Best Halloween stores in NYC for costumes, makeup and decorations

Whether you want to transform yourself into a hideous zombie, or a leopard-print sex kitten is more your style, these Halloween stores should do the trick

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Photograph: Jessica Lin

Best Halloween Stores in NYC: Abracadabra Superstore

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Photograph: Jessica Lin

Best Halloween Stores in NYC: Abracadabra Superstore

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Photograph: Jessica Lin

Best Halloween Stores in NYC: Abracadabra Superstore

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Best Halloween Stores in NYC: Frank Bee Costume Center

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Best Halloween Stores in NYC: Frank Bee Costume Center

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Best Halloween Stores in NYC: Halloween Adventure

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Best Halloween Stores in NYC: Halloween Adventure

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Best Halloween Stores in NYC: Halloween Adventure

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Best Halloween Stores in NYC: Halloween Adventure

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Photograph: Michael Skigen

Best Halloween Stores in NYC: Hudson Magazine & Party Store

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Photograph: Michael Skigen

Best Halloween Stores in NYC: Performance Dancewear and Halloween Warehouse

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Best Halloween Stores in NYC: Patricia Field

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Best Halloween Stores in NYC: Patricia Field Mummy costume

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Best Halloween Stores in NYC: Patricia Field skeleton costume

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Best Halloween Stores in NYC: Patricia Field Wildcat costume

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Photograph: Courtesy of Ricky's

Best Halloween Stores in NYC: Ricky's

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Photograph: Anna Simonak

Best Halloween Stores in NYC: Village Party Store

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Best Halloween Stores in NYC: Brooklyn Superhero Supply Co.

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Best Halloween Stores in NYC:Every Thing Goes Thrift & Vintage

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Photograph: Michael Skigen

Best Halloween Stores in NYC: Firestore

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Photograph: Anna Simonak

Best Halloween Stores in NYC: Gothic Renaissance

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Photograph: Anna Simonak

Best Halloween Stores in NYC: The Leather Man

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Photograph: Michael Skigen

Best Halloween Stores in NYC: O.K. Uniform Company

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Best Halloween Stores in NYC: Screaming Mimi's

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Photograph: Anna Simonak

Best Halloween Stores in NYC: Trash and Vaudeville

Many of NYC's haunted houses have already opened, and excitement is building for one of Gotham’s favorite holidays. Unless you’re one of those enviably creative people who can make a papier-mâché alien bursting out of a T-shirt, you’ll probably be shopping for something scary, sexy or silly to wear on October 31. We’ve rounded up the best Halloween stores in NYC for costumes, decorations, makeup and more, including Halloween superstores, vintage stores and thrift shops, and other specialist emporiums you might not have thought of for cost-effective, unique outfits. Pop-up Spirit stores around the city are also good for picking up last-minute gear. As the night approaches, many stores operate extended hours to accommodate the hordes, so call to check. And once you’ve chosen your alter ego, you can strut your stuff in the resurrected Village Halloween Parade.

RECOMMENDED: All Halloween NYC coverage

Abracadabra Superstore

Squeamish types may not want to look too closely at the contents of the "deli counter" just inside this cavernous, three-level space, but the haunted house vibe will put you in the Halloween spirit. Though the place stocks a wide range of prepackaged costumes, the real gems are in the downstairs rental department. Rentals usually start at $35 for three days, but if you want to secure a popular ensemble, such as Kick Ass ($85 plus $150 security deposit), you can pick it up now and return it by November 10 for no added charge. The 10,000-plus inventory includes an exclusive line made in house by designer Jen Hebner; channel Charlize Theron as the evil queen from Snow White in a black feather cape ($350 plus $900 security deposit); or transform yourself into the original Wonder Woman—instead of a flimsy bodysuit the costume comprises a corset appliquéd with gold lamé and a sweeping stars-and-stripes cape ($250 plus $600 security deposit). Makeup artists are on hand to create a complete look—ambitious transformations have included an Avatar makeover (face and body); fees range from about $35 into the hundreds for body painting, and it's advisable to book your slot in advance.

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Chelsea

Frank Bee Costume Center

Opened in 1957, this family-run operation sprawls over three storefronts brimming with costumes for all sizes, from babies to 4X adults. In addition to the usual superheroes, sexy nurses/maids/police officers, vampires, and assorted movie and TV tie-ins, you can go kitsch as a tiki cocktail, complete with umbrella hat and a stylish twist of orange on the shoulder ($80), or turn yourself into the party entertainment and come as a dartboard ($50 including six Velcro-headed darts). Owners Wayne and Doug Baker claim to have the best prices on new costumes in NYC (and they'll give you 20 percent off when you mention TONY), but you can also rent elaborate getups, such as Star Wars' armor-clad Boba Fett ($600 plus $1,000 security deposit for three days). A comprehensive array of accessories runs from hairy gorilla feet ($30) to a feather showgirl headpiece ($20). During the two weeks leading to Halloween, makeup artists will be present every day to transform you into the werewolf or zombie of your dreams (simple makeup starts at $35 and goes into the hundreds for prosthetics and body painting).

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Flushing

Halloween Adventure

A visit to this massive costume, prop and magic mecca can be overwhelming—luckily, the store provides a handy map of its two-level space. Off-the-peg costumes are conveniently organized by theme, so you can navigate your way from "Devils, Priests, Nuns" to "Hula," "Hippies" and "Horror." Manager Tony Bianchi, who opened the store in 1996 after a series of pop-up locations, has noticed a recent uptick in demand for medieval getups  from fans of Game of Thrones. The huge stock means you’re bound to find something, whether you need an easy last-minute costume for a party or want to rent an elaborate ensemble such as a full suit of armor ($350, plus $2,000 security deposit). Accessories are equally comprehensive; the range of masquerade masks alone spans from throwaway $3 eye masks to elaborate $2,000 limited-edition Venetian styles. Get outfitted from head to toe—there are wig, hat and shoe departments—and complete your look with professional makeup application (from $10 for simple wounds to hundreds for a total transformation using prosthetics). Fangsmith (and former dental technician) Father Sebastiaan is available on site from October 1 to 29, to create custom vampire gnashers (from $100; call 646-233-3105 for an appointment). If you're hosting a party, creep out your guests with an illuminated Bates Motel sign ($30).

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East Village

Hudson Magazine & Party Store

This four-year-old shop, co-owned by Helen Wong (whose brother operates sister party supply destination Village Party Store), did such great business selling Halloween costumes in its debut season, it’s utilizing its 1,500-square-foot storage space as a retail area in order to stock more affordable prepackaged costumes ($20–$60). Peruse the two packed walls for ensembles that are appropriate for couples (ketchup and mustard bottles, $35 each), fearmongers (zombie duds streaked with fake blood, $35–$49) and jokesters (Angry Birds suits, $40–$60). Creepy accessories such as Eyecon colored contact lenses ($30–$40) and Sexy Bite thermal plastic fangs ($20) will finish off your look to hair-raising effect. You can also get the party started at home with polyester spiderwebs ($2–$6) and pumpkin carving kits ($4–$15), which include a pick, scoop, carving knife and stencils for creating your own jack-o’-lantern.

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Greenwich Village

Patricia Field 

Critics' pick

You don't have to dress up as Carrie Bradshaw to find a spectacular Halloween getup at the iconic Sex and the City designer's namesake store. Though it's a year-round repository of eclectic, kitschy and over-the-top fashion, Patricia Field goes all out for Halloween. Make an impact without sacrificing style in chic outfits that straddle the line between fashion statements and full-on costumes, such as a two-piece gauzelike mummy suit with matching fingerless gloves and headband ($68), a glow-in-the-dark skeleton on a black bodysuit ($75) or a metallic leopard catsuit with ear headband and wired tail ($165). Staff can help you add accessories such as top hats ($88), ammo belts ($30) and assorted masks for a unique look. The onsite hair salon is offering complete makeovers (starting at $150) using Temptu airbrushing for a variety of effects and hairstyling (from $75 for cut or color). Though some walk-in slots are available, it’s a good idea to make an appointment (212-925-2741). Or opt for one of the outré wigs such as a long black-and-crimson mohawk ($38) or a big blond tribute to NYC drag queen Lady Bunny ($315).

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Downtown

Performance Dancewear & Halloween Warehouse

Even if you don't live on S.I., it’s worth hopping on the ferry to peruse a mix of more than 3,000 high-end and affordable costumes for petite, regular and plus-size bods. Bypass the scarily dressed teenagers posing in the windows as mannequins and head to the costume section, which takes up 70 percent of Ronald Shatilla’s 23-year-old dancewear shop. Invest in a Pirates of the Caribbean Jack Sparrow outfit ($370), consisting of a linen knee-length coat, vest, shirt, boot covers, hat, wig-attached bandana, belt and loose-fitting pants, or opt for more budget-friendly picks such as prefabricated Captain America ($65), Catwoman ($60) and Black Widow ($63) ensembles. Alternatively, you can take advantage of Performance Dancewear’s year-round stock by donning a Body Wrappers short-sleeve leotard ($19) and baggy cotton sweatpants ($33), plus Leg Avenue knitted knee-length leg warmers ($15), for a bona fide Flashdance getup. Top off your number with a chic wig ($13–$32), or complete ghoulish looks with tubes of Mehron stage makeup, such as fake blood ($4) and face paint ($4).

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Ricky's

With 45 Halloween Superstores all over the city, Ricky's is a reliable option for cost-effective, fun gear and keeps up with the zeitgeist with reality-TV- and pop-culture-referencing costumes. Perhaps, in a nod to Franz Kafka, a giant cockroach ($46). For something more elaborate, you might want to try Ricky's new Costume Concierge service ($25–$1,000), available at several locations including Tribeca (379 Broadway at White St), midtown (1412 Broadway between 39th and 40th Sts), Long Island City, Queens (5-29 50th Ave between Vernon Blvd and 5th St) and Williamsburg, Brooklyn (378 Union Ave at Powers St). The entry level entitles you to a personal consultation and individual outfit/accessory selection, but the $75 Ghoulish Gold level seems like the best deal—in addition to makeup, prosthetics and wig styling, your concierge will rip, stitch and/or paint your getup for a custom look. Visit rickyshalloween.com for more info. The service even extends to pets ($20 or $35 for a double animal/owner consultation). But for the best selection of costumes for four-legged fancy-dressers, head to Ricky's Upper East Side PUP-UP Shop (86th St at Lexington Ave), where you can transform your pooch. rickyshalloween.com

Village Party Store

Although the original Greenwich Avenue location of this beloved party-supply store burned down in 2010, the Wong family quietly reopened a 7,000-square-foot space just six months later. The relaunched digs carry the same massive collection of prepackaged costumes ($20–$150) and decorative goods ($1–$100) for all holidays and occasions. In addition to a diverse selection of more than 2,000 getups, including gorilla suits ($120) and Gatsby-esque flapper frocks ($80), there are also quirky add-ons such as multicolored Afro wigs ($7–$30) and sparkling butterfly wings ($6–$50). Also look for decor that will make your All Hallows’ Eve fete truly festive, such as ghost and pumpkin piñatas ($13), bone candles ($8) and edible skull or knife cake decorations ($6).

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Greenwich Village

Brooklyn Superhero Supply Company

Why dress up as as standard-issue superhero when you can create your own character? At the Brooklyn Superhero Supply Company, you can choose from a variety of stick-on emblems—bombs, mustaches, rabbits, and stars, among others—($12) and belts ($14) to customize your leotard. Finish your look with the all-essential cape; the basic style comes in a variety of colors ($30). Arrive at your Halloween bash armed with a bottle of Truth Serum ($14)—the perfect icebreaker—and keep enemies away with your Photon Shooter ($20, including photons!). Just be sure you adhere to the Vow of Heroism you are required to recite before your purchases are handed over. Proceeds benefit the 826NYC kids' writing center behind a concealed door in the back of the store, so you can feel super about that, too.

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Park Slope

Every Thing Goes Thrift & Vintage

If you're on a tight budget, get inspired at this seasonal trove, where you can assemble a unique costume for about $20. Tucked into the basement of a friendly vintage and secondhand emporium (one of three stores run by local “intentional community” Ganas), the costume department is open through October, or by appointment the rest of the year, and stocks hundreds of branded costumes, flamboyant vintage pieces, uniforms and one-of-a-kind items that are too weird to sell upstairs, according to manager Catherine Fitz. Among the stock at the time of this writing were a sock monkey outfit comprising a bodysuit, a tail and mittens ($20); an assortment of vintage dresses and gowns ($14–$25) that aren't too precious to be splashed with blood for a Carrie effect; 1950s poodle skirts ($4–$7); Alice in Wonderland dresses ($12); and a tailcoat given a Rocky Horror  edge with rips and safety pins ($25). Staff will help you put together your look with a range of finishing touches such as tiaras, gloves and feather boas.

Firestore

Those planning to masquerade as a firefighter or a policeman would do well to swing by Noam Freedman’s cozy boutique for officially licensed FDNY and NYPD clothing ($18–$49.99), accessories ($3–$18) and souvenirs ($1–$25). For Halloween, Freedman stocks a four-piece fireman costume ($125) that includes a cotton bunker-style snap-up jacket and pants with yellow reflective strips, clip-on suspenders and a plastic helmet. Although there isn’t a ready-made police costume available, you can cobble together your own off-duty look with baseball caps ($13) boasting the NYPD logo, which is also emblazoned across cotton T-shirts ($20–$24) and pullover hooded sweatshirts ($45). You can also convincingly DIY by sewing on one of more than 80 embroidered FDNY and NYPD patches ($5) onto any basic jacket or shirt.

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Greenwich Village

Gothic Renaissance

Owned by the same folks behind Halloween Adventure next door, this high-end alternative boutique sells exotic and fantasy apparel sourced from all over the world. Gals will go gaga over the wall of sexy lace and glitter corsets ($50–$549) made with real steel or plastic boning. The house label’s Victorian-style knee-length corset dresses ($210-$330), featuring rose embroidery and long lace trains, would lend themselves nicely to zombie bride looks, while guys can up their scare factor with spider-adorned suspenders featuring coffin-shaped clasps ($20). Perhaps most impressive of all is the shop’s wall of handmade masks ($70–$300), most notably traditional Italian papier-mâché styles ($70) featuring musical notes and gold swirls and sculpted skeleton-shaped leather versions adorned with feathers ($290). For trippy kicks, head to the back of the shop, where you’ll find Pleaser pumps whose eight-inch platforms light up on the sides ($120-$150).

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East Village

The Leather Man

While a fetish shop may not be the first place you’d think of for purchasing your Halloween costume, the R-rated garb in Chuck Mueller and Eric Watkins’s bi-level men’s boutique offers plenty of getups beyond those of a dominatrix. Descend the steep spiral staircase into a den of S&M accessories and you’ll find braided-leather whips ($80-$220) and basic crops ($19) that will punch up a jockey or Indiana Jones ensemble. Upstairs, discover Village People–perfect leather biker hats ($100) that can be embellished with studs or chains ($12–$30), as well Catwoman-style Leather Man leather masks ($40). Direktor body-hugging neoprene sleeveless zip-up vests ($140), pants ($200) and booty shorts ($80) are ideal for all manner of superhero costumes, while Leather Man calf-length leather aprons ($265) lend themselves particularly well to Texas Chain Saw Massacre looks.

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West Village

O.K. Uniform Company

Give your vocational costume some serious street cred by visiting this septuagenarian, family-run uniform emporium, which hawks professional medical scrubs ($14–$28), catering apparel ($12–$69) and other professional garb from industry-approved brands such as Dickies, Red Kap and Carhartt. Not only will you look the part, but many of the real-deal men’s and women’s outfits cost a fraction of what you’d pay for a costume version. Earn major bragging rights for finding authentic lab coats ($25-$30), paper poufy chef hats ($6–$10) and catering tuxedo jackets ($69).

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Tribeca

Screaming Mimi's

Critics' pick

Halloween is a huge event at this 35-year-old vintage trove, says owner Laura Wills, who starts planning the windows in January. Both guys and girls will look good in an embroidered baroque coat or military jacket (starting at about $225) from 18th-century-set Manon, and many of the kilts from Brigadoon ($125) come in smaller sizes suitable for women. A Madame Butterfly ensemble can be achieved with a vintage kimono (prices start at about $65 and rise to $375 for a heavy silk number). Since the staff is made up almost entirely of stylists, some with a background in theater, this is a great place to put together a complete period look, including the era-appropriate wigs and accessories. There are also plenty of options in the lower price range; the store maintains an under-$40 rack, and Wills recently unearthed a hoard of deadstock 1950s molded plastic masks of Halloween classics like Frankenstein and Medusa ($15).

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Soho

Trash and Vaudeville

Critics' pick

If you’re looking to dress up as a convincing Slash or Debbie Harry, pop into this 39-year-old punk-clothing mecca, adorned with feather boas and neon signs—it’s where the aforementioned rock idols actually shop for their everyday threads. You’ll find a mix of punk, goth, mod and classic rock gear from brands such as Underground and T.U.K, as well as the bi-level store’s eponymous line. Pay homage to Guns N’ Roses’s lead guitarist by scooping up a seven-inch top hat ($96), Tripp NYC tight pleather pants ($72) and a house-label leather vest with front buttons ($62). While there are plenty of Ramones-caliber leather jackets ($190–$700). Those looking to put together more generic costumes will find schoolgirl-esque Tripp NYC side-buckle plaid miniskirts ($45), and Trash and Vaudeville bullet belts ($90–$100) befitting of a mobster or army sergeant.

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East Village

Comments

3 comments
Tyler U
Tyler U

Visit www.armynavydeals.com for all of your Halloween needs this year! Use coupon code LUCKY13 for an extra 13% OFF!

Rendrew W
Rendrew W

If you ask people, they’ll always have something fun to share with you about their Halloween experiences. Well, that’s the beauty of the festival.


So, what’s your idea of a Halloween Mobile App that can contribute to this frenzy? - http://bit.ly/1sdyluO

Hiyam M
Hiyam M

Pucker Makeup Studio in Soho is offering Halloween makeup services: www.pucker.co/halloween.html