Female Presenting Costumes

Male Presenting Costumes


These guidelines are extensive and can look frightening at first reading, but please don’t panic! It’s not really as hard as it looks, and we’re always happy to offer advice and assistance.

 The important thing to remember in putting together a costume is that we are the company party of a middle class businessman. The majority of the cast should be in working or middle class clothing.

 The costume department has said that we have the choice of dressing mid 1850's (the date of the majority of the fair) or Regency 1811-1820 (a more accurate depiction of when the party would actually have taken place, since it is in Scrooge’s days as a young man). The majority of the costuming instructions below will be for the 1850’s time period.

Perhaps the most important note we can give you is that you should not buy or make a costume before consulting with us to be sure it can be approved. We would hate for you to spend a great deal of money, or expend much time and effort, only to end up with something that you can't wear at the Dickens Fair.

Please feel free to contact us with costuming ideas, patterns, photographs, or web links. We can check them out with the costuming department and let you know if any changes need to be made. 

Remember that by the time we get to costume approval it will be too late to make any major changes to your costume. 

If you don't have a lot of money to spend on costuming one place to start is the thrift store. 

Things to look for are: 

* a scarf/shawl 

* plaid trousers for men 

* doilies to be made into ladies' head covers 

* white button up blouses for ladies 

* undershirts 


Ask a veteran to take you shopping. Their experience can be invaluable in identifying things that will work. 

There are also a lot of online resources for buying costumes. Check our links page

And a very important note: please wear your costume shoes and corset before opening day. Wear them to workshops and rehearsals as soon as possible. Do not try to break them in opening weekend. You will regret it. 



Recommended costumers change year to year. If you are looking for a costumer to help you create your costume, please post to the Fezziwig Party Dancers list or the Fezziwig Party Dancers Facebook page to ask for suggestions and who is currently taking commissions. 

Three Quick Tips for Working with a Professional Costumer: 

· Not all costumers are dancers. Make certain that your costumer knows that you will be dancing in your day dress ALL DAY LONG, not simply sitting, taking tea, and looking pretty! 

· Make sure the hem of your skirt is at least our recommended 3 inches off the ground. Some costumers tend to want to make the hemlines too long. If possible, the skirt also needs reinforcement of some kind around the hemline. 

· Be especially careful to remind your costumer that you will need to be able to raise your arms above your head and also need to be able to extend your arms as far as they'll go. Show your costumer the arm movements of the Congress of Vienna. The tight sleeves of some early and mid-Victorian afternoon dress styles are simply not appropriate for Dickens Fair.