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Why are we giving our costumes a Quality Ranking?

No matter where you buy your costume from, the quality will be the same! It is like buying a car, a Holden Commodore (or Ford car!) is the same car where ever you buy it!

Our costumes come pre-packaged and are produced by many different brands, and they are made the same no matter who is selling them. So given that there is so much variance in the quality of costumes even within some brands, (but the photos are always nice!) – in fairness to you, we are grading them to help you choose wisely.

Material Quality – ranges from low quality purpose made fabrics that could not be used for any other purpose, and are only suitable for costumes, not everyday clothing. Up to quality fabrics that could also be used to manufacture street-wear clothing.

Quality of sewing  - ranges from sewn together with the intention of being worn only 1 time with no attention to finishing edges (unsewn) or very little attention to edges (only over-locked to prevent the fabric from ‘fraying’ or falling apart, to properly finished seams and edges and use of regular clothing techniques that take longer but achieve a high quality finish.

Quality of Trims –these can be printed on, or very low quality designed to  last only 1 wear, to higher quality decorations that could be used in regular everyday clothing or dancewear standard.

Use of closures - in the lower quality costumes this can mean that cheap alternatives to buttons and zippers are used such as tie-up instead. Velcro can be used in cheaper costumes though it can also be used in appropriate ways in higher quality costumes.

Use of shortcuts – rarely in costuming are full outfits actually made (such as pirates with full shirt, coat, long pants, boots etc), however there is a big difference between the way a low quality and high quality costume is made. Cheaper short-cuts can include printed front of costumes that tie behind the back or a front of a shirt that is attached to the inside of the jacket so that no shirt back.

Back of Costume - Lower quality costumes have backs that are not necessarily in theme or finished in the same way as the front- such as flapper dresses with fringes only on the front. Read each description - we always mention if this is the case.



Please note: The price of the costume does not necessarily reflect the quality, the price is determined by:

  • Licensing – licensed products are more expensive because the licence needs to be paid 
  • Brand – different brands have different associated costs, some brands also feel their name is worth a premium, and so they charge higher wholesale prices. 
  • Size of brand – smaller brands make smaller quantities of a costume so the price of each will be higher – mass produced products are often a lot lower in price. 
  • Distance – products shipped from USA have high associated shipping costs, where as products directly from China have lower shipping costs. 
  • Number of businesses involved from design through to retail- many brands have manufacturers, importers, and distributors as well as the actual brand company that must be paid before the product is ready for retail. Only 1 brand we hold differs from this- that is Elevate Costumes. It is our brand so we are the brand, the importer, distributor/wholesaler and a retailer of this brand so the prices are lower and quality is usually very high.


Costumes Ranking

  Budget Quality Rank Image Moderate Quality Rank Image High Quality Rank Image Deluxe Quality Rank Image
Material Quality

Cheap Fabrics - disposable

Low Quality- costuming fabrics

Good Quality costume fabrics

Street Wear Quality

Quality of sewing

Raw unsewn edges

Over-locked but not hemmed edges

Hemmed edges

Hemmed edges

Quality of Trims

Often printed on- low quality

Low quality trims, some printing possible

Good quality decorations- decorations not printed

Up to regular clothing quality

Use of closures

Velcro and tie-up often used

Some Velcro and ties, some buttons and zips

Usually buttons and zips

Buttons and Zippers

Use of shortcuts


Some are used

Rarely- and done very well if used



Usually one size- fit very general

Sometimes sized- often stretchy/ flexible/adjustable

Usually sized to fit properly- can run small or big. Occasionally, one size if very flexible

Usually sized to fit properly- can run small or big. Occasionally, one size if very flexible

Back of costume

Frequently very plain without decoration or theming

Sometimes plain without the theme of the front

Usually follows the theme of the costume

Usually follows the theme of the costume


The above is a rough guide but is not guaranteed, and costume specifications can change without warning.

Caring for your Costumes

Exposing your costumes to the harsh rituals of a washing machine is not a good idea, despite the quality! Costumes are..... 'Costumes' !!! And even though some costumes are of a deluxe quality with great fabrics being used, they are still 'costumes' and should be treated as such! Costumes are never manufactured to withstand the same wear or cleaning processes as you would expect from everyday clothing, as this is not the intended purpose of a costume. Costumes are not designed to be worn on a daily basis like clothing is, so naturally the overall integrity of the product will generally not meet the same standard as clothing than can be washed over and over again. If your costume has been marked or soiled, we recommend gently spot cleaning only by wiping or dabbing the area with a slightly moistened cloth or sponge. Due to the nature and purpose of costumes, we cannot guarantee the original quality will uphold if the costume has undergone any form of cleaning process, nor will we be held responsible for any damage caused to costumes that have been washed.

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