Christmas Costumes

31

Care and Cleaning of Your Santa Stuff

Dec
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Care and Cleaning of Your Santa Stuff

Christmas is over, and the New Year is near.  It’s time to clean your Santa suit, wig and beard and store away till next season.  In this video, is a caveat about using heat on your wig and  beard, and specifically to the use of curling irons.  It may be OK for your hair, but not for Santa’s hair and whiskers.

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21

For the Newbie Santa….A Few Last Minute Tips…

Dec
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For the Newbie Santa….A Few Last Minute Tips…

Your suit is ready. Your belt, boot tops, glasses and gloves are lined up, and show time is very soon.

Some children love to sit on Santa’s lap and chatter about how good they’ve been and what they want for Christmas.  Then there are those children, who love Santa from across the room or at a distance, but want nothing to do with him at a close up range. 

Don’t take it personally.  It’s not you.  It’s your persona.

 

And what to do about those little guys who want to tug on your beard to see if it’s real or those looking for clues as to who you really are.  From my experience, I never really let them get an angle on me where they could try to tug a beard, or look for any telltales signs that might provide them with a clue that you are not really Santa.  I sit them on my lap facing a little bit away from me, and a little more towards the audience (family, parents, whatever).  They then have to turn their face a little to the rear to see me, but their body is angled away from me so as to prevent those grabs and deeper glances. If you are a newbie, and concerned about the forthcoming interaction, your questions are probably less about the suit, and more about THE conversation.  And conversing with a 4 year old is always interesting to say the least. 

After plopping the child on my lap, I ask the usual questions such as ‘Were you a good little girl or boy?’, and ‘What would you like Santa to bring you?’ and offer a little advice on a few of their shortcomings (as provided by Mom or Dad). I might speak of my home at the North Pole or about Mrs. Santa or the Elves or the reindeer.  My needing to feed my reindeer or needing to see other children was always my exit line.

As to how to field the children’s questions?  Out of the mouths of babes come the least expected questions.  Either answer the question with a simple answer, or dazzle them with your intellect (G).  Basically brother, you’re on your own on this one.

How long should you hold the child?  Sometimes it seems like an eternity, and I’ve never been timed, but I would guess the average child is on my lap for only a couple of minutes.

Lastly, beware the Santa challenged child, though, for they might dampen thy suit.

Hmmm, maybe a backup pair of pants just in case.

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18

Christmas is only 7 Days Away!

Dec
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  Christmas is only 7 days 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 Nutcrackers and 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 157 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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15

We nearly forgot…the Elves

Dec
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We nearly forgot…..the Elves

We nearly forgot the elf costumes, or elves as they would be in plural.  Elf costumes would probably not be used at a home party because most home parties only feature Santa.  However, if your local church, or union or office is sponsoring a Christmas party, it may come replete with a cast of characters such as Mrs. Santa, Santa Belles, a reindeer or two and a snowman.   Elves (sounds like Elvis, doesn’t it?) might be in abundance as well. 

Green and Red Elf Adult Costume

Of all the costumes, the Elf is the easiest and by far the most comfortable.  With a little imagination, you might be able to construct one at home; as all it requires is a pair of tights (well, you might not have tights at home), a tunic, hat, cord, and something to cover the shoes.  

OK, maybe this post is a little late for this year, but you might consider this for your various parties next year. Make a note.

 
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11

Mrs. Santa

Dec
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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

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 granddaughter, 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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08

Santa Belles, Miss Santas

Dec
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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

Our Santa Belle outfits (when I had a shop) had white boot tops 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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05

A Christmas Carol, etal.

Dec
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A Christmas Carol, et al.

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 or both of these productions on your small screen (TV). 

Jacob Marley Adult CostumeScrooge Adult Costume

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.

You might visit our Amazon Store to see a few Santa and other Christmas costumes.  It is also a portal to the Amazon site itself.

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28

The Santa Beard and Wig’s The Thing!

Nov
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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 ‘marcell’ style creating a wavy look similar to the ladies hairstyles of the 1920’s.  The beard, too, was ‘marcelled’.

images (9)

Most Santa sets have an accompanying beard and attached mustache; 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 headpiece, or the hair might be embedded into a headpiece 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 accompanies 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 and wig set will be a subject for another day.

 
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26

Can Your Santa Claus Be Too Large??

Nov
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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 not 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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24

Santa’s Gloves and Glasses and Other Accessories

Nov
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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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