Halloween Costumes: The Good, the Bad and the Naughty

“Well any time, any place, anywhere that I go all the people seem to stop and stare they say ‘Why are you dressed like it’s Halloween? You look so absurd, you look so obscene.’ Oh, why can’t I live a life for me? Why should I take the abuse that’s served?” Deep, huh? These Ministry lyrics defined me at 18. I was deep, dark and misunderstood. I wore black on the outside because black is how I felt on the inside (thank you Morrissey). Now, I wear black on the outside because fat is how I feel on the inside. 

I have always had what my mother refers to as an “interesting sense of fashion”. In my defense, many of my friends say they wish they had my fashion sense (many of my friends are also a bit insane). So Halloween is the one time of year we can get our inner freak on and avoid the “four S’s'” sensible, sweater sets and slacks.

Oh but where to go? Here is a list of my favorite spots in Montclair and close by:

Blackbird Lane Cool Vintage and Modern Threads
If you have no idea what you want to be for Halloween (and Boooristanet) have some idea when you walk out of  Maureen ‘Mo’ Frances’ store you will. Love Mad Men? Elvis? Are you wondering what happened to your father’s polyester playing card-themed shirt circa 1972? Feeling like queen of the roller derby sporting some hot gold lame? Perhaps a deranged bride? Little Red Riding Ho? Run DMC?

Most items are priced between $5- $40

Jerry’s Antiques and Estates– If the weather is nice there is usually a rack of funky items for $5 each in front of the store. They also carry vintage hats, handbags and some rather groovy spider jewelry inside.

Little Cricket My girls at the L.C. have some  of the most super-neato-keen ties I have ever seen. Also, check out their fun vintage jewelery.

Garnish– I have to quote owner Lisa Katzen, “Oh boy…clown costumes…vintage masks..vintage paper decorations…hmmm maybe some others…oh and free spider rings for kids.” She also carries a variety of fun accessories.

Center for Hospice Care Thrift Shop– What a great place and what a fun collection of everything!

The Halloween Secret 425 Bloomfield Ave., Montclair, is a Halloween super store open through the end of the month.


Stomp and SoundsIndustrial, Goth and a bit of S and M right on Bloomfield Ave.

In Outer Baristaville:

Salvation Army Thrift stores

Spirit Halloween

Halloween Adventure

State Fair Halloween

All up and down rt. 46 there are giant Halloween super stores with big orange and black signs open through October.

Where do you usually find your Halloween costume? Have anything to add to the list? Where are your favorite haunts?


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  1. I love going to a Halloween party and seeing clever home made costumes. So I googled it and was very impressed with how easy some of them were. My favorites were the couples costumes. I won’t spoil the fun if anyone wants to pass them off as “their own”, but maybe you might see my husband as Ed McMan with his big prise check and me as the lady in my bathrobe and curlers who won!

  2. Holly, that was one of the first MP3s I downloaded for my anchient old Sansa Clip!! Girl, you’re a keeper!! 😀

    …it’s the same, it’s the same in the whole wide world

  3. Holly, not to be confused with an ex-bf of mine whose theme music should have been “Only Happy When It Rains” by Garbage! Love these stores, btw; I’d go even if it WASN’T Halloween.

  4. Long ago, I was at a Halloween party in an Upper West Side basement where two Hells Angels happened to be in attendance. Some fool fingered one of the Angels’ colors and said “Nice costume.” Man but they were quickly on this guy. Took me (because I had some understanding of the subculture) and the host and hostess almost 15 minutes of pleading to get the Angels to cease the process of disassembling the dumb guest, and then only because they decided I was somewhat “righteous” by their terms.

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