What is this post? It is a list of the dresses I found on the UK Oxfam website that I think will work well for Cosplay and LARP.
Here is a link to the UK Oxfam Website itself. Here is a link to the last of these posts I did. That one focuses on jackets and coats.
When I said that I was going to do a post about the dresses on the Oxfam website that I thought could be used for LARP and Cosplay I may have been overly ambitious.
There are it turns out almost 7000 dresses on the website. And even by holding these dresses to the very highest of standards of “you could wear that to LARP/Cosplay in” there were still so, so many to choose from. So this post is just the ones on the cheaper end of the scale, chosen from the first fifteen pages once the selection was sorted from lowest price up to highest.
There were a lot more smock and tunic style dresses, the kind that makes a good under layer, but I’ve cut those from the ones I have here for now as there were just too many. A couple sneaked in any way, but they were really nice and it stopped there from being thirteen items on this list.
Hell Bunny Retro 1950s Dress in White and Red
This is a really cute 1950s style dress that would be perfect for dressing up as a character from that period, or even going to a party themed around it. It’s machine washable, which is a massive plus given that as a dance dress you’ll be moving around in it a lot. This is a cheap, easy solution to when you need an outfit for that Grease themed Fancy Dress Party, or for when you are playing a zombie hunter in 50s America.
Mela Loves London Lace Dress in Black
Excellent dress for anyone wanting to dress up as a witch or another character for whom a short black dress with lots of lace is appropriate. It’s honestly just a really nice dress, so you don’t even really need a theme for this one. But it looks nice and light, which would make it good for summer events, and the cut looks pretty timeless, at least in a “from the last forty years or so” kind of way. So good for lots of things.
Voulez Vous Black and White Striped Maxi Dress
Another great dress for Summer and for Goth outings. There are plenty of characters in fiction that wear black and white stripes, you wouldn’t even need to say that you were wearing a modernised or relaxed version, I’m pretty sure I’ve seen this or something like this on characters. It would also be a good piece for layering or using as a base since it is pretty simple.
ASOS Burnt Orange One Sleeve Dress
I honestly love this dress. It is so effortlessly witchy and atmospheric. The bodice style and the way the skirt falls are very medieval-looking, but the cutouts around the waist pull away from that style to give it more of a fantasy look. The rusty orange is also a great colour and could be used to connect to fire, or Autumn, or any number of themes.
This dress looks very 1920s to me, not that it is a perfect copy, but definitely inspired. If you are looking for a dress for an Agatha Christie or something similar this might be a good one to start off with.
This is a nice peasant-style dress in purple that can probably be used for tonnes of different events. It looks quite witchy so it might be a fun one to wear to something with magic as a plot point since it looks like it would be comfy to wear and would still let you run around in a field casting magic at people without getting in the way.
Charlotte Russe Top and Skirt in Green
I feel like this outfit gets used a lot for some characters. If you have a druid or someone else who has been driven out into the wilds of nature, then if they show up in a video game or comic book then there is a good chance they will wear something like this. Very good for Cosplay, might be a bit cold for LARP.
Joanie Red Floral Vintage Style Dress
This is another great dress for anyone going to a 50s themed event. It’s got a tighter skirt than some other ones I have seen, though, so it might be less comfortable for dancing or otherwise moving around. Something to consider if you are going to a dance or LARPing.
Forever 21 Long Sleeve Paisley Dress in Red
This dress would work perfectly as a tunic for a Slavic or Russian character, though the decoration of the fabric might not be entirely accurate. But it certainly looks the part and would work for a whole host of characters. If you are particularly worried about the design not being perfectly accurate it would still work really well as an under layer, perhaps under a coat or waistcoat.
Zoya Black Flapper Style Dress
This dress is another one for the 1920s party. Again, it’s not a perfect copy of the era’s clothing, but it is pretty clearly inspired by the time and looks like it would be easy to move around in as you danced. It has some beading around the neck which does not show up very well on some of the photos, but it does look pretty on the photos focusing on it.
Cotton Club Party Dress in Black
This dress looks like something a superhero would show up to a club in. It also kind of looks like something that a superhero would just wear as part of their costume. It has Ancient Greek influences in the draped fabric and I really like the gold beading on the belt and shoulder strap. The contrasting shade over the chest makes it seem like a cape worn over a single shoulder. Good for LARPing as a Superhero, though maybe for the fancier events where you are less likely to get hit with slime or ray guns.
PONY Dress With Cutout Back Details in Pink, Beige and Black
This is another dress that manages to look like something a comic book character would wear. The contrasting colours of the fabric are really eye catching and the back is really distinct and makes it look really interesting. This is maybe another item for the fancy do where any fighting will be done with words rather than your fists, but I really like it and think it would be good for Cosplay or LARP.
This dress looks like you are partially kitted out for war, the sequins around the neck could be a great way to incorporate a Mage Armour look. The dark fabric does suggest a darker character back story, but maybe it’s simply a practical choice. Blood and demonic ichor won’t stain as badly on a darker colour, after all.
Monsoon Embroidered Tunic in Navy
I really love this tunic and I bet it could be used for a whole bunch of different LARP systems and for Cosplaying loads of different characters. The simple colour scheme means matching things too it would be pretty simple and with no sleeves, you can either use it to add an extra layer or just wear it as is which will be cooler on hot days.
Another dress that could be used for witchy characters, however, it’s draped and swishy looking so it might not be great for any characters who need to get in a fight. But if you are going to be moving around it will probably swirl around you very nicely. It really does look like something from a faux-medieval movie, or maybe I am thinking of the wrong era? It could also be really good for Ancient Greek costume or something that clings to neither but borrows from both styles.
Well, that’s the first fifteen pages done. I hope you liked this post, leave a comment if you did. Also, if you end up buying any of these items, please let me know!
And, if anyone knows about examples of the LARPs I mentioned in this post leave a comment linking to it because even if I can’t actually LARP at the moment I am still a nerdy writer who loves world-building and I will absolutely read everything about it and make up a character. Even if I can’t go. To be honest, especially if I can’t go, then I can make up loads of characters instead of just one or two.
Stay safe out there,