There’s no treats (or even tricks!) without the all important costume. With Halloween right around the corner, it’s time to start the hunt for the perfect one. So whether you’re all about DIY, upcycling an old favorite, or buying this year’s latest, our handy guide to LA’s best retail and resale costume shops will get your family all gussied up for the big night.
Hollywood Toys & Costumes
A visit here is almost a right of passage for kids who just can’t decide what costume they will wear for Halloween. This isn’t your typical spirit store, mind you—it has been creeping out customers since 1950, and it’s easy to see how. This costume shop has everything from wigs to fake body parts to costumes for kids and adults. Browsing here is half the fun: stop by the magic tricks counter for an impromptu show. Decorations and other spooky decor are plentiful, so don’t be afraid to really get in the Halloween spirit and cover the house in cobwebs and ghostly apparitions.
6600 Hollywood Blvd.
Hours: Mon-Sat from 9:30 a.m.-7 p.m. and Sun from 10:30 a.m.-7 p.m.
Make Believe, Inc.
Kids will get to ‘make believe’ they are just about anything when shopping at this fantastic and expansive costume shop. Superheroes, princesses, pirates, Cat in the Hat, crayons, spooky costumes, and a wide range of animal costumes are just a few of the many choices available. If Moms and Dads really want to go all out but don’t want the commitment of buying an expensive ensemble, a staff member will act as your personal costume stylist and help you choose an elaborate get up from their rental selection.
3240 Pico Blvd.
Hours: Tue-Sat from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. and Sun from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Closed Mon.
Adele’s is a small costume shop that is loaded to the hilt with costumes. While many patrons dub the place chaotic, they’ll also assure you that the friendly staff knows exactly where to locate just about anything you need from the shelves, which are packed sky-high with merchandise. Adele’s has been serving Hollywood since 1945, and is an entertainment industry institution. Bring kids up to the second floor shop to poke, play and discover some truly unique outfits.
5034 Hollywood Blvd.
Hours: Tue-Fri from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. and Sat from 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
photo: kelly via Creative Commons
Ursula’s offers literally thousands of kids costumes that run the gamut from classic witches and Dracula attire to TV and movie characters, food and candy, renaissance and medieval garb, and just about anything else your little one can conjure up. We love this spot for the accessories: wigs, masks, tights, make-up and all kinds of accessorizing toys that make pulling together your own unique costume (for when your daughter wants to be a My Little Pony Princess Vampire Bride…) a snap. Or at least possible!
2516 Wilshire Boulevard
Hours: Mon.-Sat. from 10 a.m.-7 p.m., Sun. from 11 a.m.-6 p.m.
photo: Jennifer Chaney
Halloween Town Kids
Halloween Town got so big it had to split into three stores, and one of them is just for kids (well, kids and pets, too). There’s an outstanding selection of costumes for kids, makeup, pet costumes, clothing, toys, decor, novelties and everything else you need for home or school for Halloween. Another bonus is that this Halloween-centric story is open all year, so you can really get a head start on that shopping.
2921 West Magnolia Blvd.
Call for store hours.
Totally original? Not particularly. But they are on every corner and packed to the brim with an easy to snag off the rack costume to replace the one your daughter begged for and then decided at the last minute she couldn’t possibly wear. It’s also good for a last minute run for gloves, face paints and accessories to complete that costume you’ve been crafting for months. With over 20 locations this year in the greater Los Angeles area, this Halloween superstore that pops up each year in different vacant shops is everywhere you need it to be, from Hollywood, Venice, Canoga Park, Pasadena, Torrance and all points in between. ‘Cuz sometimes convenient trumps everything else. Check the store locator to find the one nearest you, and it also stays open later as Halloween gets closer.
photo: epSos .de via Creative Commons
All that browsing may have you wondering where you could save some pennies. Why not get creative and hit up your local Goodwill for inspiration? You can pick and choose from hundreds of items to create your own costume, but they also offer a variety of brand-new or gently used costumes. Teach your little goblin about going green and donate your outfits once the holiday is over, so that another child can enjoy them for next year’s fun.
You can also find wicked wearables at Kids Double Time in Redondo Beach and Grow Kid Grow in Silverlake. Both fabulous resale stores have a tempting selection of Halloween costumes well before the holiday arrives. If you’re looking for bargain goodies closer to your home check our our list of the best resale shops for kids all over LA.
And if you’re into being totally green, why not trade last year’s cool costume for another one?
Saturday October 8, 2016 is National Costume Swap Day. If you have outgrown costumes on your hands, (or they’re taking up space in your closet), this is the perfect opportunity to be out with the old and in with the new-to-you! Many resale shops host a swap on this day (or sometimes another day) so check your local favorite shop to see if they will take part in one. Or you can host one with friends or at your school yourself!
photo: Brittany Jepson via The House that Lars Built
If you’re a crafty mom with a talent for homemade duds, check out these amazing (and surprisingly simple) suggestions for DIY Halloween Costumes.
We wish you a howling good time on Halloween! Let us know if there are any cool costume shops we missed.
—Elena Fenegan & Christina Montoya Fiedler
Main image of baby in ladybug costume by Cody via flickr