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Where to Buy a Not-Lame Halloween Costume Online

So you don’t get caught empty-handed in Party City on the 30th.

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Halloween costumes Photo: Rob Stothard / Getty Images

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To all of you who will stand in front of your closets on October 31st and lament to your cat how none of the clothes you own will make for a passable Halloween costume, a PSA: The time to shop is now.

Not next weekend (when you tell yourself you are “totally, definitely going to make it to the party supply store”) or after work the following week (when you will most definitely be too tired to do anything at all). Now.

And since Party City and Spirit Halloween won’t carry much more than pre-packaged, off-brand Harley Quinn costumes, here’s a handy list of online shops that cater to a much wider variety of Halloween partygoers. That includes all you beauty lovers, vintage hounds, DIY mask-makers, stage blood artists, lingerie enthusiasts, and, finally, anyone who just wants to spend no more than $7 on a pair of animal ears.

Cat ears
Missguided Lace Cat Headband, $13
Cat tights
ASOS Halloween Cat Tights, $16


What: One of the more obvious spots on this list, ASOS has a huge corner of its website devoted to trendy Halloween costumes, accessories, beauty, and even home decor and party supplies. (And a few options come in extended sizes, including maternity, plus, petite, and tall.)

A few really easy buys: this mesh skeleton bodycon dress ($40) — or these $29 skeleton leggings, if you want to be ever-so-slightly more covered — and these glow-in-the-dark cat tights ($16).

Prices: Witchy dresses cost between $16 and $100; accessories (including ears) are less than $15; and costume makeup is around $5.

Shipping: Free delivery on orders over $40. Standard four-day shipping is $4; two-day shipping is $12. Delivers Monday through Friday.

Cheetah leopard unitard
American Apparel Cotton Spandex Cheetah Unitard, $38
‘80s socks
American Apparel Unisex Calf-High Socks, $8

American Apparel

What: Don’t forget that American Apparel actually still exists (er, rose from the dead). While you won’t find the full line you might remember from college, you will find plenty of plain, reasonably affordable clothing that you can work into your normal wardrobe post-Halloween. If your ensemble calls for leggings, leotards, T-shirts, simple dresses, crop tops, or any other cotton basics, this should be your first stop.

A few highlights: There’s still a ton of leopard and metallic lamé if you want to be some kind of cat or one of the wrestlers from Glow. Also, $8 striped socks if (like everyone else in the world) you’re dressing as Eleven from Stranger Things.

Prices: Socks and accessories are less than $10; clothing runs from $16 to $68, with most items around $30.

Shipping: Free standard shipping (2-7 days) on orders over $50; second-day shipping is $15; next-day shipping is $25.

50s dress
Adored Vintage Harmony of Color 1950s Dress, $150
Lace 60s dress
Adored Vintage Bonds of Love 1960s Dress, $215

Adored Vintage

What: If your taste in Halloween costumes veers more toward the Edwardian and the romantic, Portland, Oregon-based boutique Adored has antique dresses from the early 1900s, as well as party dresses from the ’50s, prairie dresses from the ’70s, and a lot more, from outerwear to trousers.

There are also plenty of accessories to complete your costume, including scarves, hats, and several vintage items that would look at home in 2017. (Another great, similar option: online vintage boutique Spanish Moss, where prices range from $98 to $400.)

Prices: Antique dresses are $150 to $450; vintage dresses are $60 to $200; and vintage-inspired dresses are $60 to $80.

Shipping: Standard shipping is $11.50.

Martha from Beetlejuice
Rubie’s Martha Beetlejuice Mask, $34.99
Unicorn Onesie
Kigurumi Adult Unicorn Onesie, from $26.99


What: No matter what vibe you’re going for, odds are you can find it on Amazon. You can take the easy way out with a huge selection of packaged, head-to-toe costumes in the Costume and Cosplay Apparel section, which is literally endless. (There are over 30,000 items that run the gamut from unicorn onesies to Belle from Beauty and the Beast.) There are also relatively inexpensive costume wigs that span an equally wide range; you could be Khaleesi as easily as you could be Ariel, Wednesday Addams, or a Treasure Troll (???).

If you want to piece together something more creative, Amazon is also a good place to grab inexpensive clothing that can be repurposed into all kinds of costumes — we scoped out the best T-shirts, leotards, leggings, and really simple dresses. Conveniently, Amazon is also a really great place to pick up crafting supplies like fabric markers. Need a costume idea? We’ve got you covered here.

Prices: Wigs run from $3 to several hundred dollars if you want the real deal, with most around $20; packaged costumes are generally between $20 and $40; costume makeup starts around a buck; headbands and tails are around $10; tights start around $5.

Shipping: Free two-day shipping with an Amazon Prime subscription; otherwise, shipping varies.

Handmaid’s tale costume
Frenchie York Handmaid Costume, $69.99
Eleven costume stranger things
Melonhopper Eleven Costume, $105


What: Etsy is for would-be Amazon shoppers who want to step it up a notch in quality. You could spend hours looking through the site’s catalog of handmade animal masks, mermaid tails, flower crowns, and fantasy series cosplay, but there’s more to discover than just twee designs and nerdery.

Dig around and you’ll find rare vintage pieces, from 1970s cheerleader outfits to masks from the 1950s. There are also custom costumes in plus-sizes, as well as couples options, maternity costumes, and really well put-together costumes of characters from your favorite TV shows and movies that will look like you did it yourself, just way better than any at-home sewing project.

Standout shops include California-based Dotto’s collection of Tumblr-approved vintage costumes, MarinaFINI’s psychedelic jewelry, and Rouge Pony’s dreamy crowns and capes.

Prices: Varies widely by seller.

Shipping: Also varies widely by seller.


What: Modcloth’s extensive Halloween collection includes everything from macabre cocktail picks to Ouija Board bomber jackets, with many a twee, Halloween-themed A-line dress in between.

The real costume inspiration, though, comes from the store’s regular selection of retro-inspired clothing and accessories, helpfully categorized by decade. Whether you’re going as Josephine Baker or Joan Holloway, there’s a dress for you somewhere on the site.

Prices: Vintage-inspired dresses are $60 to $150; Halloween tights are under $15; party accessories start at $9.99.

Shipping: Four-to-nine day shipping is $6 (or free for orders over $75), while two-to-five day shipping is $8. Two-to-three day shipping is $14, and overnight shipping is $21. For full details, head here.


What: For a Halloween costume that asks, “Am I wearing a costume or just a dress with a headband that looks like ears? You decide!” there’s Topshop. (That’s not an insult, by the way — maybe you’re going to a party where you don’t know a ton of people and don’t want to risk a terrifying zombie costume.)

For those tricky (ha-ha) moments, the British retailer’s Halloween shop has spooky jewelry, masks, dresses that can theoretically pass as witch costumes but will still work well into November, and lots and lots of vinyl, should you want to pull off some kind of DIY Catwoman or Matrix thing.

Prices: Dresses are $50 to $150; costume ears and lace masks are under $20; jewelry is less than $30; and shoes are $80 to $130.

Shipping: Free four-to-seven day shipping. Express shipping (up to three days) is $15.

finding nemo
Yandy Cozy Orange Fish Costume, $29.99
Sriracha costume
Yandy Sriracha Tunic Costume, $29.99


What: Need something to wear under your costume, or maybe you want to wear underwear as your costume? (Hey, no shade.) Lingerie retailer Yandy’s selection of costumes is pretty ridiculous — especially the section labeled “bedroom costumes” — but we do give it props for offering plus-sizes, couples costumes, and men’s costumes.

If you don’t want to dress as an off-brand sexy Harry Potter, it’s still a good place to turn should your costume call for pasties, body stockings, thigh-highs, or bras that work with certain backless or deep-v cuts.

Prices: Costumes start at $29 and run up to $150; pasties (including Halloween-themed ones) cost around $8; undies start at $3; accessories fare rom $5.

Shipping: Shipping is free with a purchase over $70; overnight and two-to-three day shipping is available at an additional charge. Get all the details here.

Fake Blood
Ben Nye Thick Stage Blood, $4.99


What: NYC beauty chain Ricky’s is the move for Halloween makeup. Ricky’s carries a wide selection of stage makeup that includes liquid latex, false eyelashes, temporary hair dye, lip glitter, fake blood — even things like tooth colors and a palette specifically designed to create realistic bruises. It’s the creepiest online beauty shop out there.

Prices: Temporary hair dye is almost a buck; lipstick is less than $15; and stage makeup is less than $10.

Shipping: Free same-day in-store pickup, plus free domestic ground shipping on orders that are $50 or more. Ground shipping is $6; three-day shipping is $6.71; two-day shipping is $10.06; and one-day shipping is $15.47.

Finger wave wigs
Vogue Wigs Blonde Finger Wave Wig, $36.95
Snow White wig
Vogue Wigs Snow White Wig, $28.95

Vogue Wigs

What: You could be wearing the lamest, laziest Halloween costume of all time, but throw on a brightly-colored wig and hey, you tried! Aside from your standard fare (Go-Go girls, mullets, afros), Vogue Wigs also carries character-specific options, from Harley Quinn to Dolly Parton, as well as realistic vintage wigs categorized by decade.

A few fun ones: the Forever Young Go-Go Girl Synthetic Wig ($37.75) and the Jon Renau Tinseltown Costume Wig ($38.10).

Prices: Most synthetic costume wigs are $25 to $50.

Shipping: Prices and delivery times vary by item and zip code. For full details, head here.