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The 5 Best Costume Rental Companies in San Francisco

Whether you’re filming an indie short film or a commercial photo shoot, finding the right costume design for your idea is essential to conveying the right themes to your audience. The right costume can be the difference between a professional-looking shoot and a ragtag affair. The same goes for theme parties and photo shoots — even birthday parties and celebrations can require an outside-the-box costume. A good look goes a long way, and your attire makes up 90% of your first impression. So, where to start? Choosing the best costume rental company can be a challenge, but we’ve done the work for you: Here are the 5 best costume rental companies in San Francisco.

1. Costuming On Haight

Nestled in the middle of the Lower Haight, this proven costume rental studio has been at the heart of professional San Francisco costume design for years. Due to COVID-19 precautions, customers will need to book an in-store appointment ahead of time. But once you’re in, the fun really starts. From performance makeup to custom wigs, this shop has everything a designer could desire for a project. With professional quality running through every thread, Costuming on Haight will be a one-stop costume shop for aspiring and established designers.

But, this shop serves more than just the industry. Casual party-goers will find wigs, masks, cool sunglasses and everything in-between for masquerade balls and theme parties.

2. A.C.T. Costume Rentals

The American Conservatory Theater (A.C.T.) is no ordinary costume rental studio. This theater sits right above the Tenderloin district, a few blocks from Union Square and is a staple of the San Francisco theater community. The Conservatory boasts a vast array of costumes compiled from over four decades of productions. The A.C.T. is a Tony-award winning theater, nationally recognized and is essential to the production business in San Francisco.

Though the website is under construction at the time of this writing, it still provides a sneak peak at the collection, allowing browsers to look around and gather information in preparation for a formal call or meet. This costume shop is top-of-the-line, providing period-piece costumes as well as essentials for any production. The A.C.T. is a pillar of the SF theater community.

3. Fantasy Clothing

Another costume shop putting the community and personal health first, Fantasy Clothing Co. is still open online and continues to be one of the most highly-reviewed costume companies in the Bay Area. This shop puts customer service at the top of the priority heap, and it shows in excellent reviews and returning, loyal clientele who keep Fantasy on the lips of all the best production talent in San Francisco.

Fantasy provides the best costumes for Halloween, masquerades, holidays and any dress-up occasion. It has become the costume hub of the people, a down-to-earth alternative to the studio-level design shops that cater more to film. This costume shop has depth, friendly staff and just about every costume imaginable.

4. The Dressing Room

Boasting its own feel and vibe, what sets The Dressing Room apart as a costume rental studio is the number of 5-star reviews this heralded shop receives all over the internet. From seasoned, experienced associates to a vast array of costumes on offer, this studio in Lower Russian Hill caters more toward early 20th-century designs.

The Dressing Room also boasts a robust exchange program, buying vintage clothing and costumes from the 1920s and ’30s and incorporating it into their shop. Since 2018, the Dressing Room has become a mainstay of San Francisco fashion and what started out as a small closet under the stairs of the Sam Lee Laundry at The Speakeasy has turned into a vibrant, shining example of a solid, Bay-Area business.

5. Fantastico

With over 21,000 square feet to roam through, Fantastico is certainly the biggest costume rental space on offer in our list. More than a costume rental studio, Fantastico doubles as a party supply store as well as a one-stop shop for holiday decorations. Still, the heart of Fantastico lies in its excess of costumes on offer.

Off of 6th street in Mission Bay, Fantastico has been a staple for costume designers and party-goers alike for over a decade. A comprehensive party store, Fantastico is more geared toward individuals and indie film-makers than big-budget production studios, but that hasn’t stopped the hottest designers from perusing Fantastico’s hallowed grounds in the past. The selection is dizzying, the shop is established, and it wouldn’t be a list of the hottest costume rental companies in San Francisco without Fantastico.

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