Author Archives: expresscostumes

Fancy Dress Party Season Costumes


Costume Shop

Well the fancy dress costume party season is in full swing and this year is certainly shaping up to be the busiest costumes season on record at Express Yourself Costume Hire. The old Netley Abbey Railway Station is creaking under the strain of people busily sorting out their party outfits for Christmas and new year parties.
Fortunately the huge stock of unique costumes housed in our themed departments is holding up well.

New Staff

It has been a busy time though. We have recently had new members of staff join us who have undergone training in all aspects of costumes and customer service. We are already receiving good feedback on our new staff and our existing experienced ‘guys’ too… Customer service is a very high priority for Express Yourself Costume Hire.

Customers Traveling Long Distances.

Being based near Southampton we not far from other towns and cities in Hampshire. We are increasingly seeing customers travel from Winchester, Basingstoke, Lymington, Fareham and very often from Andover Newbury and London too…… Travelling customers are telling us they have to travel to find the quality outfits they are looking for. Fancy dress ‘tac’ can nowadays be found in so many high street shops and on line – however quality costumes and fancy dress are much harder to source these days….This is where Express Yourself Costume Hire excel and this will continue….With free parking right outside the door too the ease of access  makes life easy too.

Established Business

Now in our thirteenth year, word is really spreading that we are no ordinary fancy dress shop and our customer recommendation count is really taking off.

Sometimes it can take a while for a business to really hit the ‘established’ mark and certainly it takes patience sometimes. However we are making great plans to increase our presence even more now as so many people still don’t know we are here.

New Website and Essential Images Photography

We are to revamp our web site in the new year and have already had meetings with a lovely photographer – Jan Taylor from Essential Images. Jan is looking at the best ways we can capture the essence of the Express Yourself Costume Hire quality by using her expertise to photograph models in our costumes. She has already taken lots of pictures of the shop and you can see them on her web site. Jan’s business is set up to cover weddings modelling and all aspects of commercial photography, a very broad experience.

Poor Quality Fancy Dress Bought Online.

This year we are seeing more and more disappointed people who have attempted to buy costumes online only for the costume to fall apart, not fit or generally been of an unsatisfactory quality or in many cases the costume hasn’t turned up at all…. Many of these online sweat shop style costumes are really very poor quality and even if lasting one night only end up in land fill – not very eco friendly and generally very risky to buy. As online fancy dress sales are faceless any aspect of making sure a customer is actually delighted with their fancy dress costume is rather lost in the pursuit of more ‘conversions’. The pursuit of quality is often rather a low priority.

At Express Yourself Costume Hire we prefer our slogan of ‘look, touch, feel, try on’. We offer personal service, changing rooms, advice (when asked for) and high quality outfits which equals value for money and a chance to help save the environment by hiring instead of ‘use’ and throw away.


Curious? Come and see us…

So, it’s good luck to Vikki, Alison and Jane in their new roles as staff members in the shop.

Come and ‘look for yourself, touch, feel and try on’ in this amazing fancy dress shop the like of which you will have not seen before……

The team will be delighted to see you..

Here is the business web site:          www.




Christine M. Grote

The look on his face continues to haunt me today.

I see in my mind what I witnessed yesterday—my dad struggling to walk , his hands gripped tight to his walker, his legs shaking, and his eyes finding mine across the room, his right eye open wider than his left, piercing mine with its intensity. I interpret the expression on his face as one of desperation and terror.

Has his conscious woken up and found him in this condition? I wonder.

“It’s okay,” I say. “You’re doing alright.”

“I’m proud of you, Daddy.”

And I am proud of him. Of every mountain he has to climb just to drag his uncooperative body from the bed, to sit and stand, to walk a few shaky steps across the room to his wheelchair. I am proud of how hard he tries and how he keeps going when he may want to just…

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Cedar River Knits

I stumbled onto these images yesterday and found them to be a sheer visual delight!  Apparently this is not a new idea, but it was new to me.  I’ll definitely be copying this brilliant mason jar makeover project!


Joy’s Ode to Spray Paint

Click the links below each photo for further tips and inspiration.  I”ll soon be making a trip to the local hardware store to see what lovely possibilities they have in the spray paint aisle!


Mason Jar Lanterns by Alyssa Ettinger

These would be great for so many different occasions and settings.  Have fun!

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Little London Observationist

I have exactly 10 postcards of this fab blue door I photographed at Eleven and a Half Fournier Street.

Want one?

I’ll send one out to the first 10 people who help me promote the blog either by sharing a link on Twitter or Facebook.

Tell me where you’ve shared it and send me a link along with your address to and I’ll post one out to you so you get something better than bills in the post.

Cheers for reading LLO.

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