Published: 09:57, 15 November 2019
| Updated: 11:31, 15 November 2019
Very soon, it'll be time to start planning Christmas dos and New Year's Eve parties, and what's more fun than forcing everyone to dress up in ridiculous outfits?
If you're determined to win best costume, Harlequin in Maidstone is sure to satisfy all your wild wig and vibrant suit wishes. The quirky emporium stocks more than 5,000 outfits and accessories and 2,000 rental items. We went and tried on some of the most popular.
Elsa and Olaf
Two of the main characters from the incredibly successful Disney film Frozen, it's no surprise these costumes are extremely popular.
The elegant, sky blue Elsa dress comes with a floor length skirt, ribbon-backed corset and sparkly mesh top with an attached cape.
It is available to rent for £25 per weekend.
The opposite of elegant, the enormous Olaf suit is a bit of a job to get into but totally worth it.
For a weekend rental price of £30, you get white, felt trousers, the body - which is made of light-weight plastic and felt with foam padding inside, and the head complete with twiggy brown pipe cleaners. You even get snowy shoes to match.
Conversation often flows into heated political debate after a few drinks, so why not kick things off with a Donald Trump outfit.
The royal blue suit jacket is embellished with USA badges, and for a total price of £29.99 you also get a black shirt, bright red silky tie and cap to match.
If you really want to get into character you can also buy a latex Trump mask for £15.49.
1920s flappers and gangsters
New Year's Eve parties with a 1920s theme seem to be all the rage at the moment, and Harlequin has a selection of flapper and gangster costumes perfect for the occasion.
The women's outfit pictured below includes a black, knee-length dress with silver fringe and detail, a furry white shrug and feathered head band for £26.99.
For the men, you get a pin stripe, double-breasted suit, black shirt and silver-white tie, and of course, a classic trilby to complete the look. This costume costs £28.99.
Rey and Kylo Ren
In anticipation of the new Star Wars film - The Rise of Skywalker - which comes out next month, demand has been growing for Harlequin's themed outfits.
Girls can take on the character of Jakku scavenger, Rey, with a sandy-coloured tunic, robes, wrapped arm bands and a handy pouch to clip around the waist.
Or if you're tempted to 'come to the dark side', there is also a Kylo Ren costume, with jet black drapes, belt and leather-look gloves. The hood is large enough to be draped over the sinister mask to create the perfect intimidating look.
Rey is £25 to hire for a weekend and Kylo Ren, £30.
If you have a rather relaxed disposition anyway, perhaps a hippy is the costume for you.
Psychedelic patterns cover both the men's and women's costumes, with tan, fringed waist coats to be layered on top.
Boys also get a pair of trousers to match while the flared sleeves on the dress give it that typical 1970s style.
Headbands and peace-sign necklaces are the perfect finishing touches.
The female costume costs £31.99 and the men's, £34.99.
Christmas and New Year's Eve is Harlequin's most popular time of the year after Halloween. And coming in third is World Book Day.
Opened in 1998 by mother and son, Marie and Justin Atwell, Harlequin has slowly grown over the years and is now a maze of colourful rooms in Brewer Street, packed full of flamboyant costumes and accessories.
The pair have stocked lots of weird and wonderful outfits since they started trading, but the oddest, in Justin's opinion, was a gigantic octopus.
The 48-year-old said: "Yeah, that one looked quite weird and it was huge - very difficult to launder!"
Star Wars not only features in the store's most popular list at the moment, but in Justin's favourite ever costumes.
He said: "We once had a Boba Fett costume which was really good. But in the end the costumes get worn out so they have to go.
"Our most expensive costume was also probably a Star Wars one - the Storm Trooper cost us £900 and we rented it out for £75 a weekend."
Justin added: "We don't really stock controversial costumes anymore but we have done in the past."
More by this authorRebecca Tuffin
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