Before our singalong Chitty Chitty Bang Bang party, we sat down and watched the movie, with pencil and paper in hand, jotting down ideas. One of the things we were especially looking out for was costume ideas. And so I give you this, a long list of costume ideas for those who take dressing-up seriously:
1) Truly Scrumptious. This is a fairly obvious one for any girl, and we had two Trulys at our event. This character has a number of ridiculous cupcake-style dresses and hats which are easy to mimic, and it is easy to find ridiculous clothing in any op shop (also known as thrift stores in the US of A, I believe?). She also has a number of distinctive hair styles like the one above which will always stand out.
2) Race car driver (opening credits scene). All you need is an appropriate pair of goggles - which, I grant you, are not always easy to find - and some kind of suit.
3) Wear an old-fashioned swimming suit, like Dick van Dyke's costume in the beach scene.
4) Grandpa. Find a dilapidated old suit, a pipe, and either borrow a real medal or make a fake one.
4) The executioner, who appears for about three seconds in the scene where Grandpa arrives at the Baron's castle. I suggested this to a friend, and she seemed quite offended, but I thought it an excellent idea! All it requires is black clothing, some sort of eye covering, and a fake axe made from cardboard (or even a real one).
5) The dolls, which are the disguise of Truly Scrumptious and Caractacus Potts. If you want to be the raggedy doll played by van Dyke, all you need is a clown-type costume.
If you want to be Truly Scrumptious, do what my flatmate did. Hair into plaits with yellow bows. A white blouse of some kind. Get an old green top and cut it up, and lace it with yellow ribbon or fabric. Find a little half apron and a red skirt. Paint your face with lots of make-up and red cheek spots. She looked gorgeous!
6) In theory, I thought this could be a costume. It's one of the Baron Bomburst's spies, as he arrives in England. I'm not exactly sure how it would be made, and it would be very difficult to sit down or watch the movie in. But if it appeals to you... go for gold!
7) Dick van Dyke's costume from the Old Bamboo scene. You would need a waistcoat, a straw punter's hat, and funny shaky things to strap around your calves. And of course a bamboo.
8) The Baron or Baroness Bomburst.
9) The child catcher. This terrifying man may upset small children. But a friend of mine came as the child catcher, which was pretty hilarious. He wore all black, with a black hat, and carried lollipops in his pocket. Pretty easy, but could you pull off the creepy manner?
10) Cyril and/or his wife. The very funny couple at the fairground - the husband's hair is ruined by Caractacus Potts' machine.
11) The Potts family: Caractacus, Jeremy or Jemima. Shabby chic.
12) Big brown bear. I really wanted someone to come as the big brown bear who comes lolloping over the mountain, in the story read by Grandpa to the children.
13) Caractacus Potts as we first see him, wearing his rocket backpack. Ambitious, but this would launch you to the forefront of party attendees. (Heh heh.)
14) A pirate. Pirates get mentioned very briefly, when Jeremy requests a story about them. My flatmate came as a pirate, because we recently threw her a pirate-themed birthday party and provided her with a hat, an eye-patch and a sword. This looked awesome with a striped shirt and lots of jewellery. She ended up coming as a girl pirate, because her boyfriend was a bit creeped-out when she painted stubble on her face.
15) A sweet factory worker. Another flatmate came dressed as one of these. She got a little half-apron, and put a paper doily in her hair as a little cap, over a grey top and black skirt - it looked very cute!
16) One of the old prisoners from the scene in which Grandpa is thrown into the dungeons. All this requires is a long grey beard and black clothing.
Finally, my costume:
17) I was: the roses of success growing from the ashes of disaster. (It's from one of the songs.) A trip to the op shop --> a loud top covered in roses. I wore earrings that were flowers, and I made myself a garland of fake roses. I wore dark jeans/shoes for the ashes part of the costume.
How to make a garland of (fake) roses:
- about a metre of florist wire, in several pieces (very, very cheap from a florist's)
- green tissue paper and sellotape
- fake roses - not too big, with long stems that are easy to bend
- some pink ribbon (not necessary)
I begun by twisting the florist wire together to make it a little stronger, and the correct length for my head. At one end, I made a little loop so that eventually I would be able to hook the other end in.
Then I covered it with green crepe paper, rolling pieces around the wire and holding them on with sellotape. (If you don't have many roses you may want to find a more attractive way of holding the paper on.) Don't cover the little loop you have made, but cover the other end of the wire with paper.
Then I began winding the stems of the roses onto the garland. I had about 24 roses all together (which cost about $18), but I started by placing them intermittently and then filling up the gaps evenly, so that they were evenly spread along the garland. I left about 12 cm space at each end of the wire so I could hook it up easily. This meant that the roses only went around to just behind my ears.
I wrapped a little pink ribbon around the garland, but this was pretty unnecessary and didn't really show up.