Great Costume Ideas

Yesterday’s blog about the Lone Ranger begs the question ‘Why do we spend so much

Official Film Costumes

Dorothy – an Official Film Costume

time on the Internet when we are not helping kit out customers?’ Well obviously we have to keep this website looking good and keep you (and it) updated, but beyond that, it is useful to try and predict trends and potential demand. The fact is that many of our customers’ requests may be influenced by either what they have seen on the big screen at the movies or the smaller screen on their computer (we’ll ignore all you tech-heads with widescreen Smart TV’s – we’re just jealous). As we have noted before, ‘official’ costumes for major movies do not always make it to the market at the same time as the film, so sometimes we may have to improvise a workaround. (There is a flipside which has official costumes produced for films but the movie ends up as a box-office flop, so no-one wants them!). Similarly, if a particular costume grabs the public imagination through publicity or infamy, it helps if we can get a ‘heads-up’ in advance to try and anticipate the demand. That said, rather than jumping on the bandwagon and wearing the same outfit as everyone else wants, why not have a look around our own little(?) site here and find some original ideas? Our Costume Theme & Ideas section of this website gives you so many original costume themes and fancy dress outfits you will be spoilt for choice, so yes, we do sit for hours adding more and more ideas on, but I am sure you agree it is worth it!

Up To Date Costume Range

Yesterday, we were talking about some of the films which can engender costume requests, and we mentioned a couple from last year’s award ceremonies. This got us thinking about other films that cameFilm Fancy Dress Ideas out in 2011, which directly resulted in requests for costumes. Unlike other years, 2011 was not a great year for generating additional costume and accessory requests, for characters people had seen in the movies. The Green Hornet came out in January, but was not particularly mentioned when it came to the Heroes and Villains parties that occur throughout the year. We did see a small outbreak of adult Red Riding Hood requests in Spring of 2011, but that might not have been related to the film at all, as World Book Day and National Book Days and Weeks often initiate requests for this character.

As our requests for film costumes for a film themed fancy dress party remains constant, we are always looking at the new films to see what is going to be available.

Many of the large budget films will have associated costumes that have been licensed. Apart from licensed costumes costing quite a lot more than a standard generic costume, the main problem is that the film normally comes out way before the new costumes are available. It is quite usual for us to get quite a few requests for the ‘new’ film on the block, but actually by the time the costumes arrives for us to sell / hire, the requests have dried up and people have moved on to something new.

It is quite unusual now for a new film to have the lasting impact of say Superman has had through the years. So at Props & Frocks, we have to make sure that we think long and hard over which new costume ranges to get in, will it be a major success, or a damp squib? The joys of running a fancy dress shop and online business!

Why not take a look at our range of film costumes?

Licensed Costumes

Following on from our brief discussion on the distinction between fancy-dressing and cosplay yesterday weLicensed Costume Characters come to the problem of what to do if there is not actually a choice – the costume you want, simply  does not exist! This is especially true when it comes to licensed costume characters relating to a new film. In theory the production of ‘official’ costumes is part of the merchandising back-up, in practice those firms wanting to make those official costumes may ‘cherry-pick’ the outfits they think will work best.  Even then, the outfits may not be available at the same time the film is released, and very occasionally the film itself may not generate sufficient ‘box office’ to create a demand for the costumes, even though the manufacturers have made them. It is a gamble which means that there are fewer costumes from new films coming to the market.

Unfortunately, a lot of these ‘official’ costumes are only available in 1, or limited sizes, so even if an ‘official’ costume is available it may not be suitable for you anyway. Another common complaint that we have regarding the licensed costumes is that, although they tend to be more expensive than generic costumes (to help re-coup the license fee the manufacture has already paid out), quality can let these costumes down. It is not always the case, but a good picture with good lighting can make you believe that you are getting something that looks superb, when the reality can be a bit disappointing.

So many fancy dress shops are trapped as they are not allowed to breach the licensing laws by producing a ‘copy’ costume even though it may be far superior than what is available on the open market.

Whilst remembering that anything you purchase from us here at Props n Frocks carries our satisfaction guarantee, we can sometimes see why people decide to ‘do their own thing’ and create their own costume. Even if you are doing-it-yourself, the key to success is a little forward planning, and in this we can perhaps be useful by helping to source those unusual accessories and prop elements, which are so difficult to find on the average High Street.

Props & Frocks are theme advisors, so if you do have a costume query, either pop into our store, in Battlesbridge, Essex, or give us a call. We may not always be able to help, but we may be able to point you in the right direction.