‘In the real world, Halloween is when kids dress up in costumes and beg for candy. In Girl World, Halloween is the one day a year when a girl can dress up like a total slut and no other girls can say anything else about it.’ So wrote Tina Fey with saddening accuracy in her Mean Girls script. Now, it’s far from our place to tell any of you how to dress (though it is getting frighteningly chilly out there!), but what we will do is tell you where to go in Paris to find a killer outfit for tricking or treating in.
À La Poupée Merveilleuse
This popular costume store in the Marais has been in business for nearly 40 years. As with all of the shops on this list, Halloween is their busiest time of the year, so don’t be surprised to find yourself queuing down the street to get in or fighting over the last pair of kitten ears if you leave it too late. À La Poupée Merveilleuse offers a huge range of outfits for adults and children, as well as wigs, hats, masks, accessories, and decorations, much of which you can order from its extensive online store. Open Tuesday to Saturday, 10:00am to 7:00pm.
Halloween displays at Aux Feux de la Fête | Courtesy of Aux Feux de la Fête
Whatever the costume idea you have in mind, no matter how ghoulish or obscure, the chances are Aux Feux de la Fête will have the gear to help you put it together and the makeup to finish off the look in style. What’s more, seeing as this superb Left Bank store isn’t too far from the Cimitière du Montparnasse or Les Catacombes, the organized and enthusiastic shopper could even combine their costume creation with a bit of pre-Halloween bone chilling to really get in the mood. Open Tuesday to Saturday, 10:00am to 7:30pm.Exceptional Halloween opening: Sunday, October 30th and Monday, October 31st, from 10:00am to 8:00pm.
Though all the traditional guising outfits are on offer at Au Fou Rire, you could always go down a different route with one of their period costumes. In fact, here’s an idea for free: you could go as Marie Antoinette, or one of the other lovely ladies or gents of the court of Versailles, pre- and post-decapitation. All you need is the threads, the powder, the updo, and some fake blood to splash around your neck halfway through the evening. Is there any better time for a theatrical outfit change than on Halloween? Nope. Open Monday to Saturday, 9:30am to 7:30pm.
Who doesn’t love trying on a panoply of wigs and having a movie montage moment with their friends? No one, that’s who. At Au Cotillon Moderne you can do just that with their impressive selection of over 150 models. This store has been around for more than 100 years, making it a little patch of history in the 11th arrondissement, and it is constantly updating and expanding its stock. Due to demand, costumes are now also available to rent. Open Monday to Saturday, 10:00am to 7:00pm.
Au Clown de la République is a costume shop in the 3rd arrondissement with more than 50 years of experience and 150 square meters of shopping space. The outfits are available to rent (for one week and including cleaning and accessories) or to purchase, and the range of possibilities is practically limitless. The store also puts together some pretty creepy window displays which make a trip there all the more worthwhile. There is also a second location, l’Académie du Bal Costumé, in the 12th arrondissement. Open Monday, 11:00am to 7:30pm, and Tuesday to Saturday, 10:00am to 7:30pm.Exceptional Halloween opening: Sunday, October 30th and Monday, October 31st, from 10:00am to 8:00pm.
Halloween accessories at Black Sugar | Courtesy of Black Sugar
The Black Sugar boutique, which opened in the 11th arrondissement in 2010, specializes in the sale of costumes and fantasy clothing from the world of manga and anime, some of which it manufactures under its own brand. It also stocks a range of gothic, rock, and punk-style clothing and accessories, which could be the finishing touches on a classic Halloween outfit. Big sellers include Japanese school uniforms, maid costumes, kigurumis, wigs, and cosplay costumes, which can be tailor-made in the shop. Open Monday to Friday, 1:00pm to 7:00pm, and Saturday, 11:00am to 7:30pm.
Another popular store in the 11th arrondissement, Vivafiesta has 150 square meters packed with costumes for a whole range of occasions and so there’s plenty of inspiration amongst the rails if you’re undecided on what or who you would like to dress up as. Outfits that subvert other, cheerier holidays are always a hit – just look how successful they were for Tim Burton in his 1993 film The Nightmare Before Christmas – and a deranged Easter bunny with a basket of grenades or a Thanksgiving turkey out for revenge with a butcher’s hook and cleaver are easy enough to create.
Open Monday, 1:00pm to 7:00pm, Tuesday and Thursday, 10:00am to 2:00pm and 2:45pm to 7:00pm, and Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, 10:00am to 7:00pm.
A photo posted by Paul-Henri de Baecque (@phdebaecque) on
Circus was founded by a team that wanted to make sure that the fun stayed in dressing up. And, as anyone who has tried shopping for a costume (particularly at the last minute) can testify to, the experience can go south rapidly if you can’t find what you’re looking for or even decide what that is. At their shop in the 15th arrondissement, there will be someone on hand to advise you in your quest for the perfect disguise and kit you out with all the accessories to make it a genuinely authentic look. Open Monday to Saturday, 10:30am to 1:30pm and 2:30pm to 7:00pm.