By: Colleen Monroe
Prepping costumes for your next project? As the epicenter of filmmaking, Los Angeles is filled with costume houses where you can rent anything from an 18th-century ballgown to a neon plaid 1970’s jumpsuit to high-end Versace pumps.
Each costume house has its own specialty so we’ve compiled your Official Costume House Guide on where to go and how to pull costumes like a pro.
Address: 12980 Raymer St., North Hollywood, CA 91605
Contact: (818) 764-2239 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Cheat Notes: This costume house (with two different locations — the other is a non-union house, United American) is best known for civilian clothing, 1750-1970 Western Wear (the original owner of the collection was John Wayne’s costumer, Luster Bayless!), and a beautiful Native American collection. If you need anything custom made, Diana, the owner, has a sewing team who will build costumes to rent. Fun fact: Costume Designer, Janie Bryant, rented most of the costumes for HBO’s Western TV series, Deadwood from here!
Address: 545 Circle 7 Drive, Glendale, CA 91201
Contact: (818) 553-4800
Cheat Notes: Great for 1990’s to modern clothing with some hidden gems in their period section. They also offer amazing contemporary fashion items. Compared to the other houses, this one is the most accessible and their staff is always quick to help you set up a new account. Oh, and don’t forget, that they have a cafeteria next door when you need a quick meal while you’re on the go all day pulling costumes!
Address: 11149 Vanowen St., North Hollywood, CA 91605
Contact: (818) 753-3700
Cheat Notes: Your go-to for all things military with a well-educated staff of military specialists who can advise you on how to create the most authentic look for your project. As an alternative to Western Costume Company, they offer a lower price point, but stock is limited. CRC also has a fantastic new setup for custom embroidery and patches.
Address: 10201 West Pico Blvd., Bldg 99, 5th FL, Los Angeles, CA 90064
Contact: (310) 369-1897
Cheat Notes: While known for it’s strong 1980’s collection, turn-of-the-century menswear, and womenswear, Fox also offers a good selection of contemporary stock, as well as early 20th-century gems specifically from the 1930-1960s. You’ll discover an impressive fantasy sci-fi collection and plenty of medieval warrior uniforms, including chainmail, breastplates, and helmets. For show prep, they have a tailor shop and wash and dye rooms.
Address: 6930 Tujunga Ave., Los Angeles, CA
Contact: (818) 927-4276
Cheat Notes: This is a newer costume house with a vast collection of 20,000+ pieces of men and women’s clothing from as early as the 1900s to contemporary. They have a fantastic vintage purse and hat collection for women and an impressive vintage children’s wear section with plenty of multiples. You’ll find gems from the private Roxy Deluxe Collection of sweaters, coats, gowns, and capes that date back to 1910 and in larger sizing. For specialty items, they have a good number of screen accurate bio-hazard suits and an in-house costume shop that can create space suits, superheroes, creatures, and other special effects costuming. Be sure to stop by Lucid’s impressive research library with vintage materials and patterns dating back to the early 1920s; they’re free for you to use on-site or rent out. While they are open Monday-Friday 9-5PM, they do take rentals by appointment only.
Address: 5933 W. Slauson Ave, Culver City, CA 90232
Contact: (310) 244-5995
Cheat Notes: While they do have a variety of period and contemporary clothing for men, women, and children, it’s especially worth a visit if you’re pulling costumes from 1960 to 1980. For show prep, they have fitting rooms, prep spaces, a tailoring workshop with custom costume builds, alteration services, and facilities for laundry and dyeing.
Address: 100 Universal City Plaza, Universal City, CA 91608
Contact: (818) 777-2722 | email@example.com
Cheat Notes: Equipped with good prep space and contemporary stock, Universal also has some surprising specialty collections, including Japanese ceremonial clothing, sci-fi, and big period fantasy collections. The staff is super helpful and they write up orders quickly. While their stock isn’t as large and varied as Western Costume, they have an affordable price point which is great for smaller shoots.
Address: 4000 Warner Blvd Bldg. 153, Burbank, CA 91522
Cheat Notes: Their massive 60,000 square foot facility includes a big selection of period and contemporary costumes, 24/7 prep offices and cages, fitting rooms, laundry rooms, and an exterior aging/dying space. While this is a one-stop-shop rental house, be aware of their strict rental policies and higher price point, but their staff is helpful and knowledgeable. You can also use the Motion Picture Costume Cleaner to deliver overnight service of dry cleaning to Warner Brothers, which is helpful for quick turnarounds and project wrap. Prepping for a sci-fi or fantasy project? Be sure to visit the dozens of unique costumes from Bob Ringwood’s Batman and Demolition Man. You can also find inspiration in costumes from a range of John Bloomfield’s projects, amazing medieval costumes from Camelot, and hidden treasures of every category, including casino costumes and contemporary high fashion items.
Address: 3811 W. Valhalla Dr., Burbank, CA 91505
Contact: 818 557-1247 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Cheat Notes: Motion Picture Costume Co. specializes in period civilian wardrobe and period and contemporary police and military uniforms. Their cleaner can deliver an overnight service of dry cleaning to Warner Brothers which is helpful for quick turnarounds and project closeouts.
Address: 7800 Beverly Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90036
Contact: Kathi Nishimoto for rentals 323-575-2666
Cheat Notes: A boutique costume house that focuses on high-end designer wear (think Bob Mackie to Versace) collected from popular Soap operas. They have good pieces from the 1980s and 1990’s that include colored pantsuits, parachute pants, and beaded pieces. Because their stock is in fairly good condition, designers pull for leads here. In more of their special collections, you’ll find a fantastic Western collection (1880’s-1990’s) including all of the costumes from Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman. If you’re looking to rent high-end contemporary shoes, be sure to explore their massive collection that includes 400+ shoes. This costume house prides itself on ensuring every costume is tagged with price, description, and time era for easy pulling.
Address: 11041 Vanowen St., North Hollywood, CA 91605
Contact: (818) 760-0900
Cheat Notes: The all-around best rental house in Los Angeles. The only place in America that compares to Angels Costumes in England, the largest costume house in the world with impressive uniforms and period costumes. In addition to their massive stock, Western Costume offers costume manufacturing and alterations, knowledgeable staff of military costume specialists, a costume supply store, a custom library for research, vintage fabrics, and designer offices and cage rentals. They are also constantly adding to their stock by aggressively buying large and unique costume collections, like the Helen Larson collection, a beautiful 1940’s-1950s collection from New York. If you have a larger budget and/or need something really specific, Western is definitely the GO-TO!
Pacific Studio Rentals within Allied Studios
A website is coming soon but you can follow along on Instagram @PacificStudioRentals
Address: 355 Kuehner Drive, Simi Valley, CA 93063
Contact: (310) 795-6593 (Evan: 310-339-8279) | email@example.com
Cheat Notes: Evan Waters, the curator and owner of Pacific Studio Rentals, created a destination costume house that feels more like an art installation when you walk in. They have a good-sized contemporary collection for men, women, and children, with a decent amount of larger sizes and multiples. Many of their items include stock from the famous Angels Costume House in London. Their extensive 14th and 15th-century fantasy section is not to be overlooked, boasting an impressive collection of jewelry and array of unique and elaborate hats from around the world. Continuing on the tour of the shop, you’ll also find a massive shoe collection (period and contemporary in a wide range of sizes), period Western, pirates, Roman and Egyptian military wear including stock to outfit an entire Trojan army, and matching tribal wear for 40+ dancers. While they are open Monday-Friday from 10AM-6PM (sometimes 7PM), calling ahead is recommended so Evan can assist with your pull. They also have a great prep space, which functions as more of a co-working space for costume designers, featuring large tables, dressing rooms for fittings, and sewing equipment.
Address: 7230 Fulton Ave, Los Angeles, CA 91605
Contact: (818) 764-2239 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Cheat Notes: This is the sister costume house to American Costume House. They specialize in uniforms from 1750 to present. Diana, the curator and owner, has an impeccable eye for collecting original 19th-century garments that are perfect to copy. If you need anything custom made, this costume house has a sewing team who will build costumes to rent. And if you happen to be on a shoot out of state and need an airline stewardess or milkman pulled from the 1930s, count on the knowledgeable staff to assemble and ship your authentic costume down to the patches and footwear.
Cargo Costume and Prep Space
Address: 2818 S. Olive, Los Angeles, CA 90007
Contact: (213) 531-0070 (Jamie and partner Heather run the shop)
Cheat Notes: Cargo Costume caters to commercials, music videos, and short films. Their stock focuses on high-end contemporary clothing and shoes for women, men, and children, with a good collection of vintage wear that fits seamlessly into a contemporary look. They also have a wide variety of specialty items, including a large accessory collection of vintage and contemporary hats and jewelry, period and contemporary hospital/service/work gear, police uniforms, and unique headdresses and masks. Their hours are flexible with opportunities to schedule appointments on the weekends. Need a place to fit a big background cast? Look no further! Cargo Costume has prep and fitting space available with wi-fi, a seating area, and a tailor on staff who builds custom pieces upon request. Oh, and did we mention that they have racks, hangers, and steamers available for rent? Yep, sure do! And they can create a whole package deal for your next shoot.
Address: 7243 Coldwater Cyn Ave, North Hollywood, CA 91605
Contact: (213) 488-3311
Cheat Notes: Specializing in mostly military costumes, Eastern also has unique pieces for sci-fi projects and a knowledgeable staff who will assist in pulling period-specific patches, badges, regalia, and other accessories to fit your costume needs. Not to be overlooked, their pricing is often better than the other major industry costume rental facilities. In their civilian section, they’ve accumulated part of the famous Roxy Deluxe Collection: thoughtfully curated pieces of sweaters, coats, gowns, and capes from a boutique costume shop in Rhode Island that dates back to 1910.
Address: 12424 Gladstone Ave., Sylmar, CA 91342
Contact: (818) 503-9273
Cheat Notes: This is the one and only place to go to for NASA spacesuits — contemporary and fantasy. Global Effects is also home to an impressive collection of pre-17th-century armor, science fiction/fantasy pieces, biohazard suits, robots, and medieval armor and weaponry. They also have in-house custom made manufacturing capabilities. Tap into the team’s wealth of historical knowledge! They can help you pull the most accurate costume and props for your project.
Address: 835 N Fairfax Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90046
Contact: (323) 651-5458, Lee, Melody Barnett, owner Lynn McQuown | email@example.com
Cheat Notes: While there is a higher price point than some houses, Palace offers the most curated and pristine vintage collection of all the LA costume houses, and has the best selection in town for the 1920’s-1990’s garments. The first stop for any period show, some designers will rent exclusively from this collection. In addition, they have an amazingly contemporary “stylist section”, and are also good for teen costumes. Word to the wise: be sure to ALWAYS return your rentals in garment bags!
Address: 7100 Case Ave, North Hollywood, CA 91605
Contact: (323)424-7937 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Cheat Note: Standing at 35,000 square feet with over 45,000 pieces, The Ruby rents clothing, shoes, and accessories for television, film, commercials, music videos, photoshoots, and specializes in high-end men’s and women’s contemporary fashion. The collection is a compilation of curated pieces from the closets of top stylists and costume designers who now rent out their stock.
Address: 7324 Greenbush Ave, North Hollywood, CA 91605
Contact: (818) 508-9933
Cheat Notes: They specialize in period costumes, from 1100’s custom-built pieces to contemporary, with true vintage and theatrical pieces for men and women, including plus-size stock. They rent out to the film, TV, and theatrical industries, but also rent for events and schools too. Be sure to call to set up a private consultation and tell them about your project. They are one of the few costume houses open on Saturdays and they have workrooms and cages available for rent and a tailor shop.
Whew! Now that you’ve got your go-to houses at hand, we hope you find everything you’re looking for. Happy shopping!