The best costume stores in British Columbia

Go costume crazy with our picks for the best costume stores in B.C.

By Rosemary Counter

The best costume stores in British Columbia

This locally owned and operated shop has been in business for more than 35 years. You’ll have plenty of reason to party at their bumping Halloween preview on September 29, where prizes, popcorn and face painting are sure to get you in the spirit of All Hallows Eve. Don’t forget to have your picture snapped by an in-costume staffer in the stand-up coffin before diving into the super-stocked shelves of kids’ costumes: headless horsemen, Harry Potter, Hello Kitty and the Smurfs are all there. 1296 STATION ST., VANCOUVER. 604-873-5241; THEPARTYBAZAAR.COM

This shop boasts an extensive range of thousands of vintage rental costumes (and hundreds to buy if you simply must have it!). From hand-beaded flapper dresses to Marie Antoinette princess gowns and a brand new line of designer wigs, this retro gem promises to have the perfect disguise for older kids (and fabulous moms). 152 EAST 2ND ST., NORTH VANCOUVER. 604-986-4880; BOOLALACOSTUMES.COM

Located just outside of the downtown core, Pandora’s is a local pillar: They provide pioneer costumes for elementary-school field trips and design costumes for summer theatre in the park. At Halloween, Pandora’s is known for its personal service — it’s run by a pack of costume- obsessed women — including costume alterations. Amidst homemade rentable ensembles in all sizes is non-toxic, child-friendly makeup and accessories from animal ears to vampire teeth colourful tights. 753 VICTORIA ST., KAMLOOPS. 250-374-7735; PANDORASCOSTUMEBOX.COM

So spooky it’s often mistaken for a haunted house with its cackling witches and bubbly cauldrons, Thomas FX even boasts a “Dark Zone” of scary props, animatronics and startling surprises so you can host the scariest party on the block. The store’s a fave with film-set stylists, but no need to be a seasoned professional; Thomas FX sells all the accessories you’ll need — skeleton bones, zombie intestines and bloody bandages — to create a gory one-of-a-kind costume that’s sure to impress. 140 RIVERSIDE DR. W., NORTH VANCOUVER. 604-929-5455; THOMASFX.COM

Owner Charlotte Rennison practises what she preaches: When she’s not making sure her more than 3,000 rentable costumes are in order, she’s a celebrity impersonator, imitating the likes of Cinderella, Marilyn Monroe and Lady Gaga at parties all over the island. Year-round, the store provides costumed characters for singing telegrams, marriage proposals and retirement parties. This year brings Dark Knight and Joker ensembles that are so real they’ve landed on local TV stations. 7060 WEST SAANICH RD., BRENTWOOD BAY. 778-426-0781; VICTORIACOSTUMES.COM

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This article was originally published on Oct 18, 2012