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Halloween Costume Shopping in Downtown L.A.

By Susana Benavidez
Published: Thursday, October 14, 2010, at 03:23PM
Fashion District Costumes Susana Benavidez

Halloween is right around the corner. Stressing about whether that online order will fit? Don’t want to deal with the hassle of returns if the costume doesn’t look the way the picture did? Then shop in your own Downtown backyard.

On my quest for Halloween costumes I made my way to the FIDM Scholarship store. You can find a wide variety of jewelry, spray on hair coloring, and beautiful gowns (for a DIY Bride of Frankenstein perhaps?) They even sell mannequins; which though not a good idea as a carpool companion, would be well suited for a Halloween prop.

There are many arguments as to why you should shop local but FIDM allows for an extra incentive to your charitable sentiments. Myrna Glenny, Director of the FIDM Scholarship Foundation, explained that 100% of all net proceeds go towards the scholarship fund for students attending FIDM. She elaborated that they also reach out to the community by donating to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s 999 For Kids Program.

Walking down 9th Street towards the Fashion District made me giddy with excitement; I’ve been shopping in the alleys since I was a kid.

As I turned on Santee, I spotted a good sign: mannequins with barely-there costumes of bumble bees, Raggedy Anns, and Irish bar maids. Spice Lingerie at 915-3 Santee Street had the largest selection of ready to wear female costumes: sexy cowgirl- check, sexy doctor- check. You get the drift. Prices are in $42 - $65 range but you get 10% off with a flyer which you can ask for once inside.

If you’re looking for jewelry accessories go to the Santee Alley for fashion jewelry. If a more upscale look is your thing you can head over to Olympic and Santee at Sarita’s. The entire store has a 50% off sale and I walked away with the perfect drop rhinestone earrings and oversized matching ring for $7.00 They carry belts, earrings, rings, tiaras, some really cool wrist cuffs, and wall after wall of hair accessories- all completely blinged out of course.

I made my way towards the Santee Alley and immediately saw a shiny bra à la Guess by Marciano for $15 and an adult sized tulle ballerina skirt for $20. They had tights in every imaginable pattern which seems to be the trend this fall.

Down at 1116 Santee Street, the same shiny style bra was going for $13 and the tulle skirt for $15.99.

Which brings me to some shopping tips for the alleys: bring cash, always barter, and shop around. The deeper you go into the alleys, the cheaper the price.

If Hawaiian dancer is your thing there are plenty of stores that have the complete outfit including leis and flower accessories for your hair. I found one for $2.99 and walked a block further and the same flower was $1. Negotiate, walk away if you think you’re not getting a good price, and more times than not you will be called back with a better deal.

Need to go redhead for the Ariel costume? Hot pink for fun? Wigs of all lengths, cuts, and colors can be found at Eve (401 East 11th).

At Star Kids (1114 Santee Street), there were beautiful miniature princess dresses for toddlers, including an exceptionally well made Ariel princess dress for $45. Sizes 1Y-8Y. I was secretly glad that my girls did not accompany me on this trek as they would have wanted the entire collection.

Across the street was Dulce, which had a tinker bell costume with tights and head accessories included for $43, Minnie Mouse with tights and ears for $38. All princess costumes were $43.

At the Venetian masquerade masks at 12th andSantee (by the mid-street crosswalk) you can find a wide assortment of bloody pig, vampire, and scary masks all starting in the $10-$15 range. They carry masquerade masks year round and had some really handsome ones at the back of their small space. This would be perfect for the guy that hates to wear a costume but is willing to wear a nice suit and a mask.

At 320-6 Santee I found a store full of Lucha Libre masks so for you aficionados of Lucha Vavoom you can get your mascara on. Add a cape and voila! $10 kids, $15 adults.

At Kathy’s Fashion (12th and Maple) I found the prettiest selection of children’s princess costumes all for $39. An extra shiny and elaborate Belle costume is listed at $43.

I needed some loose diamond-like studs for my costume so I made my way to Maple Craft Party Supply (Maple and 9th) where I found a miniature glue gun for $3, butterfly ornaments that I made into hair clips for my girls, and tons of lace and ribbons that I wanted to cart home to start my new career as fashion designer. Then I remembered I don’t know how to sew so I picked up my plastic diamonds and moved on.

For more sexy wear, creative tights, and ready to wear costumes you can stop by at Beverly Hills Hosiery at 8th and Los Angeles. $25-$38

For all of you downtown dog owners you can find your little ones a costume at Pussy & Pooch. A skeleton costume for a Medium sized man’s best friend went for $26. I would have posted pictures but the clerk did not allow it so you will have to see for yourself!


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