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Costumes Made in the USA

Updated on March 22, 2013

Let's "Face" It . . .

Maybe you are like me, and you have been trying to buy as many Made in the USA products as possible. If you have been costume shopping, then you have noticed that it is very difficult to find costumes that are Made in the USA!! Most costumes are made in China. Please understand, first of all, that I am not on an anti-China soapbox here. I am simply PRO-USA! Given the high number of recalls on toys and products that come from China, though (due to lead paint and other deadly issues), costumes that were made there (particularly with masks) do make me nervous. I still buy the occasional "Made in China" item when necessary, but I am really trying to support American jobs. So many American jobs have been lost to international outsourcing in recent years. I have resolved to spend a specific amount per year on American made products to do my part to support jobs here. I decided to try to make a Halloween costume part of my American investment for 2012. In my quest, I have compiled some information which may help you find what you need, too.

(Image of Merlin hat http://www.amazon.com/Black-Celestial-Merlin-Wizar... cone hat made in USA) Scroll down for more information.

Buyer Beware

Maybe you have been out shopping like I have. I have noticed something very tricky. I was recently searching for a Darth Vader costume for my son, and picked up just about every one I could find in several stores. I picked up some costumes of other characters, too, checking the “Made in . . .” statement on each one. Some said “Made in China” outright. But then I came to one package which only stated that it was “manufactured by” such-and-so company, giving an address in New York. I had a funny feeling that it didn’t necessarily mean that the costume was actually made at that address. So I turned the package over, looking closely through the plastic. Sure enough, molded into the back of the mask were the words, “Made in China.” So the costume is manufactured by a certain American company which outsources its jobs to China. You may be supporting the job of a few people sitting in an office in New York somewhere, but you’re still not buying an American product.

At home, I looked on the website of a major retail store. I entered the search terms “Costume Made in USA.” The result I got was a long list of costumes made by a particular company in the northern part of the USA. I couldn’t find any specific statement that the costumes were made in the USA. So I went to that company’s website. Under the manufacturing tab, there was a lot of commentary on their quality control process. There was a picture of a big factory-type machine with two non-Asian men working hard and a banner written in English. While this certainly made it appear that the company was American, I felt the urge to dig deeper until I could find a statement about where their costumes are stitched together. I Googled the company. You can guess what I found out next. Yes, their costumes are made in China. Contrary to what was depicted by the store website and the company’s website, their costumes are still made in China. My advice? You can’t assume it’s made in the USA it unless it explicitly says, “Made in the USA.”

Period Costumes: 2 Medieval Ideas - Robin Hood or Merlin

One of the best options you have is to create your own costume. Go medieval and give it a try! Here are some implements MADE IN THE USA to help you put it together.

For Robin Hood, try the green feathered cap, sword, and green cloak. Add green and brown clothing underneath, and try some brown suede boots from a Native American artisan to complete the look.

For Merlin, the cone-shaped wizard hat is really the defining accent. Beyond this, you would only need a cloak (color of your choice), a wand (could be made from nearly any type of stick - or just a stick found in the yard!), and a beard. Copy and paste this link : http://www.ehow.com/how_7707434_make-beard-out-cot... to find out how to make a beard out of cotton balls.

Be a Hero and Sew Something . . . - Superhero ideas

A Superhero costume is probably one of the easiest to put together with materials made in the USA.

First, select a set of sweats in your color of choice. If your child wants to be Superman, you would choose bright blue.

There are a couple of places online where kids' sweats that are made in the USA can be procured.

Next, add boots (red for Superman) or fabric covers for his legs and shoes. Boots made in the USA are extremely hard to find, so I would recommend saving some time and just making the fabric covers out of the same thing you use for the cape.

A chest emblem can be made from anything, including paper, and simply taped to the chest.

The cape - a little bit of sewing will be necessary here. If your superhero needs a mask to remain incognito, you can use the same fabric and sew one, as well.

If you are too busy to be this crafty, scroll down for some helpful links to American made costume shops!

3/4-oz. Fluorescent Yellow Ripstop Nylon Kitemaking Fabric Made in the USA
3/4-oz. Fluorescent Yellow Ripstop Nylon Kitemaking Fabric Made in the USA

Cape Fabric made in the USA! It's also the color of Kryptonite!!

 
3/4-oz. Red Ripstop Nylon Kitemaking Fabric Made in the USA
3/4-oz. Red Ripstop Nylon Kitemaking Fabric Made in the USA

You don't tug on Superman's cape . . . especially if he is tough and ready in fabric made in the USA.

 

Just Buy One!

These are links to some USA businesses who sell USA-made costumes and costume parts. I have not personally purchased anything from any of them, so I make no warranty concerning them or their costumes. However, I was excited to find this many resources for American-made costumes!

Do you try to buy American?

US Flag by Peter Griffin (Publicdomainpictures.net)
US Flag by Peter Griffin (Publicdomainpictures.net)

How much of an effort do you make to buy USA products?

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Have you tried to buy a costume made in the USA? - Was it diffucult?

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