Costumes! Costumes! Costumes!


Costumes! Costumes! Costumes!

Halloween, Masquerade, Mardi Gras, Theatrical, Santa’s,  Valentines Day, Easter Bunnies, Mascots, Stage Makeup, Masks, Disguises

Our company started in 1860. That’s not a typo….1860!  That was before Abe Lincoln was President of the United States. That’s a lot of years of experience!

We have serviced the theatrical industry, national chains, the general public, and now, YOU!  Let us help provide you with costume solutions to your costuming questions.

To find your local costume store, click here > Costumers.org

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A Christmas Carol, etal.


A Christmas Carol, etal.

It is nearing Christmas and you are planning on attending  ‘ A Christmas Carol’, or maybe the ‘Nutcracker’ at your local high school or community theatre, or even on a large stage in your downtown.  Maybe you will simply view one of both of these productions on your small screen (TV). 

Jacob Marley Adult CostumeScrooge Adult Costume

Marley and Scrooge photos courtesy of buycostumes.com.

Charles Dickens didn’t need costumes because the ‘costumes of today’ were the clothing of Dicken’s day. 

But these live productions and many others require costumes to support their productions.  Where do they come from?  Obviously they have been constructed at some time or another and have been held in storage of one type or another for a year, or many years.

The easy way out is for your community theatre group to borrow the costumes from another group, or their local college if they are available.  They might even have their own sewing wizards who construct the costumes themselves.  Hmmm…then they could either rent them or loan them out the following year. Lastly, they might rent them out from their local costume company. 

So as you enjoy your evening at out at the theatre, and take in the storyline and acting; take a minute to look at the costuming which puts it all together.


Just a little sidebar on period hats, especially men’s hats.  It’s possible to sew many garments, but period hats, ala Dicken’s, are nearly impossible.  If you need to buy a hat (and they are pricey), feel free to contact us and we will help you in any way we can.


Santa Masks …Don’t Do it!!

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Santa Masks…Don’t Do It!!

Although we’ve focused on Santa costumes and Santa beards and wigs over the past few weeks, but today we discuss Santa masks. We never carried Santa masks when we had a brick and mortar business although the qualities of some of the masks were absolutely great. As great as they were, they were expressionless, unless of course you consider one permanent expression as an expression.  Even the youngest of children will recognize that a mask is not a face, even though they may not even know what a mask is. Little of Santa’s face is seen behind a wig and beard, but his eyes are fully visible (not partially blocked off by the latex mask).  The wrinkle in his brow, or the glimpse of his lips add to the ‘realism’.  Masks simply don’t convey the same message.

I found this mask on the net somewhere, and while it might be OK for an office party, it’s a poor substitute for a wig and beard.

If you can’t fool the child one year, you may have lost him him/her for the next several. Once I said, if you have limited funds, buy the best wig and beard you can afford, and the least expensive suit.   Likewise, if you have limited funds, buy the least expensive wig and beard; and don’t waste a dime on a Santa mask, no matter how good the Santa mask may seem.



The Santa Beard and Wig’s The Thing!


The Santa Beard and Wig’s The Thing! 

Paraphrase from the William Shakespeare line, ‘the play’s the thing’.

Santa beards and wigs range from the department store Santa who might have spent several months in growing his own, to something you’d be ashamed to wear to an adult office Christmas party.

If it doesn’t fool a four year old, then it’s a bad Santa wig and beard set.  It may look fake to you, but it’s got to look good to a child. 

Discounting the quality of hair, Santa wigs are Santa wigs; and about the only difference in them might be bangs or no bangs, and perhaps in the hair styling itself.  We used a ‘marcel’ style creating a wavy look similar to the ladies hair styles of the 1920’s.  The beard, too, was ‘marceled’.

Santa Beard and Wig Set With Eyebrows

Most Santa sets have an accompanying beard and attached moustache; but sometimes the mustache is a separate piece that needs to be attached with spirit gum.  Lose the mustache though, and replacing it to match the beard might be a challenge. 

The wig (hair) might be affixed to a cloth head piece; or the hair might be embedded into a head piece made of netting.  The netting allows more air flow and might be more comfortable, but both work if they fit properly.

Beards (hair) are similar, but use only a chin strap (cloth or netting) to attach the hair to.  The cloth needs to be washable, without the possibility of shrinking.  Flannel or any shrinkable chin straps or wig bases would be a poor choice.

 Oh. The hair itself, you ask?  There are human hair wig & beard sets on the market, as well as yak hair (made from the hair of a yak) and as long as the fit is good they are usually a smart purchase.  The fit might be dependent upon where they were manufactured.  A Chinese large head size might be comparable to an American small head size.  And with the proliferation of defective Asian products these past few years, caveat emptor in general.

Synthetic sets (nylon, orlon, etc.) are available as well, and some are good and some are not so good.  It’s always best to try on the products, if that is an option. 

Then there are those wig and beard sets that look like cotton.  Some are mohair, and some are also synthetic.  One they become soiled, they are not washable nor cleanable.  These are the type that usually accompany a new Santa suit.  My primary objection to them is they won’t pass the ‘four year old’ test.

The ability to wash, clean, and restyle the wig on an ongoing, year-to-year basis is another consideration.  The hair might look good, but if the skull cap (base) loses its shape in a washing, you will be buying another set next year. 

Don’t…Don’t…Don’t…throw wigs and beards into a washing machine or dryer.  Never! Never! Never! 

The care and cleaning of a Santa beard andwig set will be a subject for another day.


Can Your Santa Claus Be Too Large??


Can Your Santa Be Too Large?  

And if you decide to super size, where can you find Santa costumes that large?

Kris Kringle Suit 3X Costume

In my years of experience, it seems that many organizations, schools, churches and even families for home parties tried to find the largest guy they could to play the jolly little man with a pot belly.  Was he a little man?  Not likely, but he certainly would have been gargantuan, either.

Even I, at 5’7″, and weighing in at 130# (at the time) played the role (with a pillow or two) once or twice. Way too small, but…

Has anyone considered what a 6’7″, 400# Santa looks like to a small child?  If a person that size looks huge to me, he must look like the giant in ‘Jack and the Beanstalk’  to a toddler.  Santa can be frightening enough to some children even without the size factor. More attention should be paid to the personality of your Santa and how he interacts with children, rather than finding the largest person available.

Editors note:  In my past life, we (costume renters) were able to fit Santa’s over 500#, but the present sizing may not follow most sizing standards.  I would recommend checking with your local full  service costume shop who might be able to help you.  Check for one in you area by clicking on this site:



Santa’s Gloves and Glasses and Other Accessories



What about the final touches for your Santa Claus costume, and what do 5 years olds look for when they are sitting on Santa’s lap?  Hopefully they will not recognize your ring or watch or glasses or shoes; but those little problems can be covered.  



Buying Your New Santa Claus Wig and Beard Set



What to look for in buying your new Santa Claus Wig and Beard set.

 In a later video, we will discuss the cleaning, dressing, care and storage of your new set.  In the meantime..Ho!!..Ho!!..Ho!!


Your Santa Suit…Choosing the Best Fabric for Your Buck


Your Santa suit.  Choosing the Best Fabric.

What to look for in fabric and still stay within your budget.  Here’s the video that will tell all.  



Do you want Santa to look like a dork?

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Do you want Santa to look like a dork?

or do you want your Santa to look like the real Santa?

Your Santa Suit. Does fabric make a difference?

From a cheap vinyl material used for rain protection to rich, deep velvet velours, the range of fabrics that you might encounter in a Santa suit is vast.

Where might a cheap vinyl suit be used effectively? In the rain, of course. Sorry for the joke; but the best place to use these plastic suits might be at a fraternity party or an office party. They might also be used as an outside decorative display costume worn over a mannequin. Sometimes these will be accompanied by a cotton like beard. They serve a purpose, but not for small children.

Most flannel and felt suits are a little better, but also would be best for adult parties.

Do these lower quality suits have any real IMPACT on a child’s mind?

Children may not have discerning eyes, at least as to the richness (or lack thereof) of fabrics, but they do have memories from year to year and from Santa (at the Mall) to Santa (at your home or party). If Santa at the Mall is wearing a luxurious costume, but Uncle Bill or whoever you enlist to be Santa this year, is wearing a worn out cotton suit; it will be duly noted and impressed on the child’s mind. Well, maybe not if the child is one and two, but watch out at three.


If your budget dictates that you can only afford a flannel suit, one way to enhance it is by replacing the white flannel trim with white plush trim; available at most fabric stores, and I am sure on the ‘net’.

But most of all, if you are on a budget; buy the best wig and beard you can afford and the less expensive suit. You can always improve the suit later; except of course, the vinyl suits.

As a longtime owner of a theatrical, masquerade and Halloween costume business; I have an extensive knowledge and background in all areas of costuming. Our blogsite is a clearing house of costume ideas, suggestions and information as it relates to your costuming needs. With Christmas coming and Santa, too; we can help you select a Santa suit, and dress for the occasion properly.

For ongoing Santa Claus and Seasonal costume ideas, please visit our site at:


Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Russ_Duemmel

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It’s Time To Buy Your Santa Claus Suit

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Time To Buy Your Santa Claus Suit

Halloween is over, and now it’s time to start Christmas shopping; at least for a new (or maybe replacement) Santa Claus costume. That’s one Christmas purchase that shouldn’t be left until closing time on Christmas Eve.

What does a consist of? Most Santa Claus costumes will be nearly complete with a coat, pants, hat, belt and boot tops, sometimes called leggings. Sometimes an inexpensive wig and beard will be included, and sometimes not.

Of course the Santa suit, pants and hat will be red, although there is quite a range of fabrics and qualities available.

The coat will generally have a 3-4″ wide stripe down the from and around the bottom of the coat and matching cuffs. The hat will have white trim around the base of the hat and probably a white ball on top of the hat.


The least expensive suits are made of felt or a non-descript fabric, and both the suit and the trim are made of the same fabric.

To enhance an inexpensive suit, adding a plush trim over the existing trim will greatly improve the costume. Of course, that involves a trip to a fabric store and additional costs, but the appearance of the suit will be immeasurably better.

Unfortunately, both the quality of the belts and the boot tops / leggings could be better, as both are normally made of high gloss, cheap vinyl material. Santa’s belt (about 4″ wide) buckle offsets this somewhat as it sometimes is the focal point of Santa’s midsection.

Oh. Boot tops. What are boot tops? They are a black glossy vinyl (or another type of plastic) leg covering that starts at the knee and extend below the ankle to simulates boots.

Wig and beards. Or is it Beards and wigs? You might find a set, or just a beard, in the carton with your newly purchased suit. More likely you will need to purchase it separately, but depending upon your need, the maybe enclose hairpiece and beard will suffice.

On pricing. A cursory glance at a few sites indicate that you might locate a suit for as little as $50 or thereabouts. On the high end, you probably don’t want to know; but think four digits.

As a longtime owner of a theatrical, masquerade and Halloween costume business; I have an extensive knowledge and background in all areas of costuming. Our blogsite is a clearing house of costume ideas, suggestions and information as it relates to your costuming needs. With Christmas coming and Santa, too; we can help you select a Santa suit, and dress for the occasion properly.

For ongoing Santa Claus and Seasonal costume ideas, please visit our site at: http://www.costumescostumescostumes.net

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Russ_Duemmel


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Buying a Santa Costume?


Buying a New Santa Costume?

It’s early, I know.  

But it might be time to start thinking about your new SANTA COSTUME. The old one is getting frayed at the edges and it’s obviously seen way too many chimneys. Hmmm…is that a crumb? And what about that stain? Are they the remains of a cookie and spilled milk from a Christmas past? All new Santa outfits should include a jacket, pants, and a hat; as well as a belt and boot tops (fake boots ala boot covers).  A wig and beard may or may not be included with the costume.

Velvet Complete Santa Costume - Adult

Santa costumes are available.  See ad in right column

The cost on the suits will vary considerably due to the quality of the fabric and trimming.  If a wig and beard are included, that too, will be a factor.  Cloth suits are usually quite inexpensive, and of course the plush suits are quite pricey, comparatively speaking. The quality of the white trim around the collar, down the front and on the bottom of the sleeves will also help dictate the price.  You’re on a budget, you say?   As a lifetime professional costumer, I suggest that you buy the absolute best quality Santa beard and wig that you can afford, and the least priced suit; if money is an issue.  A good Santa wig and beard will enhance a lesser quality suit; while a cheap wig and beard will substantially diminish the appearance of a good suit.  You can always upgrade the suit in a number of ways at a later time. Children will be looking at the hair and beard, not the suit; if they are looking at all. What are the attributes of a good Santa outfit and Santa beard and wig? Stay tuned, boys and girls.   More to Follow!!