Halloween is almost here and you need to track down a legit costume (and some spooky decorations) to greet the season in style. Not to fear—Chicago is filled with places where you can rent a Darth Vader getup, throw together a gangster outfit or stock up on those cobwebs that get everywhere. Before you party at the city's best music venues, cocktail bars or dance clubs, make sure you're in an ensemble no one will soon forget. We rounded up the best Halloween costume stores in Chicago, including plenty of shops that are open year-round.
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Where to find a Halloween costume in Chicago
This year-round shop has plenty for Halloween but also carries a large selection of masquerade masks, plus more than 1,000 rental costumes. This year, popular getups include Stranger Things characters, Pennywise the clown and Marvel superheroes—with options for adults and kids. Don't miss the large selection of makeup and indoor and outdoor decor, too.
From Spider-Man to Wonder Woman, this costume shop has plenty of choices for kids and kids at heart. A Chicago institution since the 1960s, this Portage Park store stocks costumes, accessories, makeup and even some options for your pet. You'll also find costume rentals, authentic Star Wars costumes and more items that you probably don't want to go through the hassle of tracking down online. Plus, this is one of the few Halloween shops that is open year-round for all of your frightful or fanciful needs.
Once you get over the initial insanity of Hollywood Mirror, you can really take in the massive store's goodies. The eclectic collection of vintage clothing, toys and accessories includes everything from fleece-lined jean jackets to cowboy boots. If you're looking for a place to source some authentic (or just great looking) pieces for your period-specific Halloween costume, make sure to riffle through the racks here.
Taking up residence in Gap's former Loop storefront (35 N State St), Spirit Halloween Headquarters houses a monstrous selection of packaged costume sets, masks, makeup and some spooky decorations. Last-minute costume buyers will find plenty of quick and easy options, but those who plan ahead will have the most options—those David S. Pumpkins suits are going to be flying off the racks.
Another local chain that only crops up in vacant storefronts as Halloween approaches, these costume shops pride themselves on offering get-ups that are "funny, sexy and scary." Whether you're looking for generic gangster duds or a licensed Austin Powers costume, you'll find all of the most popular (and a few not-so-popular) options in stock. And, with locations in the Loop (17 S Wabash Ave), South Loop (203 S State St), Wicker Park (1425 N Milwaukee Ave) and more, you won't have to go far to find a seasonal outfit.
Since 1969, this costume shop has stocked its shelves with bandoliers, hats, fancy dresses, knee-high boots, colorful wigs and anything else you might need to create the perfect Halloween look. Lost Era prides itself on having "every period and era covered," so if you're looking for a vintage corset to complete your flapper outfit, chances are you'll find somewhere amid the racks at this shop.
Beatnix is the literal definition of a mixed bag, in the best way possible. This Boystown shop has all things drag, with makeup, costumes, vintage clothing and accessories, and pretty much anything else you can imagine wearing. If you're working on a decidedly glamorous Halloween costume, stop by and you're almost guaranteed to find something fabulous.
If you're not ready to commit to buying a costume, rent a theater-worthy outfit from this 30,000-square-foot warehouse, the largest of its kind in the Midwest. Originally founded in the 1880s to supply costumes to the opera and masquerade ball attendees, the shop now provides getups to one-night-only witches and wizards.
A long-time Boystown staple, Ragstock is a thrifters' paradise that occupies the second floor and basement of the same building that houses Hollywood Mirror, making it an excellent two-for-one stop. Ragstock's selection of throwback '80s sweaters, '90s jackets, Hawaiian shirts and other kooky finds make it an excellent destination for bargain costume-hunters and vintage lovers alike.
Find more places to get dressed up
It's true—Chicago is becoming quite the fashion hub, especially for women's clothing stores. From West Loop to Wicker Park, there's no shortage of trendy clothing shops, boutiques and stores for women. Whether you're looking to stay on budget, ready to pull out your black card, or somewhere in between, this is the only shopping list you'll need (well, maybe also bookmark our best thrift stores and best kids' clothing stores).