Scary-Good Costume Shops for Halloween

If there were a competition for Halloween Town U.S.A., Portland would be in the running. Few places better embrace the culture of all things freaky, which makes it a great spot to get in on all the dressing up and door knocking. From mass-produced superhero outfits to movie set-quality custom creations, whatever your mini monsters are howling for, there’s a store in our area that’s ready to help.

costume avenue

photo: Costume Avenue

For the Dress-up Obsessed:

Costume Avenue
Nearly 700 high-quality kids’ costumes available for a three-day rental at prices ranging from $12-$36. Even better, if they don’t have your tyke’s preferred costume in inventory, they’ll try to piece together separate items to create a look that comes darn close.

12760 SW 1st St.
Online: costumeavenue.com

Helen’s Pacific Costumers
While this costume shop only has a small inventory for kids, they can make anything. Bring in a drawing or picture of your lil’ ghoul’s ideal Halloween costume (or their artist can sketch one out) and the expert seamstresses here will make it for you from scratch. (Prices vary according to materials needed and time required.) Helen’s can also set you up with a local make-up artist to provide your offspring with some spooktacular face paint.

7501 NE Glisan St.
Online: helenscostumes.com

girls for halloween

photo: Flattop 341 via flickr

For Frugal Frights: 

Beanstalk Children’s Resale
With a whole rack of gently worn costume regalia, this place is worth a visit come Halloween bargain hunting time. We saw adorable options like puppy dogs, frogs and butterflies. Plus this store has a solid selection of second-hand clothing, including gear and shoes from the brands we love. If you look past the costume rack, you’ll likely leave with a treasure trove of goodies for everyday life beyond Halloween.

3527 NE 15th Ave.
Online: beanstalkpdx.com

Just 4 Kids
This consignment boutique in Portland’s Hollywood district has a small selection, but what’s there is normally in excellent condition and priced to move. Obviously, there’s no telling if you’ll find something specific, but if your goblins are still toddlin’ and have no opinion on the matter, chances are you’ll find something that will make them even more ridiculously cute.

1925 Northeast 42nd Ave.

There’s a Goodwill in practically every neighborhood around town and they’re screamin’ it like they mean it. They really want to be your Halloween HQ! Stock up on candy bowls, treat satchels and decor galore, then hit the racks for diverse, gently used outfits for the tricksters and treaters, most of which run $7 or less.  With deals like that, you can grab a couple of bargains for year ’round dress up play.

Super-sized locations:

1943 SE 6th Ave.
8300 SE McLoughlin Ave.
2215 W Burnside Ave.
838 SW 10th Ave.
1231 NE Broadway St.
3134 N Lombard Ave.
12975 SW Westgate Dr., Beaverton

Online: goodwill.org

minions halloween

 photo: Kelly Hogaboom via flikr

For the DIYers:

Sometimes, the best costumes happen when you start from scratch. Or, in this case, SCRAP, a nonprofit whose mantra of creative reuse is one we applaud. This gang of pros knows their stuff. Go see them to make that unique firefighter/bunny or robot/Harry Potter/BMX biker ensemble. It’s a treasure scrapper’s paradise, and all supplies are crazy chea

2915 NE MLK Blvd.
Online: scrappdx.org

Knittn’ Kitten
Local quilters and seamstresses adore this shop, which specializes in previously owned but unused fabric. Prepare for an amazing array of vintage cloth, plus notions, yarn, embroidery, glass beads, wool, felt, faux fur, velvet, iron-on appliqués, silk flowers, tulle, sequins, pompoms, and of course, those all-important feathers which can totally make a costume.

7530 NE Glisan St.
Online: knittnkitten.com 


photo: Espos via Flickr

Devoted Halloween Hotbeds:

These ghoulish joints are the ones that would make Halloween year long holiday if they could, and while you may pay a bit more for the off-the-rack options here, they also provide a large selection of the most popular mainstream costumes. All of these stores are equally devoted to accessories, including a jaw-droppingly diverse array of mustaches, hats, wings, bandanas, suspenders, face paint, and wigs. But if you have smaller or more sensitive kids, you might want to avoid the more gruesome and scary aisles.

Spirit Halloween Superstore
10164 SW Washington Square Rd.

1776 NW Fairview Dr.
Online: spirithalloween.com

Lippman Company
50 SE Yamhill St.
Online: lippmancompany.com

Halloween Warehouse
11465 SW Canyon Rd.
Online: halloweenwarehouseor.com


What are your kids dressing up as this year? What are your favorite places to hunt for costumes? Let us know in the Comments below.


—Ty Adams