What Do You Do With Your Old Dance Costumes

Dance Costumes – we’ve all got them, some of us have them piling up in closets, bins, drawers or the attic.  I get this question or one of these questions fairly often:  What do you do with all of the dance costumes?  -or- Do you keep every. single. costume?

Dance Costume Collage2

So what are your options?

1.  Keep them

That’s what we do, we keep them, all of them.   Why do we keep them?

  • Memories – We get attached
  • Younger cousins love to dress up in them
  • Pieces and parts can be used for Halloween Costumes
  • My mother kept mine and my children and nieces have loved looking at them, dancing in them and getting a lot of laughs over the years.  Those comments like “Mom, you really wore purple fish nets with your costume?  Yes dear, yes I did and we thought we looked fabulous!”, have given us a lot of good laughs. 

Some parents choose to make a quilt out of pieces of each costume to give to their dancer after their senior year.  If you or someone in your family sews, this may be a great option for you. 

At the moment, my dancer’s costumes are hanging in a walk-in closet, but as the collection grows, storage bins may be necessary.


2.  Donate Them

Check with local theater companies, pre-school programs, or school drama and dance departments.  Also, if your studio offers dance camps throughout the summer, they may be interested in using them as well.


3.  Sell Them 

You can try eBay of course or you can try one of several costume resellers.  See our list of costume resellers here.  Costume resellers are like any consignment store in that they take a percentage of the sell price.  Typically, they sell higher end or custom costumes.  Many families opt to sell the costumes and put the money towards costumes for the upcoming year.

What do you do with the dance costumes at the end of the season?




  1. Great ideas – Our costumes are in bins. I just can’t part with them.

  2. Thank you for the list of costume resellers! That may be an option for us.

  3. My grandma took my old costumes and turned them into pillows for me!

  4. I use them for Spirit Week (dress up week at school) and Costume Parties. I also wear all the hair accessories everyday.

  5. I placed my daughter’s first recital costumes, shoes (after she outgrew them), a copy of the program book and her “offical” dance pictures in a shadow box that is hanging in her room above her “studio” corner.

  6. My daughter keeps them for dress up and Halloween costumes. We give the outgrown ones to friends and family members for their children to play in. My daughter is outgrowing playing dress up, but still does Halloween costumes. Her things are getting into adult sizes and I love the suggestion of donating the outgrown and unneeded ones to the school’s theatre department.

  7. I have kept all my daughter’s costumes (and mine!) because they are part of her history. We have used them for Halloween costumes, Spirit Week, loaned them to other dancers and, most of all, used them at church as part of our sacred dance group. I can’t imagine parting with any of them!

  8. I still wear some of mine. I adapt them to street wear, then wear them to parties or date night.

  9. There is a great organization called “Traveling Tutus” that collects used costumes and other supplies and distributes them to orphanages or other programs in depressed areas. Check it out.

    • Thank you so much for this info. I have been looking for something just like this. Personally I feel the costumes are very excessive, and while I disagree with asking parents to spend such exorbitant amounts of money on costumes for our young dancers, I feel better about donating them to those less fortunate after they are used. My daughter used to get alot of use playing dress-up and doing “shows” with costumes, but now she is in 6th grade and does not have interest in the costumes after the recital. Thank you!!!!!

  10. So far we have kept all of ours! They have been used for dress up, Halloween costumes and Spirit Week! My oldest daughter (the costume owner) has also had a fun time using them for her babysitting kids! The afternoon goes by pretty quick when you have tons of costumes to try on!

  11. We can use them for other functions or we can exchange them with our friend’s cloth so we get another Dancewear for next session. Else we can sale them out and by adding some money get another new one.

  12. Dance is passion and things connected with the dance are always memorable. I still have the costume that I wore on my first dance performance.

  13. We have a great non-profit called Born to Dance (borntodance.org) in our area that we donate our costumes to. They then get them to underserved and disable youth that are in need of dance attire.

  14. I just finished making my daughter’s “Dance Quilt” from all of her old recital costumes. It’s such a great reminder of how far she has come in 10 years.

    • can you send me a picture of the quilt made with dance costumes? I’ve been tasked with making a quilt or wall hanging out of my granddaughters dresses. Thanks

  15. Trying to see you know of any places that purchase costumes


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here