Costume Shops in Pittsburgh

Published On October 13, 2014 | By NYO | Lists
spotlight costumes pittsburgh

Photo Credit: Spotlight Costumes

Being an adult doesn’t mean that you can’t still enjoy Halloween. It’s no longer just a day for trick-or-treating– it’s a serious ordeal. We know just how much you can get carried away when it comes to planning your costume, and we want to direct you to fulfilling your Halloween dreams with the  most original costumes around. No “sexy cops” on this list.

Spotlight Costumes

Swing by this award-winning costume rental shop right on East Carson Street for theater worthy costumes. They not only rent out costumes, but they’ve created costumes for everyone from the Frick Art and Historical Society to actor Bruce Willis.  Trust us. We went to them to find the perfect costume for the Mattress Factory‘s Urban Garden Party this year.  Since they focus on theatrical costuming, this is the place to go for hard-to-find-items like Ben Nye Makeup. Expect all the special accessories like blood effects, wool hair and clown makeup among so much more.  We especially recommend this place for period pieces, particularly pre-1930s styles. Better come here if you want to transform yourself, Cinderella.

Costume World

With a motto like “Halloween hangs out all year,” we can see why  in 2005,  Costume World became the largest costume distributor in the US. They have over 35 original Broadway costumes and seven nation-wide locations, but still maintain their small business charm. Unlike your regular costume shop, they push the custom made. With them, you’ll have designers to fret over you as they put together your costume wishes. If you want something off the rack, they have adult and children’s costumes available for rent or purchase, plus props, wigs and other accessories. Their stock varies from year to year, so it’s best to head on down to the Strip District and peruse their collection first hand.

Abmayr Costume Services

Photo Credit: Costume World

Photo Credit: Costume World

So maybe the big shops don’t do it for you.  With the owner of  Abmayr Costume Services, Emily Abmayr, you’ll have a personal touch. She has sewn many costumes over  her 65 years in the business. After volunteering in local theaters and touring with the opera, she took her personal collection of over 100 costumes and started her very own costume shop. The shop has gone on for over 30 years  and continues to rise in popularity. They specialize in medieval costumes, but if you’ve got something different that you’re itchin’ to wear, just bring a picture, and Emily will design and make it herself.

Second-hand & Vintage Clothing Stores

For those who want to be super original, you probably have a grocery list of items to get for your costume. You can begin with the go-to second-hand stores like GoodwillSalvation Army, and Avalon Exchange, but you’ll do well looking at places off the mark too.


Photo Credit: Highway Robbery

Highway Robbery

Highway Robbery specializes in what the owner calls ‘vintage casual fashion’. Here, you can find items from the 1950s to the early 1990s that are trending now and aim at working with styles you already own. Some of the best costumes tend to require a specific style jacket or pant that you may be able to find at a place like this. By themselves, these items look normal enough to wear after Halloween and can morph into other costumes as needed. The gift that keeps on giving.

Hey Betty! Vintage Clothing & Collectibles

They don’t just get items that count as vintage, the proprietors at Hey Betty! Vintage Clothing & Collectibles have been hand picking their collections for the unique and the wild since 1980. You may find one or two odd pieces that really pull your costume together and give it that extra somethin’ somethin’. Check this place out if you want to impress others at the party with your authenticity. But before you go, have a plan on what you’re looking for. You may get too distracted otherwise!

Clothes Minded

Clothes Minded has current fashion, trends, vintage, designer labels and original pieces.  You’ll find an assortment of items; from ripped death metal jackets and punk rock t-shirts to Prada, Louis Vuitton, and Chanel.  The items here will most likely tip less on the quirky side and more on the slightly avant-garde runway side. So if your costume calls for an upscale get-up, you’ll want to check here first.

NakYouOut’s Costume Ideas:

Shout out to all our readers that still get hyped over costuming. We do too. Finding the right one can get stressful. If you don’t have a clue of who you’ll dress up as, no sweat. Steal one of these ideas. We won’t even charge you.

  1. RiFF RaFF –  All you need: hair chalk, neon clothes & 2 styrofoam cups
  2. Ace Ventura Pet Detective –  All you need: hair gel, Hawaiian Shirt & combat boots.
  3. Internet Troll  –  All you need: face paint, elf ears & dry-erase board
  4. ERMAHGERD Girl  –  All you need: Pig tails, ugly sweater & Goosebumps books.
  5. Andy WarholAll you need: white wig, black turtle neck & a Campbell’s soup can.


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