Personal Shopping

I’m not sure if you’re aware, but finding a straightjackets isn’t as easy as purchasing a pair of skinny jeans or Crocs. Shocking, I know. Despite all the questionable fashion choices available to us, you can’t just walk into your neighbourhood Gap and ask for a white number with leather straps in a medium. I haven’t checked Old Navy, but I’m going to assume they only have medal chains.

So when your local suburban mall won’t carry restraining apparel for the criminally insane, where do you go? The obvious choice may appear to be a costume shop, where the Village People stand right next to the Queen of England. However, the problem is, H.P. Lovecraft wrote his prized tales in the 1920’s. Now, I don’t want to get into the technicalities of straightjacket fashion, but, rest assured, personal restraints have changed over the last one-hundred years. Thus, it would be difficult to find the right, historically accurate, straightjacket from just any costume shop. But a producer’s job is never done and where there’s a will, there’s a way.

The next best solution was to find a prop and costume house to source our clothing. Being in Hollywood north, it isn’t difficult to find one of these shops across the city. Just a hop skip and a Skytrain ride away, we found Vancouver Prop and Costume Ltd., which contained a labyrinth of costumes from the 80`s all the way down to the 1920’s. Did you need a Police Costume circa 1948? They have it; you just have sift through the warehouse of pants, shirts, skirts, dresses and even the unmentionables that go beneath all of them. With a little help from their employees, we were able to find the medical section (Oh yes, a whole section of medical clothing.) There, tucked away amongst the smocks, lab coats and night gowns, we found three straightjackets. The first was a waist length front-tying number with black leather buckles and accents; it was more S&M than H.P, so it was a no-go. The second was a beige creation with green accents that seemed as if it may be comfortable, but was a bit too modern for our tastes. The third was a beige number as well, that tied in the back with brown leather buckles. It was love at first sight and just right. Goldilocks would be proud. To ensure it would fit properly, my co-producer Mike tried it on. I fastened the buckles tight and stepped back. Mike assured me it was sufficiently uncomfortable and begged me to take it off. I decided it was a little more enjoyable to watch him walk around in it for a bit. Eventually, I obliged though.

We were all ready to leave when we realized, a straight jacket only covers your torso. So what do asylum patients where on the bottom?  It was a slight head-scratcher. We decided that simple scrub pants would look good and really complete the ensemble.

Another task complete! With our straight jacket and scrub pants in hand we headed back to school, ready to slay the other dragons that awaited us on the other side.