Student Advice

50 best fancy dress ideas for students

Alan Smithee  · Sep 19th 2023  · 3 min

With freshers just around the corner, there is plenty to look forward too with your clubs and societies coming up with ideas for your new European and international recruits that may join in semester 2 at university.


Below is a complete collection of the top cheap fancy dress ideas that will suit any student:

1. Thunderbirds Fancy Dress

Thunderbirds student fancy dress

Thunderbirds is the classic show from your parent's past, but it's still got some great group costume ideas and will make sure you stand out from the crowd, dressed as one of Tracey Island's motley crew.

2. Tetris Block Party Fancy Dress

Tetris fancy dress for students

Remember when video games were simpler? These will also give you some top couples costume ideas as well!

3. Teletubbies Fancy Dress

Teletubbies student fancy dress ideas

You might be too old to watch the show now, but there's no reason you can't use the Teletubbies as a costume idea for your next fancy dress party.

4. Pub Golf Fancy Dress

Pub Golf student fancy dress

Combining most British people's favourite things, the pub and golf. Here you can see that this works for group costume ideas.

5. Pink Ladies Fancy Dress

Pink Ladies student fancy dress

No, not the apples, these pink ladies are special for their unique pink jackets and style, more Sex and the City than Granny Smith.

6. CowboysFancy Dress

Cowboys and Indians student fancy dress

If you're celebrating your favourite Spaghetti Western or the latest Rockstar wild-west outing, Cowboys is great for all occasions even for Halloween costume ideas.

7. 118 Fancy Dress

118 student fancy dress idea

Got your number! Or rather, got your costume. 118 118 is as classic as the adverts that always followed The Jason Bourne films on ITV2, or the millionth viewing of Die Another Day.

8. Ghostbusters Fancy Dress

Ghostbusters student fancy dress

Who you gonna call? Well, if Mystery Inc are on their union mandated two week holiday break, Ghostbusters are a good choice too and who knew their costumes were such easy costume ideas?

9. Smurfs Up! Fancy Dress

Smurfs student fancy dress ideas

No need to visit the Antartic for that authentic blue look, especially when you can go for the Papa Smurf look, though make sure you don't sit down at the fancy dress party, the paint does tend to get everywhere, and we all love blue fancy dress.

10. Toga! Toga! Toga! Fancy Dress

Toga fancy dress for students

Who doesn't love a toga?.

11. Anything But Clothes Fancy Dress

Anything but clothes student fancy dress

While some people tend to get a bit innapropriate with this kind of instruction, it's perfect for last minute fancy dress ideas. It can also produce some other great costume ideas

12. Mime it Up Fancy Dress

Mime fancy dress ideas for students

Don't go the whole hog and start pretending you're caught in a glass box, don't be that guy, but a mime is a great fancy dress costume idea.

13. Pimps and Hoes Fancy Dress

Pimps and hoes student fancy dress

If you feel like channelling your inner Snoop Dogg, then pimps and hoes is a great way to show how you'd look if you were a GTA caricature. This can also work for couple costume ideas as well.

14. Pyjama Party Fancy Dress

Pyjama party student fancy dress idea

Nothing like rocking the classic pyjama look, especially when you can pull it off well, it's an easy costume idea and is also a pretty effective cheap costume idea.

15. Nurses and Doctors Fancy Dress

Doctors and nurses student fancy dress idea

Easy to make and you can double up to look like you're a scientist as well!

16. Army Men and Women Fancy Dress

Army men and women student fancy dress idea's probably more army figureines than actual army personnel, but you get what we're going for here!

17. Lumberjack Fancy Dress

Lumberjack student fancy dress

You're a lumberjack and that's okay, you probably don't work all night and sleep all day, but the sentiment is definitley there. It may not work for a Halloween costume party, but you do get some pretty sweet vintage flannel shirts for any hipsters out there!

18. Caveman Fancy Dress

Caveman student fancy dress

Captain Caveman might have been stretch for some, but these are still some pretty good couples costume ideas and they're perfect if you're looking for something for a toddler's fancy dress as well.

19. Geek Fancy Dress

Geek or nerd student fancy dress

Geek isn't the most flattering word for those who excel in specific subjects, but it sure is a great costume idea for Halloween or any other student parties you have coming up.

20. Bad Suit Fancy Dress

Bad suit student fancy dress

Bad suits are always good, when they're meant to be bad, they might not quite be Zoot Suits, but they can still be pretty bad, anyway, these mixed with fancy dress shoes mens and you'll look...well, you'll have a look, that's all that matters.

21. Superheroes and Superheroines Fancy Dress

Superheroes student fancy dress

Maybe superheroes are the way for you to go! These are great for last minute fancy dress ideas female as well as for cosplaying later!

22. OAP Fancy Dress

OAP student fancy dress

Nothing says that you're a laugh like an OAP's outfit complete with inflatable zimmerframe that always inexplicably deflates throughout the night, just maybe stay away from Nan's false teeth.

23. Neon Fancy Dress

Neon fancy dress ideas for students

Neon never goes out fashion and it's always a bright idea (pun somewhat intended) and it's perfect for fancy dress, it's less plain than a fancy black dress and it fits squarely int he category of easy costume ideas.

24. Lifeguard Fancy Dress

Lifeguard fancy dress ideas for students

Baywatch is back, well, since it's the 21st Century, it's probably Baewatch now, either way, it's a great costume for sexy Halloween costume ideas or for easy costume ideas.

25. Cops and Robbers Fancy Dress

Cops and robbers fancy dress ideas for students

The Hoosiers might mercifully no longer be as relevant as they were in 2007, but the sprit of their song lives on in this apt couple's costume idea.

26. Chimney Sweep Fancy Dress

Chimney sweep student fancy dress

So it's maybe not as dirty as the job in the 1800s was famed for, but this is a great fancy dress idea for a fancy dress party, just don't try and affect the Dick Van Dyke accent everyone tries when they have it on.

27. Maids Fancy Dress

Maid student fancy dress

Probably best you don't bring a serving tray with you in case they think you're part of the waiting service, but it's still a great cheap costume idea for students.

28. Traffic Cone Fancy Dress

Traffic cones student fancy dress idea

Looking for group costume ideas? Well, the traffic cones are classics for a reason, just try not to act out the scene in Toy Story 2 where they get stuck across the road, it's not as fun as the CGI would have you believe.

29. Where's Wally Fancy Dress

Where's Wally student fancy dress idea

Where's Wally!? Probably pretty easy to pick out in most student gatherings, but unless you live in a pick and search book, it's actually a great student costume idea, it's maybe not the most creative of costume ideas, but it does fit everything you want for a costume party.

30. Crayola Fancy Dress

Crayola student fancy dress

Crayolas have long been a staple of student fancy dress parties, classics are classics for a reason.

31. Minions Fancy Dress

Minion student fancy dress

Small, different shades of colour and kind of annoying? Nope, not a miniature Donald Trump, it's a despicable Despicable Me minion. Probably best for toddler's fancy dress costume idea than for grown adults, but hey, it's your party.

32. Avatar Fancy Dress

Avatar student fancy dress

James Cameron's epic brought to life in easy-to-afford fabric and a bit of makeup. An awesome costume and if you're looking for good couple Halloween costume ideas, then this is a pretty good place to start.

33. Twin Peaks Fancy Dress

Twin Peaks student fancy dress

Let's face it, the costume probably makes way more sense than the actual show itself does, but it's great for group costume ideas and for any sort of fancy dress cosplaying you have in mind.

34. Darth Vader Fancy Dress

Darth Vader student fancy dress

Everyone's favourite half-robot-half-man, all anger red sword wielding dad is a great Halloween costume idea, and if you've got sleep apnea, you might even get the really authentic breathing too! Probably won't have many people speak to you if you do that though.

35. Family Guy Fancy Dress

Family Guy student fancy dress ideas

Probably best to avoid the Meg costume otherwise you'll just melt into the background, but it's still a great costume idea for students all the same.

36. Duffman Fancy Dress

Duffman student fancy dress ideas

Duffman is pretty much a staple of Simpsons folkore and he's way too reliant on the pelvic thrusts, but he's a great Halloween costume idea.

37. Michael Jackson Fancy Dress

Michael Jackson student fancy dress ideas

The King of Pop may have a mixed reaction right now, but the Thriller costume is as iconic as any of his tracks, it's a slightly more expensive fancy dress idea, but it's a great student costume all the same.

38. It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia Fancy Dress

It's Always Sunny student fancy dress

Maybe don't perform The Nightman Cometh when you're wearing it, but this It's Always Sunny costume idea will always have some loyal fans and will defnitley garner a great response.

39. Top Gun Fancy Dress

Top Gun student fancy dress

Top Gun is coming back for sure, but there's no reason you can't bring it back quicker than Tom Cruise can, so head down to your local costume shop and see if they've got a Top Gun outfit available..

40. Prince Fancy Dress

Prince student fancy dress

Prince, The Artist Formerly Known As Prince, the Love Symbol, it's all the same look, so channel your inner Purple Rain with this top student costume idea.

41. Inflatable ballerina

Ballerina student fancy dress

You probably won’t be as light on your feet, but it’s still a great fancy dress idea. Probably best to avoid any precarious items when you’re wearing it though!

42. Clueless

Clueless student fancy dress

It’s a classic film and so are the looks! These are the perfect costumes to wear if its film-themed or even if you just fancy a bit of ‘90s nostalgia.

43. Woody from Toy Story

Woody from Toy Story student fancy dress

Let’s face it, you can’t go wrong with a bit of Toy Story, can you? Bonus points if you can write the word ANDY on the underside of your left foot!

44. Battery

Battery student fancy dress

What it lacks in invention it more than makes up for in reliability. The battery is easier to slip in and out of, slightly more beer-proof than other costumes and you can style what you want to wear with it.

45. Beetlejuice

Beetlejuice student fancy dress

The film is a classic and you can rock this amazing costume idea safe in the knowledge that celebrities are usually choosing this one too. Hey, if it’s good enough for Bella Hadid and The Weeknd, it’s good enough for us, right?

46. Piñata

Pinata student fancy dress

It’s fun, it covers your whole body and it’s probably going to be the most high-effort costume at the party as well. Just make sure no one starts whacking you with a stick.

47. Boy Scout

Boy Scout student fancy dress

Easily recognisable, easy to get in and out of and can also double up if it’s film-themed as looking like the little kid from Up! as well.

48. The Flintstones

The Flintstones student fancy dress

Wilma’s necklace is the real selling point, as is Fred’s tie, but these is a much easier costume to slip in and out of and is pretty much bullet-proof for any other costume parties.

49. The Mask

The Mask student fancy dress

P-A-R-T-Y? Because I gotta! Classic line from a classic film. It’s an iconic costume and it’s easy to put together, put this on and you’ll be SMOKIN’!

50. Batman

Batman student fancy dress

If he’s not fighting crime, he’s invading costume parties all over and looking great while doing it. Alternatively, you can go super low effort and just dress in a suit and call yourself, Bruce Wayne.

We hope one of our best fancy dress ideas can help you in deciding what's good for your next big night out!

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