Marlenes Heirlooms

Costumes and Bridals

A bio on where it all began!

What started with sewing sequins on horse blankets has, after over 50 years of dressmaking, become Wisconsin's premiere dressmaking service!  Marlenes Heirlooms of Fond du Lac offers a hanging stock of over 20,000 garments!  Historic fashions are painstakingly preserved and on display throughout the building.  Sharing shelving with English bowlers and high top hats are monster masks and chain maille!


Giving thanks where due!

Marlene Hansen, proud seamstress and founder, credits her talents to God, and the support of her mother, Alice DeVelice, the matriarch and cornerstone of the family.  After 43 years as a corporate officer, Alice 'retired' to focus her energies on the betterment of the family.  At 97 she still is the rock on which the business is built.


           So why Not Open a Costume Shop?

Marlene began sewing at age 5, with a treadle machine, scraps of cloth, and a whirlwind of imagination.  Now, at 65, she is still at it!  No longer decorating horse blankets, Marlene focuses on the specialty requests of dignitaries, advertisers, pageant contestants, and bridal clients from around the world.  Her extensive costume knowledge led to sewing for so many clients that a Full-fledged Costume rental business was born.  Thousands of creations hang in wait for their next outing.  


        Maybe a Bridal Salon Would Be Fun!

Marlenes Bridals was born in the late 1970's out of a healthy respect for fashion.  For many years Marlene had collected vintage to modern wedding gowns to cut up for ballet tu-tu's and costuming, the the inherent beauty of the garments made them hard to destroy, and so the collection grew!  3000 gowns later, it is still expanding!  Stocking fashions from sizes 3 to 30, Marlene now offers rental or purchase of these historical treasures, and reproductions.  Yes, REPRODUCTIONS!  After all, if a bride falls in love with a gown that is a size 3, and she is a 14, a reproduction may be an option.  Bearing in mind that many brides would love to wear mom's dress, Marlene puts her decades of experience to work cleaning and restoring the fashions of yesteryear.


             Wow the People We Have Dressed!

One may think that with all this inventory and all these special clients that Marlenes would not have the time for everyday requests.  Marlene even dressed the Oscar Meyer Weiner-mobile!  (now that was a TRIP!)  Not so!  Still open primarily by appointment, and still offering the same personalized attention Marlenes has been known for over the years, all clients receive equal quality of service.  Proudly boasting the dressing of Governor and Lady Thompson, Miss Wisconsin, Miss Teen Wisconsin, Miss Fox Cities, Miss Central Wisconsin, and oh so many more, Marlenes never forgets the people that have sustained this family business; community theaters, the Santa Claus, the Halloween partygoer, and yes, even the mom dressing her last-minute son for the grade-school play.  Such a wealth of garments in a little town, right here in Fond du Lac!  With two locations to serve you, we are very proud to be;


Marlenes Heirlooms

N6221 County Road K   Fond du Lac, WI  54935   920/922-1608

costumes@charter.net

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