Top 10 Fancy Dress Film Inspirations recently revealed the results of a pop culture survey designed to reveal the sorts of costumes the British public seek when donning fancy dress…

We’ve all either been to a fancy dress party or invited to one. For movie fans, the choice of costume is usually answered with a simple question: what character from a favourite film can I dress up as? If it fits the theme of the party then a movie character is often the go-to choice for so many. But who would you dress up as: Doc Brown, in his white, radiation-protecting suit, from Back To The Future; Indiana Jones accompanied by whip and fedora, or green-faced and big eared as Dreamworks’ Shrek? The possibilities are almost endless.

Fancy Dress Ball, one of the UK’s largest online costume suppliers, set about discovering what sorts of costumes people wanted for their fancy dress parties. They compiled a nationwide survey involving 1,000 adults and the results are interesting to say the least.

Interesting Findings:
– Mary Poppins was voted as the top musical in 15 cities across the UK
– Male respondents chose Charlie Chaplin as their favourite celebrity of the last century, as did 1 in 5 Londoners
– Less than 1% of women thought the release of the first Star Wars film in 1977 was a significant historical event
– Twice as many men as women voted for Pulp Fiction as their favourite film
– 40% of people in Yorkshire voted the moon landing as the most significant historical event: the only region to do so!
– David Beckham was the favourite celebrity of voters in the North East
– 7 of 12 regions surveyed voted for the discovery of the structure of DNA as the most significant historical event

Marilyn Monroe was acknowledged as the nation’s favourite celebrity while The Shawshank Redemption once again topped a mainstream poll for “best film”. Other big name stars to make the list include Charlie Chaplin, the Fonz, Bob Dylan, Debbie Harry and David Beckham.

In the favourite film category Frank Darabont’s “safe seat” The Shawshank Redemption topped The Wizard of Oz and The Terminator as the best three films of the last century. Mary Poppins was voted the most popular musical ahead of classics including Les Miserables, The Phantom of the Opera, and the Rocky Horror Picture Show.

As well as popular culture, the study also looked at the most significant historical events of the last century according to the Great British public. The discovery of the structure of DNA and the creation of the internet topped this list, ahead of women gaining the right to vote and the moon landings. also found that the 1980s was the decade the country yearns for the most, with more 1980s costumes than any other period being sold.

Paul Howcroft of Fancy Dress Ball said of the study: “Personally the 80s were my favourite decade, not a day goes by when I don’t wish I could still get away with sporting a mullet a shell suit and being able to see Depeche Mode live, so it’s great to see that I’m in tune with the nation.

“Decade-specific costumes are some of our best-sellers and we wanted to find out what specific events and popular culture it was that people were trying to reconnect with when they turn up to a party in get-up from yester-year.

“These findings are truly fascinating – seeing which decades various regions are stuck in reveals a lot about the UK public (and confirms some of our suspicions – looking at you, Bridlington!). We say have fun with it and embrace it – fashions may fade in and out over time but a flapper dress or a pair of flares are timeless.”

So, if The Shawshank Redemption topped the list of favourite films, what else made the top 10? Let’s find out…

10. Rebel Without a Cause 5%

Rebel Without A Cause, Teenage Rebellion, James Dean

9. 2001: A Space Odyssey 6%

2001 A Space Odyssey, Stanley Kubrick,

8. Blade Runner 7%

Blade Runner, Harrison Ford, Top 10 Films,

7. King Kong 9%

King Kong, 1993, Horror, Action, Classic Film,

6. Psycho 10%

Pscyho, Norman Bates' Mother, Shower Scene, Top 10 Films,

5. Pulp Fiction 11%

Dance, Pulp Fiction, Tarantino, Top 10 Films,

4. The Godfather 13%

The Godfather, Top 10 Films,

3. The Terminator 14%

The Terminator, Top 10 Films,

2. The Wizard of Oz 20%

The Wizard of Oz, Film,

1. The Shawshank Redemption 24%


Fancy Dress Ball was established in 2008 by a group of fancy dressers based in Halifax in the heart of West Yorkshire. Since then it has grown to become one of the largest online costume suppliers in the UK. Why? By being fans of fancy dress, they understand just how important a celebration can be especially, when it involves costumes! Every dress up occasion is personal to each and every customer therefore from the offset Fancy Dress Ball sets out to provide great fancy dress costumes at fair prices.

About the Author
Editor of Top 10 Films, Dan Stephens is usually found pondering his next list. An unhealthy love of 1980s Hollywood sees most of his top 10s involving a time-travelling DeLorean and an adventurous archaeologist going by the name Indiana.

Related Posts

  1. Avatar
    Callum Reply

    1980s best decade? Surely Indiana Jones and 80s-set American Psycho would be high on people’s fancy dress agenda.

  2. Avatar
    ArchE Reply

    Yes, well, speaking of the 1980s, a decade I’m rather fond of myself, I decided to bring out my inner Phil Collins, don a transparent plastic rain coat, and head to an 80s-themed fancy dress party as Patrick Bateman. I splashed my face with red paint before heading out – you know, for that post-murder “look”.

Leave a Reply