News & Politics

Time for Fright Night! Where to Get Halloween Costumes in Washington

You don’t need to go on a witch hunt to find some spooky threads. These close-to-home shops will get you dressed to kill on All Hallows Eve.

Total Fright
This little Halloween boo-tique, located in the Shops at Georgetown Park, has all the bells and whistles. Perhaps you’d like to be a Renaissance nobleman, a ghastly gorilla, or a sumo wrestler? Total Fright has it all plus decorations for the house—fake cobwebs, black lights, and scary statues. Need something for Toto? They’ve got pirate costumes for the pooch, too.

Backstage has been outfitting alter egos for more than 20 years. This theatrical superstore, two blocks south of the Eastern Market Metro, offers costume rentals and prepackaged garb. If you just need a few odds and ends to tie your outfit together, the store also sells a motley assortment of accessories such as pitchforks, eye patches, sequined tiaras, and feathered headdresses.
Party America
This store could serve you well if you have a commercial character in mind. On the shelves, you’ll find all you need to transform yourself into any hero, whether it’s Indiana Jones, Superman, or Luke Skywalker. If you’re feeling menacing this year, you might like the Michael Myers, Freddy Krueger, and mummy alternatives.

Costumes Creative
With more than 15,000 costumes in stock, you’re sure to find that perfect mermaid costume you’ve been hunting for. Worried about how that fish tail will make your ankles look? Take advantage of the store’s alteration service, and one of the tailors will get you looking sharp.

Gene’s Costumes
Sometimes a good costume requires nothing more than a little maquillage. Gene’s Costumes sells all kinds of makeup—both oil- and water-based—in a broad palette. Plus, there’s cream-based and pancake foundations, hairsprays, and glitter. The shop also has an assortment of costumes for sale and rental.

Hollywood East Costumes
Which decade do you want to bring back from the dead? As one of Washington’s oldest dress-up establishments, this Rockville gem has one of the largest selections of adult rental costumes. Choose from ’20s-era flappers, ’30s-era gangsters, ’40s-era war heroes, ’50s rockers, ’60s hippies, and more. The store also carries hats, wigs, makeup, and other accoutrements.

Party City
5522 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church, 703-998-0111; 6000 Greenbelt Rd., Greenbelt, 301-441-2220; 1500 Rockville Pike, Rockville, 301-770-5551; 3316 Donnell Dr., Forestville, 301-420-6393

Devils and witches and pirates—oh, my! Party City is one of the nation’s largest Halloween retailers, with thousands of costumes in stock. There’s something here to suit all sizes—infants, toddlers, kids, teens, and adults. This Halloween superstore also boasts a large selection of accessories, such as hosiery, capes, and eyewear.

Economy Party Supplies & Costumes
Suit up in something spooky and classic or outlandish and original. Economy Party has all kinds of duds to get you looking right on fright night. How about dressing as a burlesque dancer, a gladiator, or a banana? This Falls Church shop has costumes to suit a variety of tastes.

Masters Costumes
3840 S. Four Mile Run Dr., Arlington, 703-820-8880; 258 Broad View Ave., Warrenton, 540-341-2700; 7036 Columbia Pike, Annandale, 703-354-7500

For more daring spirits in search of something more adult-oriented, try visiting Masters Costumes. There’s a bunch of costumes most wouldn’t want to wear while trick-or-treating with little ghosts and goblins—a bottle of tequila and a pack of cigarettes among them. But there’s a large selection of family-friendly attire as well, including the standard clowns, jesters, and policemen.

Did we miss your favorite costume shop? Tell us about it in the comments.