Over our 20 years performing, we have had a number of costume changes. While many are variations on a theme, there have been a few pieces that have been sprinkled in along the way. In all but the first year or two, a couple of accessories have remained constant: our Chuck Taylor Converse All-Star high tops and our black derbies. We are so attached to both, we incorporated them into our logo.
Our Converses have gotten more comments from more people through our career than any other thing we’ve worn. They weren’t as popular as they are today when we first started wearing them. Adults remark that they wore those when they were teenagers and kids pull up their pant legs to reveal the common footwear bond between us.
Our black derbies were at first a fashion statement, but have turned into an important part of our identity as well as our favorite, most portable juggling props. We started with cheap ones from Kmart and now sport 5 triple thickness, not to mention heavy, made-for-juggling derbies.
After a year of wearing grown up clothes, like the vests, we switched to a more clown-like costume. I wore overalls while Michael wore knickers, suspenders, and a bow tie. Michael managed to trash his costumes at a twice the rate I did which forced me to spend more time doing one of my least favorite jobs – sewing.
I have to say that my favorite material was the first one. I really like the colors. It also signified a time when we got serious about making juggling our career. (The irony is not lost on me that we got more serious as our costumes got less so.) But, it was also the costume that I wore when I was pregnant with both of my children. Fortunately, it was big enough for a 7 month pregnant body. And very fortunately, there are no pictures available to prove it.
To break things up, we occasionally wore these “old man” pants with suspenders. We found these size 44-short matching gems at Goodwill and just had to get them.
Michael wore a shirt and tie when he juggled at more “grown up” events like at gala fundraisers or behind the bar at Café Scalessa.
That brings us to our current costume. We shed our clown-like costumes for a little more sophisticated fun look. I fell in love with the material then promptly turned over the sewing duties to a professional. I can see being in these costumes for a while.
I hope you enjoyed the journey through our costume history. Which one is your favorite?