Columbia provides range of costume stores

Don't let prices scare you, we simplify Halloween costume shopping for everyone.

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Having an impressive Halloween costume isn't hard, even if you're tightening the belt on your budget by eating copious amounts of Ramen noodles and stealing food from dining halls. Sorry, there are no costumes at the University Bookstore you can student charge, but there are bunches of inexpensive costume options right here in Columbia.

Thrifty:

Leo's Old Clothes

Leo's Old Clothes is squeezed between Dryers Shoe Shop and Coffee Zone. If you are lucky enough to spot the camouflaged sign, go up the glittery staircase to the Mecca of tacky floral patterns, dusty prom dresses and holiday ties. Leo's also has a store cat, which meows incessantly, but adorably. Within the store, one can purchase or rent. Many of the rentable options are more elaborate, such as jester costumes and pop culture figures. There is old military ware to dig through among the boxes of ABBA and Roy Orbison records and enough tacky '80s dresses to fit a variety of costume ideas. Leo's Old Clothes is recommended for those who have a lot of time to dig for the perfect costume and don't want to spend a lot. Range: $5 to $30 To rent or to buy: Both Costumes: Decade clothing, medieval wear, vintage items

Wet Seal

Although Wet Seal might be a tacky "trendy" store with an abundance of sequined tops, cheap fabrics and pleather leggings, they do have cheap Halloween costume options. Although some of its costumes reflect its regular retail line (only emphasized by the excessive amount of animal ears, tails and leotards), women should be able to find an easy and definitely slutty costume within the disorganized Halloween end cap. Range: $7.50 to $40 To rent or to buy: Buyable Costumes: Police officer, devil, fairy, sailor

Costume Shop at the Department of Theatre

Check out the backside of the Fine Arts Building for myriad accessories, old school dresses and tons of costumes. You can buy individual pieces, such as shoes, shirts, blouses and hats for as low as 25 cents and a fur coat for $5. With things, such as colonial dresses and hoop skirts, this is the perfect way to dress for any era for less than $10. They have everything to put together a rockin' Abigail Adams or Betsy Ross costume. Range: 25 cents to $5 To rent or to buy: Buyable Costumes: Just about everything

Justified:

Getcha/Gotcha

This costume conglomerate is known for its wacky, but personal year-round rental service. Its policy changes for Halloween, making it both cheap and convenient to get a costume for the entirety of October for the price of an ordinary two-day rental. Looking for standard costume stuff? Check out Gotcha. Need novelty items and fun things to accompany it? Walk two doors over to Getcha. The staff is super helpful and there are a whole lot of 'em, many dressed in costumes themselves. "Anybody that comes in and works with any one of our brats will be very happy with what they get," employee Angela Gallup said. Range: $5.99 to $16.29 To rent or to buy: Both Costumes: Pin up girls and all matter of hairy beasts and moving mouth masks

Maude Vintage

If you're looking for a complete costume, Maude is definitely your best choice. They offer everything necessary to construct a costume (jewelry, shoes, hats, wigs etc.), all for rent for $35 a week. Obviously, it's not necessary to rent a whole costume but we really appreciate that Maude provides us with the option. "I like that we deal mostly in vintage for costumes, generally everything in the costume room is vintage," shift manager Nikki Pryatt said. This means if you want to dress as Amelia Earhart, you can wear clothes from the same era. How cool is that? Range: Rent by the week or for two days. Weeklong rates range between $8 to $35 To rent or to buy: Rentable Costumes: David Bowie, Mad Hatter, Wizard of Oz and a variety of '80s attire

Splurge:

Hot Topic

If you can brave it through the screaming metal and shitty emo music, Hot Topic has an interesting selection of pop culture character costumes, especially if you are looking for something especially dark. Hot Topic has a wide selection of video game characters such as Mario and Princess Peach and an excessive amount of comic book personalities like Wonder Woman and a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle. They also have a decent assortment of make-up, tights (plenty of fishnets) and gothic apparel. Although some of the outfits are pricey, most of them are worth the hefty tag. Range: $29 to $98 To rent or to buy: Buyable Costumes: Alice in Wonderland characters, Freddie Kruger, pirates

Party America

With the largest selection in town, Party America is probably your best bet for accessories, wigs, make-up and costumes, but expect to spend an arm and a leg unless you wait until the day before Halloween for the late-minute-shopper 50 percent discount. Party America has a great selection of costumes for men and women, from the traditional witch or doctor to the more contemporary television and movie characters like Stormtroopers or the Pink Ladies. Range: $19.99 to $199.99 To rent or to buy: Buyable Costumes: Batman, Elvis, Marilyn Monroe, Lucille Ball

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