My Thoughts On Costuming

Since I have a big ol' costume site, I thought maybe I'd share my (personal) costume philosophy.  It's not meant as an appeal to anyone - and I don't believe there is a right or wrong way.  I love screen accuracy.  But I also love effort and inventiveness.  A costume doesn't have to say "I spent $800" if it says "I spent a lot of time creating this!"

Rocky Horror is a hobby, and hobbies cost money.  Buy what you need to and make what you can.  I think even the smallest budgets can create great things if someone is willing to put in the time and effort.  That's why I share a lot of my methods, patterns and research.  I think a Frank corset made out of black duct tape and cut into to the right shape would look quite impressive compared to a flimsy lace negligee from the thrift store.

Me as Columbia, September 2006
In most cases, I'd start from the character's opening scene. If you can nail your entrance you'll grab people's attention, and they'll be more forgiving of your short-comings later on.

As for a budget?  If you're getting in for free, I would set aside at least the cost of a ticket price every week/month.  If you enjoy people paying that much to see you perform, then it's pretty reasonable to invest that much in your performance.  At least.

Custom costumes are great - but they can be expensive.  Figure out what you can start with, and what you can upgrade later.  Sometimes you can even recover some of your costs by selling off your starter costumes and put that money towards your upgrade.

And finally, don't forget the details.  They will set you apart!  Maybe you can't find the perfect Janet barrettes, but you can still cut up white cardboard or foamie and stick it on a bobby pin. I've used nail polish to paint the blue stripe on Columbia's ring.

It helps if you're on a cast that shares the same philosophy.  It's a lot more fun to share the stage with other people who are as invested in a good-looking show as you are.

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