One of the most fantastic things about New Orleans is that it is a city that not only supports individuality, but it also provides the need for a “niche” that allows costume shops to be necessary year-round. New Orleanians will find any reason to put on some gold lamé pants, slap on a little face paint, and top it with a wig. This is a city of individuals who are characters, and we still find it perfectly acceptable to embrace all kinds of masks throughout the year. If you break down the year starting in January, you’ve got the end of football season, which rolls into Mardi Gras, then into Jazz Fest. Summertime brings mid-summer Mardi Gras, White Linen Night, and then fall comes Halloween and the holidays. There’s always a reason to dress up in NOLA whether it’s Halloween or just another day of the week.
Whether you’re going to Friday lunch at Galatoire’s (the Friday before Halloween at Galatoire’s is arguably the most awe-inspiring, fun Friday to attend), Trick-or-Treating, or dressing up for music, crafts and art at Voodoo Fest, here’s a list of my favorite costume shops in the city.
1. Uptown Costume and Dancewear | 4326 Magazine St.
Sandwiched between one of the city’s best oyster restaurants (Casamento’s) and a throng of antique malls and women’s retailers, Uptown Costume and Dancewear takes the cake as being one of the most comprehensive costume shops in the city. With a wide variety of pretty much everything, Uptown Costumes should be your first stop when shopping for the details and wardrobe essentials.
2. Southern Costume Company | 951 Lafayette St.
Want to rent a costume from a movie filmed in New Orleans? Southern Costume Company is the place for you. With costume rentals for all occasions, you’ll feel like a movie star just walking into the large warehouse space that houses the garbs. If you’d rather be original, they offer custom costume services, tailoring services, and supplies. Everyone will be asking you where you got your costume this Halloween.
3. Miss Claudia’s Vintage Clothing & Costumes | 4204 Magazine St.
I. Love. Miss. Claudia’s. I have always been a fan of this store for my thrifting and vintage escapades and I find it to be a goldmine for costume shopping. It’s right across from the delicious Magasin Vietnamese restaurant on Magazine Street and while it’s unassuming on the outside, inside is a treasure trove of goodies.
4. Funky Monkey | 3127 Magazine St.
Funky Monkey is wonderful for many different reasons. It’s a resale boutique for the majority of the year, but around our seasonal costume times, it turns into a fully functioning costume shop. I especially love the shoes, accessories and vintage ballgowns that Funky Monkey gets in, and honestly, I’d probably be more likely to wear a sequin tunic year-round as opposed to one specific costumed occasion.
5. Buffalo Exchange | 3312 Magazine St.
Buffalo Exchange is another resale boutique which functions as a great last-minute costume emporium. What’s great is you can kill two birds with one stone: clean out your closet, bring in a few clothes to trade and get a credit towards a stellar Halloween costume!
6. Fifi Mahony’s | 934 Royal St.
No Halloween costume is complete without a wig, and Fifi Mahony’s is the place to get one. Since 1997 this establishment has been expertly fitting wigs based on their customers’ costuming needs. Whether you need a wig for Halloween or just to walk around the French Quarter in, you’re sure to find something at this local shop.