Posted by: boromax | April 22, 2020

New Wrinkles Journal #20


First of all, let me just get this out of the way:  All black over white leotards.


[New Wrinkles “inside” joke]

So…              yeah.

Costumes.  Matter.

For some reason, folks may have the notion that – as long as we are making the music, what we are wearing won’t make much, if any, difference.

Au contraire, mon ami.

If musicians are recording in a closed studio, then, okay, what they are wearing makes little to no difference.  I mean, it MIGHT make a difference.  For example, one does not want to be wearing clothing that is too tight and binding, or too little or too much if the studio’s temperature is not well-regulated, which would be a whole ‘nother issue, anyway, for the sake of the voices and the instruments; temperature extremes, humidity, shivering, sweating, teeth-chattering, stringed instruments out of tune, all that and whatever.  Just sayin’.

But I digress. The point is: ON STAGE, when an audience will be watching you, you want to be wearing something that is appropriate for what you are doing.  You want to look the part.  You want to look GOOD.  Not so good that, you know, the audience is so transfixed by your awesome appearance that they totally miss the number you are performing. Like, don’t let yourself look THAT good, if you know what I mean.  Good, though. You want to look good.

Nevertheless, furthermore, and in addition, another common problematic notion is the idea of “making do.”  In most cases, one cannot simply root through one’s closet and select some “this’ll have to do” garments to don for performance time.  No.  That almost never works.  Trust me on this.  Just… don’t even. No.


Also, home-made, while sometimes a viable option (when you have willing, available, and talented designers, and all the right materials, and TIME, plenty of time, not to mention probably a boatload of cash), may not be the way to go, either.  Did I say, “may not be”?  What I meant was, “is most assuredly without question for sure absolutely not” the way to go with your costuming requirements.

Well, okay.  You may have little choice besides going home-made, but 1) be careful; 2) start early; 3) ask the director (also early); and, very important, 4) don’t get all bent out of shape when the director laughs – I mean, when the director politely advises you to go ahead with the white leotard.


Here’s the deal:

The show is multi-sensory.  You want the audience to be captivated in a positive way by the visual aspects of the show, which includes among other things, how the players are dressed.  Therefore, you must do everything you can to ensure that the costumes your players are wearing are suitable, durable, fit properly, and are not distracting.

Unless you WANT the costume to be distracting.  Sometimes that’s what you want.  Sometimes you want the audience to gasp or laugh or wonder.  Usually not, though.  Except…  there may be a need for a gigantic city skyline hat.  Sometimes.

It happens.


[Georgie Dayton sings “Theme from San Francisco”]

OK, time for brass tacks, y’all.

Realistically, working within a budget can be challenging, of course.  When it comes down to it, we all must do what we can with what we have available.  This will almost always involve raiding our own private collections, dollar stores, thrift stores, pawn shops, bargain basements, flea markets, swap meets, rummage sales, begging, borrowing, renting, purchasing, bartering, creating, crafting, dumpster diving, hunting down rare free-range livery, and striking up a deal with the traveling circus.

In the end, unbeknownst to the audience, there will be snaps, hooks, zippers, Velcro, staples, duct tape, shoe laces, rubber bands, paper clips, chewing gum, cotton balls, stray socks, magic, and trained insects holding together the unfortunate gaps in your wardrobe.


Whatever it takes, Baby.

The show must go on.

But first, the costumes must go on.



Make sure you do that.  First.



Before you go on stage.



[Exit Up Right]


  1. an entertaining read 🙂 and I learnt from it

    • Thank you, John. I am so glad you found it entertaining. And what, pray tell, did you learn?

      • all the background info about costuming we, the audience, are unaware of — and some nice observations about the different levels of standing out

  2. Whew! One always wonders what readers will take away. Thank you!

  3. You are a wealth of knowledge on these things!! Funny and smart!! Yes to the all black over white leotards!! What. Was. He. Thinking? Lolol!


    Love it!


    • LOL. Well, thank you, Peach! So, you’re saying we should not expect to see Batman in an outfit like that any time soon?

      • Ahahaha! Nope! Not anytime soon!!

        Hope y’all are doing good!!


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