Older kids and teens flock to this hip spot off Toronto’s Queen Street for theatrical costumes (for sale and rent), 1,000 sets of vampire fangs and three kinds of fake blood. Since 1927, they’ve been employing showbiz staff, like makeup artists, actors and dancers, who are experts on current costumes. This year is all about the men, with a wide selection of costumes for wannabe knights, ninjas and inflatable sumo wrestlers; there’s no shortage of flapper and kitten costumes for women. 14 MCCAUL ST., TORONTO. 416-598-2581; MALABAR.NET
MARCUCCI COSTUME STUDIOS
Milton’s only costume shop may be smaller than the October-only superstores, but they offer much more. Marcucci has about 200 kids’ costumes and 400 for adults. Check out great Colonial and Renaissance pieces, which are popular with young and old, plus a massive line of wigs and thousands of accessories. This store is open all year long, making it a go-to spot for kids’ projects. 885 MAIN ST. E., MILTON. 905-878-1504; MARCUCCISTUDIOS.COM
CANDY’S COSTUME SHOP
Open all year, this girls’ dress-up heaven features professional and high-quality makeup lines, rhinestone jewelry, fascinators and tiaras, and even a line of elaborate handmade masquerade masks. Boys won’t be left out, though, as vampire-hunting kits, black cauldrons and animatronic zombies are sure to spook. Hundreds of kids’ costumes include hippies, SWAT police, gladiators, cheerleaders, nuns and Martha Washington .685 Mount pleasant Rd., TORONTO.
HOLLYWOOD TICKLE TRUNK
With both vintage clothing and costumes, there’s something for everyone at this superstore that’s open seven days a week. Their slogan is “Stop looking, we’ve got it!” but if they don’t, they’ll order and deliver anywhere in Ontario. Especially awesome ensembles make it to their wall of fame, where the Grinch, Shrek and Fiona, and a family getup of The Incredibles are, well, incredible! 1590 DUNDAS ST. E., MISSISSAUGA. 905-212-7772; HOLLYWOODTICKLETRUNK.CA
THEATRIX COSTUME HOUSE
With more than 50,000 costumes and 46 years of first-rate experience in the film-and-television industry, Theatrix (located in the 1920s Eaton’s stables) rents just about everything from Abe Lincoln to Cleopatra costumes. And if they don’t have it, a staff of designers and craftspeople can create it. Less ambitious Halloweeners, however, should visit the retail corner, where prepackaged costumes are yours to keep. Their stock is always changing, so be sure to grab what you like. 165 GEARY AVE., TORONTO. 416-977-3113; THEATRIXCOSTUMEHOUSE.COM
A fixture for nearly 30 years, this year-round dress-up spot is truly unique. Besides all the usual prepackaged costumes and accessories, they make a large percentage of their outfits, including custom orders, on-site. Made-to-order ensembles lend themselves perfectly to pairs’ themes: Pig and cow, chicken and duck, and, of course cat and mouse (complete with oversized cheese). Mom and Dad are out of luck, though; just as the name says, it’s all kids’ costumes, all the time. 539 MT. PLEASANT RD., TORONTO. 416-484-1940; KIDSCOSTUMES.CA
QUEEN OF HEARTS COSTUMES
The fantastic staff at this store can teach you everything from wig care to zombie makeup for every occasion. They’ll also provide you with your own personal spooky shopper. New this season is the Cushzilla (a soft onesie animal costume available in kid and adult sizes) and an armada of superheroes, so drop in for a visit or it’s off with your head. 91 KING ST. N., WATERLOO. 519-886-0014; QUEENOFHEARTSCOSTUMES.CA
AMAZING PARTY & COSTUME
Most stores offer wigs and hats and makeup, but Amazing Party & Costume has a whole wall devoted to each, not to mention a few thousand costumes. Brand new this season are Monster High, G.I. Joe and Ninja Turtles. Check out the hilarious toddler section, where a one-piece Little Chicken costume will make for prime wedding slideshow material one day. 923 OXFORD ST., ETOBICOKE. 416-259-5959; AMAZINGPARTYSTORE.COM
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