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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Halloween Makeup and Accessories

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Makeup and Accessorize 

Makeup.  A little dab will do ya! 

Paint on a mustache with a black greasepaint stick, add a pair of horn rimmed glasses and a cigar….and there you have it.  Groucho!   A short blond curly wig and a bicycle horn (a white or tan duster if you can find it).  And there you have Harpo.

A little makeup here, or a special hat there, or a cane or a pair of red suspenders.  It takes a little imagination, and not much money to come up with that perfect Halloween costume.

Groucho GlassesCigar Jumbo 9''

Groucho disguise and cigar shown above are available at Buycostumes.com.  Ad appears  in column to the right of this article.

A trip to your local costume store?  Probably a great idea to get great ideas for makeup and accessories.  While you’re there, look at the makeup display case and see what you can see.

Nose putty?  You can build a new nose, or re-shape your nose, or just add a wart or two.  With an adhesive like spirit gum, you can even rebuild your chin.   Your new nose and chin will need some makeup to help blend it in with the rest of your face.  Green greasepaint or a water soluble cream makeup or pancake helps make a great witch or Frankenstein.

Glitter Make-Up KitDark and Dreary Family Makeup Kit

Makeup as shown above is available at Buycostumes.com.  Ad appears  in column to the right of this article.

If you want to be a clown or a mime, then a tube of clown white will do the trick.  Put it only very lightly though, and suddenly you become very pale in appearance….almost Ghostly or Vampirish.  Clown White can be cream base or water base, each having its own advantages.  Some shops might also carry it in pancake.

Crepe hair is a well known product available at the full service costume shops; and can be used to make mustaches and beards, or even hairy faces like a werewolf.  If you are into monsters and vampires, then makeup is the best way to go about it.

For great makeup ideas, visit your local library and borrow a copy of Richard Corson’s “Stage Makeup”, one of the best makeup books ever published on makeup.   It is also for sale at Amazon or Barnes and Noble.  As you scan through this book, you will find numerous ideas that you may want to implement.  Then off to your local costumer.

‘Stage Makeup’ as shown above is available through Barnes & Noble or Amazon, and many other booksellers. Earlier editions are also available.


Thrift stores. The Cheap…um…er…Creative Way Out.

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Thrift stores 

The Cheap…um…er…Creative Way Out 

I can’t afford to buy or rent a Halloween costume this year.  I’ve looked in my closet, garage and basement and don’t have anything that I can convert to a Halloween costume.  What do I do?  What do I do?

When I was active in the costume industry, it was routine to haunt the second hand stores or thrift stores for something useable, convertible and nicely priced. 

The local ‘Salvation Army’ or ‘Goodwill Industries’ might have a store near you that might help you solve your problem.  There, too, are a scattering up upscale thrift stores near the more affluent areas.   Since you never know what will be in any one store at a given time, visiting several might be a good idea.

Pinstripe Gangster Adult Costume                                                 Gangster Moll 6 Button Double Breasted (Black/White) Adult Plus Costume

Costumes shown above were not located at a thrift shop, but are available at Buycostumes.com.  Ad appears in column to the right of this article.

A double breasted suit can be easily converted to a ‘gangster suit’ with a black shirt and white tie.  Add a plastic machine gun and a fedora and you are ‘Al Capone’. A business suit and a beret or tam and you can be “Al’s’ gun moll.

A prom dress?  Bwala!  A princess!    And you never know what you might be able to build out of a few accessories.

Prom Queen Adult Costume

Costumes shown above were not located at a thrift shop, but are available at buycostumes.com.  Ad appears in column to the right of this article.

 Thrift stores are a goldmine of Halloween costumes ideas. 


OOPS! What About Footwear?

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It’s Almost Halloween Costume Party Time…

and OOPS! What About Footwear? 

It’s still a few days away, and most of the final touches have been made to your Halloween costume.  Maybe a tuck here or a minor adjustment there, but you are ready to go. 

OHMYGOSH!  (or use another expletive if you prefer)   You forgot about what shoes or footwear to use with your Halloween costume. 

Roman Adult SandalsJuliet (Black) Adult Shoes

Costume shoes shown above are available at Buycostumes.com.  Ad appears in column to the right of this article.

Not a big problem if you are wearing a long gown or a witches robe, although you should try to match the colors up as best you can just in case someone gets a glance at your feet.  Black always works.  Maybe using a can of spray paint over some old, throwaway shoes might work as well.

 But a prima ballerina in sneakers leaves a lot to be desired.  In this case, not wearing any footwear at all might be the best option.

 Fake boots can be made easily out of a vinyl material and creating a boot cover (no soles or heels, just sides).  Perhaps attaching buckles to a pair of shoes might create a Louis XIV type of shoe wear.

Pirates of the Caribbean - Jack Sparrow Child Boot CoversMilitia Adult BootsJester Adult Shoes

Costume shoes shown above are available at Buycostumes.com.  Ad appears in column to the right of this article.

No old throwaway shoes?  Perhaps a visit to the thrift store?



Yet More Movie Character Costume Ideas

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Yet More Movie Character Costume Ideas

 There was a harvest of romantic comedies and musicals in the 1950s, many of which were based on Broadway productions.  There, too, were the epic Biblical movies such as ‘Ben Hur’, where a simple toga or a Roman soldier costume might fare well.   

Centurion Adult Costume


 Along with the likes of ‘On the Waterfront’, and ‘Marty’ (neither will provide you with a good Halloween costume idea), were several Broadway musical productions converted to film.  ‘Carousel’, ‘Oklahoma’, ‘Kismet’ and ‘South Pacific’ to name a few, and costume ideas are plentiful in this genre.

Complete Poodle Skirt Outfit (Black & Pink)  Adult Costume


There were movies like ‘Rebel Without a Cause’, ‘Blackboard Jungle; and another musical ‘West Side Story’ that were based on teenagers and teenage gangs of the fifties.  Poodle skirts, and black leather jackets would fit well (more or less) for a Halloween costume from these movies.


Masks for Halloween!

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Masks for Halloween

Not always the most comfortable of disguises, but masks can create an interest and mystique.  And the range of masks is wide-spread from a simple black eye mask (ala the ‘Lone Ranger’ to very large heavily plumed, and/or feathered masks. 

Mardi Gras Venetian Mask Adult


Sequined masks always have an appeal not only because they are pretty, but just a glint in the right lighting might catch the eye of the beholder (you know, the guy you are interested in).

At any costume shop, you will see a wall filled with every monster mask known to mankind.  Some are face masks (which cover the entire front, but not the back or sides), some cover ¾ of the head, and some are overhead masks.  The mask of the incumbent President, and some of his predecessors will be featured on these shelves or walls.  Perhaps aother politicl figure. An assortment of cartoonish characters may also grace the ‘wall of infamy’.  Most of these masks are made of vinyl or rubber.

Deluxe Barack Obama Adult MaskMuammar Gaddafi Mask (Adult)Sarah Palin Mask (Adult)


The caveats to wearing a vinyl/rubber mask are many; but the main two are the inability to drink (other than through a straw) comfortably; and limited vision because the openings for visibility might be an inch or so from the eye.  And lastly, because of the materials used, and depending upon how much of the head is covered, these masks can be very, very warm.  But then again, some people like it hot.

There are clear plastic frontal masks of a young man or woman, or an elderly man or woman.  Clear plastic is opaque so they allow the skin tones to show through, but distort the features of the wearer. 

There are also ‘hoodwink’ masks that have no eye openings at all.  Sorry, I forgot.  These are used by those people who need total darkness when they sleep.  Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz!!



Hot Adult Halloween Costume Ideas for 2013

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Hot Adult Halloween Costume Ideas for 2014
Batgirl Deluxe Adult Costume
Batman Dark Knight The Joker Grand Heritage Collection
Batman The Dark Knight Rises Muscle Chest Deluxe Adult Costume
Bavarian Guy Adult Costume
Captain America Female Classic Adult Costume
Captain Skullduggery Elite Adult Costume
Cleopatra Adult Costume
Collector’s Edition Batman Adult Costume
Dark Heart Queen Adult Costume
Dark Mad Hatter Adult Costume
Deluxe German Beer Girl Adult Costume
Disney Sleeping Beauty – Maleficent Deluxe Adult Costume
Edward Scissorhands – Miss Scissorhands Adult Costume
Fallen Angel – Elite Adult Collection Costume
Fortune Teller Elite Collection Adult Costume
Ghost Lady Elite Collection Adult Costume
Ghostly Gent Elite Collection Adult Costume
Ghostly Lady Elite Collection Adult
Gothic Vampira Elite Collection Adult Costume
Gothic Vampire Elite Collection Adult Costume
Headless Man Adult Costume
Maid Marian Adult Costume
Maleficent Witch Adult Plus Costume
Masters Of The Universe – He-Man Adult Costume
Masters Of The Universe – She-Ra Adult Costume
Mortal Kombat – Scorpion Adult Costume
Mr. or Mrs. Potato Head Deluxe Adult Costume
Mystic Medusa Adult Costume
Pirate Elite Collection Adult
Pirate Vixen Adult Coat
Pirates of the Caribbean – Captain Jack Sparrow Prestige Adult Costume
Queen of Hearts Elite Collection Adult Costume
Racy Robin Hood Elite Collection Adult Costume
Robin Hood Adult Costume
Sexy Peacock Adult Costume
Sexy Swashbuckler Adult Costume
Star Wars Sexy Princess Leia Adult Costume
Sultry SWAT Officer Adult Costume
Supergirl Deluxe Adult Costume
Tavern Maiden Adult Costume
Tavern Maiden Adult Plus Costume
Top Gun Men’s Flight Suit Adult Costume
Top Gun Women’s Flight Dress Adult Costume
Vampiress of Versailles Elite Adult Costume
Vixen Pirate Wench Adult Costume
Wicked Queen Adult Plus Costume
Wicked Witch Elite Collection Adult Costume
Wonder Woman Corset Adult Costume
Yo! Mummy Teen Costume
Zombie Prom Queen Adult Costume

Some of the costumes listed above are available at Buycostumes.com (see display ad in right column)


Halloween Masks And Makeup

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Halloween Makeup Ideas

Smudge your base color on the lid, blending up and out towards the brow till it pretty much just fades away. A nice grey would work well for this. Next you need to intensify that color with a darker color by adding it to the crease of the following the natural curve of the socket. Lighten under the brow line and use a round makeup brush to smudge it the two colors together starting from the outside in. Go easy on your eyeliner and do wear mascara. If you look younger than you are, your eyes will be just right for this look.Halloween Makeup

Are you the girl next door? The boy next door? Have you all your life been known as “a good kid”? Well, with Halloween right around the corner, this is no time to be polishing your halo. In fact, it’s time to forget comfy and try on some seriously sinful and evil shoes. Come on, by now you must be sick of that squeaky clean reputation. If you’re chronically cute, the trick to looking evil this Halloween is all in the eyes and makeup Forget the costume for now. Without scary eyes and makeup , that vampire outfitHalloween Makeup

Makeup does not hold the magical power that a Halloween mask can. They have the ability that will transform you into another place and time whether you want to be a superhero or heroine. By starting with a Halloween costume idea you can be anybody or anything that you desire for one night of the year. From the beginning of time humans wore masks either to worship gods or spirits of the earth. Another regular item for this type a mask would be using bird feathers and creating a beak that would create a haunting bird mask.



Movie Character Halloween Costumes

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Movie Character Halloween Costumes 

Sometimes a role is defined by the actor/actress; and sometimes the actor/actress is defined by the role. Are you Scarlet O’Hara or are you Vivian Leigh?  I think that Scarlett O’Hara is the more recognized name.  Clark Gable might be better known as Clark Gable, rather than Rhett Butler.  Either way, you want to be recognized, even if you have to tell the other guests who you are. 

Dressing as copyrighted characters are usually a big no-no; but you might assume that wherever you get a famous character costume, whether it be from a costume shop, a retailer, or from the net, that the licensing fees have been bought for whatever character it is that you choose.

Movies open up another world to your imagination.  You might take the movies by genre (westerns, musical comedies, gangster, war) or you might just to back to the silent movies or perhaps the decade that you grew up in.   Betty Boop Deluxe Short Dress Adult Costume20's Film Star: Charlie Chaplin Adult Costume

Or as mentioned in the previous paragraph, pick a star and the movie that that star was most famous for.

Lastly, is there a costume you might buy, rent or assemble from your favorite movie?  And was your favorite move, “Wizard of Oz?”

Lion Adult CostumeWizard of Oz - Tin Man Plus Adult CostumeThe Wizard of Oz - Scarecrow Plus Adult CostumeThe Wizard of Oz  Dorothy  Adult Costume



Halloween Historical Costumes

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  Halloween Historical Costumes   
Wow!  History takes in a looooooog, loooooong period of time.  Eons of time. From the Cro-Magnon or Neanderthal days up to today.  History probably goes back to Adam and Eve (a nice couples costumes, BTW), but I don’t know if they were pre or post Cro-Magnon. Hmmmm…..let me see.  What periods of history can I recall?  Roman, Greek, Biblical, Medieval, Renaissance, the French Revolution period , Early America, the Civil War, the Turn of the Century (NO!, not this past one, the one before it),  the Roaring Twenties, the Thirties, the Forties, the Fabulous Fifties and the list can go on and on..  Also consider your own history, which might take in the Sixties and the following decades. Throw in the Tool Age, Bronze Age, the Iron Age, the Computer Age.  Tarzan - Tarzan Adult Costume In an earlier post, we mentioned that assigning names to costumes and playing that role was a major part of having a great time dressing up.  The ‘putting a name of a character on the costume’ theme will resonate in many of the subjects to follow.   From the Roman period, maybe a Marc Antony and Cleopatra; from the French Revolution perhaps Napoleon Bonaparte and Josephine.  How about an Abe and Mary Todd Lincoln from the Civil War era, or Bonnie and Clyde from the 1930’s?  Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton made a nice 60’s couple, and you even tie them back to a movie (‘Cleopatra’) they co-starred in.  Gone With The Wind - Scarlett Picnic Dress Adult Costume


Abe Lincoln Adult Costume


Interchangeability is also a keyword in these posts.  People from one category might also be associated with another category.

 So dig out those old History books, and while you’re at it, can you also find the book from Freshman Geography 101?




Halloween Costumes. Where do I Start?

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Halloween Costumes.  Where do I Start?

Oops!  This should have been published a month ago.  Anyhow, this is our disclaimer.

Beginning next week, we will begin to process some thoughts that will help you make a decision as to what you might want to wear to your Halloween costume party.

In the meantime, you might want to simply visit our ‘sponsor’, BuyCostumes.com via the ad in the right column.  Just click on Halloween costumes and you will find many, many costumes; and the one you are looking for will probably be there.  At this time, availability as to quantity, size and whatever other paramenters you might use should be there.  In two-three weeks, who knows.  OK, enough on the blantant sale pitch.  You know that we get a commission on every sale that is made through us.  Also enough transparency.

Lady Liberty Elite Collection Adult CostumePower Rangers Green Ranger Classic Muscle Adult Plus Costume Mary Poppins Adult Costume

Images courtesy of BuyCostumes.com.  Click here or visit them on the ad in the right column.