Still looking for the perfect costume?

You don’t need to fight the crowds at the big box stores to find a fabulous costume.


Flashbacks has a whole section of the store dedicated to Steampunk for Halloween this year. Photo by Nadia Mishkin, City Times.

Nadia Mishkin and Ian Tapang

Still looking for the perfect costume? Check out some of San Diego’s best options.

Flashbacks Hillcrest

Flashbacks Hillcrest stocks a wide variety of Halloween costumes. Photo by Nadia Mishkin, City Times

Flashbacks clothing store in Hillcrest stocks costumes year-round, so it goes all out for Halloween season.

You can find anything from $5 accessories like unicorn headbands and 80s style neon earrings to $100 customized steampunk top hats and handmade embroidered bellbottoms.

Flashbacks is known for their unique take on fashion, from vintage to modern, and according to store manager Cat, one of the biggest costume trends this year is Steampunk.

Flashbacks has a whole section of the store dedicated to that genre for Halloween this year.

Cat says a lot of people come into the store looking to put together a movie character costume, and so far this year they’ve gotten “Killer Clowns From Outer Space,” “Lost Boys,” and “The Breakfast Club.”

The most unique costume she has helped put together so far is a goth Ronald McDonald.

– Nadia Mishkin

Buffalo Breath

Vader at Buffalo Breath
Rental costumes are a great option for Halloween. Buffalo Breath Instagram photo.

For those looking for a great deal on costume rentals, they should head over to Buffalo Breath in Kearny Mesa.

The most popular costume rentals include witches and vampires, circus and ringmasters, and pirates.

Topically, Michael Myers and Venom have been popular picks due to the recent release of their movies.

Buffalo Breath is one of the oldest and largest costume rental shop in San Diego. However, it will be going out of business at the end of this year.

They currently have reduced prices on costume rentals, and customers will have the opportunity to buy the rentals to take home and enjoy.

Next month, costume prices drop by as much as 50-60 percent.

Another great costume rental option is Gypsy Treasure in La Mesa.

– Ian Tapang

Thrift stores

Goodwill is one of dozens of options for low-cost costumes. for Halloween. Photo by Nadia Mishkin, City Times.

All Goodwill retail stores in San Diego have a selection of Halloween costumes and accessories, but calls to multiple stores confirmed the selection is dwindling down.

If you don’t find what you are looking for, you can still score a $5 coupon off Haunted Hotel, Haunted Trails and

Scream Zone admission without having to make a purchase.

If your costume needs are not met at Goodwill, try some of the smaller thrift stores in San Diego.

The United Cerebral Palsy Thrift Stores have three locations in San Diego, but store workers reported the best

Halloween costume selection is at the Pacific Beach store.

They collect vintage and retro clothing and costumes year-round, and because of their large selection, Halloween is the best time of year for their charity to raise money.

They have a wide variety of costumes and accessories, most used and some new, ranging in price from $2.99 to $29.99.

– Nadia Mishkin