6 Spots For Creative Costume Shopping in Honolulu
Suit up! It’s almost time for Halloween.
Photo: Natalie Schack
What’s the worst thing that could happen on Halloween? No, it’s not your mom finding a suspiciously wrapped candy in your bucket and making you dump everything out. No, it’s not the old lady down the street giving you apples and li hing mui instead of candy again.
It’s—cue the spooky music—being stuck without a costume.
Let’s face it: Only weird, socially awkward creepers and wet blankets don’t dress up for Halloween and because we know you’re neither—just a procrastinator, like us—we’ve got your back. Put on your game face, get ready to brave the crowds, and hit up these six spots for your costuming gear.
Every year, Kalihi-based thrift store Savers piles its hoard of second-hand robes, and some new stuff—crowns, masks, wigs, plastic swords and endless other costume odds and ends—into a mini maze of endless Halloween possibilities. It’s perfect for the budget reveler who’s not afraid to get down and dirty digging through potential throw-outs for a unique steal of a getup.
1505 Dillingham Blvd., 842-0061.
2. Spirit Halloween
OK, no-nonsense costume-searchers, here you go. Spirit Halloween, the massive seasonal pop-up shop, put down roots in a cavernous first-floor makai location in Ala Moana Center. Superhero displays, eerie decor set-ups and walls of makeup greet shoppers, along with all the ghoulish face paint, tulle this-and-thats and glitter everything, aka exactly what you’ve been looking for.
Ala Moana Center, near McDonald’s, 351-8903.
3. HouseMart Ben Franklin Crafts
It may not be the first place you’d think to go, but Ben Franklin has a ton of opportunities for cool costumes—and they're not all for expert D.I.Y.ers. A quick Google and a pinch of imagination, some paint, ribbon, cardstock, craft foam and, of course, a handful of pipe cleaners, and you could be set. We’ve gone there for fake leaves (Poison Ivy), feathers (Black Swan) and a metallic star garland (the night sky, of course).
Market City Shopping Center, 734-4211.
4. American Apparel
It may have started out as a hipster, American-manufactured biz for printable tees and knits, but, with a huge selection of leggings, solid mini dresses and versatile basics in every shade from disco-gold to forest green to midnight-black, American Apparel has morphed into a Halloween D.I.Y.er’s heaven. Need some silver pants for a robot costume? Done. Slinky white dress for your sexy kitty costume? Check. Red sweater for the Elmo ensemble? No problem.
Ala Moana Center, near Neiman Marcus, 983-3340.
5. Hot Topic
No, it’s not just for punny graphic tops and striped baseball tees à la early-aughts pop-punk. Hot Topic can be a godsend for spiderweb tights or kitty cat beanies, not to mention general creepy-meets-cute frilly skirts or accessories. Plus, you never know when a pre-Halloween emergency tutu and corset episode will arise. Hey, we’ve all been there.
Ala Moana Center, near Hallmark, 941-0483.
6. Claire’s Accessories
Hear us out. When you don’t want to resort to out-of-the-package, dime-a-dozen costume sets, Claire’s Accessories is a can’t-miss affordable option for crowns, halos, headbands (perfect for a base to hot-glue devil horns or kitty ears) and other Halloween hot commodities, like faux bling and, our fave, feather boas (SO many uses!).
Kāhala Mall, near Cinnamon Girl, 738-0104.