Costume shopping doesn’t have to be scary

Graphic by Phil Waheed
Graphic by Phil Waheed

For many university students, Halloween could not come at a worst time. Midterms have us losing sleep, hallucinating because we’ve been staring at empty word documents or gigantic textbooks for too long, and drinking coffee like it’s nobody’s business. If that’s not

enough, in the middle of it all, we then have to find the time to buy a Halloween costume.

In a last minute attempt not to be that person who shows up at a party without a costume and uses the boring one liner “I’m dressed as me,” you may be tempted to shop at some random Halloween store opened just for the occasion. I suggest you think for a second before you go, because you can find better, right in our city, for similar prices and way better service.

Johnny Brown is one of those sweet deals. For 80 years now, Johnny Brown has been offering costumes ranging from theatre to dance all year around and is a true Montreal landmark. Luba Lapierre, self-proclaimed jack-of-all-trades at the store, explained that service, dedication and passion is what makes it one of a kind.

At Johnny Brown, you will be assisted step-by-step in your costume creation process from the minute you walk in. The store and its staff are truly dedicated to give clients what they need.

“If you can’t find a costume, we’ll help you find it, and if we can’t find it, then we’ll start twisting something to make it happen for you,” said Lapierre.

Johnny Brown’s costumes – Photo by Anna-Darla Lucia D.

While many stores are open on Halloween just to push sales and make money, Lapierre says that Johnny Brown is more about giving good service. Most of its employees have been working there for years and love what they do.

“When people walk out of here well-served and happy, that’s my Halloween,” said Lapierre.

Moreover, Imagine Le Fun and Malabar are worth checking out as other stops on your journey to find the perfect costume. Imagine Le

Fun impresses you the minute you open the door. It’s absolutely massive. It has a diverse and incredible amount of costumes, wigs, accessories and makeup cover all walls from floor to ceiling.

Malabar has been in the business since 1923. It offers everything from dancewear to opera costumes. They are also open year around. An interesting aspect about Malabar is that you can buy a costume or rent one. The store has a seamstress available on the top floor and any costume can be tailored to fit you perfectly. Some of their rental costumes can be found online as well.

So, you’re probably thinking that all this sounds expensive. It’s not necessarily. These stores can satisfy any budget. Whether you want to spend $30 or $100, they have options for you to pick from. Most importantly, they will give you great service regardless of what you spend. Of course, if you decide to shop on Halloween day, expect some hecticness and a little less individual attention.


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