Some Places to Rent a Costume

I am constantly being bombarded with questions from folks new to the vintage dance scene about "Where can I rent stuff". I have generally dodged the question, since I have seldom been impressed with what is available from retail costume rental places, and the movie shops are expensive and intimidating for the uninitiated. I worry that any recommendation will be perceived as an endorsement, and in my limited experience, I have yet to find a rental place I could give my unqualified endorsement.

However, the fact remains that there are countless newbees out there who want to join in the fun, don't have the time or skills to make stuff themselves, and either can't afford a costumer or can't afford to wait for a costumer.

So, to address this, I asked around for suggestions for Los Angeles area places that provide more or less decent stuff.

Note that this is not an endorsement, and I would still suggest that you do some research beforehand, and bring pictures of what you have in mind so you can check it against what is being offered - and this is still no guarantee that what you get will be what you really needed.

costumes on the cheap

for those new comers who are willing to do some scrounging, hunting down men's formal wear cast offs from high society types and tux rental places can begin to get you in the ball park...look at second hand clothing places south and east of Beverly Hills. The yellow pages are invaluable in this regard. You probably won't find period correct attire, but you will find stuff that gets you a little closer to the mark and within a reasonable budget. Plus the fabrics the stuff is made from is durable and can be successfully altered by a costumer with some skill. Ladies can find petticoats and hoops sometimes in Goodwill, Salvation Army, Council Thrift, etc. Cast off Bridesmaid gowns and bridal gowns usually look like what they are. But if you feel good in it, it will do for a start. You can obtain some substantial quantities of yardage in old bridal attire and old window treatments...