With sevens rugby set to take its bow at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, interest in the sport has reached new heights and attendances at international events is set to soar. The London Sevens at Twickenham has always been one of the more popular tournaments on the circuit but thanks to Olympian recognition, that popularity can only be enhanced.
Sevens rugby has been played on a club basis at Twickenham since 1926 and the fast paced nature of the game quickly began to draw a wider audience than the 15 a side version of the sport. International sevens rugby was soon to follow and with the competition being seen by some as a fun alternative to the original game, a party atmosphere began to develop in the crowd.
In time, this led to an explosion of fancy dress which has grown to the point where, if you come along in your normal clothes you are going to feel a little left out. The world now embraces fancy dress but the history and passion for this pastime is quintessentially British. It has become impossible to identify the exact date the very first fancy dress party took place but the practice certainly increased in Great Britain thanks to the growth of masked balls in the 18th century.
Throughout the 20th century, private parties started to become commonplace although the costumes themselves were generally simple designs and they were usually home-made. In time, however, fancy dress became big business with purpose built shops stocking costumes of every conceivable kind.
Now you could hire or purchase your costume off the shelf and attend the party as any character you could possibly think of. Another boost for the industry came during the 1990s as the custom of celebrating Halloween made its way over from America.
It is hard to believe Halloween was barely celebrated in the UK as recently as 25 years ago but the growth in its popularity saw an additional market for witches, ghosts, werewolves and a whole host of other costumes for lovers of all things fancy dress.
By now, wearing fancy dress to a sporting event had become very common. Cricket was quick to catch on and if you go to a five day test match in England, you are likely to find that Saturday is the designated `fancy dress day`.
Lovers of Sevens Rugby will argue, however, that they have been attending matches in character long before the practise became popular elsewhere. The bigger occasions are ideal for fancy dress and the London Sevens tournament offers the perfect atmosphere.
As far as themes are concerned, your choice is limitless but there are common styles that can be seen at any game. Superheroes are always popular so Batman, Superman and Spiderman costumes are always in demand. Other common examples such as Sumo wrestler `Fat Suits` and Where`s Wally outfits are less obvious but for some reason they are popular nevertheless.
But it’s not always great news for the local residents – read our post about Sevens Rugby fans