ABOUT THE DEPARTMENT

How much is the hire charge?
Prices are from £50 to £55

Where are you based?
Our premises are at 47-53 Swan Street, just next to the Crowne Plaza hotel.

What are your opening hours?
We are open Monday to Friday from 10am to 4 pm, last appointment at 3pm. We also open alternate Saturdays from 10am to 2pm. Please see the website for dates.
 
What are your contact details?
Our address is: 47-53 Swan Street, Manchester M4 5JY
You can email us at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
You can phone us on 0161 819 6660
 
What if I want to hire a costume?
You will need to book an appointment by phone or email.
 
Can we visit you?
Yes, we encourage people to visit us not only to see our wonderful range of costumes, but also to receive advice and guidance on suitable outfits, fitting, etc. Please ring or e-mail for an appointment.

ABOUT THE COSTUMES

What sorts of costumes do you have?
Our costumes cover all periods from the Romans to the 1950s. Most of our costumes are from Royal Exchange theatre productions, so we have a particularly extensive range of Georgian, Victorian and Edwardian costumes. We have a wide range of accessories to complete your outfit. We do not hire specific ‘fancy dress’ costumes.

Who do you hire costumes to?
Basically, anyone who wants a quality outfit at a reasonable price. We hire to private individuals, corporate organisations, amateur and professional dramatic and operatic societies, charity groups, educational and community organisations, etc.
 
What are the costumes suitable for?
Parties, productions, historical events, weddings, etc. 
 
What does a ‘costume’ comprise?
A ‘costume’ is everything needed for one outfit, so it can include dress / suit, plus accessories to complete the outfit, including petticoats, shoes, jewellery, hats, etc.
 
Do you hire out single items?
Yes, we offer this service, and items are priced separately. Please ring or e-mail for further information.
 
Do you hire out military uniforms?
Yes, we have military uniforms from a range of periods.
 
Do you have costumes for children?
No, we do not have costumes for children. We do hire costumes to schools and colleges, but mostly for young people over 15.
 
Do you hire wigs?
No, but we can refer you to a local wig-hire business.
 
Do you make costumes for sale / bespoke costumes?
No, we do not offer this service, although we can supply details of freelance makers.
 
What if I don’t know what I want?
Our experienced team of volunteers can offer ideas and advice for suitable costumes for every occasion.

HIRING A COSTUME

How long is the hire period?
Costumes are hired by the week. Payment is by the week, although after the first week, the hire rate is reduced by 50%.
 
What are your hire charges?
We charge £50.00 per week for a complete outfit for private individuals. We have special rates for business, educational, charity and amateur dramatic groups. Please ring or e-mail for further information. We also take a swipe of a card for a deposit of £350.00 per outfit, but this will only be accessed in the case of non-return of or damage to the costume.
 
When do I pay?
Costumes must be paid for in full at the time of selection.
 
Can I pay cash?
No, we do not accept cash payments.
 
Can I pay on account?
Large organisations frequently find it useful to become account customers. Please contact the Costume Hire department for details. Account customers are invoiced directly by the theatre’s Finance department.
 
What if I don’t return the costume on time?
A further charge will be made if the costume is not returned on the date stated on the Hire Agreement form.
 
What if I need to cancel my order?
Please let us know as soon as possible if you need to cancel an order.
 
Cancellation incurs a charge of £20.00 per outfit.
The balance of the payment will be refunded to the customer’s account.
 
Who is responsible for insuring the costumes, and what happens if a costume is damaged or lost?
Once the costumes leave our premises, they become the responsibility of the hirer. Please let us know if costumes are damaged when they are returned to us, so that we can repair them before they are replaced in to our stock. If a cost is incurred, then this amount will be deducted from the deposit taken at the time of hire.
 
Do you arrange transport for the costumes?
No, we do not offer this service. It is the customer’s responsibility to collect and return the costumes.
 
Can I alter an outfit?
No, this is not allowed. If any change is needed, we can sometimes do this ‘in-house’, but customers should not alter hems, take costumes in, let seams out, etc. All alterations will be treated as damage and charged for accordingly.

OTHER FAQs

What other services do you offer?
We can give talks on costumes in our collection, and we also offer the opportunity for small groups of students and other groups to tour the Costume Hire department. Please ring or e-mail for further information.