We often have customers come into our fancy dress shop looking for a costume. One of the first questions that we ask is ‘ do you want to hire, or buy?’ Interestingly, those who often reply hire, end up purchasing, and vice versa. So what are the main differences between hiring, or purchasing a costume?
Most hire fancy dress costumes will be of a superior quality to those that are sold, especially packaged examples. In our shop, we do sell hire quality costumes,but as a general rule of thumb, sale through costumes are of a lower quality.
Hiring a fancy dress costume will normally mean that you can get a variation of costume sizes. Although things are changing in the sale through range, many costumes are still only available in limited sizes, which is okay if you are a standard size, but not so good if you fall outside of the ‘normal’ range. We find that this is quite offensive to our customers and are working on ways to improve it in the future. Props & Frocks have hire costumes to suit all sizes in all ranges.
We also find that many of the purchasable costumes, especially for the ladies, do tend to be short and sexy, and not particularly suitable for everyone!
The range of themes will also tend to be far more in the hire department of a fancy dress shop. Again, the range of costumes in the sale through costumes is increasing year on year, and will catch up sooner rather than later.
Holding stock of sale items can be an issue for many fancy dress shops (although not a problem for Props & Frocks, as we hold massive stocks), due to space, so the size you require may not be in stock, so you may need to wait until the stock comes in. If you try on a hire costume, you book it, so you know that the costume is available for the date you need it.
Hiring a fancy dress costume means a return visit to the shop to return it, and if you have booked it early, to go back and collect it in time for your event. The cost of the petrol required, or the time involved in doing this may make up your mind to purchase, rather than hire.
Most fancy dress shops will require some form of identification or proof of address, so your choice may be made up by not having anything to hand. If this is the case, either pay the double deposit required, or just buy an item.
Now, we all start off with good intentions, but as an evening progresses, things do not always work out as you thought they would. One of the main problems with hiring a costume is that if you damage it, loose a part of it, or return it very dirty, you will lose part, or all (and depending on what has happened, sometimes more) of your deposit. So, if you know it is going to be a rowdy event, please do not hire, but buy instead. We would always recommend buying for hen and stag do’s and not forgetting Rugby tours! That way you can enjoy yourself, and not have to worry about returning a damage / dirty hire costume to the shop.
You may need to wear the costume more than once, so if this is the case, purchasing an item may be more cost effective. Most sale costumes can be washed (follow the instructions given) and will stand up to 2 or 3 wears in normal circumstances.
So there you are, the main pro’s and con’s of hiring and purchasing. Whatever you decide Props & Frocks has massive ranges of both.
If you are thinking about hiring, please take a look at our current hire terms & conditions
There are some things which start off as temporary but then for one reason or another they make their mark and tend to stay put. The Millennium Wheel (aka London Eye) in London is a good example (and its success has spawned a few replicas), but today we celebrate probably the best known ‘temporary structure’ of all, the Eiffel Tower, which was put up for an exhibition and opened today in 1889, but never got taken down as originally intended. It is the iconic symbol of Paris and amazingly, in films set in that city, every room seems to have a view which includes the tower.
Whilst we have seen a few images of people who have created Eiffel Tower costumes for themselves, it’s not one we have got – our ‘Great Landmarks of the World’ costume section is sadly unfulfilled, but in a good many other areas, if you want to adopt a temporary persona through the medium of costume, we would be pleased to help here at Props & Frocks. Alternatively, if you want something more long-term, we have a wide range of sell-through stock available.