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Costume Resources

(For small studios)

Are you new to buying costumes? Perhaps you’re looking for tips to save money? Outside of choreographing, costume buying can be the most time consuming task in this profession. Over the years I’ve prided myself in the fact I can charge families only $45-55 in production fees. This included all props and staging! How do I do it? This post will tell you important details to help you with all of your costume buying needs.

A close picture of a clothing rack of costumes for sale.

Saving money:


  1. Before the school year starts, register your studio with Then distribute your studio code to your families. All items they buy through the site will provide you with a reward kick back. With the rewards you receive you can buy a variety of costumes and accessories.

  2. Do you need a character costume? Shop Halloween stores and Amazon to find costumes for less. In the past I’ve found dinosaurs, bears and elephant costumes for under $20 a costume.

  3. Boy costumes tend to be expensive at costume stores. If you purchase items on Amazon and sew on sequins/stones yourself you can save about 50% in cost.

  4. You can also save greatly by purchasing black pants online or at a local store.

  5. Make use of 2-in-1 costumes.

  6. Costumes for kids under age 5 range from $30-$45. Try to find the $30 ones and spend the difference elsewhere.

  7. Be aware of when craft and hardware stores have sales or rebates. Especially Swarovski crystals at craft stores!

  8. Order before mid-January. Some costume companies have early bird discounts.

General observations:


  • Stay away from glitter! Not only are some students allergic, it gets everywhere.

  • Little kids hate sequins under the arms.

  • Keep a list of classes and costume colors from previous years so students don’t end up in the same colors.

  • Alleviate troublesome money concerned parents- Charge a flat production fee for each class that way parents can’t dispute how much you spend. This includes all production costs and costumes.

  •  For classes below level 2 (approximately under age 9) I charge $45. Level 3 (approximately older than age 10) I charged $55. In that fee, I take $5 for props and staging needs.

  • Shop around for the best stage. I’m blessed that as a non-profit I do not get charged for renting a local stage. However, in the past it’s been well worth the additional 10 minute commute to save money on a rental space.

Below is a brief list of some popular costume companies with a generalized comparison. Of course there are other companies and these policies may be subject to change.

A comparison table listing costume companies and services they offer.
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