Hi, I am Adele, and I have run a large fancy dress shop in Essex, England, since 1998. I'm happy to pass on my knowledge to help others.
Letter Related Fancy Dress Parties
Giving your guests a letter as a costume theme is quite common and can make for some very interesting ideas for costumes. You have a few options...
- Allow guests to dress up in a costume related to their initials (or just first name if you want to narrow their choices)
- Ask guests to dress up in costumes related to your initials
- Choose 1 or 2 letters that they have to find a related costume for.
To be honest, when you first send out your invitations, many of your guests will be very confused as to what you are asking. I would suggest that in the invitation you do give them a good explanation. If your guests are confused, they may not even attempt to dress up, or worse, not attend your party.
I would also include some costume suggestions for various letters, just to get their brain cells working a bit. If you really want to help, why not print out this page, and my other hubs so you have a complete A-Z list of possible costumes?
Props n Frocks Fancy Dress has been established since 1998, and, as well as providing a huge range of hire costumes from our Essex base, we also stock a huge range of fancy dress costumes and accessories to purchase, either from our shop, or online. We also provide a large range of costume ideas and theme suggestions FREE of charge.
So, this hub will concentrate on costumes beginning with the letter O. Look further down for links to my other alphabet hubs. These days there is an increased enthusiasm for people to want to 'do something different' or create their own unique look using their own resources plus specialist items 'bought in' from other sources, I have included some ideas which are certainly not ones you can usually find 'off the peg'.and if you have any other great ideas for costumes for a letter, pop them in the comments box at the end of the relevant section and I will add them in.
If you have found this hub helpful, we would really appreciate it, if you would vote it up or leave us a comment
O Ren Ishii (aka Cottonmouth) A member of the Deadly Vipers Assassination Squad and a Tokyo gang leader in the Tarantino film ‘Kill Bill’. She is half Chinese, half American-Japanese. Costume involves a full kimono with obi - essentially geisha-style without the heavy make-up. She is armed with a ninja-style sword.
Obama, Barack 44th President of the United States of America. Several versions of overhead and cardboard masks of the President are available on the market.
Oberon King of the fairies from William Shakespeare’s ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’. The opportunity for creativity is boundless.. As a fantasy figure, Oberon is traditionally portrayed either as a Woodland Earth Spirit, using shades of green and brown for clothing, skin and hair, or a traditional fairy, using greens, blues, lilacs or silvery glitter fabrics, wings, etc.. A spectacular effect can be created using silver & gold glitter fabrics and U-V reactive and metallic make-up products, for a more supernatural/science fiction approach.
Obi-Wan Kenobi Leading Jedi Knight character in the original Star Wars film (later renamed Episode Four: A New Hope). Played by Sir Alec Guinness, Obi Wan acts as a mentor to Luke Skywalker prior to his meeting with his nemesis, Darth Vader. Obi-Wan wears the standard Jedi outfit of brown robes over a white tunic and trouser outfit and, of course, carries a light sabre. New Star Wars episodes are planned now that Disney Studios have taken over the franchise, so Obi-Wan may reappear in one form or another in these films.
Octopus Octopii are traditionally grey/blue/black in colour, although a toy version, Stretch, seen in Toy Story 3, is purple! Although outfits can be found, depending upon how they are designed, the tentacles can prove a practical problem for parties!
Octopussy Operative From the James Bond film ‘Octopussy’. Octopussy is a female circus owner, but the circus acts as a cover for other more devious activities. The ‘operatives’’ ‘day-jobs’ are as acrobats within the circus. Costume comprises red cat-suit with small octopus symbol on the left breast, Eastern yashmak-style headdress. Weaponry may wary.
Oddjob Bond villain from James Bond film Goldfinger. He is oriental, mute and stocky. Costume comprises a black two piece suit and bowler hat.
Oenghus Irish God of Love, also known as Mabon and Maponus. Against the dark costume trend found with many Celtic gods, this god is associated with aspects of light blue, gold and white. The white recognises his love of the swan-maiden Caer, whom he pursued disguised as a swan one Samhain/Celtic New Year.
Ogre Traditionally a large, cruel and ugly humanoid monster of folklore and legend. Several ogre-style overhead masks can be found for Halloween etc. In the pantomime Puss-in-Boots, an Ogre is the main villain of the piece. However the best known ogre of recent years is Shrek, hero of four films (and several seasonal 'shorts'). Aside working for a Movies or Animation Theme event, Shrek is also a genuine book character when it comes to World Book Day.
Officer and a Gentleman This US Naval Officer look is a popular one for 1980s parties, and one that many men are prepared to wear. It is based on the 1982 film of the same name, starring Richard Gere as Officer ‘Zack’ Mayo. The costume will also work for a Professions/What I Want to be When I Grow Up party. It usually consista of a white naval suit with black/gold trim and matching peaked cap.
Oil Spill Technician (BP) The costume industry jumped on a contemporary bandwagon a few years ago and, as a result of the BP oil rig fire and the subsequent disastrous oil leak into the Gulf of Mexico, produced an outfit based on BP oil-stained overalls.
Oktoberfest Celebrant Oktoberfest is a German Festival (with versions also found in European countries such as Belgium) which, despite the name, actually starts in late September. Much drink (usually beer) is consumed ) and in Germany, Munich is the main centre of celebrations. Traditional German wear such as Lederhosen, shirts and caps for men and dirndl skirts worn with lace petticoats and an apron for women may be worn, although fancy-dress costumes and unusual headgear are also seen.
Old Mother Hubbard English Nursery Rhyme character who allegedly suffered a dog-food shortage crisis. Given that Granny-style costumes are available, along with a dog outfit, this might make the basis of a couples costume.
Old Time Music Hall OTMH was a form of entertainment popular in the British late-Victorian and Edwardian periods involving variety acts performing in specialist theatre-like venues, often adjacent to pubs and drinking houses. An opportunity to get out your late Victorian, or Edwardian style-costumes.
Olive Oyl Cartoon character who was the stick-thin girlfriend of Popeye the Sailor Man, popular on TV in the 1960s. Also noted for her pigtails, an official costume has recently become available.
Oliver Cromwell A major character in the Stuart period of British history. Following the Civil War in which the Royalist followers of King Charles I were defeated by the Parliamentarians and the king was executed, there followed a period of puritan ‘Commonwealth’. During this time Christmas was cancelled and Cromwell, as Lord Protector of England, was the nearest thing the country had to a ruler. When Cromwell died, he was succeeded by his son but the nation’s mood changed, leading to the Restoration of Charles II. A costume is in black or brown sombre colours - a roundhead helmet, if available, is a bonus.
Oliver Hardy With partner Stan Laurel, Laurel & Hardy were the classic ‘little and large’ comedy duo of early cinema. Costume(s) usually consist of suits and bowler hats, although they are seen in other guises such as removal men, legionnaires, etc.
Oliver Twist Leading character from the book of the same name by Charles Dickens. Abandoned as a baby at a Victorian workhouse in London, Oliver suffers several reversals of fortune, including falling in with Fagin and his gang of young thieves and pickpockets. Shirt, ragged trousers, cap, wooden bowl.
Onion Seller Probably the male equivalent to the French Maid as a stereotype French costume, using the classic Breton-style stripe jumper and black beret. Plastic onions are probably best substituted for the real thing!
Oompa Loompa The Oompa-Loompas are workers employed by Willie Wonka in Roald Dahl’s ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’. Although it is generally agreed that they are of small stature, their appearance has changed from being African pygmies in early versions of the book to white with golden hair in later versions. Also, on film in the 1971 movie they were orange skinned with greenish hair (as illustrated at the top of this hub), whilst in the later 2005 film (featuring Johnny Depp) they were normal looking but in red tracksuits (although through tecnically wizardry, the same actor actually played all the Oompa-Loomas1)
Opera Singer A 'Wobbly' Pavarotti costume is always a good option, and for the female, the Wagnerian Brunhilde warrior or ‘Madam Butterfly’, from Puccini's opera of the same name, may be used
Operation Licensed costume based on the popular children’s game of the same name.
Ophelia Tragic daughter of Polonius in Shakespeare’s ‘Hamlet’. She is in love with Hamlet, the Danish Prince, but he is somewhat obsessed with the recent death of his father, with ghosts suggesting the father was murdered. (Spolier Alert) Her love is unrequited, and she eventually takes her own life.
Optimus Prime A fictional character from the Transformers TV cartoon series and recent movies. He is leader of the Autobots and, in his battle against the evil Decepticons, he can transform himself into an American-style articulated lorry. A children’s costume is available in some areas.
Orange In theory a simple costume, but finding material of the right dimpled texture may be a problem. An alternative is the sumo-style Tango-man, used to promote the orange drink a few years ago.
Orang-utan The word translates as ‘Man of the Forest’ and the Orang-utan is one of the most intelligent of primates. An Orang-utan costume might be thought to have limited appeal over, say, a gorilla outfit but for the fact that an orang-utan is Librarian at the Unseen University in the Discworld novels of Terry Pratchett.
Orc Tough and warlike humanoid creatures found in fantasy literature and media. Possibly best known nowadays through their portrayal in the Lord of the Ring books of JRR Tolkien and the subsequent films of those stories. To this end, several official Orc costumes and masks exist in addition to those that might be found from cosplay and Live-Action Role-Play suppliers and costume hire outlets.
Oreo A much-loved American biscuit/cookie of which some costumes do exist!
Oriental Using ‘O’ for Oriental gives you a number of potentially interesting costume choices. (In this context we are taking ‘The Orient’ to be Southeast Asia)
§ Aladdin – Hero of the pantomime of the same name set in Peking, China
§ Chinese Acrobat – Many of the new generation circus’ such as Circe de Soliel feature the skill and artistry of Chinese acrobats
§ Chinese Coolie – A loose-fitting tunic and trousers outfit teamed with the classic Chinese-style hat.
§ Chinese Girl – The Chinese cheongsam dress is distinctive and stylish
§ Chinese Opera – An opportunity to create a major impression – there are the mask-like make-up looks of the various Opera characters to the elaborately dressed females (who are traditionally played by males!)
§ Fu-Manchu – the fiendish mandarin mastermind set on world domination in the books by Sax Rohmer and played on-screen by several actors including Christopher Lee and Peter Sellers
§ Geisha – A popular costume which enjoyed increased demand in the wake of the ‘Memoirs of a Geisha’ film. The full Geisha ‘Maiko’ look, complete with stylised white-face make-up, requires more preparation than some costume choices but the effort can be well rewarded.
§ Ninja – Fearless Japanese sword-warrior
§ O Ren Ishii (aka Cottonmouth) - From the film 'Kill Bill'. One of the Deadly Viper Squad (see entry above).
§ Sumo Wrestler – One of the national sports of Japan and the padded or inflatable sumo suits continue to provide entertainment value, even if they are not always practical party-wear
§ Thai Temple Dancer – The tall, elaborate head-dress, ornate costume and special finger ornaments do not make this the ideal party outfit, although less elaborate generic outfits do exist on the market.
Organ Donor A variation on those slightly gruesome ‘Bleeding Patient’-style or zombie costumes which have ‘exposed innards’ (often with blood effects) As a more subtle approach, just wear a badge ‘Organ Donor - See inside for details’
Orion Slave Girl Given that this is a green-skinned girl in skimpy bikini-style outfit first seen in the original Star Trek series (but recurring since), it's quite a popular choice at conventions and sci-fi parties!
Orphan Annie Originating from the Little Orphan Annie comic strip, the character now has a new lease of life thanks to the ‘Annie’ stage musical and film. Typical Annie look is a short curly ginger wig and spotted dress, sometimes with under-petticoats.
Orpheus In Greek myth, Orpheus was such an accomplished poet and musician that he charmed Pluto, God of the Dead and ruler of Hades to allow his wife, Eurydice, back from the Underworld when she was killed by a snake-bite. Unfortunately he looked back at the last minute before reaching the safety of the Upperworld and Eurydice was reclaimed by Pluto.
Osama Bin Laden Until recently, the World’s most wanted terrorist leader and a popular choice for Bad Taste themed parties. An Osama mask exists and some don’t even bother with the Eastern robes, using garbage bags for ‘Osama Bin Liner’.
Oscar Statue The Oscar statue (or ‘American Academy Award Statuette’) is an iconic symbol of the movies. Although an appropriate costume has existed for several years, the recent advent of all-in-one Morph suits in all colours, including gold, offers a potential alternative option.
Oscar the Grouch Character from Childrens TV show ‘Sesame Street’. This furry, slightly bad-tempered personality lives in a garbage bin and this is reflected in the official costume in which the bin comes as part of the outfit.
Oscar Wilde Writer and poet of the Victorian era, known for his flamboyant style of dress and his cutting wit – ‘There is only one thing worse than being talked about, and that is not being talked about’
Osmonds An all male group of brothers from the early Nineteen-Seventies. Famous for their dazzling white teeth, white matching stage-suits and immaculate hair-styles, these days the best known of the Osmonds are Donny, Marie and ‘Little’ Jimmy
Ostrich Not so much an ostrich as such (neck’s a little tricky for a costume!), but the ever popular ride-on variety popularised by Bernie Clifton in the 1980s.
Outlaw The British tend to associate the term ‘Outlaw’ with Robin Hood, the well known folk-hero. Elsewhere outlaws usually tend to be associated with the Wild West, with names such as Billy the Kid, although a Pirate or major villain/villainess can be alternative choices.
Outlet & Plug The ‘Electrical outlet/socket and plug’ couple costumes are one of a series of ‘paired’ outfits available on the market. Typically they are built from printed foam and hence are easy to wear, if a little unusual.
Owl Because of its compact body-shape, the owl lends itself to a costume better than most birds. Aside from some superb large head mascot-style costumes, a number of more conventional outfits (including one for Hedwig, Harry Potter’s owl) are available on the market.
Ozymandias One of the characters in the graphic novel and subsequent film ‘Watchmen’. Ozymandias (originally an alternate name for the Pharaoh Ramesses II of Egypt in a poem by Percy B. Shelley) is the alter-ego of Adrian Veidt, supposedly ‘the smartest man on the planet’ and one-time costumed vigilante. In the wake of the film, an outfit, based on his owl-like costume, has become available.
Ozzy Osbourne Musician who originally rose to fame as leading member of the heavy metal band Black Sabbath but nowadays shares the celebrity spotlight with his wife/manager Sharon and two of their children Kelly and Jack. The classic Ozzy look is long black hair, round-rim glasses and black wear of any kind – Black Sabbath t-shirts, cloaks etc. may enhance the look.
More Letter Hubs That May Interest You...
- Costume Ideas Starting With A
- Costume Ideas Beginning With The Letter B
- Costume Ideas Starting With The Letter C
- Costume Ideas Beginning With The Letter D
- Costume Ideas Starting With the Letter E
- Costume Ideas For The letter F
- Costume Ideas Starting With The Letter H
- Costume Ideas Starting with the Letter I
- Costume Ideas Starting With The Letter J
- Costume Ideas Beginning With The Letter K
- Costumes Ideas Beginning With The Letter L
- Costume Ideas- Beginning With The Letter M
- Costume Ideas Starting with the Letter N
- Costume Ideas starting with the Letter O
- Costume Ideas Beginning P
- Costume Ideas Starting With The Letter R
- Costume Ideas Starting With S
- Costumes Starting With The Letter T
- Costume Ideas Starting With the Letter W
- Costumes Starting With The Letters X Y & Z
Have you got any great ideas, or maybe you'd just like to leave a comment here regarding this page? Please post your comments here and thanks for taking the tim
Super Cool Pinned - Halloween Tips on November 03, 2013:
Octopus for women would be much better.
quemacoco on January 17, 2011:
very interesting. never thought about doing a party with a start letter.
NikitaButalia on January 17, 2011:
This is great! Sounds like so much fun. I love fancy dress parties, but never thought of such an idea!