Austin's weirdness level soars to new heights every year at Halloween. What you wear says a lot about you, particularly if you're dressed up as a despised political figure. Costumes representing abstract concepts seem to be increasingly popular, but many revelers prefer to stick to the more traditional approach: scary or skimpy costumes. Here are some of the best Halloween costumes stores around Austin.
Claustrophobes, beware: This South Congress institution gets extremely crowded right before Halloween. And even when it's not crowded, your personal space will be invaded by tightly packed costume racks and feather boa displays. Need a giant, furry cat head? Check. A full-body Chewbacca costume? No problem. The fun-loving salespeople often dress up themselves, and they're experts at guiding people through the costume assembly process, even if you're starting with only a nebulous concept.
Compared to other Austin thrift stores, Thrift Town earns extra points for cleanliness and organization. If you're planning to put together a costume piecemeal, this cavernous store is an excellent place to find inspiration. And with the store's low prices, you might even be able to afford a backup costume. Many Halloween shoppers show up looking for a costume and walk away with that plus a new outfit or two for everyday wear.
If you're in a hurry and looking for a standard pirate or witch costume, Party City is the place for you. But come on, man, get creative. It's actually an extremely well-organized multi purpose store that sells all sorts of party supplies, from piñatas to ice buckets, but the costume department is huge and well stocked.
Located in affluent west Austin, the Lake Austin Goodwill often has vintage clothing in stock that's a cut above most thrift stores. For last-minute shoppers, the shop also sells inexpensive prepackaged costumes. While the store in west Austin often has some excellent finds, you might get lucky at any of the stores all over Austin. If your costume is edgy or would benefit from a slightly distressed look, Goodwill has plenty of outfits and pieces that meet that description.
Selling everything from Ozzy Osbourne wigs to sexy corsets, The Bazaar is a prime destination for do-it-yourself costume creators. The shop also offers an extensive selection of wigs, costume jewelry and makeup for creating realistic-looking wounds.
If you're naturally pale and choose to accentuate that quality for Halloween, proceed directly to Secret Oktober, Austin's goth headquarters. You know this store is edgy because they spell October with a "k." Consider visiting Secret Oktober if your costume plan involves fishnet stockings, studded accessories or vinyl.
Planning to dress up as a murdered 1980s prom queen? Blue Velvet can set you up with the gown and all necessary accoutrements. The shop also maintains a bountiful supply of brightly colored knee-high boots and vintage sunglasses.
Outrageous wigs, sparkly hair ornaments, and giant fake eyelashes are Coco Coquette's specialties. If you want to go glam this Halloween, check out one of the store's frequent makeup and wig parties to get some expert advice.
This online-only store, based in Dripping Springs, can bring out the hideous monster in anyone. Throughout the year, the family-owned business supplies costumes and props for locally produced horror films. If you need a bag full of bloody body parts or an inflatable pirate ship for your Halloween party, There's even a variety pack of assorted arms, legs and torsos in case you're not quite sure which severed body part you might need for your party or film shoot. NightmareFactory.com has you covered. Be sure to check out the huge selection of alien masks and zombie costumes. This place even has full-sized mutilated bodies for use in haunted houses. One model quivers from head to toe and comes with its own soundtrack.
If you’re in the market for the sexiest possible costume this year, start your search at Le Rouge Boutique. It’s primarily a lingerie and sex toy store, but the shop also has costumes aligned with that theme. If you want to dress as a burlesque or cabaret dancer, Le Rouge can provide the clothing, shoes and even a few naughty accessories.