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Costume shops
Photograph: Time Out

The best costume stores in America

Find vintage looks, spooky props and full Barbie regalia at the coolest costume stores in the U.S.

Virginia Gil
Edited by
Virginia Gil
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Halloween is approaching and all you’ve got is a vague idea of what you’ll be, an oversized bag of candy in your pantry, tempting you, and a half-baked plan on where you’ll go for the spookiest night of the year. Your first order of business: nail down the outfit. Rather than go the Amazon route, we suggest starting your search for something to wear at America’s coolest costume stores. Not only will you find a ton of inspo from years of curation and creativity but you’ll also be supporting local as many of these spots have been staples in the communities they’ve serviced for decades. Below, we highlight independent costume shops nationwide, from Los Angeles and New York to Miami and Asheville, ready to help with all your Halloween needs.

America's coolest costume stores

  • Shopping
  • Costume shops
  • East Little Havana
  • price 2 of 4

Dream it and you'll find it at Miami's oldest costume shop, in business for over 50 years. The family-owned and operated shop carries thousands of costumes, including cultural dress, popular items for kids and trendy looks for adults. An array of accessories and wigs are also available to complete your look. The shop opens year-round, attracting customers with its wide selection of jokes and gags, from fart machines and smelly perfumes to exploding gifts that wow kids of all ages. La Casa de Los Trucos recently donated one of its exterior walls for a mural honoring Gloria Estefan and Emilio Estefan's musical legacy.

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Virginia Gil
USA Editor

Costume season in the notoriously quirky western North Carolina town of Asheville continues all year, with lots of themed parties, murder mysteries and costume-heavy festivals, like the WNC Bigfoot Festival. This explains why The Costume Shoppe boasts an impressive 1,500 outfits. Its owner, Tawnya Watts (you’ll love her Insta), sells only adult costumes and stays “in the realm of classics,” like vampires, pirates and time periods from medieval to the ‘80s. “We specialize in the creative,” Watts says. “We want to tailor the costume to who you are.”

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Eric Barton
Contributor
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For more than 20 years, this Lake Park-based shop has been stocking the area's widest selection of creative costumes, wigs, stage makeup, props and accessories. At one point a nationwide chain that worked alongside major studios to outfit films like Austin Powers, The Mask and Batman, today, Hollywood Costumes' lone South Florida location still employs a staff of artists, designers and cosplayers who help bring parties and productions of all budgets to life. The shop itself is massive, and no square inch goes unused. Visitors can easily spend two or three hours getting lost in the curiosity-packed aisles. Conjure up your next epic look with a knowledgeable shop employee, or peruse the well-categorized website ahead of time if you’d rather go in with a plan.

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Falyn Wood
Editor, Time Out Miami

Serving Las Vegas since 1978, American Costumes has a colossal collection of outfits. It also has a reputation as a go-to for stylists and costume designers on film and television projects (Ryan Gosling wore a fringe cowboy shirt in the Barbie movie). Very Vegas looks include pinstripe gangster suits, hand-sewn, designer-original showgirl costumes and crystal-studded Elvis jumpsuits. Other movie and celebrity outfits include Dumb and Dumber pastel suits, Top Gun flight suits and replicas of Elton John’s concert-worn Dodgers uniform and Michael Jackson’s jackets from the "Thriller" and "Bad" videos. Costumes are available for rent or purchase.

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Ryan Slattery
USA contributor
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This theatrical costume rental shop has been dressing people and outfitting stage productions in New York (and beyond) for over a century. The Costumer has a remarkable stash with more than 150,000 costumes to pair with props, wigs, make-up and cosplay accessories, and one of the largest collections of Santa suits. The majority of the business is costuming scholastic theaters across the country. They offer full wardrobes (often tailored to cast members) for 400, including Beauty and the Beast, Frozen or Shrek the Musical. The shop has even costumed skits for Saturday Night Live.

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Ryan Slattery
USA contributor

Supplying Boston and Cambridge with quirky, classic and on-trend costumes since 1965, Boston Costume is the place to go when you want to take Halloween to the next level. Whether you need a Ken to her Barbie or something a bit more spooky, every customer is treated like a VIP during the shopping process as all visits to the store are appointment only.

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JQ Louise
Editor of Time Out Boston
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For more than 40 years, South Floridians and theatrical companies have browsed the racks at Costume World to pull costumes for just about anything from Broadway shows to Hollywood films to Halloween parties. The shop has 1.2 million costumes, the largest collection in the United States. Founded by Marilynn Wick, Costume World rents everything from period reconstruction pieces to superhero and showgirl costumes to the original gowns worn by Julie Andrews in 1956's My Fair Lady.

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Lauren Mack
USA contributor
  • Shopping
  • Antiques
  • Topanga

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 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—much of it under $30—but we recommend leaving no marching band jacket unturned as you explore this offbeat shop.

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Michael Juliano
Editor, Time Out Los Angeles
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Something like a loin cloth will set you back at least $50 at Abracadabra in New York City, but trust that you’re getting what you paid for—this is the place for high-quality gear. The supersize shop features a full makeup counter selling an extensive line of in-house makeup brand Abracosmetics and an assortment of practical joke items should you opt for a trick rather than a treat this Halloween.

Adele’s on Hollywood Blvd has all your Halloween needs handled with its wide selection of costumes, makeup, and accessories. Beyond the bespoke Santa suits and Easter bunny costumes, you’ll find hundreds of costumes for kids and adults alike, from princesses to pirates to (pretty much) everything in between. The shop has served individual customers and television and movie studios since 1945.

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