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Fancy Dress costume - help needed!

only got a few days

     
9:10 am on Dec 12, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Next Thursday I have to attend a fancy dress xmas lunch, the theme of which is 'stars of the silver screen'. I'm not really sure what this means, and the only person I could think of was Marilyn Monroe.

I have bought a pink dress and blonde wig but the trouble is I don't look like Marilyn Monroe (perhaps not as attainable as I first thought!) No, what I look like is a drag queen, and an ugly one at that. My husband said I looked like Les Dawson.

Now I know these things are supposed to be fun, but I don't really want to appear in public, in front of important work people, looking like a man in a dress.

Does anyone have ANY ideas on what I can wear which looks fun, in keeping with the theme, and doesn't make me look hideous? I'm a jeans and trainers kind of a gal and don't possess a dress or girlie stuff, probably because I feel uncomfortable in that kind of thing - hence the problems with this theme!

Any suggestions gladly received! Thanks :)

9:35 am on Dec 12, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Does it have to be a current or recent "star of the silver screen" or can it be someone like a star from old black and white classics?

Added:
OK, I've checked and it's available at Amazon. I love golden oldie classic films, and one of the most beautiful, memorable love stories I've ever seen is "Golden Earrings" from 1947 with Ray Milland and Marlene Dietrich.

Being dressed as a Gypsy (like the film's romantic interest) for the "dress-up occasion" would be beautiful and unique. Maybe that classic film is for rent - one way or another, it's worth watching, both historically and for the emotional and sentimental impact.

[edited by: Marcia at 9:44 am (utc) on Dec. 12, 2008]

9:43 am on Dec 12, 2008 (gmt 0)

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If you are naturally dark haired, what about Audrey Hepburn, a little black dress, hair up with sunglasses on the top of your head, long gloves (from any fancy dress shop) and a cig in a holder, and voila you're Holly Golightly!

ETA If you Google image search "stars of the silver screen" you can just look at the pictures, choose one you think you can do, then check who that person is, and what films they were in. If no one knows who you are (or even who the start is) you will seem really eclectic and knowledgeable, and no one else will be dressed like you :)

[edited by: Yoshimi at 9:52 am (utc) on Dec. 12, 2008]

9:54 am on Dec 12, 2008 (gmt 0)

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So this is not a costume party? You have to have a neat dress?

If Monroe doesn't fit you, I suggest going back to 1940's and early fifties films. My opinion is that the actors and actresses of that era were the real stars of the silver screen.

Check "Casablanca" (Ingrid Bergman), "Maltese Falcon" (Mary Astor), "The Big Sleep" (Lauren Bacall) and "The African Queen" (Katherine Hepburn).

PS. I picked those movies because I've seen them. Those actresses (and many others) probably have loads of movies in which they wear very "dressy" clothes.

9:58 am on Dec 12, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Thanks for the quick replies guys :)

Does it have to be a current or recent "star of the silver screen" or can it be someone like a star from old black and white classics?

Not sure, although I think most people are interpreting it as the old fashioned stars.

Being dressed as a Gypsy is actually not too much of a departure from my regular wardrobe! - I have lots of scarves and hoop earings, so I could definitely pursue this sort of look. I'm wondering if there are other 20's or 30's stars with that kind of style?

I did think about Audrey Hepburn but I don't think I could pull that off. I have gingery brown curly hair without a fringe, so it would have to be another ghastly wig. Also, I don't have a little black dress, and to find one quickly that actually fits and doesn't break the bank might be tricky.

10:00 am on Dec 12, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Wear some astro turf or that fake grass you used to see at the greengrocers, declare you are Greta Garbo and tell everyone that you "Want to be a Lawn".
10:03 am on Dec 12, 2008 (gmt 0)

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In that case, what about Ginger Rogers, she has hair like you describe (which is how my hair is too, never leaves enough options) and that means you have a huge array of dresses to choose from as well as skirt suits with a hat :)
10:14 am on Dec 12, 2008 (gmt 0)

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tell everyone that you "Want to be a Lawn".

LOL

My husband said I looked like Les Dawson.

Didn't old Les appear in a movie? Why not just go as him.

No, No No, I'm only joking! :):):)

OT but by Les

I can always tell when the mother in law is coming to stay, the mice throw themselves on the traps.
Our house were that mucky you 'ad to wipe your feet before ya went out.
My mother in law fell down a wishing well, I was amazed, I never knew they worked.
My mother in law has come round to our house at Christmas seven years running. This year we're having a change. We're going to let her in.

12:32 pm on Dec 12, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Dress like Diane Keaton in Annie Hall. Mans jacket or a loose vest, jeans - a losely tied tie - carry an unlit cigar If you can find a fun man's hat, all the better
2:15 pm on Dec 12, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Yes, dressing like a man seems far more natural to me (should I be worried?!) At the moment I'm thinking of Margaret Lockwood in The Wicked Lady, as it's an old film which I really like. I'm sure it is better to be unique and interesting rather than going with the obvious, especially if it looks dreadful!

Now, back to the shop to exchange my awful wig for a frilly shirt, big hat and fake gun...

2:26 pm on Dec 12, 2008 (gmt 0)

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p.s. thanks for all your suggestions guys.

So this is not a costume party? You have to have a neat dress?

Well it is a costume party, but it is in a quite posh hotel with important people there, one wants to make at least a reasonable impression!

@BeeDeeDubbleU - I have nothing against the late great Les Dawson (thanks for the amusing quotes) I just don't want to look like him!

2:47 pm on Dec 12, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Ellie Mae from Beverly Hillbillies - jeans and pigtails. And it doesn't get any more posh than Beverly Hills.
4:05 pm on Dec 12, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Janet Reno maybe?

<ducks>

9:19 am on Dec 15, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Janet Reno maybe?

I didn't know who that was, but after a Google image search I can say that (happily) I don't look like that!

9:22 am on Dec 15, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Yes, dressing like a man seems far more natural to me (should I be worried?!)

Why not go as a man dressed as a woman?

Dustin Hoffman as Mrs Doubtfire?

[edited by: BeeDeeDubbleU at 9:23 am (utc) on Dec. 15, 2008]

11:00 am on Dec 15, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Janet Reno

Dustin Hoffman as Mrs Doubtfire

I might be a bit of a tomboy but I was hoping to look just a little bit attractive! I don't look like an old washerwoman you know!

11:20 am on Dec 15, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Neither did Mrs Doubtfire. Actually I thought Dustin made a very attractive middle-aged lady. :)
1:28 pm on Dec 15, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Rent a man's tuxedo and go as Julie Andrews from Victor/Victoria. A little mousse in the hair, voila!
1:47 pm on Dec 15, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Dustin Hoffman as Mrs Doubtfire

Robin Williams starred in that film. Dustin Hoffman's cross-dressing performance was in Tootsie.

2:21 pm on Dec 15, 2008 (gmt 0)

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I might be a bit of a tomboy but I was hoping to look just a little bit attractive! I don't look like an old washerwoman you know!

Check out Anne Parillaud in 1990 "Nikita". Of course, it might not be a good idea to walk into a fancy hotel toting a hand cannon with you.
2:28 pm on Dec 15, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Robin Williams starred in that film. Dustin Hoffman's cross-dressing performance was in Tootsie.

Woops!

OK any of them will do. ;)

4:44 pm on Dec 15, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Helen, I have attended many of these type of events.

Do NOT get too distracted by the "theme" at these events. More experienced people ignore them.

What the planners are probably thinking is Oscar night and the red carpet. Who is the star? YOU are the star! What would YOU look like at the Oscars?

First and foremost, it's a party. It sounds very formal, but go for a simple, tailored looked, but feminine. "Pretty."

You want to be comfortable so you'll have a good time. If you have a good time, you'll be charming. If you are charming, other people will have a good time. And the party will be a success.

Rent or buy a gown with classic lines and a solid color. Or, get a long black skirt with a nice silk blouse. Your most important accessory is the guy on your arm. Put your husband in a tux with a REAL bowtie (black, please), not a clip-on and shiny shoes. Get yourself a tiny cluch and wear comfortable shoes under a long dress. Get your hair done for the evening by someone who knows how to handle a special event with style.

Then flirt with every man at the party, especially your husband.

Have fun.

5:13 pm on Dec 15, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Weeks, remind me never to invite you to my fancy dress party. ;)
10:55 am on Dec 16, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Do NOT get too distracted by the "theme" at these events. More experienced people ignore them.

You may well have a point - I can't imagine that some of the more senior colleagues will bother much with the fancy dress!