Where to find your halloween costumes

By The Columbia Chronicle

Maria Ferrari

Staff Writer

With the days becoming colder and the nights growing shorter, it’s a good indication that Halloween is almost here. In fact, if you check your calendar you’ll find that Oct. 31 is less than one week away. Although many people wait until the last minute to make Halloween plans, we can all agree on one thing: There is a good chance you’ll need a costume.

If you haven’t gotten a costume yet, costume shop experts advise to hurry before the best ones are gone. Do you dare participate in the best costume competition? If you do, here are a few tips.

Many feel that Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky costumes are original and creative, but this year everyone had that same idea. The winner of the most popular couple costume is Bill and Monica. The tie for second place is the Scream costume and the hippie costume. So, unless you want to look like everyone else, don’t buy these. Plus, you might find out quickly that these costumes are sold out anyway.

You’ll see many costumes when shopping, from simple to unique. Some of these are M & Ms, Freddy or Jason, or Sumo wrestlers. Most shops also have separate areas for children nine months and up.

When beginning to search for the “perfect costume,” remember that there are many costume shops in the Chicago area, and Halloween comes only once a year. The costume you choose should be affordable and comfortable. The top five costume shops around Chicago are Fantasy Headquarters and Costumes on Milwaukee, Party City on Wood, Card and Party Warehouse on Fullerton, Halloween Land on Diversey, and Broadway Costumes on Washington. Many of these Halloween shops made the top five list because they were easy to get to and they maintain a large selection to choose from.

If money is not an issue in choosing your Halloween costume, Broadway Costumes, Inc., 954 W. Washington Blvd. (fourth floor), is the best place to rent costumes. They will tailor your costume to fit you, and they have a large list of ideas to choose from. Also, if time is a big concern, you may visit their website at info@broadwaycostumes.com to check out everything they have to offer. You will find the most unusual costumes at this place, including the Phantom of the Opera, Bob Dole, and Ross Perot.

Fantasy Headquarters and Costumes, 4065 N. Milwaukee Ave., is the most affordable and has the biggest selection, hands down. The room of masks has a selection that ranges from $18 to $200. If you can’t find anything in this room, there’s a counter in the middle of the store where a mask maker works. He custom designs all the masks that hang from his stand. He can make masks of anything, if you want to pay the price. The prices for these custom-made masks range anywhere from $40 and up.

To add the finishing touches to your Halloween weekend, Fantasy Headquarters and Costumes also specializes in life-size decorations. These figures are expensive, but they’re very realistic. The displays will turn your home into a Halloween nightmare. They range in price from $30 to $3000. There are about a hundred displays, including a life size electric chair, Freddy Krueger coming out of a wall, and moving coffins.

Card and Party Warehouse, 1880 W. Fullerton is a great place to buy inexpensive Halloween necessities. It has bulk candy, party favors, and disposable decorations to dress up your home. One employee said that although the costumes sell out fast, the store reorders the candy and decoration stock every weekday, so waiting until the last minute for these items is no problem.

Everyone will be happy to hear that most of these Halloween stores have extended hours until 9 p.m., and many of the employees are more than happy to help. Remember Halloween is this weekend, so take the advice from those who know and get your costume today! Don’t get stuck in long lines to find out most of the costumes are already sold out!