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Posted at 12:28 PM ET, 10/25/2007

The Costume Conundrum

By Julia Beizer

Okay, so you waited and waited and now there are a ton of costume parties this weekend -- some offering fat cash prizes -- and you've got no costume.

It would take some pretty serious creative inspiration for a last-minute costume-shopper to walk away with any of this year's big prizes. But if you're gonna go out this weekend and want to get in the Halloween spirit, read after the jump for a few places to get a quick costume fix.

Backstage Books and Costumes
This Barracks Row mainstay is a safe bet for costumes in a flash. The store offers up adult-sized versions of those vacuum-packed get-ups you remember from childhood. Variations of the sexy nurse, sexy cop, sexy devil, etc., all make an appearance here, along with boas, masks, Mardi Gras beads and less-tawdry costumes. A note of caution: the store gets packed. Last year at about this time, the line to make a purchase was out the door on weeknights. The store stays open until 8 this time of year, but try to go during the workday if at all possible to avoid huge crowds. Prices for the bagged costumes range from $35 to $100.

Costumes Creative
This Silver Spring megastore has 20,000 costumes for rent -- and according to one of the managers, T.J. Pekin, they're not even close to sold out. He estimates that the shop rents out only one percent of their total inventory around Halloween. You don't have to make an appointment -- just show up and the store will fix you up with a costume in your size, making slight alterations so that it fits you perfectly. "The most difficult aspect of costuming at our store is for the customer to make a decision," says Pekin. Peruse the pictures on their site to get a sense of the shop's offerings before you go. Prices on the rentals range from $80 to $150. The shop offers extended hours around this time -- staying open until 9 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays and 11 a.m. until 5 p.m. on Sundays through the big day. It also sells costumes in the $25 to $150 range.

Meeps
Vintage retailers are a great resource for costumes that you might actually wear again. This Adams Morgan boutique offers a mix of styles, primarily from the '70s and '80s. Look for bright-print dresses, slick leather jackets and great accessories like sunglasses, wigs and hats -- but don't expect to walk away with a cheap outfit. Meeps is one of the more affordable vintage shops in town, but a great Greaser-style leather jacket doesn't come cheap.

So readers, you dressing up this year? Take our poll below and let us know what you're gonna be in the comments field below.

--Julia

By Julia Beizer  | October 25, 2007; 12:28 PM ET
 
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Comments

Dressing up for Halloween past age 11 is pretty lame...

Posted by: Adult | October 26, 2007 11:30 AM | Report abuse

looks like Adult needs some friends

Posted by: adult too | October 26, 2007 12:07 PM | Report abuse

i have read some of the comments and people are funny - what's wrong with going to an adult holloween party and having some fun "you only live once" get out of the box and do you and let other do what works for them!!

Posted by: enjoy life | October 26, 2007 3:14 PM | Report abuse

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