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The Technical Manual to Costumes

The StuCo Costuming Guide was written by Rachel Birnbaum, Kelsey Melvin, and Grayson Vreeland, and edited by David Griffin. It contains a succinct overview of how costume designing in StuCo works.


The only student theatre group with any sort of significant costume storage is Lovers & Madmen, as period costumes are hard to come by.

TIC Costume Shop

While the TIC costume shop has a great amount of well-constructed, well-designed costumes, the rental rates are high for a student theatre budget. A rental fee list (as well as a list of what is rent-able) is available if you enquire with the shop manager (Ryan Magnuson). Rentals must be scheduled by email or in person.

Remember: The shop is always in the process of mounting 2-3 mainstages and is therefore very busy. Don't expect that they will always be able to give you their time or energy, as their main function is produce and alter the costumes that will be seen on the mainstage, not to facilitate rentals for student theatre. However, they have a very talented professional staff with a wealth of knowledge who, if approached politely and considerately (and when they're not in tech!), are usually glad to answer questions.

Fabric Stores

  • Vogue Fabrics
    • 718 Main Street, Evanston, IL, 60202
    • Probably the most convenient of fabric stores, as it is right off of the Main stop on the purple line.
    • Selection is good and prices are fair.
  • LZ Fabrics
    • 2121 W 21st Street, Chicago, IL, 60608
    • Down in the south loop, this fabric store is best to go to if you have a car. It's essentially a huge (poorly organized... well, really not organized at all) warehouse of fabrics. Really great deals. It's essentially where unsold bolts of fabric go to die.
  • There are also some JoAnn's Fabrics in the area, but the selection isn't quite as good and you'll need a car to get there.

Thrift Stores and Such

  • Salvation Army
    • Kedzie Ave and Chicago Ave (one block south from Main Street and the Main Street El stop). Typical Salvation Army.
    • There's also a huge one on Broadway in the Uptown area.
  • Unique Thrift Store
    • In the shopping complex on the corner of Howard and Western Ave.
    • Big store, reminiscent of the Salvation Army.
  • Village Discount Outlet
    • 4898 N Clark St, Chicago. Just north of Lawrence. It's a bit of a trek, but it's a pretty large thrift store.
  • Crossroads Trading Co.
    • Right in downtown Evanston on Sherman Ave. Lots of in-style contemporary items. Prices are not the best, but it's convenient and they're not too bad.
  • Belmont and Boystown Area
    • Some really good thrift stores can be found right off of the Belmont stop and in the Boystown area. Ragstock, Hollywood mirror and Beatnix feature a good assortment of vintage and new (but relatively low priced) clothes, everything from kimonos to deliciously tacky 80s apparel.
  • TIC Halloween Sale
    • Every summer, the costume shop in TI goes through its storage and has a giant purge. Tons of random things, but some good finds. Look for it in mid-October.