Well, I'd rather show my respect by actually showing my respect, not through fancy unpractical costumes I'm supposed to wear. And if people are bothered by that and need me to run around in outfit #7, they don't really deserve said respect
Yeah it's a general pain in the ass, but really no one is FORCING you to do it. It's just that you'll stand out like a sore thumb and probably receive negative criticism from others if you don't dress up.
I hate dressing up but I did for my sister's wedding because it was a major occasion with photos and everything and if I dressed like a normally do (goth/punk/metal), I know I'd NEVER hear the end of it. I decided one day of dress beats a lifetime of hearing about how I was a jerk for not doing it.
Now if it's not something major like say a siblings wedding then I say just dress however the fuck you want but depending on the event YMMV.
I've been to two fancy dress parties in the last few years. One was a superhero theme and I went as Sherlock Holmes because I already had a deerstalker and a tweed jacket (don't ask). The other was a 'come dressed as a song' party. I wore combats and my camo jacket, pinned seven different flags to my sleeves and went as Seven Nation Army by the White Stripes.
You don't have to spend money, just use your imagination. People who go overboard with it usually end up looking like twats anyway.
And remember, you can always go as a psychopathic serial killer. THEY LOOK JUST LIKE EVERYBODY ELSE.
I think a few of us posters are confused, I know I certainly am. Does the OP mean dressing up as super heroes etc, or is he referring to dressing up for formal functions? I have no interest in the former.