Halloween gives us the chance to be whatever we want to be for one night. But with this great power comes great responsibility. Let’s face it, these days, throwing something together last minute, only to spend your night trying to explain away your poorly planned costume just doesn’t cut it. If you want to win the Best Costume prize at your party this year, you’ll need to get out there and find it.
With that said, here are some of the best NYC shops to check out so you can easily be the best dressed this Halloween night, and avoid that night-of run to your local Ricky’s to find a costume after the selection has already been picked through.
Abracadabra (19 West 21st Street)
If you’re a costume fanatic, you’ll love this three-floor costume extravaganza! Find costumes for everyone whether you’re planning to channel your inner superhero, prince or princess, or your secret spooky side. And those were just some basic suggestions; they have everything extravagant and eccentric to fulfill your wildest Halloween desires. If you want to get really into your Halloween persona this year, Abracadabra also offers on-site makeup artists who can simply add some color to your face to make your pictures look extra pretty or do a full body painting to bring your character to life. If you’re not so attached to your Halloween costumes and wonder why you purchase something every year only to have it sit in your closet for the rest of eternity, you can also pick up a rental to enjoy just for the duration of your festivities. Put as much or as little effort into your costume and party all night long in style
Halloween Adventure (104 4th Ave)
Adorned floor to ceiling in costumes, masks, accessories, and decorations, Halloween Adventure is basically a fun house, turning your Halloween costume shopping into an engaging experience (though definitely not the kind of place you want to be once the lights switch off). With the slogan “We have everything” this block-long costume store can easily be your one-stop-shop this Halloween. They make it clear that they have the most options for anything you’d ever need to play some dress up. Their online or in-store options as well as the choice of whether to purchase or rent this year’s Halloween attire, gives you full control over your Halloween shopping this month. If Halloween can’t come soon enough for you, head here not just to pick up your costume, but also to get in the Halloween spirit early.
Frankie Steinz (24 Harrison St)
If you want a Halloween costume so awesome it’ll give you star status, look no further than Frankie Steinz in Tribeca. With past clients including Kate Moss, Billy Joel, Aerosmith, Dolly Parton, MTV, Tommy Hilfiger, and Mariah Carey, you can get a custom-made design that earns Hollywood level regard. The designer’s real name actually is Frankie Stein…so basically you’re getting your costume from a true modern day, trendier persona of one of Halloween’s most beloved characters. It doesn’t get much more Halloween-y than that! Frankie works in a showroom amidst many of her past creations, so she works in an environment full of inspiration to help make your Halloween masterpiece a one of a kind ensemble. She can never wait for each season’s customers to come trick-or-treating up to her door asking to be the next winner of the costume contest.
Frank Bee Costume Center (3435 E Tremont Ave, The Bronx)
If you can’t even think of a direction to go for your Halloween costume this year, Frank Bee Costume Center will help you out with their fascinating array of categories from “Lady Gaga” to “Brand Characters” to “Gorillas.” Not only does this Bronx costume shop have multiple choices in each of these categories, but they also have plenty more to choose from, so that you can get your ideal Halloween look. Started as a family-owned neighborhood shop, this store will give you a cozy, authentic feel that many of the superstore chain venues cannot compete with. Their goal is to bring their customers both “fun and fantasy,” perfectly embodying the vibes that make us so happy every Halloween.
Gothic Renaissance (110 4th Ave)
Planning to keep it traditionally spooky this Halloween? If you’re thinking of being the Cady Heron of the party by getting all festive dressed as a “zombie ex-wife,” this should definitely be your first stop this season. Choose from a wide selection of black corseted ensembles, blood red velvet pieces, gothic chokers, or if you’re feeling confident in your walking abilities, their 8-inch light-up “Pleaser” pumps. If you want to make your look really really scary, pick up one of the masks that adorns the walls and try it on for size (and scare). These masks sell for anywhere from $70-$400, so make sure you’re invested in your Halloween look before you make a selection. Once you’ve put together and shown off you’re eerie Halloween style from Gothic Renaissance, you’re bound to help bring the scream back to Halloween.
Not down to blow your bank account on a costume this year? Think you can be more creative than the choices in the list above? Have something in your closet that can become the perfect costume with the right touches? Want to test your artistic abilities and pray for the best? Whatever your reasoning, DIY options are always a great choice for Halloween costumes. Pick what you want to be, grab some starter materials, consult Pinterest or other inspiration boards, and get crafty!
No matter what you’re looking to be this Halloween, we’ve got you covered with this comprehensive list. And even if you don’t know what you want to be yet, no better way to find out than by spending some time browsing a costume shop.