How to buy costume on a small budget

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First steps

As many people in performing arts know buying costume for a cast is very difficult, buying in bulk, small budget and different sizes of the performers are just some of the hurdles that costume have to overcome.  To begin your costume search I'd advise these easy first steps.
  1. Find out from the director the overall theme and feel of the production to gain an understanding of what the costume needs to reflect.
  2. Write a list of the characters in the production and become familiar on what each character would wear and if that changes anywhere in the production.
  3. Find out how many cast members there are and document the sizes of each individual and what character they play.
  4. compile a clear list of all the information you have collected and set a maximum budget for every thing you need.

Let the search begin!

In my opinion Ebay is the best place to go to get costume because it has a wide verity of clothing and is easy to search and find exactly what you need. Be as specific as you can selecting colour, sizes and material in order to cut you search down and get exactly what you want.

  • try to start your search as early as possible as the cheapest clothing normally comes from China or Hong Kong so delivery can take a month.
  • Using the buy it now option makes it easier to buy things in bulk which is useful when buying for a chorus or ensemble as it ensures identical costume.
  • try when possible to be under budget, you never know when something you need is double what you expected it to be.
  • Check the sellers history make sure the seller has over 95% positive feedback, the last thing you need is to pay for something that you don't get.
  • Email the seller if you need a large quantity of one item, you may end up striking a deal!
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