FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Recycled movie costumes are wardrobe pieces from a film or television show that get reused in another production. Recycled Movie Costumes is dedicated to finding and documenting the life of a costume through its various appearances.

  • Wild, right? The practice of reusing costumes has been going on since, well, the theatre began, really. So, a long time. Very few productions have the funds to outfit both the main cast and extras in new costumes, so if new costumes are made, it is generally only for the main cast, with extras wearing older pieces. Also, was there a question in there somewhere?

  • One day I saw an advertisement for Showtime’s The Tudors. There was a pink dress that looked very familiar to me. I popped my copy of The Virgin Queen into my DVD player and, sure enough, found the same costume on Anne Marie Duff. Once I found this reused costume, I saw them everywhere. While my other college friends went out on the weekend, I stayed in, watched Masterpiece Theatre, and collected reused movie costumes in a three-ring binder.

    Yeah, I’ve always been this cool.

    Eventually, I found The Costumer’s Guide. One of the features on their site was documenting reused movie costumes. Other people saw them too! I submitted my findings, along with several other people. Eventually, there were just too many reused costumes for the site (which focused on many aspects of movie costumes) to keep up. I reached out to Maggie and asked her if she would mind if I created my own site for just reused costumes. She said yes! And thus, Recycled Movie Costumes was born.

  • Sign up and create an account. In your profile, select “New Costume.” Then, please fill out all the information and send it to the moderator (me) for approval.

    You can also email me submissions at submissions@recycledmoviecostumes.com, but I’d prefer you create an account and submit that way if possible.

  • Some costumes have been used in three, four, and even eighteen different productions! A sighting is how many times something has been used. So if you found a crown that has been used five times, that counts as (1) costume and (5) sightings.

    Enthralling stuff, I know.

  • Sometimes it’s undeniable that a gown you’ve seen is one from another production. Other times it’s not so clear, maybe because the dress has been heavily redone, possibly because the lighting makes it appear a different color, or perhaps because it only appears for a moment on screen. In such instances, there are a few helpful ways to help you determine if the costume is the same.

    First, note the distinctive characteristics of the gown in question. Maybe a placement of beads or the pattern in the fabric will help you determine if it is the same. Are the seam lines in the same location? Find something worth noting and see if it’s in the same place on the other costume.

    Secondly, have any other gowns from both films in question been spotted? For example, if you see a dress in The Tudors that you think is from Shakespeare In Love, but you’re not sure – you’re probably right because many costumes from Shakespeare In Love have been reused in The Tudors.

    Lastly, if the above methods have failed, ask yourself when and where the films were made. A film made in England isn’t very likely to recycle costumes from a movie made in Hollywood – so if your two films don’t match up, logically, it’s probably not a confirmed sighting – just a similar gown.

  • I do! This includes anything used to outfit a movie set and could also include the movie set itself.

    The only thing I will not accept is reused filming locations.

  • There could be many reasons for this.

    First, it could simply be in the queue. First come, first serve is considered when deciding what to update each week, but other factors also come into play. For example, if you’ve submitted ten costumes and someone else has submitted one, your ten costumes do not all take precedence. In such an instance, I may post one of your costumes and one from another contributor. I try to space out contributions amongst contributors whenever possible.

    Second – I am working on verifying your information for a number of reasons. For example, maybe I have a question about the movie, or perhaps I am looking for alternate photos.

    Third – you didn’t include all of the information. If you didn’t include a photo of the costume in question, that means I need to go in search of it. I need to rent (or buy) the movie, scan through it, screenshot it, crop it and upload it. Posts that are complete when submitted will get precedence over ones I need to work harder on.

    Another reason is I may not even be sure it is the same costume. In some instances, when this happens, I will post the costume to the undetermined section, but depending on the situation, it may not make it onto the site at all.

    Yet another reason could be that I have a lot of content. I could post one hundred costumes in a weekend, but then what? I can’t guarantee content for the next weekend. Spacing out costumes ensures you’ll have a steady stream of new updates for years.

    Lastly, it could just depend on how you sent in your submission. Now that I have overhauled the site, I would prefer people submit via the site rather than via email. I have hundreds of past submissions in my email that need to be posted, which I am working on doing. But if you have a completely new sighting, updating it to the site rather than sending it via email helps my list of emails get smaller, not bigger.

    Ultimately I will try to contact you about your submission. I will thank you, or I will let you know if there is more information needed. Getting me this information will help expedite your sighting going live.

     

  • Because sometimes, clothes overlap in eras, and some movies showcase multiple eras, sometimes on purpose, sometimes not. At one point in The Tudors, a Victorian gown from The Buccaneers makes an appearance. How does one even begin to classify such a thing? In that case, it lives in the Victorian/Edwardian gallery but is cross-posted to the Tudor/Elizabethan gallery. It’s not perfect, but hey, it is what it is. At the end of the day, it comes down to the mod’s choice. 

  • Thanks! I appreciate you letting me know. Please feel free to hit the “submit an edit” button and submit the change to me, and I’ll get it changed.

    This website isn’t perfect. I try to research as much as possible, but mistakes happen.

  • Because frequently, multiple people submit the same costume before it can be posted live on the website. In those cases, I like to give everyone credit.

  • I do not own any of the costumes featured on this website, except for one! Which one? Well, you’re gonna have to go look at all the pages to find out!

    But it’s not for sale. Sorry.

  • For the most part, the answer is that you can’t. That being said, sometimes movie costumes come up for sale at auction houses like Julien’s or Christie’s, so I’d suggest joining their mailing lists if you are serious about acquiring a movie costume.

    Secondarily, sometimes costume houses clear out old stock, so you might follow the social media pages of Angels Costumier, Cosprop, or The Western Costume Company to keep up to date about those sales.

  • I do not make costumes for a living, nor can I make a costume for you. Sorry!

  • Generally, two new costumes are posted each weekend, with older content being recycled (hey, it’s what we do) on Monday through Friday. Follow us for all of the latest updates!

  • If you’ve not heard back from me in a week, email me again. It may have gone to my spam. Sorry!

  • Eventually, I will make some youtube how-to videos for you. Stay tuned.

  • Try to google the name of the actress wearing the costume, the movie, and the word “costume.” See what pops up.

  • Here are some websites that have movie photos and screenshots.

    Far Far Away

    Filmy Kostiumowe

    Fragile Memoirs

    IMDb

    Kissthemgoodbye

    Movie-Screencaps

    MovieStillsDB

    If you can’t find what you need at these sites, try renting the movie and taking a screenshot. 

    Instructions for taking a screenshot on a Mac can be found here. 

    Instructions for taking a screenshot on a PC can be found here.

  • You can get in touch via the contact form or at submissions@recycledmoviecostumes.com