May 01, 1999
Meetings & Conventions: Short Cuts May 1999 Current Issue
May 1999
Short Cuts:
PLAYING DRESS-UPplaying dress-up More Krypton juice, anyone?

The room is set for a space-age bash, complete with otherworldly decor, funky food and dramatic laser lighting. Guests might not think twice if the wait staff is wearing traditional Earth garb. But wouldn’t they be wowed if served by silver-suited space aliens?

Just as “the clothes make the man,” costumes can make the party, believe Sue Harrison and Karen Linden, partners in Los Angeles-based Costumes for Caterers (818-899-7706;, a rental company that designs and supplies outfits specifically for waiters and other event staff.

Not surprisingly, the future is more popular than ever, says Harrison. “We expect an onslaught of futuristic parties over the next few years. Through 2002, people are going to be so enamored of the fact that we’re in the 2000s.” Demand may require adding to the current stock of costumes. “We had someone ask if we had a ‘Y2K bug’ outfit, which we hadn’t thought about, but now we are,” she adds.

Some costumes are more cumbersome than others. Among those hardest on the wait staff were colonial dresses the company created for the premiere of the movie Interview with a Vampire, recalls Harrison, who felt sorry for the female servers at the post-show bash who had to make their way through the crowd saying, “Pardon my hips.”

Costumes for Caterers claims to fill a unique niche, working directly with event planners and showing up on site, sewing kits in hand, to dress the wait staff. However, other costume rental companies nationwide will provide similar services on request. Among them: American Costume Co., based in Denver (303-893-8899;; Costumes Unlimited, based in Orlando (800-726-6275 or 407-422-4408;, and Costume World, with headquarters in Pompano Beach, Fla., and store locations in Dallas, Pittsburgh and Deerfield Beach, Fla. (800-423-7496;


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