26

Costumes! Costumes! Costumes!

Sep

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

As Featured On EzineArticles

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20

Mrs. Santa

Dec

Mrs. Santa

Does anyone ever give a second thought to Mrs. Santa?  After all, she and Santa have been married these many years, but no one knows her first name.  Edith, Margaret, Lucille?  Who knows. Has anyone ever seen her?

Mrs. Claus Dress Adult Costume

Costme above is avalable at Buycostumes.com.

As a matter of fact, I have.  She’s a bit younger than Santa and has a very pretty, round face with glowing red cheeks and a huge smile.   Unlike a few characterizations of her where she looks like Santa’s grandaughter, all dolled up with a short skirt; Mrs. Santa dresses appropriately for her age and standing. She, like Santa, always wears red.  Mrs. Santa’s dress is floor length and has full length sleeves trimmed in white fur around the cuffs and collar.  She might wear sneakers for all I know, as her shoes are never seen.  Her hair is white and upswept into a little knot at the top, sometimes with a little curl coming down over her left ear, not unlike a Colonial ladies hairstyle. But then again, she was around during that period of history too. Here comes Mrs. Santa Claus.  Here comes Mrs. Santa Claus.  Right down Mrs. Santa Claus’s lane…..as goes the song.

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19

Santa Belles, Miss Santas

Dec

Santa Belles, Miss Santas

They were called Santa Belles, and now sometimes called Miss Santa’s; but either way they were are the young ladies who assist Santa in handing out the Christmas gifts.  Short, sexy, cute outfits that young girls wear as they are assisting Santa in handing out gifts.   

The key was that the Santa Belles wore dresses that were knee length, maybe an inch or so higher or an inch or so lower.  This was the optimum length so as to not offend anyone, long enough for modesty, and yet short enough so as to catch the eye of Dad. Or Grandad.  Or Great Granddad.

Always red in color, and made of various fabrics; but always trimmed in the same white plush that trimmed Santa’s outfit.  Around the neckline, and cuffs, and often times around the hem of the skirt. 

Santas Inspiration Adult Costume

Photo courtesy of Buycostumes.com.

Our Santa Belle outfits (when I had a shop) had white boottops to match the trimming, and either white or red tights so as to not show any flesh, but still have appeal.

Perhaps a white plush fur beret, or maybe a white plush barrette, or maybe an entirely different kind of hat or cap topped off the outfit.

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19

Christmas is only 7 Days Away!

Dec
No Comments |  Posted by |  Category:Christmas Costumes

  Christmas is only 7days away

 

Christmas is nearly here, with its array of costumed characters.  Of course, Santa is our December star, but he needs a lot of help from Mrs. Santa, the elves, Dancer and Prancer and the rest of the reindeer and a few Santa Belles. Brrrr….it’s coldbut our Snowman is happy with the weather. 

And the season abounds with Tin Soldiers, and Nutcrackersand Toy costumes of every kind.  Not to mention “The Nutcracker” and “A Christmas Carol” costumes.

And how do we know all about costumes?  We have been in business for 152 years (since 1860).  Our origin goes back to the James Buchanan presidency (the one before Abraham Lincoln).  That’s a long time ago, although none of our staff is quite that old .

For ALL of your Santa or Christmas Season costume questions,  our email address is:  

costumes3@gmail.com 

 

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18

A Christmas Carol, etal.

Dec

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.

HATS

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.

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16

Santa Masks …Don’t Do it!!

Dec
No Comments |  Posted by |  Category:Santa Claus Costume

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.

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12

The Santa Beard and Wig’s The Thing!

Dec

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.

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10

Can Your Santa Claus Be Too Large??

Dec

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:

costumers.org

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06

Santa’s Gloves and Glasses and Other Accessories

Dec

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.  

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04

Buying Your New Santa Claus Wig and Beard Set

Dec


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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!!

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02

Your Santa Suit…Choosing the Best Fabric for Your Buck

Dec

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.  

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