The pumpkins are ripe for picking and ’tis the season to be spooky. Whether you’re going fully Halloween with fangs and fake blood or you’d rather rock a chic vintage costume, these fancy dress shops will lend or sell you the perfect look. There are fun and frivolous options to keep, or you could hire yourself a jaw-dropping authentic costume fresh from the designers that supply London’s busy theatre scene. The choice is yours! Here’s our rundown of the best fancy dress shops in London:
1) Angels, Covent Garden
Nearly 180 years old, Angels’ flagship fancy dress shop is a five-floor citadel of costume and probably the most famous costume shop in the whole of the UK. You can buy cheap and cheerful outfits and accessories, but the real opportunity is hiring a killer outfit from their thousands of film-quality costumes, sourced from their enormous warehouse in Hendon. Since COVID, they’re currently only doing online stuff, but keep your eyes peeled on their socials and website to see if things change.
You’ll find Angels at 1 Garrick Road, London, NW9 6AA. Nearest station is Hendon.
2) Prangsta, New Cross
The Prangsta squad in New Cross – just a stone’s throw from Deptford – specialise in luxuriously detailed vintage costumes from times gone by, aimed squarely at the la-di-da Wilderness Festival demographic. If you’re after a twisted take on Alice in Wonderland, some flapper-girl glamour or fierce Moulin Rouge sparkle (they’ve even dressed the film goddess Nicole Kidman themselves), then bring your most resilient credit card and go wild. Just don’t come in asking if they’ve got ‘that clown from It.‘ Note that arrivals are by appointment only, so get in touch with them via their website.
You’ll find Prangsta at 141 Lewisham Way, London, SE14 6QP. Nearest station is New Cross.
3) So High, Soho
How high? So high. Pop into this friendly Berwick Street stalwart for a feather boa, Zorro mask, Santa suit or whatever fancy dress you’re rocking this year. It’s right in the heart of Soho, so why not visit one of the many bars and restaurants dotted around post-shop?
You’ll find So High at 7-9 Berwick Street, London, W1F 0PJ. Nearest station is Piccadilly Circus.
4) Escapade, Camden
North Londoners might want to swing by this well-stocked purveyor of dress-up merch, with plenty of current and pop-culture inspired costumes to freak out your friends with this Halloween. With all the punks and goths in Camden serving as inspiration, you can put together a suitably dark costume for your upcoming party.
You’ll find Escapade at 45-46 Chalk Farm Road, Chalk Farm, London, NW1 8AJ. Nearest station is Chalk Farm.
5) Carnival Store, West Kensington
For over 70 years, this fancy dress shop in London has been providing costumes to people for all manner of occasions. Halloween is, as you’d expect, a pretty popular time of year to come, and there’s everything here from horror clown costumes to Freddy Krueger gloves to fake blood – perfect for that spooktacular party you’ve got planned. Spread out over two floors, it’s easy to while away the hours here, but they’re also the ‘UK’s biggest online fancy dress store’, so if you don’t fancy making the trek into town, then you can just shop online.
You’ll find Carnival Store at 95 Hammersmith Road, London, W14 0QH. Nearest station is Kensington Olympia.
6) Costume Studio, De Beauvoir
This excellent London costume shop based in fashionable De Beauvoir has provided all manner of outfits over the years to famous film and TV productions, so it’s a pretty good bet if you’re looking to find yourself that *ahem* killer Halloween costume. There’s everything here from military uniforms to traditional day-to-day clothing, and they provide many different time periods for you to peruse. There’s usually a minimum hire spend, so make sure you book an appointment and plan ahead.
You’ll find the Costume Studio at Montgomery House, 159-161 Balls Pond Road, Islington, London, N1 4BG. Nearest station is Dalston Junction.
7) Screenface London, Covent Garden
Less of a costume shop and more of a makeup store, this is the place to come in London Town if you’re looking to score some pretty epic makeup, wigs, accessories and special effects for your Halloween lewk. Professionals flock from all over the city to use this Covent Garden spot – so you can expect that the quality is pretty much second to none. Channel your inner Moira from Schitt’s Creek why don’t you?!
You’ll find Screenface London at 7-8 Langley Court, London, WC2E 9JY. Nearest station is Covent Garden.
8) The Viking Store, Walthamstow
If you’re looking for one more reason to head up to E17 – and let’s face it, there are ten good reasons already – then this may just be it. A bit of a niche addition to this fancy dress shops in London roundup, this is the place to come if you’re looking to – well, look just like a viking. They’ve got everything here from replica Beowulf helmets to chainmail, cloaks, capes and tunics. Plus, if you’re looking for some real weaponry – then this place is the place to go! They’ve got axes, swords, Jorvik hammers and even drinking horns in stock here – cheers!
You’ll find The Viking Store at 119 Wood Street, London, E17 3LL. Nearest station is Wood Street.
9) Mad World Fancy Dress, Old Street and Kentish Town
This big old fancy dress shop in Old Street is your go-to place for a Halloween costume in a hurry. They offer over 35,000 costumes to hire, from vintage and historical looks through to a category described as ‘fruit and vegetables’ – perhaps this year your Slutty Pumpkin look can be a reality. A smaller sister store is hidden underground across the road from Charing Cross station.
You’ll find Mad World Fancy Dress at 69-85 Tabernacle Street, London, EC2A 4BD and 205 Kentish Town Road, London, NW5 2JU. Nearest stations are Old Street and Kentish Town West.
10. Beyond Retro, Dalston, Oxford Street and Brick Lane
Rounding off this list of the best fancy dress shops in London is technically not a costume shop – it’s actually a vintage shop – though as one of the largest providers of retroware and vintage garms in the whole of the capital, you’re bound to find something here if you’re wanting to dress up. There’s everything here from 80’s sportswear – here’s looking at you Friday the 13th fans – to 1920’s flapper dresses. Head to the Brick Lane store – a real East London institution – and see if you can bag yourself a gem.
You’ll find Beyond Retro and various different locations in London. You can find out more here.
Also published on Medium.