Think fast: what are you going to be for Halloween? If your answer was a grunt or an “uh . . .,” you’re in luck. The best costume stores in New York City, listed below, have you covered, whether you want to don the latest superhero getup, wear a mask with a gorgeous dress, need the method and the means to turn your fantasy look into a reality, or haven’t dressed up since you were a kid. By Jessica Allen.
19 West 21st Street
New York, NY 10010
Abracadabra calls itself “the world’s most unique store.” A tough claim to prove, sure, but this Flatiron shop, open year-round, has certainly got to be in the top 10. Here you’ll find ready-to-wear costumes for the tiniest babe and the biggest adult, for purchase or rental. Got something one-of-a-kind in mind? Have a chat with the friendly sales staff, who’ll take you among the aisles for all the products and accoutrements (including the store’s own line of makeup, AbraCosmetics) you’ll need to make your dream come true. And you can even sign up for an in-store makeup tutorial to make sure you can re-create the look on October 31.
Frank Bee Costume Center
3435 East Tremont Avenue
Bronx, New York 10465
The awning outside of Frank Bee Costume Center says it best: “First Place to Try for Anything.” This family-run shop, stretching across several storefronts, has been around since 1957, but you need not worry about having to blow dust off of a Nixon mask in order to pick out a cool costume. Frank Bee stocks 10,000+ costumes for kids and adults year-round. You’ll find all your favorites for purchase or rental, from “Pokémon’s” Pikachu to “The Force Awakens’” Rey, to Batman — aka the Dark Knight himself.
110 Fourth Avenue
New York, NY 10010
Gothic Renaissance is your go-to for all things both goth and related to the Renaissance, but punks and hard rockers will be right at home too. In other words, here’s where to head if you need a fitted corset, tulle skirt, leather cap, or velvet suit — especially if you want any or all of those things in black. (The East Village store also stocks fetish gear and lingerie, if that’s what you’re into.) This “alternative fashion boutique … proudly cater[s] to interesting people.” If that’s you, then don’t delay—your new favorite costume, or everyday outfit, is waiting.
New York Costumes / Halloween Adventure
104 Fourth Avenue
New York, NY 10003
For more than 15 years, New York Costumes / Halloween Adventure has made sure the city looked fierce, scary, funny, silly, gaudy, gorgeous, and/or suggestive as necessary or required. The two-floor superstore in the East Village sells a huge array of masks, capes, wigs, jewelry, props, hats, costumes, weapons and decorations, featuring lots of old-school get-ups on mannequins. Don’t forget Fluffy and Fido: Halloween Adventure sells tons of pet costumes too.
Ricky’s Costume Superstore
New York, NY
You’ll know fall is here when a Ricky’s Halloween pop-up opens in your neighborhood. Affiliated with the local chain of beauty stores, Ricky’s Costume Superstore stocks everything you need to make your Halloween truly unforgettable. Order your child’s camel onesie, your dad’s bald wig, or your very own “rainbow fantasy cape” online, then head to the store nearest you for pickup. Don’t want to look like anyone else? Check out Ricky’s amazing selection of makeup, wigs, temporary tattoos, masks, flower crowns, and other transformative accessories.
240 West 14th Street
New York, NY 10011
Screaming Mimi’s specializes in vintage clothing and costumes. Now located on the parlor floor of a grand brownstone near the meatpacking district, Screaming Mimi’s was, for many years, the epicenter of downtown cool in Noho, outfitting everyone from Cyndi Lauper (the store’s first employee) to Nicki Minaj to people heading off to Burning Man. The store stocks whatever you need, including handbags, sunglasses, hats, scarves, jewelry and, of course, clothes, to fashion yourself as a 1980s prom queen, a 1970s hipster, a 1920s dancer, and so much more from so many other eras.