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Score a unique Halloween costume at these local shops

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Halloween is just around the corner, which means it’s time to start thinking about your costume -- if you haven’t already, of course.

Save yourself the horror of buying some overpriced, flammable polyester costume at one of those weird Halloween stores that move into dead department stores every season and get creative this year. The metro area has tons of stores -- including vintage, thrift, and new -- that will help you craft the perfect look.

Here’s where to shop for your Halloween look (or looks, if you have a few occasions to attend this year).

Hunt & Gather

Hunt & Gather www.instagram.com/huntandgathermpls

If your costume is spooky …
Antique stores! Never underestimate the power of antique stores. Be a Victorian ghost and scout Hunt & Gather and the rest of the antique shops on 50th & Xerxes for props, whether it’s a hat with a veil, some bones, or a pair of creepy broken glasses. There’s really no limit to what you can find in antique stores, and you may just hit on the perfect costume idea while you’re browsing.
(Recommended stops: Hunt & Gather, Missouri Mouse in St. Paul, Mall of St. Paul, Loft Antiques, Craigslist)

This look works for everyday wear. But on Halloween? It gives Margot Tenenbaum vibes.

This look works for everyday wear. But on Halloween? It gives Margot Tenenbaum vibes. www.instagram.com/dearheart_vintage

If your costume is retro …
Skip those godawful pre-packaged “’70s” costumes from the Halloween stores and make your own.(Just please, for the love of god, don’t dress as “the ‘80s!” and wear a leotard workout outfit and off-the-shoulder shirt. That costume needs to die.) For ‘50s through ‘70s looks, hit up Via’s Vintage or Everyday People. For glam retro, go to the Golden Pearl Vintage, where you can find gowns or channel your inner Dolly Parton. Hit up the Bearded Mermaid on West Seventh in St. Paul for all sorts of vintage menswear, or try local vintage vendors like Dearheart Vintage (best browsed via Instagram) for a flower-child look. There are so many amazing vintage stores and dealers in the Twin Cities that finding a retro costume should be a snap.

For beauty accessories …
Halloween costumes often require wigs, hair accessories, and fun makeup, but be sure to skip the “Halloween makeup” you can buy at the costume stores. It’s usually pretty gross, cakey, and hard to blend. If you want to get your makeup done, book an appointment at MAC. You’ll have to buy product, but it’s worth it, especially if you need false lashes and cannot possibly adhere them to your own eyelids. For wigs, invest in a nice one from Sunny’s on Lyndale if you’ll reuse it, or take a peek around Variety Beauty Store on Nicollet. If you need fake nails, my favorite drugstore buy are the imPRESS brand press-ons, which are so easy to apply and last forever.

Arc's Value Village Boo-tique

Arc's Value Village Boo-tique www.instagram.com/arcsvaluevillage

If you’re really not sure what to be yet…
Head to Arc’s Value Village during October to shop their esteemed Boo-tique. They save up costumes and fun, unique pieces all year long to debut them at the Boo-tique at the end of September, and you truly never know what you’ll find in those crowded racks. Princess dresses? Yep! An astronaut helmet? Maybe! All leopard print? Totally. Another bonus: The prices are great — no $25 sequin dresses like you’ll find in the Halloween section at Savers. The selection changes frequently, too, so check back a few times if you’re cobbling together a costume. (Arc’s Value Village, various Twin Cities locations)