Thrift and Treat: Halloween Costumes in New Orleans

Tis the season of  pumpkins and pumpkin spice lattes, or  pumpkin pie flavored Yogurtland which is more appropriate for what is still pretty warm October in New Orleans. The beginning of the beautiful month October marks the beginning of the beautiful holiday Halloween. There’s candy at the office, tombstones on front lawns and most importantly, party upon party which calls for costume upon costume. New Orleans has countless year round occasions to wear costumes, in fact you could wear a costume every day and no one would think twice but Halloween calls for something extra special. Whether it’s sexy, scary, silly or all of the above, you have all month to start putting together a costume (or three) for the concerts, festivals, parties and debauchery that is October in New Orleans. Here is a round up of New Orleans Halloween costumes and retailers for all you tricking needs. (Yeah, I meant to say that.0

If spending upwards of $50 on a wig and sequined bra/ skirt combo  to create a perfect Katy Perry costume isn’t really an option, you can still be festive  without making a scary dent in your wallet. Head to your local thrift stores and raid the racks for some threads that are easy on the eyes and budget. And if you’re a girl that doesn’t go for the slutty look during Halloween, Huffington Post has lots of great ideas for alternative costume ideas. 


If You’re in a Hurry….


e2b00c1da30b879782a1e10e4e2b25941. Red White and Blue Thrift Store


Head to Red White and Blue with a full stomach, patient mind and lots of cash because you will be roaming through the many aisles for a long time. The store is huge but doesn’t offer dressing rooms so be sure to wear thin clothes you can try stuff on over. The items are color coded which makes for easy shopping if all you need is a red sweater to complete your Olive Oyl outfit. Did I mention bring cash? They don’t take cards and the ATM can be unreliable.

2. Goodwill

(504) 889-5526

Open: Monday-Saturday 9am-8pm, Sunday 12pm-6pm

Shopping for a Zombie costume and need some rags you can cover in fake blood? Goodwill is the place for you. Another large store, Goodwill’s many racks are overstocked and unorganized which can make for a somewhat frustrating shopping experience if you aren’t prepared (mentally). Go in knowing that you will be there for a long time. You have to really look to get the gems. However, they do have dressing rooms and they do take cards.

If You Want a Classy Vintage Look…


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20’s flapper, 40’s flight attendant, 60’s go go dancer? Want a retro costume that didn’t come out of a plastic bag and actually looks authentic? Head to one of these vintage shops to put together a costume that will get you lots of attention and not just because it’s extra sexy.

1. Miss Claudia’s Vintage Clothing and Costumes

Get some classy shiz at Miss Claudia’s

4204 Magazine St.

(504) 897-6310

Open: Monday-Saturday 11am-6pm

This tiny store manages to pack in a large selection of vintage items that make for a perfect period piece ensemble. Looking for bloomers, gloves, hats, wigs, tights, tutus, sunglasses, shoes? Miss Claudia’s has everything you could need to piece together a great costume from any era. Women’s costumes are organized by decade which makes for easy searching if you know what you’re looking for.

2. Le Garage Antiques and Clothing


 1234 Decatur St.

(504) 522-6639

Open: Monday-Sunday 12pm-6pm

Look out for the pink awning in the French Quarter and step into the actual garage that is Le Garage. It’s  a little warm (wear layers) and overflowing with costumes and accessories for other times. Specializing in military uniforms, you’ll be sure to find your general’s costume here. Things are disorganized but the staff is very knowledgeable and friendly. Also, don’t be afraid to haggle.

If You Wanna Get Crazy with It…


Not sure what you’re looking for? Feeling uncreative and can’t come up an original idea? Want to get everything all in one place? Maybe you just need a good ole all purpose costume shop that will have everything you need to put together a classic costume. Want something you won’t have to worry about people trying to “get?” Pirate, fairy, witch, monster, vampire etc. Sometimes creativity doesn’t matter, you just want a good costume.

1. Uptown Costume & Dance Wear


4326 Magazine St.

(504) 895-7969

Open: Monday-Wednesday 11am-6pm, Thursday-Friday 11am-7pm, Saturday 10am-6pm

Uptown Costume & Dance Wear has rows of wigs, marks, costumes, accessories, shoes and even a counter of make up, stockings, lingerie and jewelry. The staff is happy to answer questions, help you find something or let you try on a wig. Go early in the month because the store get crowded closer to the 31st.

2. New Orleans Party and Costume

705 Camp St.

(504) 525-4744

Open: Monday-Saturday 10am-6pm

New Orleans Party and Costume holds true to its name by housing a variety of  great party supplies as well as magnificent costumes. Their prices are reasonable and they even have a $10 rack you can rummage through for a great deal. They have the basics as well as some harder to find items such as animal noses or specialty mustaches. Their staff is friendly and willing to help you put an outfit together.


If You Wanna Do It Your Damn Self…

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If you’re a seamstress or just good with a glue gun, you might be the kind of person that makes their own halloween costumes from scratch. Your costumes are usually over the top and magnificently unique but not without some awesome supplies. Head to a fabric shops to pick up the materials you need to whip up the creation that will be the envy of everyone on Frenchmen Street.


Jefferson Variety Store


239 Iris Ave

(504) 834-5222

Open: Monday-Saturday 9am-5:30pm

This family owned business is chalk full of beads, fabric, and trimmings needed to make your fabulous original costume. They have hat forms and second line umbrella bases that are perfect for your decorating desires. The reams and reams of glitter fabric will also leave you ready to make your Cher onesie. The store feels like a warehouse which means some items can be dusty or dirty so check that your selections are clean before checking out.

When in Doubt….

 Wednesday Addams has the answer.

About Anna

Anna Rajo-Miller is a New Orleans transplant that spends her time overeating to compensate for lost years and thus, lost meals. She loves food, fun and festivals so basically, everything New Orleans has to offer.

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