Theatre Department sells bargain Halloween costumes

The department sells everything from business suits to medieval gowns in an effort to clean out storage space every two years.


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The department of theatre Costume Shop got into the Halloween spirit Thursday and Friday with a costume sale outside the Fine Arts Building. Students were able to find a variety costumes for low prices, ranging from 25 cents to $15, including a one-dollar “bag sale” during the last hour of the event Friday.

Several racks and numerous boxes of costumes, shoes, accessories and even undergarments were available for purchase. Jewelry was five-for-a-dollar and dance shoes went for 25 cents. Children’s toys and old handbags lined a table alongside old play scripts and masks.

“We have too much stuff,” professor of costume technology Kerri Packard said. “We just need to give it away. We don’t know how we had all of this down in storage.”

The department holds this sale every two years, Packard said. That way, there is plenty of inventory to browse through, including costumes worn in past productions and donations the department simply found no use for or were too small to fit the actors.

This is the fourth Halloween costume sale the theatre department has hosted.

“Every year we have a really good turnout,” Packard said. “We make enough money to put it back into production budget for things like special fabrics and accessories.”

A wide demographic turned out for the sale. Students, faculty and curious passers-by perused the racks of colorful, one-of-a-kind pieces. Some merely browsed for amusement and others discovered the missing piece to the perfect costume or a fresh staple for their everyday wardrobe.

Freshman Paige Donnelly said she enjoyed exploring the variety of items for sale.

“There is everything here from girdles to ’60s shoes to plastic watches,” she said. “It’s like a wonderland of random colors coming at you left and right.”

Although the typical college student most likely wouldn’t find his or her ideal costume there (sorry ladies, no naughty librarian costumes to be found), the quirky dresser with a keen eye certainly might.

The event’s bestsellers were hats, scarves and vintage clothing, Packard said.

The sale raised $600 for the department’s budget. What was not sold was thrown away.

“We really had dregs left at the end,” Packard said.

The setup had the look and feel of a flea market with vintage ensembles featuring shoulder pads and period pieces dominating the racks. Although the selection featured mostly women’s clothing, men could find overcoats, sport coats, vests, suits and ties hidden throughout the sale.

Students on a modest budget or without cars might find this sale convenient with its easily accessible location and pocket-change prices.

“I would definitely recommend this sale to my friends,” Donnelly said. “There is nothing else like it on campus.”

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