If you want to crush your costume this year, now’s the time to visit a Halloween store. NYC is about to be overrun with ghouls running amuck, especially during the Village Halloween Parade—one of the best NYC events in October. In order to participate in this year’s event, stock up on goodies and guises from a few of our favorite shops including a few kick-ass vintage stores. At most of these spots, you can rent costumes, nab fake blood and vampire fangs and even pick up some sugary treats while you’re at it.
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The best Halloween stores
In a city where your favorite coffee shops were once button factories, Frank Bee Costumes has been consistently supplying New York with whatever mad make-believe garb its residents have required since 1957. Whether you’re in the market for a respectable Hannibal Lecter mask or plan to don a sexy Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles ensemble, Frank Bee probably has it. After all, it does stock 10,000 costumes year-round.
For the past 15 years, this store has been weirding out 4th Avenue in the East Village with its iconic but creepy clown logo embossed on the overbearing black awning at the entrance. For real, though, its selection is stacked—it has every conceivable holiday covered, from Purim to Mardi Gras to—yep, you guessed it—Halloween!
These outfits may give your wallet a pinch—the Unisex Handmande Loin Cloths retail for a cool $55, which is pretty steep for a get-up you could easily mistake for a fancy dinner napkin. But if you’re keen on high-quality gear, look no further. There’s also an extensive line of in-house makeup, called Abracosmetics, for whenever you want to paint your lips perma-pink.
This spot is flush with clutch vintage digs. If you’re going to a blast-from-the-past bash and want to wear legit old school threads, then you should pop in here. It’s also a choice outfitter for mind-blowing Burning Man or Coachella duds.
This storefront cultivates an expectedly Addams Family–esque aesthetic. Come here for blood-red velvet frocks, sultry corsets and spectral garb. Also, you can cop a Ouija board or some tarot cards if you prefer to channel the best psychics in NYC and party au supernatural.
No shop in New York understands the need to express yourself through a cold-weather protector than one of Manhattan's new vintage shops Spark Pretty. The store describes its aesthetic as “I Want My MTV” meets '80’s hair bands, crossed with the flash of '70’s glam-rock, so if either of those looks are what you're going after this Halloween, you know what to do next.
Do your Halloween requirements include a leopard-print jumpsuit, neon-blue hair dye and a hefty dildo? No need to exhaust yourself around town—you can tick everything off your raunchy sex-shop list at Ricky’s. There’s also every shade of every beauty product you can imagine, perfect for both freak and Fashion Week shows.
If you’re throwing a themed soirée or are in need of niche balloons that match your paper plates, hit this place up. It appears to have the most robust bachelorette party section in the city (and possibly the world). Surprise your favorite bride-to-be with a gaudy pink goblet inscribed with Sexy Bitch and a penis-adorned curly straw. So classy.
If you’re looking to dress up as a convincing Slash or Debbie Harry, pop into this punk-clothing mother lode. Festooned with feather boas and neon signs—it’s where the aforementioned rock idols actually shop for their everyday threads—the bi-level store features a mix of punk, goth, mod and classic rock gear from brands such as Underground and T.U.K, as well as Trash and Vaudeville's own eponymous line. Pay homage to Guns N’ Roses’s lead guitarist by scooping up a seven-inch top hat and tight pleather pants.
Why dress up as a standard-issue superhero when you can create your own character? At this Brooklyn shop, you choose from a variety of stick-on emblems—bombs, mustaches, rabbits and stars—and belts to customize your leotard. Finish your look with the all-essential cape; the basic style comes in a variety of colors. Arrive at your Halloween bash armed with a bottle of Truth Serum—the perfect icebreaker—and keep enemies away with your Photon Shooter.