A Guide To Finding The Perfect Halloween Costume in NYC

A Guide To Finding The Perfect Halloween Costume in NYC

Once upon a time, I worked for a magazine dedicated to Halloween. While most people focus on Halloween for a few weeks in October, four months of my life—specifically August to December—were spent analyzing the spooky holiday. I learned of costume trends, the history of trick-or-treating in the U.S., etc. Even now, years later, I still scroll through the annual lists of hot costumes for the holiday. Of course, there’s no shortage of Halloween shops in NYC, and some are even open all year. Rubie’s Costume Co., Inc., in Richmond Hill, Queens, is one such place. This company is the real deal—providing Halloween costumes to stores throughout the world. I was able to visit the flagship location a few years ago and at the time the pièce de résistance was a Stormtrooper costume, which would have the lucky wearer looking as if they’d just stepped off the Star Wars set. Marc Beige, Rubie’s CEO, tells me that Star Wars’ costumes are still going strong, as well as super heroes (think Man of Steel, Bat Girl, Cat Woman and Captain America) and zombies. Expect to see young trick-or-treaters decked out in Monster High, Barbie and Disney princess costumes this year. Surprisingly, iconic Hollywood royalty, like Elvis and Marilyn Monroe, are still standouts.

Although NYC boasts several Halloween stores that are open all year, this season also welcomes a number of temporary, or pop-up, Halloween retail locations. This past week I visited two: Spirit Halloweenand Ricky’s Costume SuperStore. Spirit Halloween (Lexington Ave., btw E. 31st & E. 32nd sts.) will be open until Nov. 3. While there, you’ll find a number of packaged costumes—everything from Thomas & Friends train costumes and Sesame Street get-ups to hazmat suits and sexy sequined witch outfits. This location also has a number of accessories, including a large section of hats and a wall of facemasks. Ricky’s pop-up (Third Ave., btw E. 26th & E. 27th sts.) is a few doors down from the permanent location, Ricky’s NYC, which mainly sells beauty products. According to Jessica, one of the pop-up employees, more people are assembling their own costumes this year and Ricky’s is the go-to place for accessories, including wigs, blood and teeth. At the location you’ll also find a number of packaged costumes.

Running with the theme of DIY duds, vintage clothing stores are also a great option for creating the best Halloween costume at the party. Screaming Mimi’s, in the trendy Manhattan neighborhood NoHo, is a perfect find for those looking to relive iconic moments in history. Popular items this year include 1920s flapper outfits (thanks to the colorful Leonardo DiCaprio version of The Great Gatsby), as well as Greek and Egyptian costumes. Right now, the store even carries a number of pieces from the New York City Opera collection. So, if you’re looking to evoke the spirit of regal women from 17th century French court, that dream is within your grasp. 

Images: Ricky's Costume SuperStore, Ricky's Costume SuperStore, Spirit Halloween

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