Always dream about being a swashbuckling pirate? Wanted to try your luck as a sexy doctor or test your charm as a naughty nurse? Carnival season, full of fancy dress parties, costume balls and theme masquerades, provides the perfect chance to dress up and adopt that alter ego you’ve been itching to take on.
If you lack the sewing skills, imagination or time needed to make your own costume, a visit to one of Krakow’s several dress rental companies can solve your problems. And that’s exactly where more people are turning, says Bogumila of Balerina costume rental (ul. Batorego 2).
“Several years ago, people were interested mostly in kids’ costumes, but now adults also come in and rent outfits for various social events,” Bogumila says.
As she notes, costumes based on the latest blockbuster movies are often the first to go, although a few classics are still going strong.
“A couple of years ago, Harry Potter was all the rage, and one year we even had a fist fight over the costume between two little boys. This year nobody seems to remember about Harry or Hermione,” Bogumila says. “On the other hand, the popularity of some characters never fades. For example, Superman, Batman and Spiderman have been popular for years and are still among the most frequently sought costumes.”
But the absolute hit of each year for men is Zorro, while women often opt for a princess costume.
“Zorro’s popularity seems to be timeless and unchanging” Bogumila says. “We’ve had it in stock since we opened our rental 14 years ago. And princesses? It’s a dream of all girls, big and small, to become a princess for at least this one night.”
A party’s theme often dictates a customer’s decision, and this year’s top themes appear to be connected to fairy tales, Mexican fiestas, magic and history.
“When we have a number of customers daily asking about a particular costume, we know there is a big theme party coming the nearest weekend,” Bogumila says with a laugh.
Costumes stores are open year round, but the business really cranks up in December, as they rent outfits for Nativity plays and Christmas Parties, and continues throughout the Carnival period until Lent.
And the number of opportunities to dress up in other seasons is on the rise. According to Ewa, of Gama costume store and rental (ul. Krowoderska 60), the latest trend is to organize a fancy dress party for 18-year-old birthdays. She says the most popular outfit for these parties is a priest or nun outfit. Costume charity balls also help stimulate demand for classic masks and wigs.
Costume prices depend on how elaborate a get-up you desire. A hat or a belt can cost 10 zloty per day, while a full costume can run around 30 to 40 zloty a day.
Other stores renting costumes include Il carnevale (ul. Szafirowa 8) and Wypozyczalnia Kostiumow Scenicznych i Karnawalowych (ul. Kremerowska 7).
So if you’ve always wanted to try your luck in Superman’s blue tights and padded chest muscles, carnival’s the time to do it.