Oct 24

Halloween Costume Tips from a Broadway Dresser


Adele dressing Charl Brown, Smokey Robinson in Motown: the Musical

Halloween is the time of year to get creative and try out a costume that might not be what you wear in your school play, and definitely not in everyday life! From wicked witches to newsboys, there are plenty of costumes to choose from to fit your personality and flair. However, not everyone has a costume closet fit for a Broadway show in the home. Camp Broadway had the pleasure of chatting with Adele Miskie, a Broadway Star Dresser for fourteen Broadway shows, who shared her tips on how to make an awesome Halloween costume using pieces found in your very own wardrobe. Adele shares:

A costume most certainly does NOT have to be expensive…{it’s important} that you push your creativity to a higher level. Using things you already have or can easily make is part of the fun.

Adele knows the ropes, having worked on such shows as 42nd Street, Hairspray, and currently Motown: The Musical. Adele stresses that costumes should be uncomplicated and use simple, safe pieces, making running around from party to party a breeze. She suggests keeping an eye on the hem of your long gowns and to make sure you keep those mummy bandages under wraps!

A quick-fix tip is the double sided tape!  You can buy a roll at any store that sells school supplies and so for anything that comes undone – tape it!   At the theatre we use top stick when faced with an emergency.  Dressers always carry safety pins in case a closure breaks on a quick change – You could carry a safety pin or two and this is best for a torn hem along the floor or another part of a costume that will not have a lot of stress put upon it.

Fall can be a busy time for students, so Adele suggests considering the amount of time you want to put into your costume as well. Look for pieces you already have. However for those of you that feel inspired, Adele challenges you to make the pieces to your costumes, rather than purchasing costumes at the store: “It doesn’t always have to be fabric….poster board, construction paper, foam – expand your skills to involve crafts.”  Adele shares:

Last year I helped a friend who wanted to be a pirate.  She already had black boots and a belt with a large buckle.  She wore a blouse with the fullest sleeves from the back of her closet – one hoop ear ring and she made a quick trip to the local medical supply store for an eye patch.  The eye patch was the only thing she bought.  Finally I told her to make a “tube”/cylinder out of some brown craft paper  that would fit over one of her hands that she could hold in a clenched fist. We made a  “hook” out of tin foil which she held between 2 of her fingers of the hand that was wrapped in the paper. She put a colorful scarf over her head which tied in the back to complete the look. Voila!  Instant pirate.

When asked about her favorite costume Adele got spooky!

Have the vampires run their course?  Because I love those fake fangs you can put on your teeth (wash them first!) that don’t show until you choose to reveal them.  And with a simple dribble of red lipstick down the one corner of your mouth – you can be subtle but you will catch a lot of people off guard.  That’s the fun of Halloween.

Adele also reminds us that you can come up with a group costume for you and several friends. You can dress up as characters from a book or movie, or even as pieces from a board game!  Whatever you decide, don’t be afraid to get creative! “One year on the subway I saw a Christmas tree and I thought….brilliant. 

While Adele will be busy dressing that stars in their costumes at the Lunt Fontanne on Halloween with her cast and crew, she wishes everyone a fun and safe Halloween, and hopes you’ll follow some of her Halloween costume tips and send us pictures of you in your spooktacular costumes!

We can’t wait to see what Halloween costumes you come up with, Broadway inspired or otherwise! Share your photos with us by posting them to our wall on Facebook,  or tagging us on instagram @camp_broadway & twitter @CampBroadway.

STS Wardrobe Group Photo

Adele teaching her Camp Broadway wardrobe workshop

Don’t forget to check out our Camp Broadway Master Class: Wardrobe Workshop, created by Adele just for Camp Broadway to learn more of her tips and tricks about the world of Costume Design and Wardrobe on Broadway!

“How you feel about what a character is like is when you see them for the very first time.”
–Adele Miskie dresser at Motown the Musical
This workshop explores the various components of Theatrical Wardrobe from costume design and construction to dressing. Participants will be taken through the creative process, from initial research and renderings, to the construction of costumes, touching on fabrics, bedazzling, and an introduction to the different members of a costume team.  Learn about the intricate choreography that comes with being a Broadway dresser, from presets and quick changes, to managing quick fixes and malfunctions. They will leave with a thorough understanding of costume creation, as well as the different careers available to those interested in the wardrobe world.


by Sunny Naughton
contributing reporter: Neda

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