How To Get Your Halloween Costume On A Budget In Washington DC

October 15, 2013 8:00 AM

(credit: Thinkstock)

With Halloween right around the corner, many seasonal chain stores will be dusting off their stored-away pre-packaged costumes from Halloweens past. While these stores offer convenience, they lack real originality, and on the one holiday when standing out matters most, no one wants to wind up being one of eight pirates in the same costume surrounding the punch bowl. There are a number of original “boo-tiques” that offer a variety of creative options to help you craft a costume that will have Heidi Klum in awe this Halloween.

American Backstage Company
5380 Eisenhower Ave.
Alexandria, VA 22304
(703) 212-8982

American Backstage Company is a theatrical supply store and is one of the D.C. area’s most diverse costume shops for theater professionals or, in the case of party goers, anyone looking to craft a seriously unforgettable Halloween getup. Located in Alexandria, you can both rent or buy full costumes, with the majority of complete costumers costing at or above $20 for men, women and children. The real fun comes in the variety of actors’ props and accessories that American Backstage Company offers, ranging from special effects makeup, wigs, prostheses, beards, masks and jewelry – all guaranteed to help you create an over-the-top disguise. Whether you need a last-minute costume fix or are planning your own elaborate design, American Backstage offers a great variety and the most promising option for finding hard-to-find costume items.

Gene’s Costumes
10636 Connecticut Ave.
Kensington, MD 20895
(301) 949-4111

If you’re looking for a “boo-tique” that is time-tested and won’t have you leaving empty handed, look no further than Gene’s Costumes in Kensington, Maryland. Having been in business for 20 years, Gene’s knows a few things about what makes a stellar Halloween costume. Offering an extensive selection of costumes and accessories, Gene’s will not only sell you a costume, but it can also help out if you are at a complete loss for ideas. Check out the website for ideas for individuals, couples and groups in a variety of categories, including television series, video games/movies and time periods. Gene’s also offers costume rentals ranging from $35 to $85, if buying a costume seems like too much commitment.

Related: Best Fall Festivals In Washington DC

Meeps Vintage
2104 18th St. N.W.
Washington, DC 20009
(202) 265-6546

Meeps Vintage is not your traditional Halloween costume store, but you can still walk away with some amazing, and fairly priced pieces to help craft your perfect getup for the evening. Meeps has a been a fashion force for nearly 20 years in DC, and boasts a solid collection of casual vintage from the 1960s onwards, contemporary designers and as of fall 2012, Meeps opened its Cosmic Costume Room. The costume room features a wide variety of men’s and women’s vintage fashions, including 50s house dresses, 60s flower child bellbottoms, 70s booty shorts, 80s sequined shoulder pads, 90s tracksuits and all of the accessories needed to top off your perfect decade-specific costume. Vintage goods range from $18-$60 and accessories are priced between $6-25.

Total Fright
4238 Wilson Blvd.
Arlington, VA 22203
(202) 333-5950

Located in the Ballston Commons Mall, only five stops from D.C. on the orange line, this “spooktastic” store is one of the largest party costume suppliers in the DMV. In addition to its wide selection of costumes (including costumes for pets), Total Fright also offers all of the accessories you may need to get your costume just right, from props to wigs to masks. Owned by a duo that is self-described as lovers of Halloween horror, you are guaranteed to find costumes and props that are designed to be realistic, but also affordable for party goers that aren’t quite ready to break the bank on outfitting themselves for Halloween.

Economy Party Supplies and Costumes
1049 W. Broad St.
Falls Church, VA 22046
(703) 237-2789

Shopping for a Halloween costume doesn’t get much easier. Economy Party has been the go-to store for Halloween costumes in Northern Virginia for more than 20 years, and with a vast selection of accessories, one of the best in the area. Economy Party also has an extensive party supply and decorations inventory, so if you are also going to be hosting this year’s big Halloween bash, you can check off those supplies from your shopping list as well.

Related: Best Places For Fall Jackets In DC

Matthew Scott is a freelance writer covering all things Washington DC. His work can be found on

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