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    Just walkin’ down the street – COLUMBIA


    Time Warp:

    Gold sequined top hat with black scrunched hatband.

    • The sequins run in parallel wavy lines, vertical on the “stovepipe” part of the hat, and running front to back on the top and brim.
    • The brim curves upward on the sides and flares ever so slightly at the top (like a leprechaun hat).
    • Both the top and underside of the brim are sequined. Hat is lined in black. TIP: Costume shops may have real sequined top hats or cheap glitter ones you can convert (also check party supply stores). If all else fails, buy a tophat at a formalwear shop and sequin it.
    • The hatband is a matte grosgrain (narrow vertical ribs) and NOT sequined. There is a flat bow on the left side of the hat (look during throne scene).  TIP: A black hairband makes a good stopgap hatband and really dresses up a plain gold hat.

    tumblr_n2v1f184bC1s90rvzo1_500Short red wig, parted on the left.

    • You may have to buy a longer wig and trim it. Note that the hair is cut very close at the back of the head, with the hair from the top of the head cut in a blunt cut at the level of about two-thirds of the way down Nell’s ears. Practically speaking, if you’re wearing a wig, you’ll have to keep it longer in back. But make sure the front isn’t too long. Nell touched hers up with Crazy Color, but you should be able to find a wig in any color you need.

    Gold sequined tailcoat with black sequined, un-notched (shawl) lapels.

    • tumblr_mo915wBJl61qgxy6bo1_500The tailcoat is short in front with swallowtail tails in back. The transition from the front of the jacket to the tails is abrupt, not gradual.
    • Lined in black; no cuffs.
    • The sequins run in wavy parallel lines and have a yellow tone.
    • The sequins on the sleeves flow down vertically from the sleeves (so when her arms are down, the lines are straight up and down).
    • On the front, the sequins flow in downward diagonal lines at about a 30 degree angle down from the horizontal.
    • The undersides of the lapels are fully covered with the sequined material.
    • There are two black buttons placed horizontally above the tails, and two black plastic buttons placed vertically below the lapels on each side.
    • TIP:  Cover a jacket with sequined material, or make one (look for Uncle Sam costume patterns around Halloween or the Fourth of July). If your jacket has no tails, sew black tails to the jacket and cover with sequined fabric. (Elaine Truver created a little sketch of how to do this.) elaine_tranny_coatYes, you can buy the Official Costume, but the jacket really is crap – can’t you do better?
    • COL8

    Pink sequined double bow-tie on a black scrunched elastic strap.

    • Bowtie is sequined only on the front, not the back. (Base material is pink.) The band looks sequined, though it’s hard to tell.

    When Brad and Janet are being undressed, Columbia wears a:

    Black dog collar with white iridescent rhinestones.

    • 5 rhinestones on each side; small gold ring in the center. Black leather; buckles in back with a gold buckle. There is a line of stitching at the edge of the collar, above and below the rhinestones.
    • TIP: Each rhinestone is centered in a little sunburst-shaped gold frame, making it look as if the stone is surrounded by 8 tiny gold studs. Gluing yours on? Paint in with puffy paint.
    • DIRECTION: Remove jacket, tie and hat after Frank exits ballroom to lab. Wear dog collar under bow-tie for quick change.

    Blue ring.

    • Worn on left hand ring finger throughout the entire film. Flat dark blue band (enamel?), flanked on each side with silver edging. This could easily be made with blue nailpolish on a plain silver band (idea from Sera Lysea).

    Sequined bustier.

    • Sequins are red, green, silver, blue, and gold, and are attached to a black bustier with white lining. Top and bottom of the bustier are edged with black fabric/bias tape. (Multisequined fabric used to be sold by the yard; it is very difficult to find nowadays. If you find it commercially, buy it immediately. Or get some of Larry’s custom-made material.)
    • Sequins are flat, not cup style.
    • The top comes to a point above each breast, and the waist dips to a point in the middle. Fastens in the back with hooks and eyes, though a zipper is more practical for quick changes.
    • TIP:  Do not sequin the cups separately from the rest of the bustier. It won’t look right.
    • TIP:  Don’t glue the sequins on, either, unless you want them on only temporarily.

    Black satin shorts with metallic ribbon stripes.



    Columbia's shorts, right front pocket

    Columbia’s shorts, right front pocket


    • The easiest way to get a good large photo of the stripes is to buy Poster Magazine Vol 1 No. 2. Unfortunately, the large photo only shows the right front of the shorts.
    • Ribbons are metallic (try lamé), and quite narrow, narrower than her fingers. (I don’t know why, but many Columbias put gigantic stripes an inch wide or more on their shorts.) DO hem them under instead of leaving raw edges; lamé will fray in a second and over time it fades. DO NOT just glue the ribbons on except possibly as a temporary measure; sew them down or they will come off. Note: The ribbons are different widths and are not evenly spaced!
    • The legs are turned up once to form a cuff. There is a gap between the cuffs at the side seam; this can be clearly seen on the July 1995 Mick Rock calendar. This means that there is a V-shaped notch at the side seam; the two edges of the cuffs have not been sewn together.
    • Pockets are jeans-style, with a pointed patch pocket on each cheek, and 2 “pork chop” front cutaway pockets. Both pockets and the cuffs have ribbon stripes, too, which don’t line up with the ribbons on the shorts.
    • TIP: Becky Milanio (of Indecent Exposure) says that if you make the shorts, lay out the shorts pattern, sew on the stripes and then make the shorts. Jen White adds that if you sew ribbons on a pair of shorts, picking a pair of shorts which are already striped will help you get them straight. If you must buy the Official Costume, why not improve it by sewing stripes over the crappy printed ones?
    • Note:  Columbia does not wear a white belt. Her bustier turns up during Time Warp, revealing white lining – hit pause. The white lining with black strips of boning can be seen on the laundry line when Dr. Scott comes through her bedroom.
    • TIP:  I’ve had several Columbias tell me that the best way to find metallic ribbon is to hit the fabric stores’ after-Christmas sales. See the links page for ideas. If you just use strips of lamé, for heaven’s sake, hem them or they will ravel. And know that for some reason red lamé fades really fast.

    Black satin underwear. (for Floor Show)

    Seamed fishnet pantyhose / Socks / Tap Shoes

    • The crotch seams show beneath her shorts (not a rip). (This is easiest to see when she’s rolling around on the floor with Eddie.) Some people recommend buying dancer’s fishnets with Lycra, which is pricey but less prone to rip or bag.
    • Light ribbed blue socks (worn cuffed).  Socks are light blue during the Time Warp and darker after she steps out of the elevator.
    • Black tap shoes with cup sequins, rounded side out (so they’re convex, not concave).
      • Shoes are spangled with blue and possibly silver/white sequins. (The sequins are not that big–don’t use oversized ones.) If you can get a good photo, please send it to me.
      • RESEARCH:  I thought these were rhinestones for years, but after looking at the Mick Rock book, I think they’re sequins. bttrpr on the rhpscostumes Livejournal list asked if they were sequins or rhinestones; thank you! Check out images of her left and right shoe.
        08-25-02-columbia-shoes-1 from LJ ocdpenguinsbff Hanahcollftshoecolrtshoe

      • TIP:  Try gluing on with washable fabric glue, which will flex instead of crack (Try E600). Topcoat shoes with shellac or something to discourage shedding.  
    • Instep strap (buttons, though a buckle will look close; not a ribbon tie), “Mary Jane” style, ~1.5″ heel. Tap shoe manufacturers sometimes refer to these as “character shoes,” particularly when sold without the taps. See the links page for sources of tap shoes. Some Columbias prefer to buy their shoes without taps as they’re about half the price and much less noisy. Some get one of each, enjoying the racket during Time Warp and then changing.

    Creation Scene:

    • Cotton lab apron,
    • Rubber(?) pink mask, and big scissors. (see Magenta)
    • White cylindrical glass jar with gold rim.

    tumblr_lhymaxsUzi1qbtvvdo1_500-1Toucha Toucha:

    • DIRECTION: Remove shorts, bustier, shoes, socks, fishnets and collar. You can put on Floor Show corset, garterbelt and stockings underneath your PJ’s to save time. Columbia has wiped off her eyebrows, eyeshadow, rouge and beauty mark. She still wears lipstick.

     Light flannel men’s white/blue striped pajamas.

    • Vertical light blue, dark blue and white stripes.
    • The pants have a white drawstring waist; the pant legs are a little short.
    • The shirt buttons down the front (white plastic buttons).
    • The sleeves are too long.
    • The left shoulder is ripped, and there are a couple of rips on the right side, including a rip where her right nipple peeks through when she gets up at dinner and when she pulls the shirt down at Frank in the lab.
    • There is a vertical rip at Columbia’s right hip.
    • Columbia wears the pajama top mostly unbuttoned with no bra.

    Black plastic Mickey Mouse

    • Black plastic Mickey Mouse ears on black felt cap (no embroidered name; no Disney logo–peel it off).
    • DIRECTION: Falls off when Magenta blow dries Columbia the first time.

    Open-toed black high-heeled mules.

    • Slight platform. Mules are lounging slippers which don’t cover the heel. They don’t have marabou trim like classic lounging slippers (check her feet during “Ring around the lesbians” and as she comes down the ramp for her “I loved you” speech). Columbia kicks them off when she jumps on Magenta.


    • Magazine. You won’t need this unless your cast does the “ring around the lesbians” bit where Dr. Scott circles Magenta and Columbia. Columbia is reading Movie Life. Time to hit eBay…or ask Mina Credeur (Columbia’s Closet) for a reproduction.
    • Bottle of red nail polish.  Circular-shaped bottle with white cap.


    • Button your pajama top most of the way up.
    • Put mouse ears and mules back on. Wear mouse ears through “Eddie’s Teddy” solo.

    After Planet Schmanet:

    • Remove mouse ears.


    Columbia’s Floor Show Boa

    •  Red and black and yellow netting boa (mostly red and black).  Photos of an original boa, supposedly Columbia’s, are here.
    • I don’t know what the fabric is; Sue Blane notes it was “cheap, synthetic fabric, overlocked on the edges.” Sparkle tulle works well and it’s cheap.
    • TIP: Jaimie Froemming recommends organza, and Gene Chiovari favors organdy. The material is shiny and stiff, with sharp pleats. Edged with black overcast stitch; Jen Hoffman and Jaimie Froemming recommend “woolly nylon serger thread,” which looks great, though after examining an original floor show boa, I’m sure that it’s not what Sue used. There is a black tassel or two on each end and the ends have obviously been weighted.
    • DIRECTION: Drop boa as you “wake up” before the pool scene–make sure it is out of the way for kick line.

    Sequined black front-lace corset.

    • Note: Columbia’s corset ties at the top, although everyone else’s ties at the bottom.
    • The unsequined corset Nell was photographed in with her hand behind her head (13 eyelets) is the corset that was used for the Floor Show (for the record, the underwear isn’t), and the September 2005 photo in the Mick Rock calendar clearly shows 13 eyelets. Columbia’s corset appears to be a 14-panel corset, with 6 strips of boning on each side. Corsets fasten up the back with hooks (quite clear on Columbia).
    • Sequins decorate both the top and bottom of the corset along the edges, with little dripping stalactites (from the top) and stalagmites (from the bottom). The sequins are sparse on the sides; on the front and back of the corset the sequins are more closely spaced (but still show plenty of black space), spangled in a rough “dripping” hourglass shape, with the most sequins at the top and bottom, with very few, very spread out in the middle. Don’t overdo it; a solid hourglass of sequins on the front of a black corset looks very silly. Unlike Janet, Columbia has more sequins along the top of her corset than along the bottom, at least in front.


    • Fingerless over-the-elbow seamed fishnet sleeve (left arm).
    • Red sequined over-the-elbow gauntlet edged around the top with faded red/pink feather trim (right arm).
    • The gauntlet covers the top of the hand, coming to a point which is hooked over the middle finger with a white thread loop. Use elastic to keep it from sliding down your arm. Cut up a cheap boa for the feathers. (Please don’t use marabou.) Some band supply stores actually sell sequined gauntlets.

    Underwear / Fishnets / Heels

    • Black satin undies, seamed fishnet stockings, black satin garter belt with crinkly metallic red straps (3 per side) and black findings
    • The fishnets also have just a few sequins on them. (Some people say rhinestones; they look flat to me–check Dr. Scott’s when Riff threatens him at the end of the film.)
    • Black patent high heeled pumps.  They wore 5″ heels (at least Barry said so). 2 1/2″ look good, are less dangerous and cheaper.

    I would like….if I may…..

    These are scene-by scene breakdowns of costumes and hand props for a screen-accurate rendition of the Rocky Horror Picture Show. Makeup (including tattoos and scars) is treated separately in the Makeup section. This list is based on observations of several different prints of the film, discussions with other fans, and extensive use of Rocky Horror posters, books, magazines, video, DVD, Blu-Ray, stills, etc. I’ve had lots of excellent help. (My thanks to everyone on the Rocky Horror newsgroup for their input and support; I miss you guys.)

    The descriptions here are not perfect; this is a work in progress. If what’s on this list doesn’t look like what’s on-screen, go with what’s on-screen. This list is NOT “definitive” and is intended as a convenience to people assembling costumes, not the word of God.

    If you think you notice a mistake or just want to chat about costuming, please email me. (If you see something that is wrong/incomplete, tell me which scene I can see the detail in question; I reply much faster if you send a photo/screencap than if I have to drag out the Blu-Ray.) I am happy to talk with anyone so long as a tone of mutual respect is maintained. Yes, the site is still regularly updated; for details, see “What’s New” below.

    All mistakes on this list are mine –nothing goes onto the site until I have verified it with my own eyes.

    The DVD and Blu-Ray really changed everything. Now everyone can have access to high-quality stills. If you want to do serious detail work, buy a copy. I bought a DVD player specifically to watch Rocky, then did the same thing for the Blu-Ray. Get a player with zoom capabilities. If you’re looking for DVD software for your computer, I recommend PowerDVD; it has screen capture capabilities and frame advance. Blu-Ray capture is significantly more difficult.

    How To Use This List

    This list is intended for fans who want to recreate the costumes from the movie “The Rocky Horror Picture Show.”
    If you are costuming a production of the play “The Rocky Horror Show,” I can’t stop you from using this website for reference. But I can strongly encourage you to do what Sue Blane did and costume the play using your own original ideas, or, if you must, using her designs as a jumping-off point instead of slavishly copying them. Please leave that to us fans.

    • If you want to know what costume pieces a character wears, go to that character’s page.
    • If you want to know how to make yourself up like a character (including tattoos), visit the Makeup by Character and Tips & Tricks page.
    • If you are wondering how to find costume pieces or want general tips on making costumes or costume care, visit the DIY / Costume & Prop Tips & Tricks page.
    • If you are looking for specific websites which sell shoes, gloves, etc. or want to find people who will make costumes for you, visit our Links page.
    • If you don’t see what you’re looking for, or you think you’ve found a mistake or omission, by all means email me. Please do check out any details you write about before emailing me, though; if you haven’t bothered to check the detail, why should I?