Tired of the all-black outfit you wear every time you go out? Are your fave booties torn up from night after night of college parties? Breathe some life into your party looks (and the party itself) by mixing up the theme! Everyone will have a great time dressing up, and of course, it will provide tons of opportunities for Instagrams. Next time you plan on throwing a party, check out these 20 college party themes that will give you and your friends the opportunity to mix up you Saturday routine and give your black ripped jeans a break for the weekend.
Tight and Bright Party
Go simple with a tight and bright theme. The dress code is pretty straightforward: if it’s tight and bright, it works! Bring out those 80s workout leggings and bodysuits for this one.
What you need for a “Tight and Bright” party:
- Cotton Spandex Jersey Leggings, $28, americanapparel.com
- Neon Green Leotard, $15, spirithalloween.com
Save the Date Party
Celebrate your favorite day with a Save the Date Party. Go with October 3rd and dress up like the Plastics, or celebrate the end of prohibition on Dec 5, 1933 and dress up in your favorite flapper gear. There are like 365 possibilities so you’re bound to pick an epic one!
What you need for a flapper costume:
- Fringe & Sequin Mini Dress, $24, forever21.com
- 6′ Black Feather Boa, $5, amazon.com
- Vintage Feather Headpiece, $9, amazon.com
- What you need for the Plastics costume:
- I’m a Mouse Duh Oversized Shirt, $23, etsy.com
- Mouse Ears, $6, amazon.com
No matter what time of year it is, celebrate all the holidays with a party! Everyone comes dressed up like their favorite holiday. You can choose a big one, like 4th of July or go really niche like national emoji day.
What you need for a holiday-themed party:
- Fun Statue of Liberty Crown, $6, amazon.com
- Cupid’s Bow and Arrow Set, $13, amazon.com
Literally everyone has a favorite Disney character (and honestly if they don’t, they shouldn’t be invited to your party). Have everyone dress up like their favorite mouse, fish, princess, or toy and get the party started, Disney style! The costume choices are literally endless.
What you need for an Ariel costume:
- Bralette, $16, asos.com
- Atoinette Green Vegan Leather Mini Skirt, $35, lulus.com
- What you need for a Cruella de Vil costume:
- Cocktail Queen Black Sleeveless Bodycon Dress, $49, lulus.com
- Glam Oversized White Faux Fur, $71, asos.com
- Arya Red Suede High Heel Sandals, $34, lulus.com
- Opera Length Satin Gloves, $7, amazon.com
When I Grow Up Party
When you were young, what did you want to be when you grew up? This party is your chance to realize your dream! A ballerina? A cheerleader? A princess? Anything goes!
What you need for a “When I Grow Up” party:
- Women’s Cheerleader Costume, $17, amazon.com
- Disney Beauty and the Beast Costume, $29, amazon.com
You’ll have to get a little creative with this one. Dress up as your favorite meme and spend the night hysterically laughing as you check out everyone else’s costumes.
What you need for The Rock costume:
- Cotton Spandex Turtleneck, $28, americanapparel.com
- Crossbody 2.0 Sling Bag, $20, urbanoutfitters.com
- Ellyson Dark Wash Wide-Leg Cropped Raw Hem Jeans, $42, lulus.com
- Silver Chain, $30, amazon.com
- What you need for the Kermit costume:
- Out From Under Leanne Square Neck Cropped Top, $24, urbanoutfitters.com
- Glass Tea Cup, $9, amazon.com
Anything But Clothes Party
The guidelines are pretty obvious with this one. Wear whatever you want…except actual clothes. That means it’s time to get creative and start looking through your trash. It’s like Project Runway: College Edition.
Dynamic Duos Party
Grab a friend or your S.O. and dress up as your favorite dynamic duo. Netflix and chill, Betty and Veronica, a cop and a donut. There are so many options!
What you need for a Betty and Veronica costume:
- Pointelle Me More Mauve Pink Knit Sweater, $26, lulus.com
- 711 Skinny Jeans, $45, levi.com
- Authentic Vans, $50, vans.com
- Burke Black and White Striped Tie-Neck Top, $38, lulus.com
- Real Deal Skirt in Black, $47, showpo.com
- Pearl Necklace, $19, amazon.com
- What you need for a Dora and Boots costume:
- Urban Renewal Recycled Levi’s Overdyed Denim Short, $59, urbanoutfitters.com
- Stiles Crew Neck Cropped Tee, $24, urbanoutfitters.com
- Plain Ribbed Ankle Socks, $5, asos.com
- Dora Explorer Backpack with Map, $14, amazon.com
- Monkey Ears, $8, amazon.com
Host a Grammys afterparty and have everyone dress up like their favorite artist. It will be so fun to see who everyone comes as, and even though there will prob be like 20 Beyoncés, she has so many iconic looks to choose from, I’m sure no two people will choose the same one!
What you need for a Beyoncé costume:
- Out From Under Casey Drawstring Hem Cropped Hoodie Sweatshirt, $32, urbanoutfitters.com
- Wreck-Reational Activity Ligh Blue Destroyed Denim Shorts, $44, lulus.com
- Glitter Crystal Knee-High Boots, $35, amazon.com
- What you need for a Taylor Swift costume:
- Body Raw-Cut Fishnet Top, $13, forever21.com
- Faux Leather Shorts, $20, forever21.com
- High Waist Fishnet Stockings, $7, amazon.com
- Ambrose Boots, $70, showpo.com
Represent your favorite decade at this party! Either dress up as your favorite band from the era (like the Spice girls a la the 90s), or just go with a cultural look that represents the time. Have some fun going back in time!
What you need for a hippie costume:
- Gwen Purple Multi Striped Wide-Leg Pants, $34, lulus.com
- Lennon Gold Round Small Sunglasses, $15, lulus.com
- What you need for a pink lady costume:
- Women’s Basic A-Line Skirt, $15, amazon.com
- Sandpiper Black Ribbed Off-the-Shoulder Bodysuit, $29, lulus.com
- Slim Silky Scarf, $9, urbanoutfitters.com
- Cat-Eye Glasses, $13, zennioptical.com
- What you need for the Spice Girls costume:
- 1990’s Ginger Power Costume, $20, amazon.com
- Nadirah Metallic Blush Pink Swing Dress, $40, lulus.com
- Kick Flare Pants in Animal Prints, $24, asos.com
No, that’s not a typo. Throw a “T” party, where everyone has to dress up as something that starts with the letter “T”! Toddlers and Tiaras, Timmy Turner, a literal tea bag. The options are endless!
What you need for the Timmy Turner and Trixie Tang costume:
- Men’s Short Sleeve T-Shirt, $15, amazon.com
- Classic Baseball Hat, $9, amazon.com
- Pop and Lock White Denim Mini Skirt, $49, lulus.com
- Thick Rib Long Sleeve Crop Turtleneck, $38, americanapparel.com
- Lavender 2 Inch Wide Leather Headband, $8, amazon.com
- What you need for the Toddlers in Tiaras costume:
- Women’s Classic Layered Tulle Tutu, $10, amazon.com
- Rhinestone Tiara, $7, amazon.com
- Pacifier, $3, amazon.com
- What you need for the tea bag costume:
- Fabric Tulle, $12, amazon.com
- Fake Leaves, $14, amazon.com
Stock up on M&Ms; and Starbursts because it’s a Candyland party! Guests can dress up as their favorite sweet treats and indulge in their sweet tooth throughout the night.
What you need for a Hershey Kiss costume:
- Silver Satin Lace Up Back Bodycon Dress, $35, prettylittlething.us
- Silver Cone Hats, $9, amazon.com
John Hughes Party
John Hughes was behind some of the most iconic movies of the 80s, meaning there are a ton of characters to dress up as for a party. Everyone has a fave character whether it’s Kevin McCallister in Home Alone or Claire Standish in The Breakfast Club and they all have an extremely recognizable look to copy.
What you need to dress up like the members of The Breakfast Club:
- New Orleans Camel Vegan Leather Wrap Midi Skirt, $54, lulus.com
- Fools Hold Belt, $24, showpo.com
- Elasticated Waist Crop Top, $21, asos.com
- Eyelet Bandana, $15, urbanoutfitters.com
- Plaid Button-Up Shirt, $17, abercrombie.com
- Ex-Boyfriend Trucker Jacket, $49, levi.com
- Oceans Apart Sunglasses $24, showpo.com
- What you need to dress like Sloane from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off:
- Stradivarius Faux Suede Biker With Fringing, $91, asos.com
- Making Moves Crop Top, $24, showpo.com
- Only Tie Waist Utility Short, $35, asos.com
Ugly Sweater Party
It’s time to break out your ugliest sweater! It’s the perfect theme during the holidays when it’s chilly and you’re in the Christmas spirit, but it can also be done all year round with nondenominational, ugly sweaters (we all have one).
What you need for an ugly sweater party:
- Blizzard Bay Festive Llama Ugly Christmas Sweater, $30, amazon.com
- Tipsy Elves Women’s Sweater, $30, amazon.com
- Festified Ugly Hanukkah Sweater, $55, amazon.com
Take a hint from your fave celebs and throw on those pjs! From a cute coordinated set to a hilarious onesie, your friends will have a lot of fun dressing up for this one, and the best part? When you get home, you can hop right in bed!
What you need for a pajama party:
- Palm Print Pajama Pants Set, $45, asos.com
- Unicorn Onesie, $25, amazon.com
You Are What You Eat Party
It’s time to pay homage to your favorite snacks! Have you been subsisting on ramen since you moved into your dorm? Go as that! Do you find yourself at a pizza place after every night out? Express your love for food with this fun themed party.
What you need for a “You Are What You Eat” party:
- Bob’s Burgers Gene Costume, $27, amazon.com
- Pizza Slice Costume, $30, amazon.com
Grab some old white t-shirts and a black light because it’s time for a graffiti party! Have your guests come in all white and hand them either neon pant or highlighters at the door. Everyone will have a blast drawing on each other while they dance the night away. Bonus: cover the walls in paper so people can draw on those two!
What you need for a graffiti party:
- Pleasant Surprise White Tee, $29, lulus.com
- Out From Under All Day Bike Short, $15, urbanoutfitters.com
Anything But Humans Party
This one works kind of like the anything but clothes party, except this time, you just can’t dress up like a human! That means think of your favorite animal and go wild. The dance floor will look like a zoo.
What you need for a “Anything But Humans” Party:
- Alba Flocked Leopard Print Romper, $15, urbanoutfitters.com
- Cat Ears Headband, $8, amazon.com
- Fawn Ear Antler Headband, $11, amazon.com
Get ready to party like it’s the end of the world! Guests can either choose to dress like zombies, or people just trying to stay alive anyway they can. That means lost of fake blood, ripped clothing, and great photo ops.
What you need for an apocalypse party:
- Realistic Fake Blood, $11, amazon.com
- Distressed Band Tee, $18, forever21.com
High School Stereotypes Party
Relive high school at this party where everyone dresses up as a classic high school stereotype. Jocks, nerds, goths, there are so many options!
What you need for a nerd costume:
- Plaid Tennis Skirt, $48, americanapparel.com
- Charlie Oversized Button-Down Shirt, $30, urbanoutfitters.com
- Dickies Men’s Solid Straight Clip Suspender, $10, amazon.com