Dresses for Men

In case you didn’t know already, my day job is creating costumes for a [nationally recognized] regional theater.  I have made quite a few interesting costumes, but the ones I am about to tell you about definitely take the cake.

Have you ever seen/heard of the play, The Mystery of Irma Vep? Unfortunately I am reporting on this too late for you to see our production. (The closing show was yesterday evening.) I have to say it was one of the best productions I have ever seen in my entire life! The acting was superb! The props, scenery,lighting, paint, costumes were flawless and hysterical! For those who are not familiar, it is a sort of comedy/mystery/suspense -but mostly comedy -show that takes place in a vaguely Victorian era.  It is a two man show in which each man plays several characters each. There are moments in the play in which one of the men walks offstage as one character and then precedes to have a conversation with himself as a different character that he then (very quickly!) comes back onstage as. It was incredibly impressive. The show moves so quickly that there were a few little mistakes/line flubs here and there, but the actors were able to recover in such a way that it only improved the comedy.

Now to how this relates to me….. Only two actors, but mostly playing the parts of women! My costume shop made two evening gowns and a dressing gown for one of the men, and a maid’s dress (complete with fake boobs) for the other man. It was so much fun, but definitely a unique challenge. The costume designer chose not to have fake boobs for the “leading lady”, which actually worked out very nicely when he would appear onstage in this beautiful low cut dress with a wealth of chest hair peeking over the top!

Should you ever find yourself creating dresses for men, my one recommendation is this -be sure to label your bodice pieces, as there is no curvature to hint at which piece you are looking at, lol.  Also, be sure to fit everything tight enough, because they don’t have the, er, means, to hold the dress in place if it does not have a high neckline.



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