London's best fancy dress shops

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Stuck for outfit ideas? Dress to impress with our guide to the capital's best costumiers

You don't need to wait until Halloween to transform your look – social occasions are at least twice as fun when there's fancy dress involved. Cast off your going out uniform and switch it for, say, a 1920s flapper dress. Or perhaps an Elizabethan doublet.

  • Angels

    119 Shaftesbury Avenue, London, WC2H 8AE

    London’s most famous and well-equipped fancy dress shop stocks everything from opulent Elizabethan frocks to contemporary, freakish rubber costumes.
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  • Beyond Retro

    112 Cheshire St, London, E2 6EJ

    One of London’s biggest and best second-hand shops and an excellent place to get kitted out for a fancy-dress party, with a mighty selection of cheap garments and accessories from the 1920s to the 1980s. There are also branches in Soho, Dalston and Brighton. View full listing

  • Carnival Store

    95 Hammersmith Road, London, W14 0QH

    Expect a strong selection of off-the-rack costumes and accessories, from fierce fangs to angelic wings, at this west London store. It initially appears small, but its two floors are rammed to the rafters with fancy dress delights and fun party gear.View full listing

  • Charles H Fox

    22 Tavistock St, WC2E 7PY

    This is the place professionals in the film and theatre industries come for make-up, wigs, latex and lashes. Glamour, editorial and avant-garde make-up workshops are also on offer. View full listing

  • Circus Circus

    176 Wandsworth Bridge Road, London, SW6 2UQ

    This fancy dress store and party shop is ideal for kids come Halloween. It's actually pretty good all year around, with quirky kids' costumes, party accessories and plenty of masks, face paint and creepy novelty toys. View full listing

  • The Costume Studio

    159-161 Balls Pond Rd, N1 4BG

    An impressive selection of authentic-looking costumes and trimmings but at a price: around £80 per outfit for a week’s hire. Their attention to detail makes them a popular choice for costume drama-inspired dress. If you’re channeling 'Downton Abbey' or 'Jane Eyre', The Costume Studio can help. View full listing

  • Escapade

    45-46 Chalk Farm Road, NW1 8AJ

    This well-known Camden shop has an extensive range of masks and accessories, as well as full character outfits from Harry Potter to Superman. You can also order from their website to avoid the inevitable and enormous Halloween queues. View full listing

  • Mad World Fancy Dress and Costume Hire

    69-85 Tabernacle Street, (entrance in Singer Street), London, EC2A 4BD

    This vast dungeon of a fancy dress store offers a stellar personal service. Staff help you navigate some 35,000 costumes, from a sleek ant to a fuzzy Orvill duck, and make sure you have a bespoke outfit to take away. View full listing

  • National Theatre Costume Hire

    Chichester House, Kennington Park Business Estate, 1-3 Brixton Road, SW9 6DE

    Any member of the public can can make an appointment at the National Theatre's costume warehouse, whether they're looking for a specific item or a whole ensemble. More high-class fancy dress than cheap party-shop. View full listing

  • Prangsta

    304 New Cross Rd, SE14 6AF

    A bespoke costumier in New Cross with a unique made-to-measure service as well as ready-made outfits and staff who can help you put a look together thanks to their styling service. View full listing

  • Screenface

    48 Monmouth St, WC2 9EP

    A vast selection of theatrical make-up, fake eyelashes and body jewellery will help you get into character. Plenty of scary effects available for Halloween, from realistic gelatin wounds to dental-fit vampire fangs. View full listing


Users say

2 comments
ian s
ian s

Escapade Ltd Terrible service and a worse attitude!! Paid for a costume on 11th October for a party on 20th. Received email advising costume being dispatched. Phoned on the 18th to chase delivery and was given a list of excuses, problem with credit card (they'd received the money on 11th). Problem with address entered on website (compulsory fields & credit card wouldn't have paid up without the address?). Problem with email address (we'd had confirmation of dispatch!). Finally agreed to post that night. Received V for Vendetta costume on 19th without the mask, without the belt, without the knives and with a badly crushed black cardboard hat that would just about fit a 10 year old. Contacted them on Friday evening, their attitude was one of it's too late to post anything, not prepared to pay courier and it's our own fault for not contacting them earlier. No customer care, no effort to correct their own mistake, no thought for the party we were attending. Somebody else at the party in V costume from Escapade (with the proper hat), it hadn't been delivered though they'd paid for delivery, were told if they wanted it they had to travel across London to the shop. They did so and were told to wait in a queue to collect the sealed box. The queue took three hours to clear!!! We returned the partial costume to Escapade on the 22nd, who then refused a refund because it had been opened. I agreed to them returning the costume providing it was complete. Today 31st received the costume, guess what? No hat. We paid nearly £90 for costume and accessories and guaranteed delivery. Two weeks after the party we still haven't had it all. Their response, a chuckle and “this has been going on a long time hasn’t it? I’m too busy to look up the details phone me back with the ES number.� My opinion of Escapade, incompetent with a take it or leave it attitude to boot.

reeta
reeta

anyone know where i could get pics of an african headshrinker? and any costume things (bones etc) to make me look like one? thanks