Bay Areans are in a constant state of dress-up—Bay to Breakers, Burning Man, Pride, the Edwardian Ball, a random Tuesday and, of course, Halloween.
Pragmatically, that translates to an uninterrupted demand for curly red wigs and iridescent leggings with cats on them. Luckily, we are well stocked with dippy stores that look like a maniac collector of all things kooky and spooky opened a museum. Feather boas, masks, makeup, glitter, accessories. You name it, and these stores have it—year-round.
Handmade masks by Annie Hallat of Masque Arrayed(Courtesy of Annie Halt)
Costumes on Haight
Costumes on Haight has been around for 23 years. Offering everything from tutus to masks, makeup to wigs, and even rentals, you'll find everything you need here for that the ultimate dress-up party. // 735 Haight St. (Lower Haight), costumesonhaight.com.
Fantasy Clothing Co
It's a sweet, sweet fantasy stepping into Fantasy Clothing Co (you get the reference right?). The store was a San Rafael mainstay for 28 years before making the jaunt over to SF. Shop new and used costumes, for rent or purchase; a selection of vintage; and an array of accessories to complete your look. // 1275 Folsom St. #100 (SoMa), fantasyclothingco.com
Piedmont Boutique is an integral part of what makes the Haight so offbeat and unique. Originally opened in the Castro in 1972, the shop is an SF staple where all of your costume dreams are ready to be assembled. Delve into an insane selection of jewelry, gloves, tutus, feather boas, wigs, fur everything, and more. Piedmont also creates their own exclusive clothing, which means if you don't find something you like, they can make you custom garb within 2-3 days.// 1452 Haight St. (Upper Haight), piedmontboutique.com
Serrahna is not a costume store, but rather a magical stomping grounds for boho queens. Fulfill all your gypsy attire needs to complete your fortune telling, nomadic, flower child outfit. //5303 College Ave. (Oakland), serrahna.com
The Dark Entry
Enter if you dare for goth, punk rock, and alternative apparel. The Dark Entry is a one-stop shop for costumes, occult paraphernalia, combat boots, lingerie, body jewelry, purses, and specialty hair dye. If you're looking for a creatively-inspired costume for, say, a burner party, this is your stop! // 2589 Telegraph Ave. (Berkeley), darkentry.com
In the Berkeley studio of Annie Hallat, you'll find hundreds of handmade masks that range from animals to shaman-inspired to traditional theater-esque. Whether you want to be a fox, vampire, or magical spirit, Masque Arrayed has something for you. And if not, she can custom create the mask of your nightmares. // 1610 Carleton St. (Berkeley), masquearrayed.com
Need a new do for your Halloween look? Young's Wigs has a plethora of manes in a multitude of lengths and colors. Go for a rave-inspired neon bob, flowing Rapunzel locks, or rainbow fro. // 2701 Telegraph Ave. (Oakland), Facebook
A.C.T. Costume Rentals
Imagine you lived in every decade, and kept all your clothes. This would be your closet. Well guess what? It actually exists at A.C.T. It's easy to spend hours here hunting for period pieces and oohing and aahing over the plethora of unearthed finds. It's a wonder the amount of detail that goes into theatre productions. // 1119 Market St. (Mid Market), actcostumerentals.org
House of Humor
For over three decades, House of Humor has been supplying the Pensinsula (and beyond) with more than 12,000 costumes and accessories, a large selection of lingerie, and more than 1,000 wigs (just for starters). This is the place to create your ideal female rapper/pop starlet persona with a wardrobe of wigs to match. // 747 El Camino Real (Redwood City), thehouseofhumor.com
Cynthia's Costumes & Parties
In San Carlos, Cynthia's Costumes goes beyond costumes to provide decorations, props, music, stories, and games for a wide variety of themed shingdigs. They also have enrichment programs for kids that make learning history fun. Note: Cynthia's is by appointment early, so make sure to call ahead. // 1313 Laurel St. Suite 204 (San Carlos), cynthiascostumes.com
Fun House Theatrical
This family-owned shop offers endless costumes, as well as Ben Nye and Kryolan theatrical makeup. Also find entire dedicated sections for Michael Jackson, as well as mustaches and beards. // 130 E Fremont Ave. (Sunnyvale), funhousetheatricalcostumes.com
Tucked away in San Jose is Natasha's Attic, in the costuming game for 40 years. Here, you can peruse a seemingly endless supply of more than 50,000 rental costumes, a multitude of outfits you can purchase, and hundreds of wigs, among other goodies. Bonus points for costume designers and seamstresses on site to guarantee your costume is tailor-made to your taste. // 1238 S. Bascom Ave. (San Jose),natashasattic.com
Assistance League Costume Bank
The Costume Bank is stocked with limitless options for creating the perfect costume from outfits to accessories. The icing on the party cake? Knowing that proceeds help benefit the Assistance League, a nonprofit that provides essentials for newborns born into low-income families, as well as affordable housing for Stanford patients receiving lifesaving treatment. // 169 State St. (Los Altos), losaltos-assistanceleague.org/costume-bank