Middlebury College Costume Shop, Department of Theatre, owns an enormous costume collection that it makes available to the Middlebury College community and the greater theater world. The purpose of making the collection available for loan and rental is to promote stage costume use in theatrical productions.

Please note that our policies and procedures have been carefully considered and are intended to prolong the life of our collection. The rental rates are lower than industry standard and represent the cost of upkeep and repair, not replacement. Availability of garments for loan or rental are subject to the rules below.

I. The Collection

Any costume items may be utilized in the fall and spring shows designed and directed by the Middlebury College Department of Theatre.

All other entities are allowed access to the following costume items:

Costume Ideas For Loans & RentalExamples
Costumed From Head-to-ToeDresses, Suits, Jumpsuits
Performer dressed to 75% with or without
headwear or accessories  
Half-Body Costume ItemsBlouses, Shirts, Bodices, Corsets, Skirts,
Pants, or Shorts
AccessoriesGloves, Scarves, Shawls, Hankies, Belts, Select Hats, 
Select Jewelry, Select Footwear
OuterwearCoats, Jackets, Capes, Cloaks

Costume items excluded from loan or rental:

  • Antique items
  • Wigs
  • Costly hats
  • Full-body animals
  • Makeup and hair products and tools
  • Modern underwear (panties, briefs, bras, socks, stockings, etc.)

II. Rental Rates & Terms

Middlebury College Department of Theatre faculty may borrow anything for Faculty shows. No fees are assessed.

Middlebury College students and employees may borrow costume items free of charge for productions, shows, and other theatrical work. No fees are assessed.

Others may rent items for a fee. No tax will be collected.

Items for RentRate
Costumed From Head-to-Toe$20
Half-Body Costume Items$10
Accessories$5 for 1-5, $10 for 6-10

1. All costume items removed from the Costume Shop are subject to a rental fee, regardless of whether they are worn in a performance or not.

If they are used in your production, the full rental fee is charged; if they are not used in your production, half the fee is charged.

2. Educational institutions receive a 50% discount for all rentals.

3. A deposit of $100 must be left with the Costume Shop at time of rental. Only personal or business checks are accepted and should be made out to: Middlebury College, Costume Shop. The deposit will be returned once all costume items have been returned to the Costume Shop, reviewed for cleaning and damage, and checked in by a Costume Shop employee. If repairs are necessary, the deposit will be retained until the repair amount has been assessed. Then, a new check for the repair is required and the deposit will be returned.

4. Full payment is due once all costume items have been returned.

5. Other Charges:

  • Costume items returned damaged will be charged for repair / replacement per the Costume Shop.
  • Costume items returned dirty will be charged $25 or the price of cleaning, whichever is greater.
  • Missing costume items will be charged at replacement value per the Costume Shop.
  • If you miss your arranged drop-off appointment, a charge of $25 will be assessed.

6. Term of loans and rentals is 4 (four) weeks maximum, including cleaning.  (Faculty shows excluded)

III. Policies & Procedures

Costume items can be borrowed or rented only for productions, shows, and other theatrical work. No costume items will be lent or rented for parties, Halloween, photo shoots, etc.

Prior to Your Appointment:

  • Make an appointment at least 48 hours in advance to pull costume items.
  • Take performer measurements (see Measurement Sheet.) Commercial clothing sizes are not enough.
  • Make a list of costume items you want. Provide this list to the Shop in advance.

During Your Appointment:

  • Bring the performer’s measurements (see Measurement Sheet.) Commercial sizes are not enough.
  • Bring your list of costume items you want.
  • Bring boxes/hampers, bags, and/or rolling rack for large loans / rentals.
  • You will pull costume items with a Costume Shop employee.
  • You will sign a contract when borrowing or renting (see Costume Loan & Rental Agreement.)

During Your Run:

  • Instruct your performers to use deodorant. No perfumes or scented oils allowed.
  • Performers must wear a wash layer under costume items to minimize perspiration staining and odor.
  • Eating or drinking in costume only if performers are completely covered (as by a large robe.) No smoking.
  • Temporary alterations are allowed using standard sewing techniques. Do not use: stitch witchery, hot glue, or any other non-sewing method, tape or adhesives of any kind, or safety pins. 
  • Do not permanently alter costume items, such as by cutting, dyeing/painting, or gluing.
  • Consult us if you intend to use stage blood in your production.
  • Follow Cleaning Guidelines on your Costume Inventory if you need to clean during the run.

After Use:

  • Remove all labels you added to costume items for your production.
  • Leave all alterations you’ve done. We will decide if we need to remove them ourselves.
  • You are responsible for returning all costume items clean per Costume Inventory Cleaning Guidelines.
  • You are responsible for the cost of dry cleaning as well as arranging for transportation to and from a dry cleaners (in Middlebury: Desabrais on Exchange St.; 802-388-9079.)

COVID rules: All items removed from the Costume Shop must be cleaned, regardless of whether they are in used a performance or not.

  • Adhere to drop-off appointment on the Loan & Rental Agreement. We can reschedule your drop-off appointment (within 24 hours min.), but rentals missing an appointment will be assessed a charge of $25. Late returns may affect your ability to rent or borrow in future.
  • All costume items must be returned at the same time.
  • All costume items must be returned within one week of your closing date.
  • Return all costume items and storage containers we have provided (e.g. hangers, bags, bins.)