The key to making the most out of Halloween? A killer costume! Now all you need to do is find an amazing Halloween store. Los Angeles has more costume and vintage shops than most cities, which makes things tough. We've put together this handy guide to the best shops in Los Angeles for looks that'll please everyone from the Hogwarts-obsessed child to the steampunk-inspired artiste. These stores have the goods and the experts to help you stand out from the crowd at all those Halloween parties you're finally going to hit up this year (or, of course, the family-friendly attractions you might be more inclined to frequent).
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Halloween store options in Los Angeles
Not one, but two stores! And a block away from each other! It's like a one-stop Halloween-prep outing. Halloween Town Costumes and its sister shop Halloween Town Original at 2921 West Magnolia Boulevard, one block west, both stay open year-round. The newer and larger Halloween Town Costumes includes an expansive selection of costumes for all ages. Designed to feel like an authentic haunted-house, Halloween Town carries all manner of spooky things: toys, novelties, apparel, books, gifts, art, props and décor, including such Halloween decorations as spiderweb tablecloths, adorable vintage-themed Halloween greeting cards and housewares, and even gruesome Jell-O molds shaped like body parts.
This super-fun shop sells costumes and vintage clothes that are more suited for costumes than everyday wear, plus wigs, hats, makeup, accessories and more. Need a stick-on mustache in a pinch? A pair of lime green hoisery? Some fake blood perhaps? Ozzie Dots has you covered. The store has existed since 1985 (though its original location was in Sunset Junction), and offers a beloved bi-weekly Dollar Sale. Our one suggestion? If you're headed to OD for a Halloween costume, plan in advance—the place gets nuts come October, and the days leading up to Halloween are complete and utter mayhem.
From high-end makeup to a wide range of costuming accessories, this store has a lot going for it, but the biggest draw is its straight-from-the-movie-studio costumes available for purchase or to rent. Dress up like a badass with looks from Underworld, or step into a fairytale with costumes from the recent Snow White rendition, Mirror Mirror. Robinson is also known for its wigs (it claims to sell one every 10 minutes). Pirates and princesses are currently the most in-demand rentals, but particularly impressive are the handmade Michael Jackson and Star Wars costumes.
Western, one of the world’s largest and oldest costume companies, offers thousands of costumes from major motion pictures to rent for Halloween. Options here run the full gamut. Ladies' choices, for instance, go from 1890s fancy lady to Pan Am flight attendant to a drag version of Carmen Miranda. The Halloween shop is located in the rear of the building and has limited hours, so check the website for opening times.
This store has a very specific POV: anything and everything Harry Potter. But you can also find merchandise for other inexplicable pop-culture phenoms (currently, Doctor Who fans would be pleased). Whimsic Alley knows its target audience: those still hoping for their acceptance letter from Hogwarts). The professional-quality costumes here resemble authentic wizarding school uniforms, hats and wands, and are more than mere Halloween costumes.
This store is open year-round and specializes in costume rentals and sales. It carries some rare and one-of-a-kind items, like the rental costumes that the shop makes. Ursula’s is best known for its fancy ballgowns and masquerade masks, but it carries a full stock of costumery, including packaged costumes.
Most of the staff at this quirky age-old shop have theater backgrounds and can act as personal costume stylists for customers trying to navigate what is truly a vast and eclectic rental collection. What’s their hottest selling rental this year? Steampunk!
Face it, if you’ve waited until the last minute to pull together your Halloween costume, chances are you’re going to drop into one of these massive Halloween chainstore pop-ups that will have the last sexy pirate get-up or Obama mask in the city. These high-visibility Spirit Halloween stores have some 1,000 locations across the country, many of them in LA. Spirit also claims to be the largest Halloween specialty store in existence. We don’t doubt it. Hours vary practically daily up until Halloween, so check the website for opening times and to find a megastore near you.
This family-owned costume store has been around since 1945 and Adele herself is usually on hand to help shoppers put their outfits together. The shop designs and makes their own theatrical costumes for movie makers and trick-or-treaters alike. The get-ups here are available to rent, but there's also a nice stock of packaged costumes for kids and adults, as well as accessories, wigs and makeup.
This film industry beauty staple not only has a well-stocked costume collection, but its all-makeup-artist staff helps you put together ensembles and some can instruct on realistic special-effects makeup to complete any gory look. The store completely transforms for Halloween: its sign changes to read “Halloween Headquarters” and monster animatronics are lined up outside. It's usually packed, so much so that local food trucks often schedule visits to sell shoppers lunch.
The Costume Shoppe specializes in authentic-looking period costume rentals (along with standard costume fare) and is a resource for professional theatrical and movie-industry use (it's affiliated with the Glendale Centre Theatre). Be ready to spend some time: they've got about 20,000 different pieces here that can be combined to make an endless list of unique Halloween identities, with themes including medieval, pirates, superheroes, biblical, literary and more. Costume designers are on hand to help you recreate your favorite era, and professional seamstresses can modify costumes to fit.
This pop-up warehouse has a few outlets that are open all year. It distinguishes itself from the pack by its level of organization: Costumes are grouped by theme, not age—handy if the whole family wants to coordinate looks in one aisle. It also offers a wide selection (from medical lab coats to Ninja turtles), wigs, special effects make-up, and up to 25-percent off Halloween decorations. There are locations in Sherman Oaks, Canoga Park and Redondo Beach, to name a few. Check the website for one near you.
This Tiki-style shack is home to our favorite vintage shop west of the 405, located deep in the heart of Topanga Canyon. Once you get past the dinosaur and pirates guarding the entrance, you’ll be privy to what appears to be the contents of a kooky grandmother’s attic—think: varsity jackets, military uniforms, ’80s graphic tees, Nordic sweaters, antique sleepwear and Halloween costumes year-round. Of course, they’ve also got a more traditional range of vintage gear for men and women, too—much of it under $30—but we recommend leaving no marching band jacket unturned as you explore this offbeat shop.
A one-stop pop-up Halloween superstore. Unlike some other pop-ups where it’s slim pickings come October 31, Halloween Time continually restocks up until the big day. A friendly staff, which includes many costume-industry veterans, can help with costume ideas; and a makeup artist can give quick tutorials on applying special-effects makeup. Masks, shoes, jewelry and decorations are also on hand.
This Hollywood Boulevard staple has been in business for more than 50 years and supplies the public as well as movie studios with costumes, props, wigs, masks, accessories and more. You'll find a large selection of adult and children’s costumes, jewelry, make-up, novelties, hobbies and collectibles.
This party center not only offers decorations and all your Halloween needs, but also a big selection of rental and retail costumes and accessories year-round. Shoppers can browse the aisles packed with costumes, wigs and accessories for men, women, kids and even pets. Costumes range from famous characters such as Batman and Harry Potter to masquerade gowns and masks. For Halloween, customers can enjoy 20-70 percent off costume rentals and party decorations.
The Wal-Mart of party shops. Party City has a variety of cheap costumes for all ages—and even a small selection for the dog. They’re better known for carrying a crapload of paper party supplies, from gift bags and decorative plates and napkins to spooky spider decorations and helium balloons galore. It’s not the most inspiring store, but you’re never far from one. Check the website for Party City locations near you.
The staff at this kitschy novelty store (with additional locations in Westwood, Santa Monica, West Hollywood and Encino) goes all out for Halloween, with fog machines blasting, a 7-foot spider flanking the building and a 12-foot scarecrow welcoming you in. You can find almost any accessory, prop or prepackaged costume here—from superheros to leopard leotard get-ups. But for one-stop Halloween shopping, Aahs’ Halloween Club chain offers a ton of costumes, theatrical makeup, masks, props, fog machines and all that scary-making stuff. See the Halloween Club website for store locations.