College life is a whirlwind of experiences, and one of the most exciting aspects is the chance to attend unforgettable themed parties. Among these, the “Anything But Clothes” (ABC) party theme stands out as a night filled with creativity and fun
What is ABC Party in College?
The ABC party is a unique and thrilling concept that encourages college students to abandon traditional clothing and fit into outfits crafted from unconventional materials. Participants aim to showcase their creativity and originality by fashioning attire from items such as caution tape, garbage bags, or even newspapers. The primary rule is simple: Anything but conventional clothing!
These parties are not only about pushing boundaries but also about fostering a sense of community and camaraderie among college students. The ABC party theme breaks down social barriers and encourages everyone to engage in a shared experience where the focus is on creativity rather than fashion norms.
How to Throw an ABC Party in College
Throwing an ABC party in college can be tricky – as sometimes you do need permission to hold one from the college if you use the premises for the party. But it’s an amazing theme where students can show their creativity and make more friends as well as an ice breaker for freshmen. So, let’s go over how you can throw an anything-but-clothes party in college with your friends.
- Set the Date and Venue: Choose a suitable date, typically on a weekend, and secure a spacious venue like a fraternity house or event space.
- Create Invitations: Design eye-catching digital invitations that clearly state the ABC theme, including the date, time, location, and dress code.
- Establish Costume Guidelines: Emphasize creativity while ensuring modesty and safety in outfits, covering essential body parts.
- Decorate and Create Ambiance: Transform the venue with unconventional materials like caution tape and balloons. Arrange for music, entertainment, and a dance floor.
- Ensure Security and Safety: Use a check-in process, consider hiring security, and provide first aid and hydration stations. Set expectations for guest behavior.
- Host a Costume Contest: Encourage creativity with a costume contest and prizes for the most innovative outfits.
- Plan Clean-Up: Arrange for a post-party clean-up crew to maintain the venue’s condition.
- Enjoy the Party: As the host, relax, interact with guests, and have a blast, all while promoting a sense of community and creativity among college students.
So, the rule at the ABC party is just as the name states, you and the participants have to wear anything but traditional clothes. So, your clothes have to be made by you using available materials like newspapers, and magazines. Here are some of the tips from college students that you might want to keep in mind while making the costume.
Explore unconventional materials such as plastic, cardboard, newspapers, balloons, or even food packaging to create your outfit. Ensure that the materials you choose are safe and comfortable to wear for an extended period.
While creativity is key, comfort should not be compromised. Consider the practicality of your outfit – can you move freely, sit, and dance comfortably in it? Avoid materials that may irritate your skin or cause discomfort.
While the ABC theme encourages creativity, it’s important to maintain a level of modesty. Ensure your outfit covers essential areas, and avoid anything overly revealing or explicit.
Your outfit should be able to withstand a night of dancing and socializing. Use strong adhesives or sewing techniques to ensure your costume doesn’t fall apart during the party.
ABC Party Costume Ideas
- Fruit Roll-Ups: Create a colorful outfit using fruit roll-ups as your material.
- Bed Sheets: Fashion a flowing garment using bed sheets for a classic ABC look.
- Glow in the Dark Duct Tape/Colored Duck Tape: Stand out in the dark with costumes made from glow-in-the-dark duct tape or colored duck tape.
- Colored Saran Wrap: Wrap yourself in colored saran wrap which creates an amazing outfit.
- Christmas Lights: Use Christmas lights in your costume, perfect for engineering students to make them light up.
- Window Screening: Design a costume using window screening material.
- Burlap Sacks: Create rustic and textured outfits from burlap sacks.
- Beer Boxes: Make a costume using recycling beer boxes and use beer cans as accessories.
- Toilet Paper: For a mummy-inspired look these are perfect, even for a creative Halloween costume.
- Body Paint: Go bold with just body paint as your outfit, unleashing your inner artist.
- Cardboard: Craft costumes from cardboard for a sturdy yet imaginative appearance.
- Venetian Blinds: Turn Venetian blinds into a stylish and eye-catching costume.
- Towels: Wrap yourself in fluffy towels for a comfy and amusing outfit.
- Shower Curtain: Turn your shower curtain into a waterproof and playful costume.
- Palm Fronds: Craft an island-inspired eco-friendly costume using palm fronds.
- Party Streamers: Add a burst of color by draping yourself in party streamers.
- Flags (Country, State, or even City): Design clothing with flag patterns to represent your place.
- Space/Emergency Blankets (The Shiny Ones!): Create clothing using shiny blankets for a unique look.
- Holiday Wrapping Paper: Craft costumes from holiday paper to celebrate special occasions.
- Sheet Metal: Make edgy outfits using strong sheet metal.
- Board Games: Turn board game boards or pieces into cool costumes.
- Animal Pelts (Not in Clothing Form…Like a Bear Rug….yeah.): Use animal fur patterns to create wild-inspired clothing.
- Curtains: Design elegant and flowing outfits using curtains as fabric.
- Sleeping Bags: Stay warm and cozy at the party by wearing sleeping bag costumes.
- Tarps: Go for a durable and rugged look with tarps as your material.
- Egg Crate Foam/Any Mattress Pad Foam: Craft comfortable and cushiony clothing using foam.
- CDs/DVDs: Create shiny and reflective clothing from discs.
- Vinyl Records: Pay homage to music history by wearing vinyl record-inspired clothing.
- Painted Canvas: Express your artistic side by turning painted canvases into unique outfits.
- Paper Doilies: Create delicate and intricate designs with paper doilies for clothing.
- Paper Snowflakes: Embrace winter with costumes made from paper snowflakes.
- Hammocks: Hang out in style with clothing inspired by hammocks.
- Car Sun-Shades (those things you put in the windshield): Turn car sun-shades into unique and reflective clothing.
- Lamp Shades: Light up the party with clothing inspired by lampshades.
- Life Vests: Stay afloat at the party with life vest-themed clothing.
- Couch Slip Covers: Transform couch slipcovers into oversized and comfy clothing.
- Couch Cushions: Create cozy and quirky outfits with couch cushions as your fabric.
- Table Cloths: Drape yourself in colorful tablecloths for vibrant clothing.
- Cloth Napkins: Get creative with cloth napkins for stylish and reusable clothing.
- Barrels: Go big and bold with clothing made from barrels.
- Pizza Boxes: Show your love for pizza by wearing pizza box-themed clothing.
- Yoga Mats: Craft flexible and comfortable clothing using yoga mats.
- Plastic Bags: Get eco-friendly with clothing made from plastic bags.
- Aluminum Foil: Shine bright with clothing entirely made of aluminum foil.
- Place Mats: Create intricate designs using placemats as your material for clothing.
- Rubber Gloves: Get quirky and colorful with rubber gloves as your inspiration for clothing.
- Condoms: Embrace safer partying with humorous condom-themed clothing.
- Posters: Turn posters into wearable art for a bold and eye-catching look in clothing.
- Napkins: Create elegant and flowing outfits with napkins as your fabric.
- Paper Toweling: Craft unique texture with paper towel-themed attire.
- Rugs: Make a statement with oversized clothing made from rugs.
- Chain Mail: Channel a medieval knight with chain mail-inspired clothing.
Food and Snacks
Now that we’ve covered the essentials of planning and costumes, it’s time to explore one of the most crucial aspects of any college party – the food! Well, there aren’t any specific food and snacks that you need to serve at an ABC party.
But an ABC party is all about creativity, and that should extend to your refreshments as well. So we’ve added some food and snack ideas for you that can be made by you or ordered easily even on a tight budget of a college student.
- Fruit Kebabs: Create colorful and enticing fruit kebabs using a variety of fresh fruits like strawberries, melon, and pineapple. Serve them with a yogurt dip for added flair.
- Chip Tower: Build a tower of different flavored chips and provide a selection of unique dipping sauces, turning your snack table into an edible masterpiece.
- Pizza Bagels: Mini pizza bagels with an array of toppings will be a hit. Let your guests customize their pizza bagels for a personal touch.
- Sushi Rolls: Roll up some sushi with creative ingredients like avocado, mango, and cream cheese. Offer different types of rolls to cater to various tastes.
- Pretzel Bites: Serve soft pretzel bites with an assortment of dipping sauces, from classic cheese to spicy mustard.
- Veggie Platter: Create a veggie platter with bell peppers, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, and carrot sticks, served with a tasty dip.
- Finger Sandwiches: Make bite-sized finger sandwiches with unique fillings like cucumber and cream cheese or smoked salmon and dill.
- Mini Sliders: Offer a slider bar with mini burgers, various toppings, and condiments for guests to build their perfect burger.
- Dessert Kabobs: Go beyond traditional desserts and make dessert kabobs with brownie chunks, marshmallows, and fruit, drizzled with chocolate sauce.
- Chocolate Fondue: Set up a chocolate fondue station with marshmallows, pretzels, and fruits for dipping. It’s deliciously interactive.
- Candy Buffet: Create a candy buffet with jars filled with colorful candies and treats. Encourage guests to fill ABC-themed bags to satisfy their sweet cravings.
- ABC Cookies: Bake sugar cookies in ABC shapes and provide icing and toppings for guests to decorate their own cookies.
No college party is complete without beverages that match the energy and excitement of the event. Here are some ABC party drink ideas to quench your guests’ thirst and keep the fun flowing:
- Jungle Juice: Mix up a large batch of colorful jungle juice with various fruit juices and plenty of spirits. Don’t forget to add floating fruit slices.
- Fruit Punch: Create a vibrant and fruity punch with a mix of tropical juices and soda, garnished with fresh fruit.
- Mocktail Bar: Offer a mocktail bar with a variety of non-alcoholic cocktails, so everyone can enjoy delicious and creative drinks.
- DIY Cocktails: Provide a range of liquors, mixers, and garnishes for guests to create their custom cocktails. Encourage them to come up with inventive names for their creations.
- Glow-in-the-Dark Drinks: Experiment with tonic water, which fluoresces under black light. Create drinks that glow by incorporating tonic water into your mixtures.
- ABC Shots: Craft specialty shots with unique names and colors to match the theme. Make sure to serve them responsibly.
- Fruit-Infused Water: Offer pitchers of fruit-infused water to keep guests refreshed. Try combinations like cucumber and mint or citrus and berries.
- Slushies: Blend up colorful and icy slushies with various flavors and add a splash of spirits for those who prefer alcoholic options.
- Smoothie Bar: Set up a smoothie station with an array of fruits, yogurt, and juices. Let guests blend their own nutritious concoctions.
- Beer and Wine: Don’t forget the basics. Provide a selection of beer and wine for those who prefer more traditional options.
Remember to offer plenty of non-alcoholic beverages for guests who choose not to drink or are under legal drinking age. Also, always encourage responsible drinking and designate a sober driver if needed.
Attending an Anything But Clothes (ABC) party can be a blast, but it’s important to prioritize safety and respect throughout the event. Here are some essential warnings and safety tips for attendees to keep in mind:
- Respect Boundaries: While ABC parties encourage creativity, always respect personal boundaries. Avoid making others uncomfortable with unwanted physical contact or comments.
- Modesty and Safety: Ensure that your costume covers essential body parts and doesn’t pose any safety risks. Avoid costumes that hinder mobility or vision, as they can lead to accidents.
- Stay Hydrated: If alcohol is being served, remember to balance your drinks with water. Dehydration can lead to discomfort and health issues.
- Designated Drivers or Rideshare: Plan your transportation in advance. Arrange for a designated driver or use rideshare services if you’ve been drinking.
- Consent is Key: Always seek and obtain consent in any social situation. Respect others’ choices and boundaries regarding alcohol, physical contact, and more.
- Emergency Contacts: Keep emergency contact information handy in case of medical or safety emergencies.
- Party Responsibly: Enjoy yourself but do so responsibly. Know your limits and avoid excessive drinking or engaging in risky behavior.
- Personal Belongings: Keep an eye on your personal belongings, such as phones, wallets, and keys, as large gatherings can sometimes attract opportunistic theft.
There is no specific music to be played at an anything-but-clothes party, but we recommend that you put together a playlist of music that everybody likes with a couple of genre mixes because without good music it wouldn’t be a party.
There are no specific games or activities for an anything-but-clothes party. But you can play trivia about the clothes you are wearing since they are not your typical clothes. Any other college party games would do including drinking games.
Anything But Clothes (ABC) college party theme is a remarkable opportunity for students to explore their creativity, bond with peers, and create unforgettable memories. From crafting imaginative costumes to savoring budget-friendly treats, and prioritizing safety throughout the event, the ABC party experience is a unique blend of fun and responsibility.
Sadie Gordon is an enthusiastic student and educator with a Bachelor’s Degree in Education from Wilmington University in New Castle. While managing her day job as a tutor – she writes for students and educators through SquaredMile to help them achieve the most in their student life while maintaining a perfectly healthy social life.