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4 Spook-tacular Costume Shops

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The top suppliers of uncanny outfits and kooky props

Theatrix Costume House
165 Geary Ave, 416 977 3113
Everything from Grease-style leather jackets to furry pink Cheshire Cat–suits can be had at this warehouse-sized depot. Specializing in costumes for theatre, film and television, TCH’s design team is especially proud of their carefully distressed Les Misérables outfits, while Great Gatsby fans love the full service flapper transformation package, which includes a sequined getup, wig styling and makeup. Looking for something spookier? TCH’s mascot department has bunny heads cute enough to scare the stuffing out of Donnie Darko.

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Malabar Limited
14 McCaul St, 416 598 2581
This 92-year-old costume rental biz keeps up with all of the latest fantasy crazes. Pulling from thousands of outfits originally sewn for opera productions, Malabar Limited’s experts will source the perfect blue gown for wannabe Princess Elsas; or the warrior vest, skirt and weapon combo Game of Thrones lead Daenerys Targaryen requires. Steampunk costumes are another specialty: an ensemble that includes a Victorian morning coat, suspenders and a bowler hat runs $125 for a one-week rental.

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Joy Theatricals – Permanently Closed
129 Davenport Rd, 416 964 6480
Master couturier Joy Samanski is the go-to for gowns that are appropriate for inaugural parties and fundraiser galas. Television producers love her; Samanski’s designs are regulars on Suits and appeared in a Covert Affairs scene set at the Louvre. But you needn’t be Hollywood royalty to rent. Evening wear draped with silk and taffeta can be booked starting at $100. Choose from a selection of antique Trifari costume jewellery bedazzled with rhinestones for extra embellishment. Permanentr

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Flashback, Flashback II and King of Kensington – Permanently Closed
25, 33 and 35 Kensington Ave, 416 546 2413
Roger DeSouza must have a time machine. How else to explain his ability to source era-accurate threads?Requests for hard-to-find garments are no problem: he recently came up with colour-blocked dresses from the ’80s and Clueless-style plaid skirts on the fly. These vintage shops are a long-standing resource for Fringe Festival actors, and come Halloween time they’re the city’s best destination for diehard fans looking to dress as their favourite Degrassi Junior High characters.

Originally published in our Fall 2015 issue as Masters of Disguise.

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