As Shakespeare wrote in Hamlet, “the apparel oft proclaims the man” or as we would say today, ‘clothes make the person,’ and the TAPS Costume Shop is where this transformation is realized for the stage. Working in conjunction with the Costume Designer, the Costume Shop creates custom costume pieces to tell a story on stage. Costumers are imaginative problem solvers and multi-talented makers who bring characters from costume renderings to life through research, fabric selection, patternmaking, sewing, sourcing, dyeing, and distressing. 

Costumes ground individual characters to the performance through visual cues, and their production requires technical practicality. The Costume Shop models, instills, and applies critical design thinking and hands-on skills to TAPS department shows. The Costume Shop is a dynamic and active space that welcomes students with all levels of experience and gives them the opportunity to be a valued contributor and see their efforts materialize. 

Students work under the Costume Designer, Shop Lead, and Cutter/Draper to create, sew, paint, dye and alter costumes. Costuming, Hair, and Makeup techniques are all used to bring a production to life. Our costume stock is available for loan out to Stanford Affiliated groups.


The Costume Shop facilities support TAPS productions. Equipment includes industrial sewing machines, sergers, coverstitch machines, home sewing machines, a blind hemmer, industrial and steam irons, washing machines, a dye vat, and a heat press. Our costume stock is available for loan out to Stanford Affiliated groups.

The Costume Shop and Dye/Craft Lab is located in Memorial Auditorium, Room 132, with a fitting room in Room 145, and costume storage facilities in the Lower Shop of Memorial Auditorium. The Hair & Makeup Lab is located in Dressing Room #3 of Memorial Auditorium.


The Costume Shop storage facilities house a collection of ~1000 historic garments ranging from the 1750’s-1960’s. The Historic Collection is available to Stanford Affiliated groups for research or tours by advance appointment only, as staffing allows. For inquiries about the Historic Collection please email heathermiller [at] stanford.edu.

Costumes have a direct relationship with character representation and often provide the first visual cues in a production about each character-- communicating age, personality, socioeconomic details, or even environmental surroundings. The Costume Shop is a space that achieves design concepts through practical methods.
Our Costume Shop staff are professionals in costume technology, design, rendering, draping, flat pattern making, tailoring, fabrics, fashion history, garment production, costume building, sewing, dyeing, distressing, crafts, millinery, wig design, and costume makeup. We bring our enthusiasm and knowledge to every production and thrive when sharing knowledge with students.
The Costume Shop is an ideal place to learn or perfect hands-on skills and foster skills needed to realize their own artistic or design visions.
The Costume Shop welcomes clothing and accessories for donations. Items of historical or university significance are often placed into our historic collection. Usable vintage or gently worn items will be placed into costume stock. Due to storage limitations, we cannot accept most fur or leather pieces. For inquiries please email heathermiller [at] stanford.edu