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TDF Costume Collection Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need an appointment to come to the Costume Collection?

You do not need an appointment to visit the Collection unless you plan to reserve a fitting room to fit costumes on actors or yourself. We recommend always to call the Collection before a visit to confirm hours. 

What can I expect when I visit the Costume Collection?

The Collection can be overwhelming for first-time visitors.  Please give yourself ample time to browse, as we are not set up like an average retailer.  Our small staff is very friendly and accommodating; however, customers are responsible for researching and pulling all costumes.  We suggest fully researching the period of your project beforehand and possibly planning multiple trips to the Collection.  Also, allow an extra fifteen minutes to an hour to check out, as all inventories are hand written.

What should I prepare before I visit the Costume Collection?

If you are simply browsing the Collection’s vast stock, you do not need to prepare any paperwork.  If you plan to rent or reserve costumes, you will need to prepare a Letter of Agreement, which must be signed by someone who is fiscally responsible for the project. 

Does my company have an account with the Costume Collection?

While your company may have rented from the Costume Collection in the past, we do not establish accounts in the same manner that a commercial retailer might.  A company only needs to submit its proof of not-for-profit status once (501 [c] 3 or  ST-119 or something of the like).  A new Letter of Agreement must be filled out for every new production. 

Will my rental be a Not-For-Profit or Commercial rental?

If you are working for an organization that maintains not-for-profit status, the rental qualifies as not-for-profit.  If your organization cannot supply the Costume Collection with proof of not-for-profit status, the rental will be commercial.  Rentals for film, television and photography projects generally fall into the commercial category.

Does the costume designer sign the Letter of Agreement?

The costume designer, or the person coming in to pull the costumes, should be listed under the "Authozied Designer" section on the Letter of Agreement. You may list up to three people in this section.  For Not-For-Profit Letter of Agreements, someone fiscally responsible at the organization should sign at the bottom of the second page of the Letter of Agreement.  The following are examples of accepted signatures for the following types of not-for-profit organizations:

  • The accepted signatures on a contract for a theatre are the Artistic Director, Managing Director, CFO, Business Manager.
  • The accepted signatures on a contract for a school, college or university are the Dean, Principal, Chair of the Department.
  • The accepted signatures on a contract for a religious organization are the Pastor, Rabbi, Reverend.
  • For a Commercial Letter of Agreement, the stylist, designer, or production mangager can sign the Letter of Agreement.   Whomever is coming in to pull the costumes should be the person listed in the "Authozied Designer" section of the LOA.  The person signing the Letter of Agreement is agreeing to the terms of the contract, so should be whomever is fiscally responsible for the rental. 

    What should I bring with me to the Costume Collection?

    Because we are a self-service warehouse, we suggest that you bring research or sketches for reference, measurements of all the individuals needing costumes, a measuring tape, a digital camera and note-taking supplies.  If you plan on renting many costumes at once, you may also want to bring a rolling suitcase, as we are not immediately close to public transportation.

    Can I take pictures of the costumes?

    Are the costumes and shoes sized?

    Sizes are not marked in most of the items at the Collection.  Many of the garments have been custom-built in costume shops for specific actors.  Therefore, it is very important to know your actors’ measurements and bring a tape measure to the Collection.  We also have a limited amout of dressmaker/tailor forms that you may also try pieces on to size items.

    The last designer who rented costumes for this company used the company credit card.  Can I pay for my rental with the same card?

    Generally, a new Credit Card Authorization form must be filled out by the cardholder and turned in to the Collection for every new production.  If you plan to pay with your own card and you will be physically present when the transaction occurs, an authorization form does not need to be submitted.

    I was told the Costume Collection offers free costumes to Not-For-Profit companies.  Is this true?

    Unfortunately, no.  All costumes are reasonably priced on a sliding scale.  The price is determined based on the number of weeks of the performance and the number of seats in the house.

    How do I put costumes on hold at the Costume Collection?

    For Not-For-Profit organizations, once we have your contract on file with your company’s proof of Not-For-Profit status, and a signed Letter of Agreement, you may put costumes on hold up to twenty-eight (28) calendar days prior to the opening date of the production.  For Commercial Renters, once we have your paperwork and a credit card attached to your Letter of Agreement, you may put on hold up to three (3) business days before your first shoot or performance date as listed on the Letter of Agreement.  All costumes placed on hold must be labeled with the company and designer information, placed on a rack in our hold area and tied together neatly.  Please be aware that the customer is responsible for restocking the items before the opening date of the production.  A restocking fee is assessed for any items not restocked before the opening date.

    Can costumes be fit on site at the Costume Collection?

    We have two fitting rooms where costumes may be fit on actors.  Customers who wish to use the fitting rooms must have a Letter of Agreement in place and schedule an appointment ahead of their visit.  We ask that customers refrain from fitting costumes in the aisles.

    What is the difference between Regular Stock and Special Stock?

    Special Stock refers to items that are in a higher price bracket because of their pristine condition or because they belong to a set from a particular production.  Many of our Special Stock costumes were built for the Metropolitan Opera or in one of the major costume shops in New York City.  Customers must get permission from a staff member to browse our Special Stock.

    When do I pay for the rental?

    Payment must be received before any costume may be taken from the Collection.

    How does pricing work?

    The number of weeks of the performance and the number of seats in the house determine pricing for non-commercial rentals.  Please refer to the pricing grid for both Regular Stock and Special Stock rental rates.  Commercial prices begin at $120.00 per costume for one week and increase by $30.00 for each additional week.  Dry cleaning is also charged up front on all commercial rentals.  The minimum rental for any rental is one costume. 

    Does the rental price include dry cleaning?

    No.  It is the customer’s responsibility to get all costumes that are kept beyond the opening date of the production professionally dry cleaned.  You may use a dry cleaner of your choice, or you may choose to return the costumes to the Collection and have them cleaned for $6.00 per pound.  Commercial customers must pay for dry cleaning up front at the same rate of $6.00 per pound.  Dry cleaning of costumes that require special dry cleaning, such as suede, leather, sequins, beading, and fur will be charged at a per item rate, and do not qulify for bulk dry cleaning.

    Can I machine wash items that do not require dry cleaning?

    No.  If you do not wish to use our dry cleaning service, you must provide receipts from a professional dry cleaner as proof that all costumes have been cleaned properly.

    Some of the costumes I rented do not fit my actors.  Can I get a refund?

    We cannot offer refunds once you have checked out costumes with us.  However, customers may exchange costumes an unlimited number of times prior to the opening date in order to find items that fit properly.  After the opening date, costumes may no longer be exchanged.

    How do you count costumes when writing up my rental?

    Customers are quoted a per-costume price, which refers to all items that can be sensibly worn head-to-toe by an actor at one time.  For example, a hat, three-piece suit, shirt, tie, suspenders, shoes and overcoat all equal one costume.  If you do not require this many pieces, we can also assess half-costumes.  This refers to all the corresponding items that can sensibly be worn on either the top or bottom half of the body.  For example, a ball cap, shirt, sweater vest and letter jacket would equal a half-costume.  And finally, if you are only looking to accessorize a costume you already have, we count 2-3 accessories as a half-costume and 5 accessories as a full costume. 

    Do I restock items I will not end up renting?

    Yes.  The staff is happy to direct you to the correct category if you have forgotten where an item came from.  However, we do not have the manpower to restock every un-rented item and ask that our customers help us to keep the warehouse clean.  A restocking fee is assessed for any items not restocked before the opening date.

    Is the Costume Collection open on weekends?

    No.  The Collection is generally open Monday through Friday from 9am-5:30pm.  Hours of operation and checkout time may differ on holidays and summertime Fridays, so please call in advance of your visit to ensure that the Collection is open.  Final checkout of costumes is generally at 4:00pm. 

    What is the best way to transport large rentals?

    Most customers choose to pack their costumes in the shopping bags we provide.  Many transport large rentals in a cab or car service.  Our building does have a freight elevator to load and unload large rentals to street level, if you are able to drive to the Collection.  Please be advised, you are responsible for the pick up and drop off of costumes back to the Collection.  We do not have the staff to be able to pick up a return from street level or assist bring rentals to your vehicle.  If you need to use the freight elevator, please call ahead for instructions and address.  If you are unable to transport your costumes with these methods, you can also choose to have us ship the costumes to your company via  UPS.  Customers are responsible for all shipping costs, as well as a $3.00 per box handling fee.  There are additional fees associated with FedEx shipments if you chose not to use UPS and you must provide us with a FedEx number. 

    Can I modify the costumes I rent?

    Garments may not be cut, treated with dye, paint, glue, distressing agents or stage blood.  Alterations are allowed, and we welcome all repairs to pieces that may be worn and torn. However, we ask that you discuss your plans with us before making any changes. 

    Does the Costume Collection provide an alteration service?

    No.  Because our staff is small, we are not able to provide any alteration services.  Furthermore, we cannot provide maintenance or repair services other than routine dry cleaning upon the costume’s return.  Costumes are rented “as is”, and the current condition is noted on the inventory during checkout. 

    Do you sell costumes?
    No.  We are a rental warehouse only.

    Can I rent my Halloween costume at the Costume Collection?

    No.  We do not rent costumes to individuals attending social events or for halloween.