Thursday, December 4, 2014

Frozen Princess Arrives in Red Bank

The long awaited Frozen Princess dresses are almost ready to go!  Beauty and the Beast, Chattanooga is proud to say that we've almost made our deadline to get these costumes finished in time for the Christmas Parades.  The dress shown is not 100% finished as it still needs to have the lining tacked down.  The dresses, 2 per size Junior, Standard, Plus and Texas Small, should be ready to go out late Friday Dec. 5 or early Saturday the 6th.  Each dress and jacket set will rent for $45 each.  Wigs sold separately.

As explained in our last post, this is NOT exactly 'Elsa' as her dress design is impractical as a rental.  These dresses are sleeveless, heavy bridal satin with sequin trim on the upper bodice.  The jacket is stretch velvet with sheer drape and silver sequin trim.

If you would like to see the dress, you may drive by the window at any time.  Santa, Mrs. Claus and the elves have graciously made room for this popular Christmas Wish.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Elsa - Progress

Good News:  YES!  Beauty and the Beast Costumes, Chattanooga is working on "Elsa" styled Frozen Princess dresses for adult sized rental.  These will be deluxe costumes that rent for $45 each.

Good News:  YES!  We will have an extra full run of 14 dresses, in our normal rental sizes, 4 each of Junior (XS-Sm), Standard (Md-Lg), Plus (XL-2XL) and 2 in size Texas Small (3XL-4XL) 

Bad News:  NO!  I don't know when they will be finished.  Currently, we have 14 dress and jacket sets cut out and are sewing 8 sets at the moment to try to cover all the parades, conventions, charity events and birthday parties as quickly as possible.  However, since I let the cat out of the bag that I was working on them, I've been getting hammered with inquiries wanting to know when they will be ready, what will they look like, and "What do you mean it's not going to look just like Elsa?"  These are things that are very difficult to explain over the phone, so let's try to answer those questions here.

Ok, the main question I'm getting is "When?" but the more difficult question is "What's it going to look like?  Will it look like the doll? the dress that was available for Halloween? the one on Once Upon a Time?"  The answer is NO, it will be unique to Beauty and the Beast as it would be copyright  infringement for us to make an exact copy PLUS those designs are totally unsuitable for rental.

My first problem was to re-design the costume to be sturdy enough to simply hang on a hanger.  The sheer fabric across the shoulders would never hold up a heavy dress on our rental racks.  The second problem was to make it a wearable costume that will look good on multiple sizes as each person cannot have a perfectly fitted bodice.  The only solution was to make a sleeveless 'under dress' with a bolero jacket to create the baby blue sleeve effect and hold the flowing cape.

Finally, I had to find machine washable fabrics in quantities large enough to make 14 identical costumes, at less than retail cost.  If the dresses had to be dry cleaned, it would ad an additional $10 to $20 to each rental price.  Expensive fabrics and trims drive the cost up even higher.  That would make Elsa rentals as much as $75 which would be out of the price range of most of our clientele. 

Here is what we figured out.  The under dress is a sleeveless version of McCall's 5206 Snow Queen.  The pattern was altered to have a full lining in the bodice for extra strength and comfort.  The dress is made of heavy bridal satin in a beautiful aqua color.  A matching sequin dot fabric adorns the chest area with a touch of extra sequin trim.

The bolero jacket is from Simplicity 2072 but will not close in the front.  It will be baby blue stretch velvet to lend strength to the garment and accommodate women with larger upper arms.  The attached flowing 'cape' will be from the McCall's 7000 pattern and be very light blue cotton chiffon with sequin trim.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Busy Elves at Beauty and the Beast

Everyone's favorite jolly old elf has arrived at Beauty and the Beast Costumes, Chattanooga.  Santa Suits for all your holiday events are now available to view, try on and book for your date.  You will find a wide variety of Christmas costumes for sale or for rent, including Santa Claus, Mrs. Claus, Elves for men, women or unisex, Angels, Snowman, Gingerbread man. 

Rental mascots include Grinch, Snowman, Reindeer (black or red nose), Nut Cracker and Rat King.

Deluxe Santa Suit $250 in Standard Size.  Super Deluxe Santa hair set $120
Sexy Elf in Green or Red (not shown) $34

Children's sized rental Christmas costumes include Angel and Elf (shown) as well as Sheep, Camels, Cows, Donkeys, and Shepherds for Nativity Pageants.

The white dress shown on left was originally made to be one of the "Swans a Swimming" for the 12 Days of Christmas, but makes an excellent Angel for groups who do not want to worry about wings on younger children.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Transition - Halloween to Christmas

Transitioning from Halloween to Christmas at Beauty and the Beast Costumes, Chattanooga can provide some strange scenes.  But don't worry, we'll have it sorted out soon enough.

If you were driving by at just the right time on November 5th, you may have seen store manager Susan Stringer changing the mannequins in the window.   Changing big, heavy mannequins isn't as easy as some people think, especially in a small space with large windows on two sides.  The easiest way to do it is to start with the mannequins next to the window then 'back' out the door, changing each one in turn. 

After changing the two elves shown above on the right, she removed the ghostly looking female and got Santa started.  When Mrs. Stringer stepped out to the parking lot to see if Santa was standing in the best lit spot, she noticed that Freddy Kruger seemed to be mincing the unsuspecting Jolly old Elf and his workers.

Don't worry!  Freddy was replaced with another bright, happy elf before closing time, lest he traumatize to many Citizens of Red Bank.

Inside the shop might be a little more frightening as Halloween decorations from the window got piled up in front of the Children's sized Clearance costumes.  A box of pumpkins and a treasure chest full of other decorations becomes a strange wrestling mat for the Zombie Babies.  Looks like Santa Baby isn't fairing to well.

Oh well!  Just another day in the life of a costume shop.


Santa and his Elves Prevailed! 

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Back to Normal

Hours return to Normal!

Hours:  Monday-Friday 9-6, Saturday 10-2, Closed on Sunday

Beauty and the Beast Costumes, Chattanooga has been running on extended hours for the last three weeks of October.  We also stayed open until 7 pm on Monday, November 3rd for the convenience of customers returning Halloween Rental Costumes. 

If you failed to return your costume on that day, PLEASE remember to drop it off on your way into work or on your way home.  You can also send it back with a friend. 

If you need to MAIL it to us, that's OK, but you need to call us and let us know that it's on it's way.  (423) 870-3510

Send to: 
Beauty and the Beast - Costume Return
3708 Dayton Blvd.
Chattanooga, TN 37415

Be sure to include the NAME it was rented under to insure proper credit for your return and avoid prosecution.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

What's Hot for Halloween? CREATIVITY!

Pardon me while I step out of the proper writing format of "This Author" and just chat about Halloween this morning.  Tomorrow is the big day and everyone is scurrying around trying to get all their last minute shopping done.  Cleaning, decorating, getting all the costumes, accessories and make up together and ready to GO!

I'm happy to see, at least at Beauty and the Beast, the costume trends are moving away from the super sexy stuff.  I can't speak for other stores because I don't have time to shop there and the sales people don't report to me, I can only talk about what I personally see.  Maybe my "Family Values" store image has finally taken root.  Whatever the reason, I'm happy to see bright, beautiful young people shopping for all kinds of OTHER costumes.  I'm extremely happy to see so many people looking for more creative options. 

Personally, I'm pretty old school, I like classic scary costumes.  For me, classics are Frankenstein, the Monster's Bride, Dracula, Werewolf, Witches, Grim Reaper and Devils.  For this generation, the classics are Jason, Freddy, Micheal, Leatherface and Zombies.  However, I know as a child, my one true wish was to be Cinderella, so that little girl desire to be a Princess for just one night will never die.  My Halloween costume is a Day of the Dead inspired creation, a skeleton in a long brightly colored dress and big hat.  My husband laughs and calls it my "Happy Dead Person" costume.  In a way, it's a combination of classic scary skeleton and princess dress!

Whenever the media asks me the age old questions "What's Hot for Halloween" I never have a good answer because there is never ONE costume that outsells everything else to the point of being overly noticeable.  At Beauty and the Beast, our sales are all across the board, Heroes, Princesses, Classic Monsters, Patriotic, Famous People / Media Characters, and the buyer's own imagination.  Perhaps the good answer for "What's Hot for Halloween?" should be - At Beauty and the Beast, what's hot is CREATIVITY! 

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Clearance Spotlight

More fun stuff from the Adult and  Child sized Clearance!

Batman for $20? You can't beat that. From the less popular Batman and Robin movie, these suits have printed blue muscles on the chest and no padding. We thought we had sold out of them, but while cleaning up the back room about a year ago, we found a whole box full. Still have most sizes Small, Medium and Large. Maybe not the best choice for the serious Bat-fanatic, but it's really fun for those with a sense of humor and a tight budget.

Warrior Queen has long been one of my favorites.  It comes in Standard and Queen.  Full length red velvet dress with silvery grey and black trim.  The crown has red rhinestones and a very full, sheer black drape.  I believe that most people trying this one on just get confused about which way it goes or how to do the double wrap belt.  For about $20 (plus sized is a little more), this is a great dress to use as a base to build an empire, start your own Game of Thrones or convert into a Viking.

Funky Witch is an unusual piece that came out several years ago, now reduced to just $15, all Small child size 4-6 intended for children 2-3 years of age.  This adorable velvet dress in either pink or orange with spider web lace robe and long black fur trim and crazy hat was most popular with pre-teen girls.  We reordered heavily in Large, only to receive SMALL costumes in 'Large' packages, which was quite upsetting to young ladies trying to get into these tiny dresses.

This writer would suggest that customers ignore the oversized furry hat and ad a $4 cat dress up kit for an amazing cat costume!   It would also work for taller, thin girls in the 8-10 age range as a top with leggings.

 This Scary Clown coat came in the wrong package.  It is currently reduced to $16.50 and comes with a mask and one fingerless white glove.  The picture on the front was a different costume out of the same line of scary costumes for boys sized Large (size 12-14 for boys aged 8-10) and Teen.  The entire series of costumes came with masks, but the over the head clown mask is to small for most boys in that age range.   This clown coat is exceptionally nice with faux leather shoulder and cuff accents and rainbow striped trim that seems to defy my camera the ability to properly focus.  Great accessories would include a wig for $7 or less, a make up kit with nose for $2.50 and a scary plastic hammer for just $6.50!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Clearance Spotlight - Make it Work!

How to Pin  - Go from Baggy to Fitted without sewing!

Sometimes really good costumes land in the clearance because they just don't fit right.  Many of these items can be quickly and easily adjusted to look fantastic with no sewing ability at all.  You have have heard people say "Just pin it up", but if no one ever showed you how to do that, your results may not be acceptable. 

Today's Clearance Spot light is one of the Uptown Girl costumes from Rubies, currently in the clearance section for $38.  These were extremely popular for several years at Beauty and the Beast Costumes, Chattanooga, but only if we had time to pin up the jackets for the customers.  The problem was that the pants fit nice and tight, but the jackets just kind of hang like a bag.  Most of the young women who wanted these costumes wanted to show off their curves!  Here's how you can do it at home, with these Red or Neon green 'pimp girl' costumes, or with just about anything else.  The same techniques apply.

All you need for this Jacket Re-Do is three large safety pins and a trusted friend.  First, turn the garment inside out.  Put it on and button it.  Have your friend loosely grab the back of the jacket to figure out where to start.  Then using a large safety pin, start on one side where you were holding it and just weave the pin in and out to the other side.  Close it up.  We did this one rather quickly, but you will get better results if go slow and make your pleats even.

If you are alone, you can still do this with the help of a pencil or chalk.  Just hold the garment together in the back and mark where your fingers and thumb are grasping the material.  Take the jacket off and weave the pin through the fabric between the marks.  This may take a couple of tries to get it just right.

If your bust is much larger than your waist, you will want to do the same in the front with two pins, shown with yellow arrows.  Do not make it TO TIGHT as the pins can tear holes in the fabric!  Give yourself some room to breath and move.

This is the back view, a little out of focus, of how this gathering should look in the back. 

Please notice that these costumes include the hat.  At Beauty and the Beast Costumes, Chattanooga, we REMOVE the hats from the bags so they still look nice when you buy one, even out of the clearance.

Now, if you've got yourself looking good, and you need a Mac Daddy to hang out with, we just marked the black leather look suits down half price from $80 to just $40!  Men's costumes do not include hats.  At the time of this writing, we still have them in Medium, Large and Extra Large.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Last Week!

Time is running out for Halloween 2014! 

If you haven't made up your mind, you better start thinking fast.  If that costume you ordered off the internet isn't here yet, you might want to start hitting the brick and mortars for a back up plan.  Ya never know if that thing is gonna show up, if it's gonna fit, if it's gonna look ANYTHING like the picture.  If you were waiting for all the 50-60% off sales, hope you don't think the temp store still has anything popular in your size.  What?  You haven't even been over there yet?  Man, are you ever gonna be disappointed!

So, is that about the way the conversations are going in your home or circle of friends?  At Beauty and the Beast, Chattanooga, we are very prepared for those last moment panic attack shoppers.  We've been helping out desperate people for 25 years.  Yes, we're running short on Disney princess dresses for sale, but our rental racks are still bulging.  We still have over a thousand different styles of adult and children's costumes to buy, hundreds for rent.

As a matter of fact, we only recently realized that we don't have our Halloween Classic costumes out on the rental racks at all.  So come on in... We can still make you look GOOD, and no one will know you procrastinated.


Thursday, October 23, 2014

Clearance Spot Light 10/23

Today we turn the Spot Light on Children Sized costumes!   Let us show you a couple of exceptional costume pieces that are frequently overlooked.

First up is a Boy's Medium Executioner's costume, currently in the clearance section.  This one has been difficult for many customers to understand as it is not so much a costume as it is a set of dress up accessories.   The costume pieces include a black velvet poncho with sparkling silver hood, a molded plastic half mask with elastic strap, 3D vinyl collar and belt which tie in back, all painted to resemble  weathered brown leather. with silvery accents.

The costume accessories are listed as size 7-10, however it should work well for just about any child under 4' 6".   It is meant to be warn over the child's regular clothing, preferably a dark shirt and pants. Brighter colors could be used for contrast and visibility.  This author also believes this would be an excellent alternative for any child who may have problems getting dressed or wearing more complex costumes.

The most popular accessory would be the jumbo Executioner's Ax for $7.50. 

Other ideas would include a sword for a "Black Knight", and possibly a Cape in black or red.

Most swords under 36" in length are priced between $3 and $8.  The most popular capes with collars are 45" long and $10 each.


Next up is the fair maiden to be escorted by her brave knight or possibly be taken prisoner by the king's headsman. This lovely purple velvet gown has lighter pinkish sleeves and a golden cord tie belt.  It also includes a purple velvet choker and floral headpiece.

This gown would be a major asset to any dress up closet.  It is machine washable, soft, comfortable and quite simple to transform into just about anything with just a few simple accessories. 

Most popular accessories would be fairy wings in shades of purple or pink and gold fairy wand.  A gold sequin tiara turns it instantly into a princess.

If you want to think a little more outside the box, add a sheer purple hooded cape from the adult clearance section for just $7 and a purple, green and gold wand for a Mardi Gras Queen.

(All prices will be posted as soon as they can be verified.)

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Clearance Spot Light

Adult sized Clearance section

Beauty and the Beast Costumes, Chattanooga has a huge clearance section.  It's so big, that this author believes a lot of cool things get over looked.  So, I'm going to try to shine some light on items that have recently been reduced or that have been there for quite some time, but never seem to get noticed. 

This bright pink and purple 80's dress has just been marked down to $24.   The bodice is made of light weight polyester, pink with purple and hot pink dots.  It is gathered at the bust with a tie belt to the back.  The asymmetrical, dropped waist line is accented with fuchsia sequin trim.   The gathered skirt is violet taffeta with lavender and hot pink tulle overlays.

Shown here with red, purple and blue beads sold separately.

This dress comes with red fishnet glovelets.  The outfit captures the  miss matched, kitschy style of the 80's.  The artwork on the package shows a Cindy Lauper type, but I believe this would work as almost any pop star.

OR - Think outside the box!  Ad wings, tiara and wand for a fabulous fairy that is exclusively yours!


This exquisite, full length black velvet cape with short red velvet capelet overlay is a much over looked gem!  It gathers at the neck with a thick, black satin drapery cord draw string.  The same cording trims the capelet as shown in the close up. 

This is an example of a great costume accessory which has been cursed with poor art direction on the packaging.  The cape's misfortune is your gain!  You can pick these up for just $17 each while supplies last.

At Beauty and the Beast Costumes, Chattanooga, you will find these capes in the adult sized clearance section with the Vampires, but it would also look great over any number of other costumes or garments for men or women.  It would be just as striking with a Devil, Black Cat, Witch, or even a medieval knight, king or queen.  (Look for the Perfect Queen dress in our next update!)

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

New Avengers from Rubies

Most customers probably won't notice, but the manufacturing license for Avenger's and Spider-Man Costumes has changed hands.  Disguise, who is best known for making Disney brand costumes, has held the rights to produce all Marvel Comic costumes for many years. This year, that prize piece of franchising has passed to Rubies.

This year, Rubies, the long time license holder for all things DC, has been given the chance to show what they can do with Avengers and the hottest movie of the decade, Guardians of the Galaxy.  This is really big news in some circles!  Rubies has been the sole supplier of costumes for the Batman, Superman, and Justice League franchises as well as the mega line of Star Wars costumes and accessories.  Now they have another slice of the Disney empire with the currently top selling Super Heroes, including the Ninja Turtles.

We at Beauty and the Beast Costumes, Chattanooga are thrilled that our favorite company will be handling both DC and Marvel comic characters!  Anyone who has wandered through a Halloween section at any chain store has seen the excellent quality of the Rubies brand Super Hero costumes.  Those who have shopped at Beauty & the Beast may have also noticed the truly beautiful princess dresses they make.  Who knows?  Since Rubies has done a great job with DC super heroes, Disney now owns Star Wars, which have been superbly handled by Rubies for decades, could Rubies get the Disney princess line next?  You may rest assured that this author is keeping her fingers crossed!

So, let's take a better look at the new Rubies Iron Man Costume shown above. 

The  photo on the right, above is the front of the Adult sized Iron Man, back shown on right. 
B&B price is $55, compared to $70 for the Disguise brand costume.  The Disguise brand had larger padded muscles and a two piece mask with a very pretty metallic paint job.  The Rubies brand has light padding only in the chest, abdomen and shoulder areas and the upper back is not printed.  However, the color of the Rubies suit is much brighter and the mask is made of a thicker, more durable plastic.

While you will be able to find the muscled versions of the Avengers costumes at most chain stores for $25-30, you better snap those up before November 1st or they will be GONE until next Halloween.  Beauty and the Beast only has the un-padded suits for children, similar to the adult sized shown above, for $24, but you will be able to get them all year long.  These suits may also prove to have more "play time value" than the more heavily padded ones. 

For an 'Economics 101' explanation on pricing differences, please see our blog post  "Why you can't find Frozen Costumes".

The Avengers costume licensing was SO NEW this year, that Rubies didn't even have time to print a proper catalog for everything.  Stores like Beauty and the Beast were ordering from catalogs that didn't even have pictures of the finished product as many designs were still pending approval by the licensee, aka Marvel / Disney.  Since B&B is open all year, we don't return 'left over' costumes after Halloween.  Therefore, we still have some Disguise brand Avenger and Spider-Man costumes in stock. Our purchasing agent was concerned about confusing our customers by having two brands of the same costume on the shelves at the same time.  These factors influenced our decision to only order the items we were out of, or very low on. 

As of mid October, 2014, we only have the Rubies brand Avenger Super Heroes listed above.  Our Rubies brand Spider-Man costumes are still on back order, although we do have a few of the Disguise brand left.  We also have one last Disguise Iron man that was hiding in the wrong box, Ironetts (sexy girl Iron Man side kicks), War Machine, Hulk, Thor and Captain America.

Please see our Quick Shots! and Quick Shots, Kids! pages of our Website  for a better overview of available Super Hero Costumes.  Apologies for not having the website completely finished in time for the holiday.  We are doing our best to keep the public informed in ways we never have before.  It takes a little time to get all the wrinkles ironed out.  Thank you for your patience.