Please review the frequently asked questions below. If you question isn't listed, please contact us. We will be happy to assist.
Q: Why do your costumes cost so much?
A: Our costumes are priced as they are because we only use top quality materials to manufacture our garments. We use machinery to attach the jewels and studs. The dies for these studs can run from $40 to $200 each. The costumes are also very labor intensive. Some garments can take up to 80 man-hours to produce. We manufacture our costumes out of a manufacturing facility and have approximately 9 people on our payroll, not including myself. We do everything with the utmost professional people, who have been trained for a number of years to understand the craftsmanship and construction of these garments. You truly get what you pay for when purchasing from us.
Q: What is the difference in your costumes compared to others advertised on the web?
A: Kim and I started this business in 1980. We were the first to bring this type of professional costuming to the Tribute Artists and fans. We obtained permission and rights to produce these garments. Our garments are manufactured from The King's original patterns. Everyone who has followed since has tried to duplicate what we have done, but we were here first and we feel we create the best product that you can purchase for your money. After all these years, we are still having repeat customers--so why not give us a try? Customer satisfaction is number one.
Q: How do I order a costume?
A: We require a 50 percent deposit, along with your measurements when you place your order. The balance is due when the costume is completed, prior to shipment. You also need to supply us with your name, address, telephone number, and email address.
Q: How do I pay for my costume?
A: You can make your deposit with a check, cashier's check, money order, or credit card ( we accept Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover) or paypal. International customers can also pay by International Money Order in U.S. funds or by credit card or wire transfer. If you would like to do a wire transfer, the necessary information can be provided upon request--however, you will be responsible for any fees charged by the bank!
Q: Can I get a refund?
A: Once a custom order is placed and your deposit has been paid, there are no refunds. We purchase all items needed for your costume immediately. We use your deposit to do so. Once we’ve received your deposit, your order is confirmed. We do offer a 30 day warranty on all our items. We will repair or replace. We will do everything possible to ensure you are satisfied with the fit and quality of your garment. Also, please make sure that the costume you order is the one you will be able to afford. A costume is an investment not only in your performance, but a financial investment as well. As stated above, once your deposit is received, we use that money to purchase items for your specific costume. Before placing your order, please make sure you are making a sound financial decision that you can commit to. STORAGE FEE POLICY Once you are notified that your order is ready to ship, you will have 2 weeks to pay the balance due. At the end of this two week period, a storage fee of $50 will be assessed, starting at day 15. Once the $50.00 storage fee is assessed, you will have an additional 2 weeks before the next 2 week fee is applied. Storage fees will continue to be assessed every 2 weeks until the balance is paid or until the 4th storage fee is assessed (approximately two months). ABANDONED PROPERTY NOTICE If, after the 2 month period has passed, no payment or arrangement of payment has been pursued by you, we will notify you by phone, email and mail that the suit is now considered abandoned and is the property of B&K Enterprises to do with as we see fit. Your deposit will not be refunded.
Q: If I keep my costume fitting for more than a week, will I still get my suit on time?
A: A lot of this depends on the costume. One of the more simplistic suits (Chain, Concho, Fringe, etc.) can possibly be manufactured, even if you keep your fitting a couple of weeks and still keep your original scheduled shipping date. If you are getting a more complex costume, such as the Aloha Eagle and you keep the fitting for 2-3 weeks, it's going to cause a delay in the manufacturing of your garment, which will throw the completion date out a number of weeks.
Q: Can I come in for my measurements and/or the fitting?
A: Yes--as long as you make an appointment a couple of weeks in advance. We can do either the measurements and mail you the fitting, or you can send us your measurement and then come in for your fitting. Also, if you want to come in and have your measurements taken and return at a scheduled time for a fitting you most certainly can come in. Please be aware that in most cases Kim and I can only spend a couple of hours with you since we are such a small business, we are required to be behind the wheel of the manufacturing process which doesn't allow us much time to visit unless you set your appointment up for the end of the day. Kim and I would love to spend lots of time with each and every customer, but unfortunately, because of manufacturing constraints, we're not able to do this.
Q: I am in a rush. Can I get my costume fast?
A: If it is in our slow period, which is usually towards the end of the year or the early part of winter. then it is a possibility. However, if it is during our busy time of the season it is very difficult for us to do this as it is not fair to the other customers to put a new customer ahead of the group. It's a good practice and good ethics. Each and every one of our customers is special to us and we try to do what's fair for everyone.
Q: What if I pay extra to get it faster?
A: Once again, that would not be fair to the other customers--nor do Kim and I accept the extra money to do something of this nature, as it would not be fair to you either.
Q: Why does it take so long to get a costume from you?
A: There are several answers to that, but in brief, these garments are very labor intensive. If you are a first time customer the fitting process is involved--which, depending on your body structure and the measurements you provide us with, could require a second fitting. We try not to rush the manufacturing process so that you receive only the highest quality costume available on the market.
Q: Can I buy a blank costume from you so that I can put the designs on it myself--is this possible?
A: No--we do not manufacture custom fitted blank costumes. This is not what we are in business to do. Sorry.
Q: Will you sell me patterns to make my own costume?
A: No--we do not sell our patterns, whether it be costume patterns or stud and embroidery patterns.
Q: Will you sell me the studs and stones to make my own costume?
A: No, we do not sell materials. We are not set up as a retail outlet to sell these types of materials. If we were to start doing it for one we would feel obligated to do it for everyone--which in turn would cause us a great deal of headaches with inventory counts, inventory taxes, etc. So your understanding is appreciated in this matter.
Q: Will you tell me where you get your studs and stones from?
A: We purchase from several different sources throughout the United States and overseas. In most cases we are required to order in large quantities. So, unfortunately we can't give you this information.
Q: I bought a costume from one of your competitors. It seems to always give me problems. Can you please repair it for me, as it tends to be falling apart?
A: Most competitors put their materials on by hand, therefore they do not stay on well. Also, we've been asked to repair costumes that have had glitter paint put on them--we don't do this. My suggestion would be for you to go back to the person you purchased it from and ask them to do the honorable thing and stand good on what they manufactured for you.
Q: I have a blank costume--will you design it for me?
A: No, we do not to do this, as we design our garments in pieces and then assemble them afterwards.
Q: I have been trying to call you all day, but you haven't been answering your phone. Are you on vacation, or are you avoiding my calls?
A: Kim and I never avoid anyone's calls. If we do not answer you immediately, there could be a number of reasons. First, we may be out looking for materials such as fabrics, etc. Secondly, in 1999 Kim was diagnosed with breast cancer. (She's in remission and doing fine.) She's also an epileptic. So there are times when she has follow-up appointments, and as you well know--doctors can take all day before they see you--especially specialists! Thirdly, we may be in the other end of the building doing a fitting on a customer, or in a meeting with insurance people,etc. Or, we may simply be on another call. We have voice-mail on our phone and if we are on another call the Voice-Mail system automatically picks up and takes a message. Please leave a message! We will call you back. If we are on a vacation, we will leave a message on the answering machine notifying you of this, and ask that you please be patient and wait until we return before calling, as we are most likely not going to check our messages because that's why we're on vacation! To get away from everything! We will be happy to speak with you if you call us once we get back. By leaving messages while we're gone, it just fills up the voice mailbox and no-one can get thru in case of an emergency. Please rest assured, however, that manufacturing does go on even if Kim and I are on vacation--but no one is allowed to answer the phone or your questions. The workers would not be able to tell you anything anyway.
Q: What type of fabric do you make your costumes out of?
A: We use a top quality polyester suraline gabardine. It breathes well, and stretches well. If you order an embroidered costume from us, it is made from poly/lycra blend.
Q: Was this the type of fabric Elvis' costumes were made from?
A: No, the original costumes were made from wool/lycra blend that was specially formulated for him. The thickness of the fabric changed over the years. When the jumpsuits were first created they were made from a heavier blend with more stretch to allow for the extreme movements Elvis made in performing. As he got older and heavier, he wanted a lighter weight blend so that it would breathe more and not be quite as hot. He did not require a great deal of stretch in later years, as his movement on stage was more subdued.
Q: What was the color of the suit Elvis wore when he met Nixon, and did it have a cape?
A: This suit was commonly called the "Superfly" costume. It was black. There were a lot of people that will argue the point, saying it was purple. It was never purple. It consisted of one of the Cossack suit, cut similar to a karate gee, with a white shirt. Over top of this, he wore the velvet jacket. However, he never put his arms thru the jacket--he wore it draped over his shoulders, giving it an appearance of him wearing a cape. There was never a cape manufactured for this suit. The jacket was black velvet.
Q: I noticed the black leather jacket from the '68 Comeback Special has no zipper-why?
A: It was never manufactured with a zipper. From what has been told to me over the years, a zipper was never placed in this jacket due to time constraints in manufacturing. This was kind of like a last-minute add-on for the special. Bill Belew had to pull a rabbit out of his hat and produce this garment very quickly. In the end, it paid off. The original, as well as ours, is manufactured out of a very expensive top grade leather. As long as it is taken care of, this jacket can last a lifetime.
Q: I purchased an embroidered costume from you and the colors have run on the costume--why?
A: First and foremost, embroidered suits must be dry-cleaned!!! If you have a lot of salt content in your sweat, you must dry-clean them more frequently. A lot of times, what gets the colors to start running, is when the customer wears the garment many times before dry cleaning. Or, getting the suit drenched with sweat and then putting it in a plastic bag or garment bag before it is dry. Their sweat will literally break down the dies in the thread and cause it to start running. Also, if you try to tub wash these and you have a lot of alkaline in your water that can cause the problem as well. By abusing your garment in this fashion, it will void your 30 day warranty. After performing, always hang your garment with a fan blowing on it to speed drying time before putting it in a garment bag.
Q: I got this costume from you a year ago, and the studs are almost black--why?
A: We use only top quality, A-grade, brass studs. They are dipped in lacquer. However, brass will tarnish, no matter what type of item it is. Most likely the reason that it has turned black is because you've sweated in the garment and put it in a plastic bag or plastic garment bag numerous times without properly cleaning it first. Always be sure your costume is completely dry before putting it in a garment bag!!! Most of our customers who keep their garments looking nice and the studs looking shiny will occasionally go over all the studs with clear fingernail polish and paint each individual stud--helping to insure long life and less tarnish.
Q: My suit has a blue color on the chest and across the back-why is this and what do I do about it?
A: Once again, this is caused by not taking care of your suit! You have started the process of the studs corroding. If you've ever seen a brass faucet that water has been running thru for a long period of time, you will see this same color. The blue is caused from sweat on the nailheads not being cleaned off. It is a form of corrosion. You must wash your suit regularly!
Q: Can you use steel studs on my suit to keep the brass from corroding?
A: No-absolutely not! Steel studs are plated. Once the plating breaks down, then the studs rust and this rust embeds into the fabric and will not come out--turning your suit brown all over. Also, if you got scratched by a rusty stud, it would be just like stepping on a rusty nail--you would have to get a tetanus shot.
Q: How long did you say you stand by your costumes?
A: Once you receive the completed costume, you have exactly 30 days. Within this time period, if the costume is going to give you problems it will show up by then--at which point you need to call us so that we can work it out with you. However, after 30 days, should you have any problems, we will be most happy to work with you on any repairs, alterations, etc. you need for a reasonable fee.
Q: I purchased one of your competitors costumes and it does not look like the costume in the photo on their website. What can I do about it?
A: This is a question I'm asked a number of times, and the answer remains the same--contact the person you purchased it from and see if they'll make it right. If not, report them to the Better Business Bureau in the area of the business is in that you purchased it from. Also, contact the Attorney General in the same state. We have had numerous reports of competitors who have used our photographs to try to sell them their products and once the customer received their product it didn't look anything like the one in the photo. Always remember to check with the BBB in the state that your purchasing from to see if there have been any past complaints. If you are spending a lot of money you may want to check with the Attorney General in that state. We at B and K Enterprises are members in good standing with the BBB, and we have a rating with Dunn and Broadstreet, as well as being members in good standing with numerous organizations for the manufacturing of top quality craftsman and costuming organizations.
Q: Is it true that you've made costumes for movies--and why don't I see your name in the credits?
A: Yes, we have made garments/costumes for numerous movies, which is a testament to what we do. However, you will not see our names in the credits as when they set up a production company they appoint someone with a great deal of talent as the Head Costumer. It's up to that person to either manufacture the items themselves, or job it out. There are projects in the works where you may see B and K Enterprises name in the future. The joy of doing something that we love is the reason that we don't need the credit. As long as our people get a paycheck, that's credit enough. Besides, our costumes speak for themselves--people recognize our work on the screen when they see it without having to see our name in the credits!
Q: I have seen some of your competitors web sites that offer embroidered suits for a lot less in price than yours, what's the difference?
A: The sad fact is, there are a lot of people who are trying to do this on a shoestring budget and unfortunately, it shows. Maybe not from a distance, but up close. The embroidery that is done on our suits is placed there by Gene Doucette. This is the man who designed a great deal of Elvis Presley's garments and embroidered them--which is a testament to the authenticity of what we do. Our competitors manufacture theirs using either glitter paint or appliqué's--neither of which hold up in comparison to chain stitch and 3-thread embroidery. Mr. Doucette embroiders the design work right into the garment itself. Even though these types of garments are very expensive up front, you have to ask yourself "Do I want to pay more money for something that is going to last me a long time?" or, "Do I want to pay a little less money for something I may have to buy numerous times?" We only use the highest caliber of rhinestones on our embroidered garments. Please keep in mind, these are made the way the King's costumes were originally made. As far as most professional tribute artists are concerned, if you are going to do this, you should do it the exact way that he did it. To my knowledge and vast years of experience, he never owned a piece-work costume--nor did he own a glitter paint costume.
Q: Why should I buy a costume? I do fair with black pants and a nice shirt.
A: You're only as good as your tools that you use in your trade. The better your tools, the more business you're going to get. The garments are exactly that. They are your tools. This is why we have customers who come back to us numerous times. Even though there are others making these garments, our customers tend to get the work 5-1 over others. So, the question is up to you as the consumer and also as the entertainer, and the question is: How far do you want to go in your business? When Kim and I first started into this business, there were only a handful of tribute artists. Now it seems that there are thousands. So, it always pays to have a competitive edge.
Q: Do you make trades for costumes?
A: Yes and no. I have made some trades in the past, but they're perhaps not the trades that most people can be involved with. Such as, I only have interest in trading for things like airline tickets that are transferable and can be used up to a year to any destination, classic hot-rod cars, property in vacation areas, etc. I truly don't have much interest in trading for record albums and things of this nature. I would be interested in trading for items that have certificates of authenticity that actually belonged to Elvis himself such as trading numerous costumes of ours for one of his original costumes. This was my original goal--to own one of Elvis's costumes. If you have something in mind, I will be happy to take your suggestion under advisement.
Q: I would like to talk to Bill Belew or Gene Doucette. Could you please give me their address and/or phone numbers?
A: I cannot provide you with this information, as I have promised these wonderful gentlemen that I would not give out this type of information. Their privacy is a paramount concern to them, as well as to me. If you have a question that I cannot answer on their behalf, or if you need to send them correspondence, you can send it to me and I will be happy to forward it on to them. What they do with it once they receive it is entirely up to them.
Q: I saw Gene Doucette's name on your web site, as well as Bill Belew's. Do they work out of your shop?
A: No, Mr. Belew is retired, and has been for a few years now. He is enjoying life to it's fullest. Mr. Doucette is an independent costume designer in California. He works out of numerous shops, but he is always available as an advisor to Kim and me. He also does our embroidery work off of his originally created patterns that were used for The King.
Q: I have had some problems with some of the people on your links that I purchased items from--what can I do?
A: First and foremost let me know. If I find out that this has happened with more than one person I will then remove their link from my site. Secondly, if you feel that you have been ripped off you need to contact the proper authorities in the state you purchased the items in. Please note, I do not charge to advertise these individuals. I have let people advertise on my site in the past as a service to my customers so I have no responsibility or financial involvement with these individuals in any way. Q: What kind of boots did Elvis wear? A: In the early 70's, he wore a brand called "San Remo's". From the mid-70's on, he wore Floursheim boots called the "Imperial" style, made from white patent leather.
Q: How did you get started in all of this, and why?
A: This is a long story. I suggest that you look at the "About B&K: page of this web site for more information.
Q: I noticed that the names on the suits on your web site are different than in some books I've seen--why?
A: The story behind this is long enough to fill a book in itself. In short, there were three entities involved in naming costumes. First off, the designers (Bill Belew and Gene Doucette), would give them a name, The King might call the same suit something else, and of course the fans always had their own pet names for the costumes. In a lot of cases, we use the names that The King himself called the costumes, or the name that the designers called the costumes. Other times we use the fan's pet names for the costumes. There 's no particular reason why we did this, other than we selected the name that we enjoyed the most from the three already given to the costume.
Q: Are you ever going to do a book?
A: I have accumulated detailed information on everything there is under the sun concerning the clothing, especially his street and stage clothing from '69 until his death. In a lot of cases, I was given this information directly from the different sources that manufactured these items. There have been so many misinformed books that have been written by people about these costumes that have never spoken to anyone other than the fans. I know the story behind each and every one of them. So, to answer your question, I have been looking into the options of doing a book. If and when I do, you will read about it on this site.
Q: How can I get linked up with your web site?
A: We have a stipulation concerning this matter. First, if you are advertising yourself as a tribute artist or entertainer, you must be a loyal customer of ours and ours alone! It's not fair for me to link to someone who ends up sending business to our competitors. If this happens, you will immediately be removed from our site. Our site is viewed by numerous corporations looking to hire Tribute Artists, as well as movie producers who do themed movies. If you are selling an item and you want linked to our site, we must have proof that the item is of good quality. If you are selling anything with Elvis' name, likeness or image, you must be licensed with EPE.
Q: I can't find what I am looking for on your site?
A: There are many items that we have made in the past that we never took photos of, expecting the customers to send us one. In most cases, it never happened. We now take photos of any new suit we do. However, if you don't see what you are looking for, please feel free to email or phone us, as we can recreate most any item you may want. You may send us a photo and we will be happy to return it to you with a price quote.
Q: Can you make other types of costumes besides Elvis?
A: We are a fully functional theatrical costume shop. We make any type of custom made item that you may need, as long as it is not a licensed product such as Spiderman clothing, etc.
Q: I would love to come to work for you, are you hiring?
A: Occasionally, we will hire new employees. In the future, we will be eliminating some competition thru legal means. Once this is established, we will be looking for qualified people. You must have costuming knowledge, a great understanding of tailoring and pattern grading, and an extensive knowledge of punching machine applications. If you have these qualifications and have been working for one of our competitors, you will also be asked to sign a confidentiality agreement that will be enforced for a length of 10 years after you leave our employment.
Q: Do you feel that you're capitalizing on Elvis Presley?
A: No, Absolutely not. If you read how Kim and I got into this business, you will know that we love this man. I've been a loyal fan since the day I was born. This all started because I wanted one of Elvis' costumes for myself, and it sprang from that. (See our story within the "About B and K" page on this site.) We also do other types of costumes, but it just so happens that we became friends with the people who designed Elvis' and this sprang from our love for Elvis. In the beginning, I was never a huge Beatles fan or Rolling Stones fan, and I did not start this just to be making costumes for Tribute Artists. It just happened. Kim and I make these costumes not only to pay tribute to Elvis, but also to pay tribute to people such as Bill Belew and Gene Doucette, and the numerous others who were involved in the production and manufacturing of his clothing. It's with great joy that we've been blessed with the opportunity to do so. If you will notice, we don't use Elvis' name directly on our web site in the advertising of our costumes. We did not start making these costumes because we were huge fans of any one particular tribute artist. Nor did we start making these costumes because we had a void in our life so people would pay attention to us, like so many others have. This is what God blessed us with and we wanted to make a difference in the way the guys look when they pay tribute to Elvis.
Q: Who pays the freight costs on my fitting suit?
A: B & K pays the cost to send your first fitting suit to you. You pay to return the fitting suit to us. Should you request any additional fittings, you will be asked to pay the freight charges to send the suit to you and to return the costume to us.
Disclaimer: Even though we use the highest quality materials, we do not manufacture them (rhinestones, nail heads, threads, etc.) Therefore, we cannot be held responsible for any future damage these items may cause to your garment. You have a 30 day warranty against defects on your costume. If there is a problem of any kind, please contact us within this 30 day time period to address the problem. The earlier you contact us about a problem, the easier it will be to remedy to problem.