Wear your own clothes
For your first film, short or feature, you should be trying to minimize your budget wherever possible. Your first film should be shot in a location you can use for free, with clothes you can get for free (i.e. your clothes, the clothes of your cast members). If there’s something specific you need, ask around. If you’re crowdfunding on Seed&Spark, you can make a wishlist and people can donate items and services in lieu of money.
Local Thrift Stores
If you’ve got a broad vision for your wardrobe but your own clothes won’t work, local thrift stores are an awesome option. Many have discount days and special deals.
Online Thrift Stores
I’ve lived in a handful of small towns, and I know that some towns have better thrift stores than others. If you live somewhere with less-than inspiring thrifting options, hop online. Poshmark and Thredup are both great options. Another plus to online thrifting is you can search for exactly what you’re after.
Thredup is amazing because the clothes have been vetted, and there’s an easy return policy. They have sales all. the. time.
Poshmark is sort of like eBay for clothes. You’ll be dealing with individual sellers, which comes with good and bad. Luckily, the bad can typically be avoided! The good: you can “like” an item, and 9 times out of 10, the seller will offer you a private discount. You can send offers, counteroffers, and bundle items together for a discount. The bad: because you’re buying from individual sellers, you might occasionally run into issues with punctuality. I’ve had one late sale in selling and buying on Poshmark for over 3 years. The key is to look at the seller’s recent reviews and average shipping time.
Poshmark and Thredup are also great because you can sell clothes with both platforms. After you’re done with those white bell-bottoms you needed for the film, give them a second life and get some cash towards your festival fund in the process.
What’s your favorite place to get costumes for indie films? Comment below!