So you are going to have a St. Nicholas—where or how to find a costume? You will need these parts:
• Basic garment (alb, long tunic, or cassock), may be trimmed with wide lace if not using a surplice
• Surplice (loose shorter garment worn over cassock), optional, usually trimmed with wide lace
• Stole (long, narrow scarf)
• Cape, cloak, or cope, may have optional capelet
• Crozier (staff)
• Gloves, ring, pectoral cross, optional
Click for our complete costume pattern
Costumes can be bought, made, or borrowed. Professional costume companies are one option for complete outfits, or just specialized parts like the cope and miter. For church use, basic pieces may be borrowed from the church's basic vestment supply, such as an alb and stole. However, it is important that St. Nicholas be clearly different than a real bishop. So it isn't recommended to use real bishop's vestments. A bit of fantasy is good for St. Nicholas!
Costume shops sometimes have costumes, or, maybe, bishop's costumes that may be modified to make a St. Nicholas.
Cloak or cape
Complete instructions with cutting layouts
Tops to make a crozier easily are available in our shop.
Another way to make a costume is to adapt commercial costume patterns to create the basic parts of a St. Nicholas costume. There are usually patterns for capes, with or without a capelet. A basic gown or tunic may be adapted from patterns for nativity figures.
Vestment patterns can also be found in vestment pattern books.
Vestments for All Seasons
by Barbara Dee Baumgarten, Morehouse, 2002; This excellent book has graphed patterns and complete directions for a dalmatic/tunic (the basic garment) and stoles.
Purchase from amazon.com, amazon.ca or amazon.uk.
Suggestions for How to Have a Festival
from the St. Nicholas Society in England