Friday, May 15, 2009

Costume Hunting

I like this ad for bicycles. I'm fascinated by the woman (man?) riding the bike and the expression on the clown's face. I especially like the black hat, and the shadows cast by the bike.

Drove all over town trying to find Lilah a suitable dress for her purple fairy costume. First stop was Dottie Mae's on Wornall. They have a basement full of period and character costumes. On your way downstairs, pause to check out the Wall of Hoky Record Albums. They have album covers from cheesy recordings of the 60's and 70's that are not to be believed.

Left Dottie Mae's in a developing thunderstorm and headed to U.S. Toy. A cavernous shed with miles of aisles that seems to have every educational, recreational, and party-related kid item known to man. They have a small costume department in the back. To get to it you pass through the magic shop, which is a little world unto itself. The clerk at the magic counter was watching a magic trick DVD with the security guard.

U.S. Toy has a great wig selection, but their costumes are so-so. They only have the packaged costumes, and packaged fairy outfits are always very risque. We did find a cloak suitable for the part of the play where Lilah turns into an old hag. We drove home in a torrential downpour.

The next morning we went downtown to Retro Inferno, which is across from the Sprint Center. I had read online that they had tons of vintage clothing and costumes. When we got there, we were told that they had stopped selling clothing a long time ago. The guy referred us to Reruns, down in the West Bottoms. I wanted to stay and look at the furniture, which was avante-garde and retro-inspired. But we were on a mission.

So we drove over the 12th street bridge to an old, warehousey area. Reruns was located in what looked like a turn of the century building. I wasn't sure where the entrance was, until I saw a piece of notebook paper taped to the window that said, "Reruns is Open. Upstairs" We climbed a long flight of dusty stairs to reach the shop. Passed a small pile of hat boxes on the landing. Stepping through the open doorway, we entered a warm and welcoming atmosphere. Racks and racks of vintage clothes, old movie posters, and a nice, smiling proprietor who was playing Bebop records. One room gave way to the next --I could hardly keep track of which rooms we'd already been through.

I want to go back there sometime just to browse for myself. But on this trip I had to stay focused. We finally found a small purplish nightgowny garment that mostly fit Lilah and could be adapted for a fairy outfit. We already have wings, from the time she played an angel in a Christmas play.

Annabelle's school play was last week. She was a prisoner in a pirate play, so all she had to do was rip up an old shirt and jeans and muddy herself. That is by far the easiest costume we've ever had to make.


  1. That Reruns sounds like a really fun place. I love that area of Kansas City and that creepy 12th Street bridge. It's like descending into Mordor.

  2. Ha ha. It is like descending into Mordor! Great way to put it. And then I couldn't find my way back, because the other side of the bridge is closed.

    Yeah, Reruns is fun. You could find yourself a leisure suit in a New York minute. For the record the owner told me that his other location in Westport is a more "traditional" vintage store, where things are more expensive but carefully selected.

  3. I love Reruns! The owner is so nice! I have been meaning to go to the West Bottoms location for ages. Yes, I like that area of Kansas City too--when I'm down there among the old buildings with no one else around, I feel like I own the place. My personal ghost town.