From fairies to naughty nurses, apes to renaissance men, these top Montreal costume shops have it all.
Choice destinations for Halloween costumes, Santa suits, zombification advice and scoring the perfect look for a theatrical event, costume party or posh masquerade year-round, I cover each handpicked shop's specialty, strengths, perks, costume rental details and whether garbs can be purchased or made to measure.
As for those of you who are especially creative and want to concoct a little something from scratch, consider checking out Montreal's top vintage shops and assemble your own original costume.
Montreal's Best Costume Shops: Joseph Ponton Costumes
In business since 1865, Costumes Joseph Ponton is not only Montreal's top costume shop, it's the largest and oldest costume shop in the entire province of Quebec courtesy of a bankrupted French theatre company which, desperate for money to hitch a boat ride home, sold all of its costumes to 19th century barber Joseph Ponton. The rest is costume shop history, in the form of over 15,000 costumes for kids or adults with a notable selection of very convincing period costumes. Ponton can also accommodate custom-made requests and tailor costumes for a better fit. Rental price covers a full weekend or 48 hours.
Address: 4846 Sainte-Catherine East
Phone: (514) 849-3238
Price Range: rentals from $35 to $150
Montreal's Best Costume Shops: Malabar
Trailing in age behind Joseph Ponton's costume operations with a turn of the century debut, Malabar is no newbie to the biz, having been around since 1905. Offering a wide selection of costumes, from mascots to movie stars for occasions of all sorts, accessories, wigs, and alterations are included in the price.
Address: 5121 avenue du Parc, corner of Laurier
Phone: (514) 279-3223
Price Range: rentals from $25 to $150, possibility of purchase
Montreal's Best Costume Shops: Moulin Rose
Boutique Moulin Rose sells hundreds of costumes for men and women (with an accent on revealing getups for the fairer sex), matching footwear, wigs, a wide assortment of color contact lenses and an impressive selection of Venetian masks. Two downtown locations.
Address: 1836-A Ste. Catherine West Montreal, corner of St. Marc
Phone: (514) 527-7222 and (514) 564-8162
Price Range: $50 to $150, purchase only
Montreal's Best Costume Shops: Johnny Brown
Another top costume specialist in Montreal who's been around for generations is Johnny Brown, who offers 450 costumes for rent and up to 900 for sale, from period costumes (caveman to renaissance) to theme costumes (superheroes to vixens). Lots of hats too. Good spot for Santa suits also.
Overall, Johnny Brown is perhaps best known for its theatrical accessories and dance apparel, selling dance shoes (ballet, ballroom, Latin dance), accessories, makeup and more. Generous rental time period.
Address: 705 Rue Hodge #210, corner of boulevard Montpellier in Ville Saint-Laurent
Phone: (514) 495-4002
Price Range: rentals from $25 to $100; purchase prices from $50 to $80
Montreal's Best Costume Shops: Entrepôt de l'Halloween
The first costume store established in Montreal devoted specifically to Halloween products -costumes, wigs, makeup, decorations, and hundreds of costume accessories- Entrepôt de l'Halloween has been in business for close to 25 years. Good shop for tricky costume situations too as the Entrepôt will pass special orders if notified at the latest two weeks before Halloween. Open seasonally every year from mid-September through Halloween. Convenient downtown location.
Montreal's Best Costume Shops: Eva B.
Better known as a slightly overpriced used clothing hipster mecca -unless you count the $1 bin- with a great selection of used clothes, coats, and accessories available across several floors as well as new items designed locally, Eva B. also rents out costumes and accessories at decent rates. Flexible rental policy.
Address: 2013 St. Laurent, below Sherbrooke
Phone: (514) 849-8246
Price Range: rentals from $15 to $50
Montreal's Best Costume Shops: Chapeaux de la Chaudière
With a strong selection of hats and costumes from the 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s, and 70s as well costumes and accessories for other periods and themes, Chapeaux de la Chaudière is part costume shop, part vintage store, renting costumes and selling used clothing for adults as well as kids. Call to schedule an appointment outside of regular opening hours, which are Thursday and Friday from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturday from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Address: 117 6th Avenue (Lachine), corner of St. Louis
Phone: (514) 634-2151
Price Range: rentals from $22 to $62 for the first day, half price for the second day, free for the third day
Montreal's Best Costume Shops: Giggles
Giggles is a one-stop party shop, with balloons, loot bags, assorted party supplies and costumes for sale. No rentals are available but costumes come in all sizes for kids and adults, are pretty decent looking and won't set you back more than costume rental prices at other shops.
Address: 7143 Newman, between Senkus and Léger
Phone: (514) 363-9472
Price Range: $20 to $150, purchase only
Montreal's Best Costume Shops: Imagine Le Fun
Costumes, accessories, masks, contact lenses, tights, stage makeup... you name it, Imagine Le Fun has probably got it in the store's 4,800 square feet of costumes and accessories, from sexy to angelic, pirate to superhero, all at affordable prices. Imagine Le Fun can also rent the costume out if you absolutely insist on it BUT it will cost the same as buying it! Located on the Main.
Montreal's Best Costume Shops: Halloween Mania
Claiming to have "the largest selection of Halloween costumes in Montreal," Halloween Mania features costumes on the cheaper end as well as luxe options including "Supreme Edition" Darth Vader, Stormtrooper, and Cinderella costumes.
Address: several locations including in St. Léonard and Marché Central
Phone: (514) 419-1211
Price Range: $30 to over $1,000, purchase only