Happy Labor Day to my USA readers!
Today, I am giving you sneak peak into my costume room. My husband and I were so excited to move into a bigger house with a room we could dedicated just to housing all of our costumes and vintage clothing that it was the first room we set up. Beds, toiletries, dishes? Nah! Our costumes came first.
The previous owners used this room as the walk-in closet, which made sense since old houses lacked enough storage for our large modern wardrobes. Since our costumes outnumber our day to day clothing, using this room to store our collection made the most sense. The natural light from the window is great for dressing during the day.
The first thing we needed for the room were racks for all our hanging clothes. I found these great double sided rolling racks made of a very sturdy metal at RobertHam. On the front rack I have my pre 1920s clothing, plus whatever I am wearing to my next event, and on the rear rack my vintage 1900-1970s clothing. I can roll the racks around as necessary and tuck them away when not in use. They are fabulous!
My husband prefers to organize his racks by type of garment: Suits, shirts, vests, pants, ties, etc. The most used items are on the front racks and less used items on the back.
On the opposite side of the room, we have these amazing built in shelves. Each shelf rolls in and out making it very easy to reach all the shoes, hats and accessories. The bottom shelf is quite long. Since most of our walls are slanted deeply, this is a genius use of space. I want to add these to the rest of our rooms with slanted walls.
Old (or new) hat boxes are still a great way to store vintage hats. I also started to keep my shoe boxes for storing shoes- so much nicer for stacking and keeping clean, although my toddler thinks its fun to open them all up and disperse the shoes around the house : )
On the very narrow top shelf I have placed by gloves, small purses, hair accessories, fans and other frequently used accessories. Having them out in the open helps me remember to wear them/pack them with each outfit. Once something goes into a container I forget I have them. My annual room clean up day is like Christmas- opening boxes and being surprised by what’s inside.
My husband keeps his cufflinks and buttons in this small storage drawer. Its a temporary fix until we find something vintage and manly to hold his accessories.
My jewelry used to be in a small old music boxes but now its in this freestanding jewelry armoire my hubby gave me for Christmas. Its holds all my necklaces, rings, pins and bracelets. I don’t have too much yet, but there is room to grow!
The waterfall rack up front works great to hold shawls, scarves, fur wraps, and caplets. Plus it looks pretty in the room.
Finally the most important part of the room is the wall mirror. With all the shelves and racks, we only had this sliver of wall space left. It was enough to hold one mirror. Unfortunately with both hubby and I getting ready at the same time, it has been a bit of a fight to use it. We just picked up a second freestanding mirror for the hallway to help reduce the battles.
That’s it. I hope you picked up a few ideas on organizing your own costume room. Share your tips in the comments.
Debbie Sessions has been teaching fashion history and helping people dress for vintage themed events since 2009. She has turned a hobby into VintageDancer.com with hundreds of well researched articles and hand picked links to vintage inspired clothing online. She aims to make dressing accurately (or not) an affordable option for all. Oh, and she dances too.