Costume & Props Helpful Links
Last updated: 11/7/2016
Google is your friend. Some of the most helpful costume links you find will be ones you find yourself, using the search engine of your choice. If you find something really good,
email me, will you? Happy hunting!
A NOTE ON LINKS: Many stores have gone to a database format, which messes up the links something fierce. So if the main link doesn't work, try a keyword search at the main page. I try to keep everything current, but I do miss things. If you find a broken link, please
email me. Thanks!
Image Sources - or what to look at when you're bored with Tumblr
Suggestions on How to Make RHPS Costumes
Forums To Talk About Making Rocky Costumes
- Student's Guide to RHPS Costumes http://www.angelfire.com/film/ickle/costumes/rhpscostumes.html
Making costumes on the cheap. Good suggestions for modifying items found in charity shops (and a large list of UK shops!), and suggestions for where to buy things in the UK. The Columbia instructions look helpful; Janet's are much less detailed but promising. No one else is up yet.
- ShawnAnthony.com Rocky Horror submenu http://shawnanthony.com/rocky.html
Also uses (with permission) the text from the Anal Retentive Costume List as a jumping-off point. Information on the Frank jacket is notably more complete than the text here; information also included for Eddie.
- Rocky Horror Costume Instructions by [Sugarsh0x] http://www.angelfire.com/nj/RHPSColumbia/index.html
This is a page on how to make quick and dirty Rocky Horror costumes. I won't vouch for its accuracy, but if you need a costume fast, check it out. Hasn't been touched in years.
- RHPS Costume Ideas http://members.tripod.com/~ScabbyDoo/costumes
Another "quick and dirty" costume page. More fragmentary than the first one. Largely an archive.
General Costume Construction
- RHPS Costumes (LiveJournal)
People post stuff they're looking for, possible sources, etc. It's going the way of all Livejournal pages but the archives are worth a look.
Cosplay forums can also be helpful; you may want to add them to any searches, though I don't have any particular recommendations.
- The Rocky Horror Costume Forum http://amadscientist.proboards.com/
Very little traffic these days. Requires a login id (free). I've found the founder, Mark M's, comments on the rhpscostumes Livejournal group helpful.
- yahoogroup RHPSCostumesCostumersNFreaks finally went defunct.
People Who Will Make Rocky Costumes For You
- Cosplay.com's Cosplay Tutorials
GodDAMN. Tutorial after tutorial on making costumes that look like what's on-screen, all aimed at regular people. Want to know how to dye a wig with Sharpie markers? These people know how. OK, most Rocky people aren't looking for tips on how to make animal feet or kimonos. But there is a wealth of knowledge here.
I really think it's more fun to make your own. (Don't know how to sew? Neither did most of us when we started. For ideas on how to find/cobble together/modify costumes, and finding supplies, visit the Q&A page.) But some people really don't want to, don't have time, or would rather hire someone more skilled, and I got tired of people asking for a list of costumers. So here it is. I haven't dealt with all of them myself, but I have met most of them and personally seen examples of their work.
What About Those Commercial Costumes?
Fox released these in 2001. I wouldn't recommend them except maybe the Riff wig (hard to find commercially; requires some skill to make), or the Frank wig (not bad for a wig in a bag--the shape is right at least). If you want accuracy, or durability, look elsewhere.
WARNING: the photos on the packages are not the same as the actual costumes (they were probably of higher-quality prototypes).
If you want an approximate audience costume, these may be fine. Just expect to do a lot of maintenance as they were made very much on the cheap. Buying these is a lot less fun than hitting the thrifts and demonstrates a lot less creativity.
Tailors and Costumers
- The Frank wig and costume are the best-looking of the lot, but close up the Frank costume is flimsy, cheap and nasty. Fingerless gloves and corset are fronted with a plastic loopy scratchy material that looks okay if you don't get too close; backs are plain black. Gloves started to run immediately (they're not hemmed). Faux garter belt lace strip (attached to panties) looks good but started coming unstitched when I held it up.
- The Columbia costume, except for the hat, looks vaguely acceptable. The foil dot hat looks like a floppy beach hat. You could wear a plastic glitter tophat from a party store underneath it...or just wear the glitter tophat instead.
Tube top: multicolored shiny stripes with gold foil dots printed over them (plain black back). Tiny red foil dot bowtie on white elastic. Pastel stripes printed on black stretchy shorts. Thin foil dot shirt with tails. Rectangular black foil dot lapels attached in some weird way which minimized number of seams. Unlined, of course.
The Columbia wig is an embarrassment: wrong color, too bushy. You can do much better at a wigshop without trying hard.
- The Magenta dress is made out of velours-like material and the apron is attached to the dress. The shoulder straps are on the front of the dress only; they stop at the shoulder-seams. Cap looks OK. Considering how easy it is to modify a dress, I don't understand buying this...but it beats an off-the-rack French maid dress. Magenta wig doesn't look good, but I've seen worse.
- The Riff costume looks horrible - it's a cheap polyester suit with attached vest and a shoulderpad (?) for the hump. The price is right for Riff's tailcoat (though the vest is attached--ick). Two poor-quality spats and gloves are included. Really, just call around to tux shops after prom season's over - pick up a vest and suspenders there too. Or just buy a black jacket at a thrift store - it would look a lot better.
Costumers are listed here as a service to our readers, and does not constitute an endorsement.
If you have a problem with one of them, I probably can't help.
There may also be options in your area, and if you can find someone local, you'll be able to try the costume on and check on its progress in person.
Be sure to ask for references and CHECK them. Sometimes once costumers become known for excellent work, they get lots of orders, get overwhelmed, and go down in flames. So ask around before you order.
You can always talk with Edge, who prefer not to be listed here, or go to cosplay sources or Etsy.
If you do order a costume, discuss details that matter to you (number of pleats/eyelets; size of quilted spacesuit squares, color, etc.) with the costumer. (One of the advantages to making your own is that you know exactly what you want.)
Also make sure the measurements you send the costumer are as exact and complete as possible. Even if it they are, you may have to make some final alterations once the costume arrives. On my most recent commission, I asked that the costumer send me a muslin mockup to try on and modify before they started the real thing, which helped.
I DO NOT recommend commissioning a costume if you need it by a specific date, particularly around Halloween, when most Rocky costumers are swamped. If you're on deadline, you are probably better off doing the costume yourself. You are ordering a custom piece of vintage-styled clothing, and most Rocky costumers are fans doing this in their spare time.
A warning: if you live in a different country than the costumer, you may have to pay import duty on the costume, and shipping may be pricey!
General Costume Sources and Lists of Sources
- Other site's costumer links
Mina seems to be doing a better job than I at keeping track of other sellers; she includes notes about whether she's seen the work in person.
- UK COSTUMERS
- Kazelle 4711 ( http://kazelle4711.yolasite.com/online-store.php
When people order a full set of floor show boas, they usually get it from Kazelle. My cast ordered a set and they are lovely. She also does Rocky Horror Show tour boas, or custom non-Rocky boas, but she's a Rocky fan and doing movie-style boas is where she got her start. I ordered one myself and it looks very nice, though apparently you'll have to add your own tassels.
- As If By Magic ( http://asifbymagiccostumes.com/costumes/rockyhorror/
I've never met these folks, and I don't know if I've seen their costumes. Some of the UK fans who follow the tour mentioned them. Prices on the high side.
- US COSTUMERS
- Edge Creations
As I mentioned above, Edge prefers not to be listed here, but they often have a booth at cons and can easily be found via Google and Facebook. We have profound differences on some of their designs, though I like their boas and am impressed with the embroidery on their Brad robes. Many people like them.
They do not customize as far as I'm aware; if you disagree with their color choices or other details, they have plenty of customers who don't.
- Hannah Cunningham From Rags to Rocky
Hannah is the cast director of The Master's Affairs, in Lexington, Kentucky. She got a serger for Christmas, and learned how to use it to make a set of boas for her cast. She writes: "I wildly overestimated the material I would need, and wound up making extra boas to sell online. I've long since gone through my original stash of fabric, but the boas are in such demand that I've kept making them. I make them from gold, red, and black glitter organza, with two feet of black chiffon on either end. They're a total of nine feet long, serged all around in black thread, pleated, and joined by a strip of twill tape running along the middle of the gold strip. I've sold quite a few and people seem to be happy; I have 100% positive feedback on eBay."
Hannah recently expanded into space suits; her first batch look pretty good and were criminally cheap. She's looking at revising pricing as she sources more pre-quilted lamé . She also makes space gloves. She is open to making other RHPS costumes, so you can certainly ask.
- Menyalion's Den https://www.etsy.com/shop/Menyalion?section_id=16824098
Samantha Gibbs aka Menyalion was a professional Costume Stitcher and Wardrobe Supervisor for over 6 years before moving to Pittsburgh, PA in 2011. In 2012 she joined the Junior Chamber of Commerce Players, where she is still an active cast member and cast costume builder. Samantha started making Rocky Horror pieces in late 2012, and is currently working on expanding her store options. She is willing to work with any customer and make any accessory piece (bow-ties, aprons, maid caps, ascots, etc.) which does not require too many measurements.
I'm not sure if I've seen her work in person.
- Shawn Anthony (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Shawn has been on hiatus since October 2011 and I don't think he's coming back.
Shawn writes: "16 years of involvement in Rocky Horror. Have created costumes for fans and shadowcast performers across the United States and Britain. Trained and certified in stage costuming and theatre technology...Particular interest in Frank N. Furter and Eddie." Costume work won Best Frank at the 2005 Vegas con and Best Rocky at the Chicago 2006 con (field of two contestants). Photos; partial price list. Shawn notes that costume creation will take 4 to 6 weeks. We occasionally have some differences on costume shape but I must say some of his recent work is very nice indeed. He seems to be particularly well-known for his Frank shoes, and they do look very nice.
- Mina Credeur email@example.com
As of October 2012, Mina has stopped taking commissions, though I understand she may still have hand props and other non-sized items (badges, patches, etc.) available, and she will be putting costume pieces up at her eBay store.
Even if you aren't interested in buying anything, check out Mina's site; she posts reference photos and useful information on how to make costumes, too, as well as a growing collection of patterns. (Disclaimer: I contributed to the lightning bolt pattern; I haven't used any of her others, though the spouse made a nice pair of Rocky shorts from a pattern she provided.) Her work on the site won her a BOSS award.
Mina does good-looking costumes for reasonable prices, and when I needed something made, or someone asked for a recommendation, I usually sent them to her. She's one of the few costumers left from the late 90s; she has a good eye, does her research, and is open to discussion. After getting overextended in the early 2000s, she issued refunds; spent some time doing only cast referrals and repeat customers; then moved on to eBay, where she garnered a feedback rating of 100%. In addition to doing Rocky costumes, Mina also does historical costumes, mostly Victorian era.
Mina is a Columbia and cast costume mistress and an active member of the rhpscostumes group on LiveJournal. She writes: "Mostly, I prefer working on Columbia commissions, but I do a fair bit of Janet and Magenta....The stuff I have finished for immediate sale will also be posted on my site - especially in advance of con and Halloween." She uses an embroidery machine to make patches for Frank and Brad jackets; we got a Triumph tiger patch from her and it looks great. She also makes nice vinyl lab masks (original light pink no longer available; I suggest you ask her not to cut them too large) and lightning bolt pins made of foam-backed vinyl; they look good but over time they delaminate and start to curl. She's looking into fiberglass now; that may do the trick. I've done bulk orders of lab masks/bolt pins for myself and casts I'm in. Mina also made a rather nice maid's dress for me with proper pleats from a pattern I'd cut (redoing the sleeves, which I'd screwed up).
Remember, you can find a lot of stuff looking around in the real world.
Specific Costume Piece Sources
- eBay http://www.ebay.com
I hope I don't have to tell you to look on eBay. This is where people post their old costumes nowadays, and if you're looking for authentic 1970's crap, this is where most people go to find it.
If you can't find what you're looking for on eBay, consider hitting alternate country eBay sites, such as http://www.ebay.co.uk/ I forget sometimes that a lot of people use eBay as a storefront; it's not my thing but a lot of people cruise the eBay shops and do really well.
- Frederick's of Hollywood
They won't have exact Rocky lingerie, but it's a good place to start. A good source for cheap stockings (fishnet and otherwise), corsets, etc. Their satin jacquard corset (cupless!) makes an excellent floorshow corset when worn backwards; a lot of casts use them.
Note: I have not purchased these items myself unless indicated, and am not associated with any of the merchants.
A word to the wise if you're purchasing lingerie on-line--shop around. You'll find that the majority of sites you visit are selling exactly the same thing from the distributor--after a while the photos will all look familiar. Prices vary wildly: why pay twice as much for the same thing?
- Act One Costumes
When people recommend a general costume site, I'm skeptical. However, this one is pretty good. Includes mustaches (the "straight mustache" looks like a good bet for Dr. Scott), red suspenders, backseamed fishnet stockings, spats (strapless), paper wingtip collars, a fairly nice satin cape with standup collar (you'd have to re-line it in silver), and black plastic German Soldier Helmets ($15). And the men's short shag wig looks like with a little trimming it might be a decent Rocky wig. Hmm. Definitely worth a look. Thanks to Dawn Marie for pointing this one out.
- Ardell LashTite - Non-latex eyelash glue
Ardell LashTite. I'm not providing a link; it's available at drugstores, or at drugstore.com if you must buy on-line. It's supposed to hold very securely, so care is recommended when removing your falsies! This used to claim to be the only latex-free eyelash adhesive, but Andrea now also makes a brush-on latex-free formula; I bought some at Walgreen's.
- STAGE AND PROFESSIONAL MAKEUP
- MAC http://www.maccosmetics.com
Several people (in both Rocky Horror and punk makeup circles) recommended MAC eyeshadow. Their makeup includes a lot of pigment, and they don't change their colors very often, so once you find the perfect color, you'll be able to get more of it. Sold in some fancy department stores. Warning: the sample shades on-screen are not at all close to actual shades. Go look in person.
Rocky Horror Makeup by Sofia Green https://www.facebook.com/RockyHorrorMakeup
Sofia is a Frank from Boston who also sells Mary Kay products. She's put together kits to match the various characters. She's open to input and will work with you (maybe even send you samples) if you have questions. Appears very knowledgable and she has me thinking about Magenta lipstick seriously again - the shade I wear matches the Poster Magazines but not Time Warp. Prices are in the same range as MAC, so this option is recommended for those who have money and would rather have someone else figure out the colors for them. A castmate who loves makeup won one of the kits in a raffle and is very happy with it. The Facebook page includes pictures of people wearing the various kits as the character, which you won't find anywhere else. Do note that the woman modeling the Magenta kit is black - you'd never know from the photo (I didn't) so if you're wondering if that foundation covers, apparently it does.
- BOSS (TEMPORARY) TATTOOS
- Deadly Sting Tattoos http://deadlystingtattoos.com
Created by an NYC Cast Frank. Very nice-looking; I've seen people perform in them and they look very nice. $4 for one plus shipping; cheaper by the tattoo as you buy more, and they state that bulk discounts are available. Apparently they'll stay on for days; impressive. Site features a side-by-side comparison with a Mick Rock photo.
Thanks to the Internet, whether platforms and chunky heels are in style or not has become blessedly irrelevant. When you're cruising megasites looking for shoes, keep in mind that color is often less important than the right shape. Color can be fixed (with paint or glued-on fabric). The wrong shape usually can't, unless you're very crafty indeed.
The majority of the "stripper shoes" (Frank and floorshow shoes qualify) nowadays are made by Ellie or by Pleaser (who also do the Funtasma line), which means you're basically shopping on price. In general, I find I'm happier with Ellie than with Pleaser, and I find that Pleaser sizes tend to run small. Your mileage may vary.
To get you started, here is a glossary of shoe terms. It's easier to find the shoes if you know how to describe them.
- Zappos.com Glossary of Shoe and Handbag Terms http://www.zappos.com/glossary
This is starting to clog with non-shoe-related terms, but it has pictures, is very comprehensive, and has helpful pictures.
BEATLE BOOTS (For Riff)
These are available primarily from UK sources. If you're feeling lucky, they're available in various sizes on eBay, running $40-$100 a pair.
- Boxing Classics boxing boots http://www.boxing-classics.com/
They are finally back on-line! My husband Wally found this site and made it to the finals at the 25th Anniversary with these boots. We special ordered ours; they have since added gold or silver metallic boots as a standard option: boots are now up to $135 and take about 6 weeks. The gold is maybe just a little too shiny, but oh, they are beautiful and come highly recommended. The pair Wally ordered even had the correct number of eyelets and white laces. Yes, the tongue protrudes over the top of the boot like they are supposed to. And in addition, the Boxing Classics people were very friendly and helpful.
The pair we ordered came with black soles and black stitching, and a logo patch we had to remove (use a seam ripper). Wally painted over the sides of the soles with paint. The metallic shoes shown on the site have dark soles and dark laces, but Boxing Classics confirms that you can order with the light soles and white laces (you must ask when placing your order).
If you don't want to go with Boxing Classics, sorry, I've found nothing remotely close anywhere else on-line. Try searching for "wrestling boots" on eBay and you may find something. Good luck.
OPEN-TOED PLATFORM SANDALS
- BeatWear http://www.sixtiesbeatwear.co.uk/
I'm not sure if these folks are affiliated with the old Beatleboots.co.uk or not. You want the "Winkle Picker," though the High Cavern and Original Chelsea also look good. A bit pricier than some of the other options.
I have seen the Beatle Boots model in person and they're beautiful. In October 2012, these were L£130 (most of $200) *plus* $30 (£22.50) shipping from the UK. In 2012 they had a Halloween sale, allowing you to pick up a pair for £95.
- Underground England http://www.undergroundshoes.co.uk/
The Beatle Winklepicker or Fred Black Leather Winklepicker are probably the closest match (£108). Free shipping to the US. Edward Marlowe bought a Beat Boot from them and says of his pair: "They are, as is traditional, a tight fit, both over the top of the foot and with the pointy toes, and the seams can rub a little on the top of the foot. I'm fine with my own size (didn't want to go too loose as they will stretch over time, and i love the look of em tight), but for anyone who has a very wide foot, it might be worth trying a size up."
- Pennangalan Dreams http://www.pennangalan.com/boots/FW245.php
Look at the Cuban Chelsea Beat Boots (FW49). They even have a cruelty-free version in "vegetarian leather." At £80, this is one of the more affordable options - they've been discontinued and the website is starting to look a little weird.
- b>Atom Retro http://www.atomretro.com/product_info.cfm?product_id=11707&d=OUTLAW-MADCAP-RETRO-MOD-CHELSEA-BOOTS-LEATHER $97 plus shipping, depending on the exchange rate.
- Trash and Vaudeville http://www.trashandvaudeville.com/UGFRED-BLKLEA.html
If you just can't bear paying international shipping or can't hack the math, Trash and Vaudeville in NYC does carry the Underground Beatle Boot for $189 (more than you'd pay from the UK, depending on the exchange rate).
In 2007, the "peep-toe" style came back, so there may be fine Frank shoes out there I don't know about. When I bought a pair of Frank shoes for one performance, I bought Ellie's 557-LEA shoes, which show too much toe and have an open back. If you get a pair, buy it in the "PU" (polyurethane) style for a non-shiny shoe. Snaz75 has better options. In 2011 someone discovered the "Miss Me Faris" sandal; it's clunkier than Frank's shoes but has the heel cup, a very good heel, and the correct type of ankle strap. Sadly, I've never seen it larger than a women's 10.
- Snaz75 http://www.snaz75.com/el-557-lea.html
People seem to have very good luck at Snaz (enormous selection; good prices), so look around. $35-40 or so and sized up to a 16. This site includes several shoes with a closed heel back, which isn't easy to find, such as the Dolly-37, which has good shape but requires both painting and removing an extra buckle. It's no longer at Snaz, but is still findable elsewhere (Google it). Shawn Anthony used the Dolly-37 and a previous Dolly model as the base for his widely-admired Frank shoes.
- DSW http://www.dsw.com/shoe/miss+me+faris+1+sandal?prodId=231528
Not sure how long this link will be good (DSW has sold out of Miss Me Faris), but it's such a good shoe that I'm including it. Finding the heel cup with correct type strap *and* the peep toe *and* a good heel shape is so rare. DSW charges $40. People have found these as cheap as $20; see what you can find.
Many tap shoes fasten with a ribbon tie instead of buckling; it's pretty, but it's not what Columbia wore. (OK, Columbia's shoes button. But I've never seen button tap shoes except in the UK.) Chunky heels are back, so I'm abandoning the Capezio 450 and 550 I used to recommend. Hooray for the Internet and copious photos! Expect to pay $20 or so for the taps. Current best recommendations are the Sansha Myrtha #CL51 (a character shoe, opening over the toes a little too pointy; the Capezio Lilina 455 (a character shoe; strap attachment shape not right) or the Bloch Showtapper S0323 (usually sold with taps, strap attachment shape not right).
A friend recently showed me a pair of squaredancing shoes, and if you don't want taps, these might be a good option...but the going price for new ones is about $60 a pair, so they may be even more expensive than tap shoes. Shop around.
This seems to be the portion of the site I have to update the most; most large store webpages run from a database, and they move the pages around a lot.
So with that said, here are some models of shoe that look reasonably good:
Here are some stores that I keep in my rotation. If you can't find what you're looking for, type the model information above into a search engine and see what you get.
HIGH HEELED PATENT PUMPS
- The Myrtha #CL51. This is a character shoe, so if you want taps, you'll have to have them added. Used to be available for about $30; comes up mostly on sale sites now. The CL51L has a Velcro closure, which could be great for quick changes or terrible if the velcro catches on your stockings.
- The Capezio 455 - Lilina. $45. Available in Med or Wide. This is a character shoe, so if you want taps, you'll have to have them added.
- The Bloch Showtapper S0323, available with taps.
Floor show shoes are pretty easy to find. I've selected the links below as sites that have a wide range of sizes and reasonable prices ($35-$40). Sadly, shoe sites tend to come and go, and styles change quickly, so if a link doesn't work, please
- BACKSEAMED STOCKINGS AND ACCESSORIES
Usually pretty easy to find locally, except for backseamed sheer stockings (Magenta) and backseamed fishnet stockings (Frank). (Why are these so hard to find without a lace top?!) If you're buying plain seamed stockings, you will usually end up with Leg Avenue unless you deliberately look for another brand. (After a while, you'll recognize the pictures.) Style 5026 is their regular style; style 1000Q is their Tall. They do mean Tall, not Queen--I love the length but the stockings are very tight and prone to run the first few times I wear them. Your other option is to get backseamed stockings with a Cuban heel--very elegant, but the top of the Cuban heel shows above my boots, so I don't get them. NOTE: as of 9/12, Music Legs stockings start the backseam at the back of the foot instead of the sole, so I no longer recommend them - it makes it harder to get the seams straight, particularly if you're in a rush in a dark theater.
Classic fishnets are getting harder to find, being replaced by "industrial," "fence," or "diamond" versions, which are an oversized fishnet pattern. My husband tells me that Leg Avenue seamed fishnets have changed (as of 2011): instead of a real-looking sewn-on seam, there's just a double row of darker cells up the back. If this bothers you, buy another brand.
- Yandy.com http://www.yandy.com/search.php?q=seam (back-seamed sheer stockings, fishnets, etc.)
Offers a wider selection of brands than most other sites, including Elegant Moments and Dream Girl, which I think are a little nicer than Leg Avenue. Sadly, shipping is now free only on orders of $70 or more. Some of the stocking prices are insanely cheap. For some reason most of the fishnets are "industrial," which appears to mean "really large fishnet pattern."
- Glamour Boutique
https://www.glamourboutique.com/buy/shoes-hosiery/sheer-stretch-nylons-seams (back-seamed sheer stockings)
Available in extra tall (up to 6'2") and Queen.
- Admcity Lingerie http://fashion.admcity.com/index.shtml (back-seamed sheer stockings, garter belts, underwear, etc.)
I didn't want to include this site because it's just so darn massive. (They had more than two dozen pages of women's panties to choose from last time I visited, with about fifteen choices per page. My eyes glaze over.) Still, they have several choices for seamed sheer stockings, a few seamed fishnets (wrong tops, though) and occasionally some interesting garter belt choices (try a lace one for Frank). They do men's stuff, too. There's a search engine but their stock is so huge that descriptions are minimal. (They do corsets, bustiers, etc. as well.) If you want descriptions written by someone whose native tongue is English who knows their stock, look elsewhere.
- Feeling Lingerie http://www.feelingusa.com/hosiery/plus-size-stockings (stockings of all sorts)
Includes plus-size backseamed plain stockings in plus and regular sizes, among other things. Very reasonable and there's always a coupon - they even have a link on their homepage to a coupon site. I have been a satisifed customer since at least 2005. Sadly, they now offer free shipping only with minimum $50 purchase, and I couldn't find any backseamed regular fishnets on my last visit, though they did offer one style with lace tops.
- BACKSEAMED FISHNET PANTYHOSE (TIGHTS)
In the US, "tights" tend to be dancer's tights with Lycra; pantyhose tends to be 100% nylon. Tights with Lycra last longer and hold their shape better. I've only worn them as Trixie; they are nice. Capezio 3400 fishnet tights have a backseam and are 45% lycra (which is why they cost three times as much as regular fishnet pantyhose).
Solid sole for comfort (won't show unless people are looking at the bottom of your foot). Only available in S/M or M/L. Body Wrappers don't have the solid foot but are cheaper and come in L/XL for us larger folks. Tights with Lycra should run about $12-$16; regular fishnet pantyhose (no Lycra), $5-$6.
Dreamgirls has gone to the thick-cell fake seam, which I think looks like crap. For now, your best bet seems to be Leg Avenue. I'm not sure if Leg Avenue went back to real seams or if I just got lucky. Good luck.
I don't have a recommendation right now; you can Google "Leg Avenue" + "fishnet" + "pantyhose" + "seam" and a bunch of results pop up. Haven't shopped with any of them; let me know if you find a source you really like.
- 6-STRAP GARTER BELTS
- ROCKY SHORTS
An on-line search for "wrestling trunks" is your best bet. Sadly, the fashion for lamé wrestling trunks on lingerie sites at affordable prices appears to have passed. If you're a girl, try Googling "gold"+"boy shorts" or "gold"+"booty shorts" and you should have plenty of options.
Marching band accessory stores are worth a look; apparently as long as there are marching bands, there will be sequined gauntlets (some band stores refer to them as "mitts").
- Theatre House, Inc.http://www.theatrehouse.com/ (wrist-length silver lamé gloves)
Surprisingly difficult to find on-line; it's much easier to find elbow-length, which are harder to stuff into your space gauntlets. They are "one size fits all" but they are darn small on me. Site also carries spandex lamé fabric, wigs, and some "laser spot" gloves that might work for Frank.
- Band Shoppe
http://www.bandshoppe.com/cgi-bin/DDA5AAF9/mac/template.mac/loadHtmlPage?htmlPage=/guard/accessories/GU912.html (sequined floorshow gauntlets)
They keep moving the page, so if you can't find it, go to "Guard Accessories" (a recent search for "sequin" turned up no results, but they're still there - don't panic!). You want the "finger loop gauntlet." The standard length is up-to-the-elbow.
To be more movie-exact, tell them you want them 3" above the elbow order (minimum of 3 pairs for custom orders). The last time I ordered (July 2010) this added another $5 per pair. These are real sequins, not foil dots (stretch sequin material; if you want a vermicelli pattern you'll have to make your own). I've been buying these since 1999, and they look pretty good. They do run a little small, and the shipping is pretty hefty (expect to pay $20 shipping for three or four pairs of gloves). You'll have to add your own pink feather trim.
In addition, under Gloves, they have black vinyl gauntlets (a href="http://www.bandshoppe.com/category-s/144.htm">http://www.bandshoppe.com/category-s/144.htm which look very much like space glove gauntlets (you'll need to add the gold trim).
- Lingerie Mart http://www.lingeriemart.com/products/Electric_Lingerie_Long_Fishnet_Gloves-791-0.html (fishnet gauntlets)
$6, minimum order 6 pairs and only available in multiples of 6 pairs (weird). Since other sites charge $15-$18 a pair, why not outfit a couple of your friends? Jenny D. notes that these do indeed have a seam, and are style number XTC818 (made by XTC Leather in NYC). Hers look great. Another site, not listed here because they charge too much, notes "elastic bands hold securely in place."
- Sock Dreams http://www.sockdreams.com/products/fishnet-arm-warmers?back=search
Fishnet "arm warmers" which fasten with a loop around the middle finger (not, sadly, strictly screen-accurate). Also sells intriguing 15" fingerless gloves. Wrong fabric for Frank, but worth looking into as a base for those who don't really sew.
- Playtex Gloves http://www.playtexproductsinc.com/gloves/LivingGloves.aspx
Every September/October, Playtex makes pink dishwashing gloves, at least in the US, where they're hard to find during the rest of the year. They're sized, so if you have trouble finding them big enough, order the Large if you can't find it in stores. These are Playtex Living gloves. It looks like they no longer sell them directly through the website...
- DR. SCOTT LAP BLANKETS
Scott Labrecque, who won Best Dr. Scott at the 25th Anniversary, discovered that Dr. Scott's blanket is an Anderson Modern tartan. Be careful and do not order from a site that doesn't have pictures. Tartans may vary slightly; some sites offer a plain Anderson that looks fine; in my searches I found one Modern that wouldn't do.
Remember, Scottish tartan blankets are a luxury item; they aren't cheap.
- LAB COATS
- GREEN SURGICAL GOWNS
Veterinary Apparel Company http://www.veterinaryapparel.com/
The "Surgery Gown" (Model 106A) looks very good. This site used to show the gowns' front and back; it no longer does. At the time, anyway, the back also looked good. I saw one of these in person after someone ordered it; looked pretty good, though the ties were too wide and an odd color (yellow?). For some reason, every surgery gown I've ever seen is lighter than Tim's; you could try tea dyeing...
I ordered two in 2008; they were very helpful and the shipping was still the same as for one ($8). You get a coupon good for 10% off your next order, so pass it on to a friend.
- FABRICS AND TRIM
Don't forget to use your Yellow Pages or the Yellow Pages of major cities near you as well as the Internet...many large specialty fabric stores are not on-line, and if they are, the entire stock is probably not listed. Please be careful buying fabric on-line...it's pretty easy to figure out what color you're getting, but texture is another matter entirely, particularly for non-specialty fabrics. If you can, request a swatch.
If you're buying sequin fabric, try to avoid foil dot, and read descriptions carefully: real sequins appear to be making a comeback, but many are now "baby sequins" ("razzle sequins") and some are different shapes or dangle from off-center holes.
- Theatre House, Inc.http://www.theatrehouse.com/ See also Gloves. Site carries spandex lamé fabric and sequin trim, and sequin fabric by the yard, at least for now. For sequin fabric go to:
http://www.theatrehouse.com/mm5/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Store_Code=THH&Product_Code=0888&Category_Code=FabSequin. Thanks to Sarah for the tip.
- JKM Ribbon and Trims http://www.jkmribbon.com/pmet.html
To find all the metallics, go to "Silver and Gold" and then look around. I used to recommend the Offray ribbons, but they look very odd here. You should be able to find Offray ribbon in the trim department in the fabric store. $2-$4 for 50 yards. You have to create an account to view the prices (boo, hiss). WARNING: minimum order is $25!
- M and J Trimming http://www.mjtrim.com/
A truly amazing trim store from the NY garment district. Buttons, marabou, fringe, rhinestones and dome nailhead studs, ribbon, tassels, stretch sequin trim (hidden under "beaded trim")...pictures of everything, including all the colors, too. Huge selection; it may take you a while to find what you're looking for.
- Rhinestones.org http://www.rhinestones.org/
A fabulous site with rhinestones (duh) in crystal and plastic, rhinestone banding, nailheads, mountings, setters, as well as information on what all this stuff is and how to use it.
- Allstar Plastics http://www.allstarco.com/
Acrylic rhinestones, plain and shaped; nailheads; mountings. Probably not of interest unless you are going to buy a LOT; this is essentially a wholesale site. I'm including it as it has such an interesting selection. If you need a *lot* of rhinestones/mountings or are going in with a couple of friends (minimum order for most pieces is 200-1500 pieces), the per-piece price is dirt cheap. No minimum dollar order, but minimum shipping charges are $13.
- ReproDepot.com http://reprodepot.stores.yahoo.net/lchdgpk.html
Vudu Doll recommends this site for 1/2" pink gingham check. The site claims it's double gauze and the swatch shown looks almost like a seersucker; hopefully it would flatten on ironing. Vudu Doll purchased some and says is lays fine once it's interfaced, which you'd do with a collar, cuffs or belt anyway. Sold by the half-yard.
- Hancock Fabrics http://www.hancockfabrics.com/
Their stock changes (as do off-line fabric stores), but people have found cheetah-print faux fur and lavender broadcloth here. Might be worth checking out. Please be careful buying fabric on-line...it's pretty easy to figure out what color you're getting, but texture is another matter entirely.
- Fashion Fabrics Club http://www.fashionfabricsclub.com/
Had several lilac/lavender fabric swatches that looked promising; might be worth checking out. Watch out for the shipping charges.
- Vogue Fabrics http://www.voguefabricsstore.com/home.php
A Chicago fabric chain. Lots of everything, and they specialize in corsetry, so you can find things here you won't otherwise. When I'm just shopping for fabric, I never seem to find what I'm looking for here, but maybe you will. If you're in Chicagoland, it's worth visiting in person; the place is huge. If you need to cover buttons for Janet or Magenta, they'll let you use the professional button-covering machine, which apparently works better than the do-it-yourself kits and a hammer.
- Daytona Trimming and Braid http://www.yelp.com/biz/daytona-trimmings-company-new-york
Another amazing shop in the NY fabric district. Looks like they gave up on having a website (they didn't sell online anyway). 251 West 39th St, NY, NY 10018 between 7th and 8th Avenue.
- SEQUINED TAILCOATS
- Frank Bee Costume http://www.frankbeecostume.com/laskseta.html
Sequined tailcoats with peak lapels and satin buttons, available in S, M, and L for slightly over $200. Minor modifications would be needed, but a darn close match for a darn good price. Google "sequin tailcoat" to find it several places at the same price. While the photo of the women's tailcoat appears to have squared-off tails, Rebecca writes: "I ordered this exact tailcoat (from a different place, but the catalog picture was the same) and the women's model tails ARE swallowtail, not squared off. It is just like the men's model, only smaller." Men, you can order the men's model for $270. Thanks to Venus from Barely Legal for the link! Google "skip a row tailcoat" and see what you find...
- MOUSE EARS
- NAME (NAMEPLATE) NECKLACES
Through the 1990s, these could be found at Target or JC Penney. Those days are gone, at least in the US; apparently UK Janets can still buy the cheap costume jewelry version. US Janets can thank Carrie Bradshaw that these are available at all: $40 buys a gold-plated sterling silver necklace. 14K ranges from $80 or $90 up to $140, depending on the price of gold, so shop around. Some Janets buy wire necklaces. They're cheap (about $25) but they look totally wrong.
- BRAD UNDERWEAR
You're looking for Jockey's "full rise brief" (sometimes referred to as the "classic brief"). I'm not including any links here since a brief search turned up 60+ sites that sell the darn things, and you can find them at most major department stores. Run about $6.50; $5.50 if you buy the three-pack.
- MOTORCYCLE PATCHES AND PINS
- The 59 Club http://www.the59club.org.uk/
Still around. £14 for membership (£16 outside UK). Membership good for one calendar year; pay in British pounds, or by international money order.
Membership used to include one '59' patch (they call it a "cloth badge"). Their website isn't clear so ask. Additional cloth badges and metal lapel badges £4. Barry's Bike Badges used to offer those in the US the opportunity to join using a credit card; doesn't look like that's an option any more (Barry's has closed).
I find shopping on-line for wigs very difficult. It's difficult to gauge length unless a human being is wearing them, and key word searches are nearly useless.
On the bright side, sometimes you'll luck into something, and there are now several good FAQ's up on how to care for your wig (such as this one at http://www.headcovers.com/care_wigs.php). Check out eBay and cosplay sites too.
- Riff Wigs
- My Favorite Obsession: Liz Stockton's Rocky Horror Wigs (firstname.lastname@example.org)
(Website includes price list, photos but they may be outdated)
Liz has closed her Etsy and eBay stores following some customer service issues; her website appears to be up again but you're probably best off contacting her via Facebook. She does good work but got busy, so if you're working with her, plan ahead, be patient, and keep the lines of communication open. If you're in a hurry, you should probably go elsewhere.
Liz has branched out from doing wigs to doing accessories and costume pieces; I don't think a definitive list is available at this time. The winner of the Magenta/Space division categories at the 25th anniversary was wearing wigs Liz made, and apparently the BluRay Rocky is wearing one too. I've liked the wigs I've seen of hers (the Frank wig is very nice and her Janet wig is also very popular), though I did meet one very unhappy purchaser of a "Rocky" wig. These are reasonably priced, usually about what you'd pay for a street wig you'd then have to get styled. I bought a Magenta wig from her, which I modified only a little (Liz's wig is cut straight across the bottom front; Magenta's hair is slightly shorter next to her face). It gets compliments and it's held up well. I tried to do better at Outfitters and couldn't.
- Deadly Sting Tattoos and Wigs (http://deadlystingtattoos.com/
Jen, a Frank from NYC, is best known for her http://costumeshaker.ie/wigs-hats/men-wigs.html BOSS temporary tattoos. She's branched out to do wigs, and they look pretty good. Site features 360 degree rotation capability; more photos of people wearing them are promised. The Janet wig is particularly nice. Even if you can't afford one of her wigs yet, check out the "Tips and Tricks" suggestions for wig care, and look for her at conventions.
- Outfitter Wigs of Hollywood (http://www.outfitterswig.com/index.html
Website is basically an on-line business card with a small wig gallery, mostly featuring astonishing styles which require lots of hairspray.
6626 Hollywood Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90028
(wide range of wigs; beautiful Bride of Frankenstein wigs)
Good Space Magenta wigs are a rarity. Some of the Rocky costumers offer them but they tend to look lacquered; I haven't seen anyone else in Outfitters' league. Outfitters will make you a Bride wig in any color you want (send them a swatch or specify a standard wig color--you can get these at a wig shop) with separate waved white hair strips.
Outfitters did my Space wig and I will be eternally grateful. I found out about Outfitters from the Swiss cast's Magenta. Mine was about $120 in the 1990s (shipping is extra) and was worth every cent.
A Space Magenta wig is differently shaped than a standard Bride (Magenta's hair is spherical; a true Bride wig is conical, like Nefertiti's crown): send them some reference photos and tell them you want it less tall and more spherical. In the 10 years since I bought my first wig, they're started adding a "natural" hairline to their wigs. Tell them not to for your space wig - Magenta doesn't have one. If at all possible, have the final styling done on you.
Properly cared for, these last. I had mine restyled more than ten years after the initial purchase; it was almost, but not quite, as expensive as buying a new one (soaking out the hairspray alone takes two days). Their stylists now are not quite as good as they were when I bought the original wig, but they're still excellent.
NOTE: if they tell you it will fit under an airplane seat in a wig box, they are lying. Mine fits only if I cradle it in a shopping bag. You can always wear it on the plane - I did, though this was before the Sept. 11 attacks.
- LINGERIE FINDINGS/CORSETRY ACCESSORIES
Farthingales Fabric by Mail Costume & Theatrical Supplies http://farthingalescorsetmakingsupplies.com/
Sells black lingerie findings, eyelets, grommets, push-up pads, corset laces...a great site. I made a garter belt with supplies I bought from them and was delighted with the merchandise and the service. Thanks to Jenny D. for finding them. Comparison shopping here is a bit inconvenient as prices are listed only on the price list, not with the items...you can't have everything.
Farthingales Midwest http://www.farthingalesla.com/
This used to be Farthingales' LA branch, but they've gotten out of the supply business, and all shopping is now done through Vogue Fabrics. Selection different and much smaller than the Canadian shop: notably the bones are significantly lighter. If you want to buy garter findings, forget it. On the bright side, Vogue is an excellent independent chain, and you don't have to pay international shipping.
You can buy feathers cheap direct from China on eBay, but when I did, the feathers were beautiful but got black dye all over my hands. So be careful. Black coque feathers have been turning up in the "floral arrangments" section of my local Joann's, either as wreaths (a lifetime supply of Frank crown feathers!) or weird accents for floral arrangements. Worth looking into.
- Lamplight Feather http://www.tonyhill.net/productCat43986.ctlg
We bought some coque feathers for a Frank floorshow headdress from them; very cheap; shipped quickly and the feathers look nice. Feathers are sold by type, size and color. They also sell marabou feather trim and chandelle feather trim (for floorshow gloves), in addition to the usual chandelle feather boas and other interesting items such as ostrich feather fans,
- Fancy Feather http://fancyfeather.com/
Sells marabou boas of varying weights and colors, chandelle boas, coque feathers (for Frank's feather crown), etc. Custom dyeing available; they do a lot of burlesque work.
- MOSTLY EDDIE STUFF
- SKELETON KEYCHAINS
Honestly, just a Google search will probably turn these up. Isn't technology wonderful?
- IRON CROSS RINGS
Again, technology has advanced enough that a Google search for "Iron Cross ring" should get you there.
- Biker Jewelry http://www.badbikerjewelry.com/
You want the "Large Biker/Fashion Rings (Sizes 7-14)." The iron cross rings in the Small section (sizes 5-10) has extra details on the band.
- COMEDY/TRAGEDY SILVER RINGS
If you're trying to get an exact match to Eddie's Beau Sterling ring, your best bet is to troll eBay for "Beau sterling ring mask" (or something similar).
- SKULL & CROSSBONE PINS
- MILBRO CATAPULTS (slingshots)
- Honestly, most people find these on eBay. Bells of Hythe, however, will make you a replica for a L34.99 setup charge (
http://www.bellsofhythe.com/products.asp?catid=160). You'll probably spend less buying an original on eBay. They'll sell you catapult elastic, too, but it's red.