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The Darling Family from Pangaea Neverland. Photo: The Mancunion

What does it take to be the best dressed at Pangaea?

Pangaea is a mainstay in the University of Manchester social calendar, and it is certainly a night where you should dress to impress. Three times a year Pangaea announces a theme for the event, meaning we attendees need (potentially) three fancy dress costumes. Best of all this means you have three chances every year to be crowned best dressed!

It turns out, after a bit of searching through the Mancunion archives, that the fancy dress crown nearly always goes to a man! Yes, sadly all the recent solo winners have been male but there have been a couple of mixed gender group victories. Is being a guy enough though? What are the fancy dress competition winning trends?

Princess Leia from Pangaea Space Odyssey. Photo: The Mancunion

Princess Leia from Pangaea Space Odyssey. Photo: The Mancunion

Well a bit of cross dressing is appreciated for starters. Let the winner you shine through by channelling your favourite female icon. So far women dressed as men has not achieved any gold medals at Pangaea, but ladies this is your moment! I hope to see at least one female Tom Hanks at this summer’s Castaway Pangaea — haven’t you ever wondered if you would suit a beard?

Strong make-up is another winning decision at Pangaea. Former winners have used make-up to their advantage, the Rumble in the Jungle winner’s costume centred on bold face paint. However, he also strongly veered off into the cultural appropriation of a stereotypical “African” tribesman which is neither necessary nor cool. But that was three years ago — here’s hoping we have become more learned individuals who would not be so foolish now.

The King of Hearts, Down the Rabbit Hole. Photo: Lorimer Macandrew

The King of Hearts, Down the Rabbit Hole. Photo: Lorimer Macandrew

Last September’s King of Hearts won (I would say) not on the strength of his costume, but the strength of his pose. This stately costume champion serves as a reminder to all that when someone asks for your photo, you better werk it. Yes I did just say werk. Get practising your Vogue moves and dabs, scroll through Instagram for the best psoing tips, just to be ready for the photographers.

If the solo pose/costume is too daunting look for safety in numbers. Having a buddy that matches you not only asserts that at least one other person will look as ridiculous as you, but also makes your costume look better because there is two of it. While your costume may be lackluster, at least you have agreed to be that lackluster together.

Games Consoles from Pangaea Level 10. Photo: Daniel Saville

Games Consoles from Pangaea Level 10. Photo: Daniel Saville

I really, strongly, adamantly hope that this year there is a bit more appreciation for the effort made by girls. Glitter and crop tops still definitely count as costumes, they may not be original but a lot of effort can go into the glitter work! I do not doubt that Castaway will bring with it a succession of flowers, mermaids, butterflies, fish and anything else in between that acts as opportunity to sparkle.

My hope, as mentioned earlier, is for a female Tom Hanks from Castaway, but perhaps with a glitter beard…

Tags: competition, costume, fancy dress, glitter, make-up, Pangaea

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