Did you lose your vampire teeth? Can’t fit into that sexy cop uniform anymore? Or maybe someone spilled beer on your Joker jacket?
For some fresh ideas to creep out, impress, or seduce on Oct. 31, head to some of these Montreal destinations for the best costume ever this Halloween.
Image In Accessoires , 34 Mont-Royal Ave. E.
You’ve definitely walked by this costume store on a night on the town, and had your eye caught by its pink signs and displays of colourful stockings and eccentric wigs. That’s Image In Accessoires for you. Key word: accessories. It has a treasure trove of hats, tights, and wigs. The best are the masks, which are festooned with feathers and sequins. If none of them strike your fancy, pick a blank one and decorate it to your heart’s content.
Grab some lingerie if you’re Rocky Horror-bound, which is a bus stop away on Park Avenue.
Joseph Ponton Costumes, 480 Saint-Francois-Xavier St.
If you want a magical quality and some history to go with your costume-rental shopping experience, Joseph Ponton Costumes has what you’re looking for. Supposedly founded in 1865, when a French theatre troupe folded and had to sell its costumes in order to board a ship back home, it calls itself the oldest costume store in the province. It’s also your destination if you’re looking for something customized, as they can make outfits to order. Like Alice in Wonderland? The shop has lots of character costumes, and accessories to go with them. Fittingly, it’s located in an old-fashioned stone building up the street from the Centaur Theatre in Old Montreal.
Malabar, 5121 du Parc Ave.
Another storied costume rental location, Malabar, founded in 1905, offers costumes with “wow” factor. Take your pick of elaborate costumes from the 1600s courtesan to the 1920s-40s gangster. A bonus is they take care of the cleaning after you return your items, and accessories are included in the rental. They also offer alterations before the big day.
Eva B, 2013 Saint-Laurent Blvd.
Multi-purpose vintage store, Eva B becomes a shrine for Halloween costume-seekers when the leaves turn orange and they’re in search of something retro. The second floor overflows with playful and kooky costumes ranging from disco uniforms and clown outfits, to flapper dresses. It’s a fun experience if you go with friends, because you literally have to dig through the racks to find the perfect ensemble. Once you’ve picked your costume, head on over to the rental counter, where they’ll pick out accessories for you. Keep your eyes peeled for the $5 gift certificates they happen to be doling out right now to customers.
American Apparel, 1651 Ste-Catherine St. W.
The ubiquitous chain of colourful hipster fashion has become a choice destination for Halloween revellers over the years because of the items’ versatility, colours, and potential over-top quality (spandex leggings? Hello, Superman and Wonder Woman). Store manager at the Ste. Catherine St. West store right by Concordia, Leila Stambouli, says that gals this year come in searching for a Sandra Dee costume (Olivia Newtown John’s character at the end of Grease, not the beginning) and Catwoman, while guys are opting for the tennis player look. Students usually like to ask for an employee’s help in composing a costume. If you don’t have any ideas, have a look at their window front: the store near Concordia has Dorothy and the Cowardly Lion from Wizard of Oz on display. Head to their website for more inspired fashion choices. If you’re planning on buying your whole costume here, be sure to have dough in the bank; a Steve Urkel costume I put together in the store would ring you up more than $100.
If you want to take the cheap and creative route this Halloween, stop by your local consignment shop to find castoffs perfect for assembling a do-it-yourself costume. A clerk at the Salvation Army in NDG, reported seeing many young folks this time of year trying on different items while fishing for costumes.
This activity requires an imagination, as some jaunts to the Salvation Army can prove fruitless if you don’t find something that grabs your eye. Have an idea beforehand to narrow your search, or go with an open mind.
Be an 80s prom princess in peachy pink bouffant lace dress with a huge bow in the back for $25, or go to a party as a 90s sitcom star in a shapeless, long velvet dress for $10.
Veer off into the bizarre if necessary: a fuzzy, moss green sweater could make a great Oscar the Grouch or thing that came from the swamp.
Of course, there are the usual fall-backs: pimp it up in a retro leather jacket, go as an athlete in a $5 sports jersey, or pull together something 80s with a neon snowsuit/jacket/pants/shirt (don’t forget the shoulder pads.)
It’s finders keepers here; I snapped up a black sequined jacket for $10 on a quiet Friday morning. Michael Jackson?
NDG Salvation Army
5758 Sherbrooke St.
7205 St-Jacques St. W.
Take the 90 from VendÃ´me metro or walk from Loyola
Village des Valeurs Decarie, 4906 Jean-Talon St. W.
Village des Valeurs or Value Village, not only has a huge amount of secondhand clothing, it always has tons of new Halloween gear in stock. You can pick up cheap, packaged Halloween costumes like Indiana Jones, devils, witches, and angels, as well as accessories like wigs, weapons, and make-up. Your house party will have the right atmosphere if you grab some of their Halloween-themed decorations.