Best Halloween-costume stores in NYC

Whether you’re looking for a prepackaged Halloween costume or on the hunt for authentic pieces, these under-the-radar indie shops deliver.

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When it comes to finding a Halloween costume, New York City has more to offer than Ricky’s NYC. Indie shops such as Trash and Vaudeville and Cheap Jack’s offer authentic garb that allows you to get creative with your Halloween look. We also tracked down under-the-radar stores such as Village Party Store that sell prepackaged costumes for one-stop shopping.

RECOMMENDED: All Halloween NYC coverage

  • Photograph: Michael Skigen

    Cheap Jack’s

  • Photograph: Michael Skigen

    Levi's tie-dyed denim jacket, $165, at Cheap Jack’s

  • Photograph: Michael Skigen

    Leather cowboy boots, $28–$80 each, at Cheap Jack’s

  • Photograph: Michael Skigen

    Firestore

  • FDNY and Homicide baseball caps, $13 each, at Firestore

  • Photograph: Michael Skigen

    NYPD hooded sweatshirt, $45, at Firestore

  • Photograph: Michael Skigen

    Embroidered patches, $3–$7 each, at Firestore

  • Photograph: Anna Simonak

    Gothic Renaissance

  • Photograph: Anna Simonak

    Brass bat-shaped mask embellished with glitter and Swarovski crystals, $160, at Gothic Renaissance

  • Photograph: Anna Simonak

    Skeleton-shaped leather mask adorned with feathers, $290, at Gothic Renaissance

  • Photograph: Michael Skigen

    Hudson Magazine & Party Store

  • Photograph: Michael Skigen

    Ketchup and mustard bottle costumes, $35 each, at Hudson Magazine & Party Story

  • Photograph: Anna Simonak

    The Leather Man

  • Photograph: Anna Simonak

    Leather biker hat, $99, at The Leather Man

  • Photograph: Anna Simonak

    Leather Man leather mask, $40

  • Photograph: Anna Simonak

    Leather Man calf-length leather apron, $265

  • Photograph: Michael Skigen

    O.K. Uniform Company

  • Photograph: Michael Skigen

    Chef hat, $6, at O.K. Uniform Company

  • Photograph: Michael Skigen

    Perfomrance Dancewear & Halloween Warehouse

  • Photograph: Michael Skigen

    Capezio short-sleeve Lycra leotard, $22, at Perfomrance Dancewear & Halloween Warehouse

  • Photograph: Anna Simonak

    Trash and Vaudeville

  • Photograph: Anna Simonak

    Tripp NYC ripped striped sweater, $68, at Trash and Vaudeville

  • Photograph: Anna Simonak

    Seven-inch top hat, $90, at Trash and Vaudeville

  • Photograph: Anna Simonak

    Trash and Vaudeville bullet belt, $90

  • Photograph: Anna Simonak

    Royal Bones side-buckle plaid miniskirt, $45, at Trash and Vaudeville

  • Photograph: Anna Simonak

    Village Party Store

  • Photograph: Anna Simonak

    Pumpkin piñata, $13, at Village Party Store

Photograph: Michael Skigen

Cheap Jack’s

Cheap Jack's

  • Price band: 2/4

Owner Jack Markus’s airy, 12,000-square-foot vintage emporium is brimming with threads from the 1800s through the ’90s. Everything is neatly organized by decade, making it a cinch to search the racks for authentic attire from your target time period. We spotted rancher-appropriate apparel such as original light-wash Wrangler jeans ($24–$80), Western shirts ($28–$80), and cowboy boots ($120–$240). Perpetual hippies can update their looks with Lee super-tight bell-bottom jeans ($64) and Levi’s denim jackets ($165) that Markus has tie-dyed. For those channeling “Material Girl”–era Madonna, there’s no shortage of sequins, shoulder pads, glitter and glass beads among the three racks of ’80s dresses ($60–$260). As a bonus, the store offers an ongoing deal: get 30 percent off all accessories and purchases more than $160. • (212-777-9564, cheapjacks.com)

  1. 303 Fifth Ave, (at 31st St)
More info

Firestore

Those planning to masquerade as a firefighter or 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 ($3–$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. If you have the dough to drop on authentic fireman gear, there’s a small used-equipment section featuring donated leather helmets ($250–$400) and real bunker jackets ($150–$350). 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. Mention TONY for 15 percent off all purchases through October 31. • (800-229-9258, nyfirestore.com)

  1. 17 Greenwich Ave between Christopher and W 10th Sts

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 ($50–$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 at Steinz’s funky shop, outfitted with wacky tree-stump chairs. 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 Luke Skywalker, Darth Vader, Han Solo and Yoda from Star Wars (to rent, $295 each), while couples can step out as Cruella De Vil and a Dalmatian (to rent, $295 each) or Dracula and Vampira (to rent, $295 each). If you can’t fathom 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 ($150). • (212-925-1373, frankiesteinz.com)

  1. 580 Broadway between Prince and W Houston Sts

Gothic Renaissance

Skip the inevitable line at Halloween Adventure, the costume shop next door, and opt for exotic and fantasy apparel sourced from all over the world at this high-end alternative boutique instead. 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 futuristic multicolored striped faux-fur light-up vests ($100) could enhance Rainbow Brite garb. 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, sculpted skeleton-shaped leather versions adorned with feathers ($290), and dainty brass bat-shaped numbers embellished with glitter and Swarovski crystals ($160). 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). • (212-780-9558, gothicrenaissance.com)

  1. 108 Fourth Ave between 11th and 12th Sts

Hudson Magazine & Party Store

This two-year-old shop, 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 300-square-foot storage space  as a retail area in order to stock even 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, $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) that include a pick, scoop, carving knife and stencils for creating your own jack-o’-lantern. Mention TONY for 10 percent off all purchases through October 31. • (212-675-5125)

  1. 513 Hudson St between Christopher and W 10th Sts

The Leather Man

While a fetish shop may not be the first place you’d think of purchasing your Halloween costume, the R-rated garb in Chuck Mueller’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 ($17) that will punch up jockey or Indiana Jones ensembles. Upstairs, discover Village People–perfect leather biker hats ($99) that can be embellished with studs or chains ($6–$30), as well as latex gloves ($20–$40) and Leather Man leather masks ($40) akin to those worn by Catwoman. Direktor body-hugging neoprene sleeveless zip-up vests ($139), pants ($199) and booty shorts ($90) 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. • (212-243-5339, theleatherman.com)

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

O.K. Uniform Company

Give your vocational costume some serious street cred by visiting this 73-year-old, family-run uniform emporium, which hawks professional medical scrubs ($14–$28), catering apparel ($12–$34) 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 the costume version. Earn major bragging rights for finding authentic lab coats ($25), poufy chef hats ($6–$10) and catering tuxedo jackets ($69). Or frighten drunk partygoers by showing up at your Halloween bash as a true-blue cop— O.K. Uniform Company stocks more than 20 varieties of real police vests ($10–$46). • (212-791-9789, okuniform.com)

  1. 253 Church St between Franklin and Leonard Sts

Performance Dancewear & Halloween Warehouse

It’s worth hopping on the Staten Island 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 20-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 superhero character Black Widow ($63) ensembles. Alternatively, you can take advantage of Performance Dancewear’s year-round stock by donning Capezio short-sleeve Lycra leotards ($22), Body Wrappers baggy cotton sweatpants ($33) and 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). Mention TONY for 10 percent off all costumes through October 31. • (718-966-7666)

  1. 2951 Arthur Kill Rd between Shore and Grille Sts, Staten Island

Trash and Vaudeville

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

If you’re looking to dress up as a convincing Slash or Blondie, pop into this 37-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 N.Y.C. tight pleather pants ($72) and a house-label leather vest with front buttons ($62). While there are plenty of Ramones-caliber leather jackets ($159–$281) and Tripp N.Y.C. 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. • (212-982-3590, trashandvaudeville.com)

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

Village Party Store

  • Price band: 1/4

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 new digs carries the same massive collection of prepackaged costumes ($20–$200) and decorative goods ($1–$100) for all holidays and occasions. In addition to a diverse selection of more than 2,000 getups, including those for The Hunger Games main characters Katniss and Peeta ($30–$40), gorilla suits ($120) and marionette puppet attire ($55), there’s also quirky add-ons such as multicolored Afro wigs ($7–$30) and sparkling butterfly wings ($12). The shop is especially kind to procrastinators: During the week of Halloween, all costumes are 10 percent off. 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). Mention TONY for 10 percent off all purchases through October 31. • (212-675-9697, villagepartystore.com)

  1. 13 E 8th St, (between Fifth Ave and University Pl)
More info


Users say

1 comments
tom
tom

great ideas and timely. good costumes are hard to come by. very helpful