South Bend costume shop holds over 100,000 historical costumes

Vintage hats, jewelry, wigs, even old wedding dresses.

Casaday’s Costume Shop is a hidden gem, because of its location, tucked away in the halls of LaSalle Academy.

“We’re not just here for the schools we’re here for the community. We’re here for theater groups, school groups, all of the above,” said Teresa Naomai, the store’s Director of Costume Service and Administration.

Not only do they help with community events, but for the biggest holiday to dress up every year.

“This year we have quadrupled our Halloween population in customers. We take a piece that you like and then we build you a costume around it,” Naomai said.

Hundreds of thousands of pieces are spread across seven rooms that are all organized by types of clothing.

“Our wonderful public supports us by bringing us things that they no longer want, need, or they want taken care of,” Naomai said.

Not only does every piece inside have a story, but so does the name behind the costume shop: James Lewis Casaday, a South Bend native.

“He got hired by South Bend Schools Corporation to teach drama to the kids, so it’s nice to get these pieces that belonged to Mr. Casaday,” Naomai said.

If you feel like dressing up in vintage wear for an event, you’ll find exactly what you’re looking for in the halls of Casaday’s Costume Shop.

“It’s just cool to see it preserved and to let people you know it’s like the coloring book phase, people forgot how much fun it is to color well they forgot how much fun it is to dress up too,” Naomai said.

The store is located next to LaSalle Academy on Elwood Avenue in South Bend. It’s open Monday through Friday from 9 A.M. to 5 P.M. or by appointment.

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