Anything But Clothes Party Planning

Anything But Clothes (or ABC for short) is one of the most popular college party themes. It doesn’t require much work on the part of the person organizing the party and it produces some hilarious results. Unlike other party themes, the endless possibilities for costumes means ABC never gets old.

If you’re planning an ABC-themed party, here are a couple of tips and ideas to get you started.

Dress Code

This should be obvious from the name of the party, but you might want to go into a bit more detail about what guests can wear. Examples might include newspaper, Christmas decorations like tinsel (for a seasonal party), warning tape, curtains, blankets, garbage bags… and so on. Help guests out by sending them a list of items they could use.

To incentivize guests to get inventive, hold a best-dressed competition for the most original outfit. One of the potential downsides of an ABC party is that it can be hard work for guests to think of and create a truly clothes-free outfit. To boost their enthusiasm and reduce the chance that people turn up in their normal clothes, let everyone know in advance that you’ll be giving a prize to the most creative outfits on the night.


Send out your invitations using iPartyGram. This app will save you time and helps you get guests talking about the event before the big day. You can use the image feature in the app to post pictures of previous ABC parties to give guests ideas about the kind of costume they can wear. You can also nominate VIP guests to upload their own photos.

The app is perfect for creating eye-catching customized invitations and sending them out to guests quickly. You can include all the details guests will need, like time and place, and give them instructions about whether they can bring guests, need to bring any food and when to RSVP.

Food and drink

More often than not, attention to detail is what makes a party memorable. Just as you’re asking guests to come in ABC, you can extend the theme to include food and drink too.

At a party, you’ll usually find beer, cider and certain spirits, so challenge yourself and your guests to bring anything but traditional college party drinks and food. You can still keep some extra beer on hand in case you need extra supplies, but it will be entertaining for both you and other guests to see the kind of items people bring along.

The Clean-Up

Clearing up after an ABC party is notoriously difficult as many people end up discarding their ABC costumes during the evening. Make your job easier by asking friends to help, and make sure you have an industrial amount of garbage bags on hand to clear up all the rubbish afterwards.