If you want colorful and comfortable you can't beat the Hawaiian shirts. (Check mine out on my Upward page at www.tonyborders.com.)
Tuxedo stores have amazingly colorful vests for sale. And there are patterns for vests at any fabric store, so you could have one made for you out of any material they sell. (Ask the seamstress. Some stretch two ways and may not work as well, plus patterns require you to buy double the material, I believe, in order to get enough of it going in the same direction.)
My wife made a fish vest for me, a shark vest, a butterfly vest, and a jungle vest, all for different themes. The nice part about the vest being colorful is that after a show I can slip it off and be dressed in a regular way for eating out, etc.
Tried the Hawaiian shirt
November 23 2010, 1:04 PM
Didn't work for me. I too like the idea I can take off my tie and vest and be able to go out for dinner etc.
I am thinking I will probably focus on the vests.
November 23 2010, 2:26 PM
Each summer it gets so hot in California that I try to work out a show where I can dress in shorts! Last year was Puppet Island, which meant I could even wear sandals! Loved it! Next year will be "Animals from Around the World" and I'll wear a safari shirt, available thru Axtell, and a safari hat, shorts, white socks, and brown tennis shoes (instead of hiking boots.) I may even carry a spray bottle (bug spray) with water and squirt the kids occasionally.
Interesting responses on Facebook
November 25 2010, 8:45 AM
I posted this same question on Facebook and a few performers felt that the colourful vest was tacky or old fashioned. What do you folks think?
Re: Performance wardrobe
November 26 2010, 10:03 PM
I think with a name like "Bacon", there's only one option...
Re: Performance wardrobe
November 26 2010, 10:05 PM
Make that 2 options...
The clothes make the shows
November 27 2010, 8:45 AM
It depends on what you are trying to accomplish. Marc Griffiths, of England, says that if you want them to notice the puppets more you would dress primarily in black. A black background makes colors really pop out.
If you want to be noticed more, (such as a storyteller) then you would wear more color. In fact, you should do a search of storytellers and you'll see that their costumes are very colorful and symbolic.
I do think that a brightly colored pattern on a vest says that you are either an elementary or preschool teacher or that you are there for the young children. If you want to be perceived as being there for older kids a tie is fine, but not the patterned vest. For teens you would lose the tie. Comedians seem to roll up their long sleeved shirts and leave them untucked from the pants with the collar undone. This works for teens and young adults.
I don't prefer that, although it is modern.
I find that nearly all of the people who hire me for an event are women from age 25 to 45 or so. This is because they are mothers, teachers, principals, or children's pastors who work with or have children. So I really need to wear something that they would think appropriate for a show.
Although I have 3 nice vests I tend to wear the Hawaiian shirts more. For more serious topics, such as drug awareness, I wear a black shirt with silver metallic pinstripes. For holiday shows I just bought a 100 percent polyester bright red silky looking shirt. I'll get more attention than the puppets but it's festive.
November 27 2010, 10:25 AM
Neale I have used my vest colors as my table clothe or backdrop, In your case you can use the pink vest, or bacon color vest as I have seen in this page on your table clothe or depending on your critters maybe a background of a forest as I do or a khaki vest and shorts or long pants with your vest a safari hat or piss helmet, these are just a few ideas I use...do you do magic can bring a multitude of ideas onto play or if you do clowning incorporate the clown costume with its multi colors...
I have also just worn a plain white T shirt with my name on it because what Tony has to say makes lots of sense when wearing the T the attention goes to the animals, but If I am doing a mixed bag I dress it up a bit as explained above
This message has been edited by njnvent5 from IP address 22.214.171.124 on Nov 27, 2010 10:31 AM
November 27 2010, 10:59 AM
That should say pith helmet, N'Jay. At least that's my way of sayin' it even if it ain't urine.
Tony - that explains it
November 27 2010, 1:56 PM
I never realized it but I think you got it right. I wear black so the puppets stand out. The pig ties I wear have become something of a trademark.
I add colour with my colourful shorts.
November 27 2010, 10:59 PM
I may try my vests again for awhile. I got a lot of compliments on them. I never thought of the idea of matching the vest to the tablecloth or curtains. It would have to be different than the backdrop, but the tablecloth matching would be cool. I think Scarlet O'Hara was the first to have a dress styled after her curtains. ("I just saw them in the window and said, I have to have that!") (Joke thanks to Carol Burnett.)