Halloween is creepin' up. Do you know what you're dressing up as? A creepy clown (just don't) or maybe a certain creepy presidential candidate? (The right shade of bronzer could do wonders there.) Whether you tend towards D.I.Y. or you want to grab a ready-made outfit, the sooner you figure it out, the better. Trying to throw together a costume last minute in this city usually involves waiting on lines out the door. Avoid the stress by hitting up one of these six costume shops in NYC, early.
The mega Halloween retailer is your go-to for a ready-made costume. Their selection this year includes timely pieces like a Donald Trump "big baby" blow-up costume and a "Trumpkin" suit patterned with jack-o-lanterns; a head-to-toe "Deadpool" suit and an "American Horror Story" asylum nun getup; plus, all the Pokemon ensembles that your gamer heart desires. They have five locations in Manhattan, from the Financial District up to Harlem, so should make for a fun and convenient after work errand stat.
NYC's classic hair and makeup outfitter is king when it comes to scary accessories, from wigs to hair spray to ghoulish face paint and fake vampire blood. You can load up at locations all over Manhattan, plus three in Brooklyn—but waiting until the week of Halloween will be a nightmare, not in a good way.
The Bronx family-run outfitter since 1957 has that retro, mom-and-pop feel to it, but it's stocked with both classic and trendy costumes for yourself and the kiddos. Items no longer go for five cents to a dollar, as the sign still reads, but prices start at a reasonable $20, and you can try on anything in store before you buy.
The fantasy nerd mecca of Park Slope doubles as the headquarters of 826 Valencia, author Dave Eggers' nonprofit, volunteer-led writing program for kids. For those who think it sounds fun to design their own superhero look this Halloween, while contributing to a good cause, this is the place to nurture your own creativity — and know that the dollars you spend will also go towards nurturing a young writer. Stocked with masks, capes, belts, and superpowers for sale like bottled chutzpah and containers of "carbonated future," it's got everything you need to create your own character.
If you're looking to do it big this year, the Chelsea superstore is where you can find super snazzy, high-end ensembles. It's on the pricer side—$175 for a Midnight Count costume with a satin cape, for example—but whatever you invest in is sure to both frighten and impress your friends and neighbors.
NoHo's vintage designer shop — which now has a second location on 14th St.— is the place to do a deep-dive for a unique, throwback look. Tell them your concept, be it '70s disco or '20s flapper, or an original character of your own devising, and they'll help you customize it by digging into their stock of one-of-a-kind pieces. The original shop on Lafayette St. is slated to close after the 31st, but until then, both locations are open.