheesy person then you’ll definitely enjoy it.

3. Morticia Addams

best fancy dress ideas Morticia Addams
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The new Addams Family film being released might have stirred up some memories, but Morticia has always been a look.

4. The Lost Boys

David and Star from "The Lost Boys". | Lost boys costume, Lost boys, Boy costumes

This 1987 cult classic might be older than most reading this, but the costuming was immaculate and still one of the best fancy dress ideas. We could only be so lucky as to be at the same party as David or Star!

5. Witch

Pin by Gina Clark on Darkness | Trendy halloween costumes, Trendy halloween, Haloween costumes

The revamp of Sabrina the Teenage Witch has given new life to the old and worn witchy-looks. Now you can look magical on a budget, with mainly clothes already in your wardrobe.

6. Plague Doctor

My cheap ghostinspired plague doctor costume for Halloween! 🐀☣️🆘: Ghostbc

A gender-neutral costume you say? And one that’s terrifyingly on theme? Wow, plague doctor for the win as one of the best fancy dress ideas.

7. Aliens

100 Funny Group Halloween Costume Ideas That Are Easy to DIYIf you’re someone who prefers the traditional route of what fancy dress aliens look like, then prepare to have your mind changed. Because sure, a group of aliens is cool. But a group of the alien toys from Toy Story? Can’t be beaten.

8. Kim Possible and Ron Stoppable

The Perfect Couples Halloween Costume Ideas For 2018

This adorable dual fancy dress idea is an easy look full of fond memories.

9. Bonnie and Clyde

47 Best Couples Halloween Costumes for 2021

Another couple’s costume for the hall of fame, this time with a bloody twist befitting of the Halloween theme. This is easily one of the best fancy dress ideas because it’s easy to do but so effective.

10. Scarlet Witch

Pin by L on Elizabeth Olsen / Scarlet Witch in 2021 | Scarlet witch halloween, Scarlet witch costume, Scarlet witch cosplay

There are a lot of looks to emulate from Scarlet Witch, but the most on trend outfit is without a doubt her Wandavision Halloween ensemble. Cute, easy, and it won’t break the bank.

11. Bob Ross

My friends Bob Ross inspired Halloween costume.: pics

A man famous for his happy outlook, you can’t go wrong dressing up as Bob Ross. All you need is a button up shirt, a pair of jeans, and a wig; it’s a top fancy dress idea wearable by anyone. Plus, if Bob’s not your style you can always be his piece of art instead.

11. Bridgerton Lady

Elizabeth Bennet from Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice | Diy halloween costumes for women, Diy costumes women, Literary costumes

Bridgerton took Netflix by storm this year and with all their beautiful costuming it’s no surprise if women everywhere show up to the parties in full Regency-era dresses. Daphne would be proud.

12. Jason Voorheese

Been working on a new and improved Jason costume for Halloween this year. Almost done.: fridaythe13th

Jason has been a costume choice since the first Friday the 13th film released and has somehow managed to never get old. The mask, the jacket, the knife! It’s truly a       spook-tacular outfit and one of the best fancy dress ideas that would be welcome at any Halloween party.

13. Squidgame

Shop Netflix's 'Squid Game' inspired Halloween costumes on Amazon

Netflix had a big success with the Korean show ‘Squid Game’. So successful in fact, that there are already costumes available for purchase at lots of online and in-person stores. Of course, if green’s your colour it’s an easier DIY.

14. Rocky Horror

Rocky Horror Picture Show Costume

If you want to know the best fancy dress ideas then this one is undeniably on the list. Iconic, fun, and only the cool people will get it. Can’t go wrong.

15. Olivia Rodrigo

How To Buy Olivia Rodrigo's Cheerleader Costume In 'Good 4 U' For Halloween

Her music has been incredibly popular this year, and the videos that go with them are just as – if not more – loved. The favourite by far, is her cheerleader gone bad look.

16. Cruella de Vil

Pin on My StyleA stylish villain from our childhood, Cruella has become popularised once again with Disney’s live action film of her origin story. You can easily spot Cruella too with the wig and coat, so no one will be left wondering who you’re supposed to be.

16. Average Joe’s

Average Joe's Costume | Group Costume | Funny group halloween costumes, Group halloween costumes, Halloween costumes friends

The Average Joe’s group costume is perfect for the people who un-ironically love Dodgeball. So, in reality, it’s a perfect costume and the best fancy dress ideas for anyone who’s seen the film.

17. Daphne and Velma

50 costume ideas for groups in 2021 | halloween costumes friends, halloween outfits, cute halloween costumes

Couples or friends, orange and purple never looked so good together! If you’ve got enough people you can even include the whole of Mystery Inc.

18. Mamma Mia

150+ DIY Halloween Costumes for Teenage Girls - Hike n Dip | Trio halloween costumes, Halloween costumes friends, Easy college halloween costumes

Abba has returned in our hour of need and what better way to honour them than to impersonate Donna and the Dynamo’s from the musical Mamma Mia, composed wholly with an Abba soundtrack. It’s genius!

19. Mermaids

33 Insanely Trendy & Hot Halloween Costumes for 2021 - By Sophia LeeThere’s no way some shimmery shadow and beach waves can go wrong. It’s one of those fancy dress ideas where you actually look beautiful too.

20. Angels

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Angel’s are a really versatile look where you basically only need white for people to get what you are. Dress it up, dress it down, no halo, yes halo. Basically all you need are some fluffy wings and your set.

21. The Weeknd

The Weeknd in “Blinding Lights” Costume | Carbon Costume | DIY Dress-Up Guides for Cosplay & Halloween

The Weeknd blinded us all with his suave look in his Blinding Lights music video, and it’s an easy DIY if you don’t fancy spending lots of money on one night a year.

22. Cheetah Girls

Easy Group Halloween Costume Ideas - FOXYBAE.COM

Colourful and comfortable, this tracksuit fancy dress idea works whether you’re off to a party or trick or treating.

23. Pirate

20 Easy Halloween Costumes To Try This Year - Society19 | Pirate halloween costumes, Trendy halloween costumes, Halloween outfits

Johnny Depp step aside because the real pirates are coming through. It’s one of the best fancy dress ideas because it’s so easy to find these costumes ready-made, or make it yourself. Just make sure your sword isn’t something you’ve just grabbed from the kitchen on the way out.

24. Flapper Girls

Flapper girl costume ideas - DIY halloween ideas for girl groups | Great costume ideas, Flapper girl costumes, Girl costumes

It wouldn’t be a best fancy dress ideas list if flapper girls weren’t included. An old 20s look for a 2020s decade.

25. TLC

TLC’s music video for ‘No Scrubs’ was so well done that I’m actually disappointed the future (AKA our present) doesn’t look like that. Clearly nobody was thinking of aesthetics when they were advancing technology.

26. Princess Diana

Day 202: Humanitarian Day – Theme Me: Costume, Fancy Dress & Theme Inspiration best fancy dress ideas

Shows such as The Crown have brought back the people’s princess into the limelight and we’ve never been more grateful. Her revenge dress was a pop culture moment in history so get shopping. Princess Diana is also listed in our top British icons fancy dress, where you can find more ideas to celebrate British culture.

27. Promising Young Woman

Cassie Thomas from Promising Young Woman Costume | Carbon Costume | DIY Dress-Up Guides for Cosplay & Halloween

Promising Young Woman was a disturbing film for the reason of how realistic it was. There’s no better way to show your support of this realism that to emulate the protagonist.

28. Harry Styles

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Harry Styles eschews gendered clothing, so it’s safe to assume that there is no limit to who can dress up as him for fancy dress. Plus he has so many looks it’s hard to be short of inspiration.

29. Toros and Clovers

Bring it @katbailess!! #isaidburrrr ❄️❄️❄️ #clovers ☘️🍀☘️#toros | Cute halloween costumes, Halloween costumes friends, Halloween costumes women best fancy dress ideas

Bring It On was a popular cheerleading franchise but a big theme was cultural appropriation. So let’s keep that in mind and stick to our own costumes, hey?

30. Avatar: The Last Airbender

Avatar the Last Airbender #Katara #Sokka #Aang #Toph #Zuko costumes #groupcostumes Katara costume S… | Avatar halloween costume, Avatar costumes, Avatar halloween

The perfect idea for a big group of friends! Check out more group fancy dress ideas here too.

31. Uma Thurman

Liz Hurley, 54, wows Instagram with Kill Bill Halloween outfit and her hair transformation is incredible | HELLO!

Kill it in this Kill Bill idea inspired by Uma Thurman’s character.

32. Gogo Yubari

GoGo Yubari (Kill Bill) by xrysx | ACParadise.com

Gogo Yubari is another Kill Bill character: a school girl assassin. Can it get any more interesting than that?

33. Loki Variant

DIY Loki costume ideas for Halloween (Sylvie, TVA Loki, President Loki, and Classic Loki variant cosplay) - Fab Everyday

Marvel’s Loki has been a hit since it’s release; the best fancy dress ideas are inspired from shows with variety. So you can be Loki-Loki, Female-Loki, maybe even Alligator Loki. Or, if a big costume isn’t your style throw on a TVA jacket and call it a night.

34. Beetlejuice

Womens Scary Halloween Costumes >> 38 Inspiring Halloween Costumes Ideas For Women -… | Beetlejuice halloween costume, Beetlejuice costume, Scary halloween costumes

Pinstripes and a deathly pale complexion are so in right now! No doubt it’s one of the best fancy dress ideas.

35. Lydia Deetz

My Lydia Deetz costume for Halloween: halloween

A traditional and trendy fancy dress look for any themed party.

36. Top Gun

Pin on Couples Halloween Costumes

Tom Cruise has never been so achievable – all you need is a green jumpsuit and failing that, a black leather jacket and some sunglasses. We have lift off! We’ll probably expect more Tom Cruises on the loose now there’s a Top Gun 3 in the making.

37. Edna Mode

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A fashionable fancy dress idea for people who want to stand out and be different this year.

38. The Sanderson Sisters

Sanderson Sisters Halloween Costume | Sister halloween costumes, Easy halloween costumes, Halloween costume outfits

You can bet some virgin lit the black flame candle this Halloween because it looks like the Sanderson Sisters are back, ready to suck the lives out of the children of Salem once again!!

39. Fembot

20 Celebrity Beauty Looks Set To Inspire This Halloween - Viva

This 60s icon is ideal for the more risque readers. All fur-trim aside, you’ll be sure to attract a few Austin Powers if you wear this costume!

40. 70s

40 Iconic Costumes to Inspire Your Halloween Plans | Movie halloween costumes, 70s halloween costume, Cute halloween costumes

A pair of flares and a shearling jacket will have you overflowing with a Saturday Night Fever in no time.

41. Skeleton

Skeleton Couple Costumes | Couples costumes, Halloween costumes, Couple halloween

Easy peas-y fancy dress idea right here, all you need is a bit of face paint and you’re sorted for the night.

42. Bunch of Nans’

The 100 year old ladies say, "Happy 100th Day!" | Old lady halloween costume, Old lady costume, Last minute halloween costumes

Forget partying like you’ll never grow old, it’s all about partying like you are old.

43. Elle Woods

Legally Blonde Halloween Costume | Blonde halloween costume, Blonde halloween costumes, Halloween costume outfits

Perfectly pink in every possible way – all you need is a chihuahua to accessorise.


44. Bratz Doll

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“Two words: Duhh!” – Bratz: The Movie. If you don’t fancy Bratz but like the idea of dolls, check out our list of Barbie fancy dress ideas.

45. Eugene Lee Yang

Influencers Who Attended The 2021 Met Gala

Buzzfeed and Try Guy star, Eugene Lee Yang looked so classy and vibrant that it would be blasphemy to not include his outfit on a list of the best fancy dress ideas.

46. Kim Kardashian

Kim Kardashian's Met Gala 2021 Look Was Designed By Kanye West | British Vogue

Kim Kardashian stepped into meme-central when she wore this look to the Met Gala. But as lots of people of Twitter saw, it’s Dementor-esque vibe would work really well for a Halloween bash! There’s plenty of other Kim-K looks you could probably borrow too.

47. Harley Quinn

Harley Quinn Costume for women - Birds of Prey. Express delivery | Funidelia

Birds of Prey was a popular film with the ladies, and Harley Quinn has never been a character that didn’t look good, no matter her state of mind. You could make your own or buy an exact copy here.

48. Fruit

15 Diy fruit costume ideas | diy halloween costumes, halloween costumes, cute halloween costumes

Not all the best fancy dress ideas have to have months of planning and a wad of cash thrown at them. Some of us look just as good in a big shirt and converse, and have twice as much fun doing it.

49. Peaky Blinders

Peaky blinders for Halloween. From Left to right: John, Tommy, Ada, and Alfie: PeakyBlinders

One more 1920’s theme for all the fancy dress parties taking place in the 2020’s.

50. Ghost

DIY Ghost Costume - How To Make A Stunning Ghost Halloween Costume - 5 Minutes for Mom

Finishing off with this fun twist on a ghost costume, everything you need to DIY it can be found here.

The best fancy dress ideas are without a doubt listed here. I mean, they’d better be, because I’ve compiled a whopping 50 of them! There’s bound to be something that jumps out at you, no matter the taste.

Even if you’re strapped for cash and want to just go with what you’ve already got in the wardrobe you could find some inspiration on how to make it new again. If you’re that type of person, then you’d probably also enjoy some advice on shopping ethically.

We’ve also got decade-specific lists if you’re going for an 80s fancy dress party, or a 90s fancy dress party.

Last Updated on January 13, 2024