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

  • Photograph: Jessica Lin

    Best Halloween Stores in NYC: Abracadabra Superstore

  • Photograph: Jessica Lin

    Best Halloween Stores in NYC: Abracadabra Superstore

  • Best Halloween Stores in NYC: Frank Bee Costume Center

  • Best Halloween Stores in NYC: Frank Bee Costume Center

  • Best Halloween Stores in NYC: Halloween Adventure

  • Best Halloween Stores in NYC: Halloween Adventure

  • Best Halloween Stores in NYC: Halloween Adventure

  • Best Halloween Stores in NYC: Halloween Adventure

  • Photograph: Michael Skigen

    Best Halloween Stores in NYC: Hudson Magazine & Party Store

  • Photograph: Michael Skigen

    Best Halloween Stores in NYC: Performance Dancewear and Halloween Warehouse

  • Best Halloween Stores in NYC: Patricia Field

  • Best Halloween Stores in NYC: Patricia Field Mummy costume

  • Best Halloween Stores in NYC: Patricia Field skeleton costume

  • Best Halloween Stores in NYC: Patricia Field Wildcat costume

  • Photograph: Courtesy of Ricky's

    Best Halloween Stores in NYC: Ricky's

  • Photograph: Anna Simonak

    Best Halloween Stores in NYC: Village Party Store

  • Best Halloween Stores in NYC: Brooklyn Superhero Supply Co.

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

  • Photograph: Michael Skigen

    Best Halloween Stores in NYC: Firestore

  • Photograph: Anna Simonak

    Best Halloween Stores in NYC: Gothic Renaissance

  • Photograph: Anna Simonak

    Best Halloween Stores in NYC: The Leather Man

  • Photograph: Michael Skigen

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

  • Best Halloween Stores in NYC: Screaming Mimi's

  • Photograph: Anna Simonak

    Best Halloween Stores in NYC: Trash and Vaudeville

Photograph: Jessica Lin

Best Halloween Stores in NYC: Abracadabra Superstore

  1. Big Halloween stores
  2. Specialized Halloween stores

RECOMMENDED: All Halloween, NYC coverage

Specialized Halloween stores in NYC

Brooklyn Superhero Supply Company

  • Price band: 1/4
  • Free

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.

  1. 372 Fifth Ave (between 5th and 6th Sts)
More info

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.

  1. 140 Bay St between Central Ave and Slosson Tce, Staten Island (718-273-7139, etgstores.com/clothing)

Firestore

  • Price band: 2/4

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–$64), 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–$26) 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.

  1. 17 Greenwich Ave (between Christopher and W 10th Sts)
More info

Frankie Steinz

When costume designer Frankie Steinz isn’t outfitting A-list actors such as Kate Winslet for films (as she did for Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind) or constructing real-feather angel wings for a Mademoiselle photo shoot, she custom-designs extravagant costumes ($250–$1,750) for anyone willing to splurge on her creations online. Luckily, those same elaborate getups are available to rent ($195–$395) for 48 hours. It’s practically guaranteed that you’ll win best costume for choosing any of the more than 2,000 in stock, including standouts such as tiered foam birthday cake ensembles embellished with velvet roses and icing ($1,495, to rent $350) and foam hamburgers featuring onion headpieces ($725, to rent $295). We especially love Steinz’s assortment of group and couple’s costumes. You and your besties can suit up as Miley Cyrus and Robin Thicke (to rent, $295 each), while couples can step out as Adam and Eve (to rent, $295 each). If you can’t fathom ever parting with your costume, the online shop sells more affordable options, such as Apollo 13 astronaut outfits ($200) and four-piece crushed-velvet Austin Powers suits ($195).

  1. 212-925-1373, frankiesteinz.com

Gothic Renaissance

  • Price band: 2/4

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–$500) made with real steel or plastic boning. The house label’s Victorian-style knee-length corset dresses ($170), featuring rose embroidery and long lace trains, would lend themselves nicely to zombie bride looks, while guys can up their scare factor with Lip Service skull-patterned long-sleeve mesh shirts ($45) and spider-adorned suspenders featuring coffin-shaped clasps ($20). Perhaps most impressive of all is the shop’s wall of handmade masks ($70–$400), 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 ($125).

  1. 110 Fourth Ave (between 11th and 12th Sts)
More info

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 Heartwood long braided-leather whips ($160) 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 as latex gloves ($20–$40) and 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.

  1. 111 Christopher St, (between Bleecker and Hudson Sts)
More info

O.K. Uniform Company

  • Price band: 1/4

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), poufy chef hats ($6–$10) and catering tuxedo jackets ($69).

  1. 253 Church St (between Franklin and Leonard Sts)
More info

Screaming Mimi's

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

Halloween is a huge event at this 35-year-old vintage trove, says owner Laura Wills, who starts planning the windows in January. Earlier this year, the store scored a cache of beautifully constructed costumes when the New York City Opera auctioned off thousands of items from past productions. 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).

  1. 382 Lafayette St (at 4th St)
More info

Trash and Vaudeville

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

If you’re looking to dress up as a convincing Slash or Debbie Harry, pop into this 38-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) and Tripp NYC ripped striped sweaters ($68) that scream Freddy Krueger, those looking to put together more generic costumes will find schoolgirl-esque Royal Bones side-buckle plaid miniskirts ($45), and Trash and Vaudeville bullet belts ($90–$100) befitting of a mobster or army sergeant.

  1. 4 St. Marks Pl (between Second and Third Aves)
More info

  1. Big Halloween stores
  2. Specialized Halloween stores

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