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22 cheap fancy dress costume ideas

Fancy dress parties are great fun, but picking (and affording) a costume can be super stressful. Our list of cheap fancy dress costumes UNDER £20 should put your mind at ease!

sumo and hippie fancy dress

Credit (background): Vjom – Shutterstock

If there's one thing you can guarantee about your time at university, it's that you'll be invited to at least one fancy dress party along the way.

You may be blessed with the ability to dream up a standout costume to wear for any theme, but even then you have to navigate the price. Is it really worth spending £50 on fancy dress you'll only wear once?

So start with our list of eye-catching fancy dress costumes, which all sneak under the £20 price tag (including delivery, at time of writing)!

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Fancy dress costumes for under £20

  1. Banana fancy dress

    Price: £9.40 (free delivery with Prime)

    banana fancy dress costume

    Scientists have spent years trying to figure it out, but we still don't know why banana costumes make everything funnier. But the fact remains that they do, and at this price, you'd be a fool not to get one for yourself.

    Get a Banana costume » 

  2. Jesus fancy dress

    Price: £12.24 (free delivery with Prime)

    jesus fancy dress costume

    He died for our sins, but you can be the life of the party in this fetching number.

    Note that this costume only includes the robe and drape, so you may have to pray for a beard spurt (or put your faith in this accessory) if you're keen to rock the authentic Jesus-chic.

    Get a Jesus costume » 

  3. Cheerleader fancy dress

    Price: £11.57 – £12.85 depending on size (free delivery with Prime)

    cheerleader fancy dress costume

    This sporty fancy dress costume (suitable for men and women) is available in a range of colours, but we've gone for the red as a throwback to the days of Glee and High School Musical.

    What team?! WILDCATS.

    Get a Cheerleader costume » 

  4. Hawaiian fancy dress

    Prices (left to right): £2.15; £8.79; £8.59 – £15.98 depending on size (all free delivery, some with Prime)

    fancy dress hawaiian costume

    Their pizzas might leave a lot to be desired, but those Hawaiians sure know how to spawn a fancy dress craze.

    You can get the skirt, bra, cuffs, lei and headband in one set for £8.88. However, if you're not keen on skirts (or don't like getting cold), the Hawaiian shirt and sunglasses/lei set will go just fine with a pair of shorts.

    Get a sunglasses/lei set » 

    Get a full costume » 

    Get a Hawaiian shirt » 

  5. Soldier fancy dress

    Price: £4.99 (free delivery)

    fancy dress solider costume

    Once you've bought this, you just need to get your hands on a cheap green t-shirt (and a pair of green trousers, if you want to go the whole hog) and some face paint, and voilà – you're in the Army!

    The only downside – as Julie with the average-size-head points out – is that the sunglasses aren't of a high enough quality to double up as your new pair of shades.

    Get Army accessories » 

  6. Gangster fancy dress

    Price: £10.70 – £11.99 depending on colour (free delivery with Prime)

    gangster fancy dress costume

    You know you're onto a good thing when someone appears to write their review in the form of a poem.

    You'll have to supply your own shirt, trousers and shoes to complete this fancy dress costume, but we'd bet our bottom dollar that you've already got those lying around anyway.

    Get a Gangster costume » 

  7. Where's Wally? fancy dress

    Price: £9.30 – £14.18 depending on size (free delivery with Prime)

    where's wally costume

    God knows how Wally (or Waldo, as Americans seem to think he's called) manages to hide so well in such a conspicuous outfit, but you can't deny that it works. The perfect fancy dress idea if you're trying to avoid someone at the party.

    Get a Where's Wally? costume » 

  8. Grim Reaper fancy dress

    Price: £13.49 – £14.99 depending on size (free delivery with Prime)

    grim reaper costume

    Despite what the picture may suggest, this costume doesn't include the scythe. A little annoying, but you can pick one up for just a few quid and hopefully keep this fancy dress costume within the £20 price point.

    Just a warning, though – you may feel like death the next morning.

    Get a Grim Reaper costume » 

  9. Can of beer fancy dress

    Price: £19.99 (free delivery with Prime)

    beer can costume

    Ah, Zozters – everyone's favourite Australian lager. Who wouldn't want to go to a party dressed as a can of this sweet, sweet "Kangaroo Nectar" (their words, not ours)? Not us, that's for sure.

    The Amazon reviews say that it can get a bit toasty inside the costume, but as far as fancy dress ideas go, you'll struggle to be more on-message at a party than the person dressed as beer.

    Get a Beer Can costume » 

  10. Mario fancy dress

    Price: £12.07 (free delivery with Prime)

    super mario costume

    You can go for a Luigi, Wario, Waluigi or Toad costume instead, but we've chosen Mario to help minimise the chance of someone awkwardly asking what the hell you've come as.

    Plus, as Kaylee rightly says, the hat is so funny.

    Get a Mario costume » 

Fancy getting arty and making your own costume? Also try our list of Halloween costume ideas for a truly unique (and sometimes spooky) outfit!
  1. Captain Jack Sparrow fancy dress

    Price: £19.58 – £19.59 depending on size (free delivery with Prime)

    captain jack sparrow costume

    Don't let this be the day that you remember as the time you almost bought a Captain Jack Sparrow costume. Buy this bargain fancy dress outfit now!

    Get a Captain Jack Sparrow costume » 

  2. Pink Lady fancy dress

    Price: £11.39 – £12.95 depending on size (free delivery with Prime)

    pink lady grease costume

    You and this cheap Pink Lady jacket will go together like rama lamma lamma ka dinga da dinga dong. Not to mention all the heads you'll turn if you walk up and down Buchanan Street.

    Get a Pink Lady jacket » 

  3. Mime fancy dress

    Price: £9.85 – £14.98 depending on size (free delivery with Prime)

    mime fancy dress costume

    I guess we shouldn't be too surprised that a mimic costume is good at mimicking a mimic.

    Either way, this is the perfect excuse to keep quiet if you're a little shy, or simply don't like anyone at the party.

    Get a Mime outfit » 

  4. 118 man fancy dress

    Price: £8.50 – £11.96 depending on gender/size (+ £1.75 delivery)

    118 man fancy dress costume

    118-118. We all know who they are, but nobody knows what they do.

    Don't let that stop you buying this costume, though – we know that they're at least good for some affordable fancy dress ideas.

    Get a 118 man outfit » 

  5. Zoolander fancy dress

    Price: £14.60 – £15.10 depending on size (free delivery with Prime)

    zoolander outfit costume

    There's more to life than being really, really, ridiculously good looking. But let's face it, fancy dress parties are all about appearances, so why not go for this bargain Zoolander costume?

    Get a Zoolander outfit » 

  6. Hippy fancy dress

    Price: £11.95 – £12.75 for women, £14.04 for men depending on size (both free delivery with Prime)

    male and female hippy costumes

    Dressing like a hippy: the original cheap fancy dress costume. And as Finley notes in his review of the men's outfit, you'll struggle to find a comfier outfit to drunkenly fall asleep in.

    Get the female hippie outfit » 

    Get the male hippie outfit » 

  7. Breaking Bad hazmat suit fancy dress

    Price: £17.99 – £19.49 (free delivery)

    breaking bad hazmat suit costume

    For less than £20 you get the hooded overalls, gas mask, goggles and the gloves. We know Walter White dabbled in crime (to put it lightly), but this costume is an absolute steal!

    Get a Breaking Bad hazmat suit » 

  8. Toga fancy dress

    Price: £11.31 (free delivery with Prime)

    greek toga costume

    If your uni doesn't hold at least one toga party during your time there, is it even a real uni? In fact, even if you've not got a toga party coming up, it's almost worth getting this cheap toga costume just because you're so likely to have one in the future.

    Get a Toga costume » 

  9. Caveman/Cavewoman fancy dress

    Price: £9.79 for men, £7.96 – £10.98 for women depending on size (both free delivery with Prime)

    caveman fancy dress costume

    We'll leave you to guess whether this review was left on the male or female outfit. But we will confirm the value for money here – both of these make for great cheap fancy dress costumes.

    Get the Caveman outfit » 

    Get the Cavewoman outfit » 

  10. OAP fancy dress

    Price: £4.50 for women's wig, £4.14 for men's wig (both free delivery)

    old persons wig fancy dress

    Once you've got your hands on a wig, all you need to do is hit up your local charity shop and find some cheap-as-chips clothes there. You'll be getting a bargain fancy dress costume and doing a good deed all at once!

    Get the female wig » 

    Get the male wig » 

  11. Sumo fancy dress

    Price: £18.99 (free delivery with Prime)

    fancy dress sumo costume

    According to the product description of this sumo costume, "put one on and BAM you're a sumo". And judging by the face of the model, you'll have an absolute ball in the process.

    Get a Sumo costume » 

  12. Morphsuit fancy dress

    Price: £17.95 depending on colour and size (free delivery)

    fancy dress costume morphsuit

    The beauty of the morphsuit is its flexibility. Literally and metaphorically.

    If you're going to the party dressed as anything other than a human, a morphsuit can do the bulk of the legwork for you. Smurf? Blue morphsuit. Toy soldier? Green morphsuit. Butler? Tuxedo morphsuit.

    They really are the cheap costume for any fancy dress party.

    Get a Morphsuit » 

Once you've got fancy dress covered, use our what to take to university checklist to see what else you're missing.

All prices were accurate at the time of writing.

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