It’s that time of year. The fake cobwebs are strung up everywhere. The random disembodied foot on the neighbor’s lawn is no cause for alarm. A waterfall of pumpkins and decorative gourds spills forth from the mouth of every grocery store.
Yes, Halloween is right around the corner, and with it the opportunity to show off your most creative ensemble. Will you be a Halloween classic like a witch or a zombie? Or opt for a celebrity impersonation? Almost as important as deciding which new character you want to inhabit is figuring out where to get the gear to make it happen. Luckily, Austin has a number of local businesses to suit all your Halloween costume needs.
1/ The Bazaar Backstage
In addition to housing a treasure trove of high-quality wigs, makeup, masks and costumes, The Bazaar Backstage has quite a story. It’s a woman-owned, family business that was founded in Austin way back in 1966 (celebrating its 50th anniversary this year). In fact, Farrah Fawcett was an early customer at the original location on The Drag by UT. The business has been at its current location on East Riverside for 30 years now.
The Bazaar Backstage has a huge selection of costumes and accessories. And you won’t be surprised by strange synthetic fabrics inside hanging bags. All costumes are hung on racks, so you can see exactly what you’re getting. You’re welcome to try on as many items as you want, and the staff is extremely knowledgeable about the store’s vast array of wears.
There is a range in prices. Most costumes have a cheaper and more expensive option available. While Halloween is the busiest season, The Bazaar Backstage is also known year-round for their Carnival masks and costumes and selection of belly dancing attire.
1605 E. Riverside Dr. – Website
2/ Lucy in Disguise with Diamonds
It’s hard to walk down South Congress Avenue without becoming entranced by the bright colors and zany window displays of Lucy in Disguise with Diamonds—and that’s just the outside of the store. This has been an Austin staple for Halloween and beyond since 1984.
Inside, the store has over 8,000-square-feet of space filled with costumes, wigs, makeup and accessories. And if you’re too creeped out to actually store that clown costume in your closet for the rest of the year, good news! Most costumes can be rented, as well.
Fun fact: Lucy is the name of the owner’s border collie, who is naturally a Beatles fan.
1506 S. Congress Ave. – Website
3/ Coco Coquette
What if you have a great costume already, but you need a few finishing touches to complete the look? Coco Coquette is your go-to for beautiful wigs, makeup options, vintage sunglasses, hosiery, jewelry and other adornments. They also sell dramatic, one-of-a-kind headdresses and dazzling vintage burlesque pieces.
Coco Coquette has been in business since 2010, conveniently located on the east side on Cesar Chavez.
2109 E. Cesar Chavez St. – Website
4/ Treasure City Thrift
For one of the most affordable Halloween experiences you can find, look no further than Treasure City Thrift. They advertise themselves as the “cheapest thrift store in Austin” and are committed to making items as inexpensive as possible while working toward recycling and zero-waste.
They sell the usual thrift store fare of gently-used clothing and housewares. But around this time of year, they also have a couple of racks of Halloween costumes, wigs and accessories. If you want to be transform into Daenerys Targaryen on a dime, this is the place to snag your $3 blond wig.
2142 E. 7th St. – Website
5/ Blue Velvet
While not strictly a costume store, Blue Velvet is where the creative costumer can go to realize their period piece vision. Full of vintage clothing, shoes and accessories organized by decade, you’re sure to find the perfect item to complete your look. Whether you’re going for a 1960’s stewardess, 1970’s disco dancer or a zombie extra from Michael Jackson’s “Thriller,“ all you need is a little creativity and the right vintage finds to make your dream a reality.
If Blue Velvet doesn’t have the exact piece you’re looking for, there are a number of other vintage stores close by in Austin’s North Loop neighborhood.
217 W. North Loop – Website
If you don’t have a Halloween costume yet, don’t fear! Austin’s local businesses have you covered.
@theAustinot wants to know:
What are you going to be for Halloween this year?