Thinking about having a costume built?

Here's some thoughts to get you started:

Elephant Blanket and Headpiece

What kinds of costumes do you make?

The variety of costumes that have passed our doors is quite remarkable.  From Medieval monks to elephant wares to Klingons, Costumes by Dusty has created thousands of different costumes.  Each is an original and excellently crafted.  Specializing in especially in historic and theatrical costumes, we have an extensive research library which is in constant growth and are committed to crafting period accurate costumes suited to modern tastes.  You may be surprised at the range of costumes which have been crafted in our more than twenty five years of business.  For more information, feel free to contact us and ask about any costumes we've built similar to that you would like.

What do I want?

The hardest part of costuming is often pin pointing the exact costume our customer wants.  The best place to start--whether you want to look like Mary, Queen of Scots, Chewbacca, or your dog needs to look like a giraffe--is to focus on visualizing the costume.  The best case scenario is that you have a picture.  It can be taken from a movie or magazine or even a comic book.  If none of these are an option, try to drawing a picture.  You don't have to be Michelangelo--it can even look like a Picasso instead--but any visual concept you have assists our in finding a starting place for your costume.

How much do I want to spend?

This is perhaps the most important question of anyone's life.  Whether in line at the grocery store or planning a ball gown, cost will always impact the overall project.  The cost of labor is only part.  You must also include fabric, trim, buttons, zippers, and accessories.  Before beginning the process of custom building, define your price range.  Money can be saved at the building end in many ways.  We can also suggest places to look for discount fabric and accessories.  Our staff understands the pressures of a budget.  Feel free to arrange a meeting with one of our designers to see if it is possible to build your costume within your budget.

What type of costume might be right for me?

Costumes can make an important statement in a variety of situations.  From Santa Claus to Captain Hook to General Patton, our staff has experience in building an incredible variety of costumes.  Think about the image you want to project and the place the costume will be worn.  In costume it is possible to increase customers' interest in a promotion, make a grand entrance into a costume party, or make your Church's Christmas pageant more memorable.  Costumes can make a statement never possible through words alone.  (For more information on how costumes can help your business, look at our mascots page.)

Leprechaun KingIs this a period costume?  Will there be any additional props needed to make
my costume complete?

Remember that you nearly always need shoes and finding period appropriate shoes can be challenging and expensive, although there are some tricks of the trade we'd be happy to discuss.  If you want a pirate costume, does it need a sword or hat?  One often forgotten aspect of costuming is accessories.  The cost of gloves, fans, jewelry, and other common accents are forgotten in the excitement of building a costume.  Are you looking at a Southern Belle costume?  It will need a hoop.  Many of the mentioned costuming accessories are available through our company, but remember if working within a budget, these costs must also be considered.

Is there anything special I want my costume to do?

Perhaps the costume will need to fit more than one person.  Maybe it needs to be waterproof.  I want to build costumes for a chorus line.  Consider any special requirements the costume will require as these concessions may require additional costs and differences in planning.

What color scheme do I want?

This question is not always an issue, but in the case of a Southern Belle or showgirl costume color can be very important.  Consider what trims you may want and organize a color scheme before your first meeting if possible.  If not, establish it before fabric shopping.

What kinds of fabric should I buy?  How much fabric will I need?St. Patrick Barmaid

These questions are difficult to answer without an initial meeting.  A
concept will be produced and appropriate fabric types and yardages will be

How long will this take?

All of our custom builds require four to six weeks for completion.  Within this time frame you may be needed for fittings as the construction proceeds.   Fittings may be as few as one to as many as 10.  It all depends on the costume you have planned.

How much will this cost?

Cost is a difficult issue to discuss without a definite idea of the costume you want built.  Costs can range from less than $100 to more than $10,000.  In your initial meeting, a cost estimate can be given.

What do I do now?

The first step is establishing a workable concept for the costume you want built.  Look at the library or in magazines or movies.  The world is full of inspiration.  After this, schedule an initial meeting with our staff.  You don't have to have a concrete idea of what you want in this meeting.  Our staff can help you finalize your plans.  Don't be afraid to bring in a stack of information or pictures.  Any help you can give us to satisfy you is encouraged.  Lastly, try not to feel overwhelmed.  Take your time and be organized.  It's not as involved as it may seem.