Halloween is nearly upon us and with it, the need for some seriously spooky last minute costumes. Fear not (no, really) because we’ve rounded up the best fancy dress shops in the capital. So whether you seek some full-on Dracula attire, a ghostly frock, a dash of fake blood or pair of comedy fangs, you’ll find them all here. What a treat.
Angels, 119 Shaftesbury Avenue, WC2H 8AE (020 7836 5678)London’s most famous and well-equipped fancy dress shop stocks everything from opulent Elizabethan frocks to contemporary, freakish rubber costumes. There are new costumes being added constantly, from Angry Birds to the Honey Monster. Online store is also excellent.
, 110-112 Cheshire Street, E2 6EJ (020 7613 3636)
One of London’s biggest and best second-hand shops and an excellent place to get kitted out for a fancy-dress party, with a mighty selection of cheap garments and accessories from the 1920s-1980s. They’ll be choosing extra stock especially for Halloween so there will be plenty to choose from for vintage scares. Also have branches in Dalston, Soho and Brighton.
Charles H. Fox Ltd.,
22 Tavistock Street, WC2E 7PY (020 7257 6159)
This is the place professionals in the film and theatre industries come for make-up, wigs, latex and lashes. 1-2-1 tranny workshops are also on offer, alongside glamour, editorial and avant-garde make-up workshops.
The Costume Studio, 159-161 Balls Pond Road, N1 4BG (020 7923 9472)
An impressive selection of authentic-looking costumes and trimmings but at a price: around £80 an outfit for a week’s hire. Their attention to detail makes them a popular choice for costume drama inspired dress. If you’re channeling Downton Abbey or Jane Eyre, The Costume Studio can help.
, 45-46 Chalk Farm Road, NW1 8AJ (020 7485 7384)
This well-known Camden shop has an extensive range of masks and accessories, as well as full character outfits from Harry Potter to Superman. You can also order from their website to avoid the inevitable and enormous Halloween queues.
Mad World Fancy Dress
, 69-85 Tabernacle St, EC2A 4BA (020 7253 1003).
With more than 35,000 costumes from historical to comic, crammed into a warehouse basement, this is Old Street’s hidden gem. These guys are well prepped for Halloween, but transformed many people’s outfits during Vintage at Southbank too.
National Theatre Costume Hire, Chichester House, Kennington Park Business Estate, 1-3 Brixton Road, SW9 6DE (020 7735 4774).
Any member of the public can can make an appointment at the National Theatre’s costume warehouse, whether they’re looking for a specific item or a whole ensemble. Rails are arranged chronologically from dramatic 18th century ballgowns to 1920s flapper dresses for women, and top hats and tails to Elizabethan ruffs and doublets for men. Enthusiastic staff are on hand to help you build a top-to-toe look.
Prangsta, 304 New Cross Road, SE14 6AF (020 8694 9869).
A bespoke costumier in New Cross with a unique made-to-measure service as well as ready made costumes and staff who can help you put an outfit together thanks to their styling service. This is the go-to venue for circus styling, and 18th century outfits are their bestsellers, but recent demand means they’ve just increased their 1920s range.
Screenface, 48 Monmouth Street, WC2 9EP (020 7836 3955)
A vast selection of theatrical make-up, fake eyelashes and body jewellery will help you get into character. Plenty of scary effects available for Halloween, from realistic gelatin wounds to dental fit vampire fangs. Book in for a dramatic make-over if you’d like them to do the hard part for you.