Wardrobe Supplies for College Theater Programs’ Next Season

It’s the end of the year, and college theater programs (and community and small theaters) are taking stock of what they need for next year, to maximize the budget they have! As a college program, you still need the same wardrobe supplies, but you have to do it with less money. How do you manage this at a college — or a small theater, even?  You need to buy smarter.  Here’s what some colleges and small theaters purchase at the end of their fiscal year.

Wardrobe Supplies for College Theater Programs' Next Season by Manhattan Wardrobe Supply

Stocking Up for Next Season

Intimates: Hanes T-shirts, Gold Toe socks, white handkerchiefs, foam bust pads and dress shields are always in demand. You can never have too many. Same goes with bra extenders.

Intimates by Manhattan Wardrobe Supply

Thread: We have every kind of thread you use: Coats and Clark, Gutermann, Hymark, Silamide and Serger thread.  Stock upnow in basics like black and white!

Sewing Supplies by Manhattan Wardrobe Supply

Needles: Hand sewing needles, machine needles, needle threaders, bobbins and thimbles are all used daily in a costume shop.  You can never have enough.

Deluxe Sewing Kit by Manhattan Wardrobe Supply


Pins: straight pins, t-pins, safety pins, and pin cushions are all must-haves.  Have you tried black coated safety pins?  These are great for emergencies, and the coating makes them slip into fabric easily.  They can even be decorative!

Measuring and Marking tools: Tape measures, rulers, hem markers, tailor’s chalk are all essential.  Measure twice, cut once! Try Clover 5-in-1 Sewing gauge this versatile sewing gauge is a great addition to marking supplies.

Fasteners: Suspender buttons, shirt buttons, zippers and zipper repair are all super important. Don’t forget hooks and eyes, too!

Shoe Supplies: barge glue, Shurgrips, shoe laces, insoles, heel grips, shoe horns, shoe stretchers, leather paints and Foot Foam are all great to stock up on.

Shoe fitting supplies by Manhattan Wardrobe Supply

Dyes: Rit, Dylon, Procion, Acid.  You’re using some of the best dyes, but even they can stain your hands. Try ReDuRan Super Hand Cleaner Dye Remover, because you always need to clean up dye from your hands and sometimes even fabric.

Dye by Manhattan Wardrobe Supply

College Theater Programs Hair and Makeup Solutions

Make-up: spirit gum, special effects make up, sponges, puffs, make up removers and stage blood (in many different varieties!) are probably needed next year. Try out Skin Illustrator palettes  (and activator) which are a great way to try out alcohol-based makeup, and are versatile enough for beauty, character, and even covering up the grey.

Skin Illustrator Palettes by MWS Pro Beauty

Hair: wig blocks, wig caps, styling capes, hair pins, blocking pins and wig cleaner are all necessities that you can never have enough of! We have an extensive selection of affordable wig blocks for you to try upstairs in Manhattan Pro Beauty, as well as wig stands, cases, and even hairsprays and brushes.

Wig & Hair Supplies by MWS Pro Beauty

College Theater Programs Backstage Solutions

Fabric cleaners and treatments: Stock up on detergents, spot removers, static guard and odor eliminators. Another item to consider? Try Restoration Color Safe Fabric Restorer to remove yellowing from fabrics.

Restoration Fabric Restorer by Manhattan Wardrobe Supply

Storage Solutions: Who doesn’t need Ziploc bags, drawstring bags, or Iris storage boxes?  They’re super handy and have a ton of uses.  A tip: you can save money by purchasing Zipitpac which are sold in 100 ct. and come in several sizes. Bulk is best for these essentials!

Zipitpac by Manhattan Wardrobe Supply

Backstage: Bitelites for hands free dressing, rolling racks and laundry baskets— and don’t forget hangers! Have you ever tried head lights? You can really focus the light where you need it! We like Greatlites.

BItelight by Manhattan Wardrobe Supply

Books: We have books on Styling, Costume Design , Fashion Illustration and Theatrical Make-up. One of our favorites? The Makeup Artist Handbook, 2nd Edition. by Mindy Hall and Gretchen Davis.  Check out Alison Freer’s book, “How to Get Dressed” too!

The Makeup Artist Handbook by Manhattan Wardrobe Supply


If you work with college or community/nonprofit theater programs, what do you stock up with at the end of the year?  Let us know, and consider Manhattan Wardrobe Supply and Manhatttan Pro Beauty for all of your end of year needs.