Halloween is just around the corner, and we’re already planning our costumes. Fancy being a Smurf for a night? Or maybe just a stylish vintage outfit you can adapt and wear again? These west London outlets have it covered
1 Retro Woman
Filled to the brim with designer names, this second-hand clothing and accessories store is a bargain-hunter’s paradise. Spread over two floors, it is positioned next to Retro Man and Retro Clothing on the Pembridge Road making it handy for a perfect one-of-a-kind piece shopping trip. The prices are lower than nearby vintage stores, so it’s ideal for fancy dress finds. Open daily from 10am–8pm.
20 Pembridge Road, Notting Hill W11 3HL; mgeshops.com
2 Costume Boutique
Injecting real creativity into the business of fancy dress hire, the Costume Boutique offers an exclusive collection of high-quality costumes, plus a bespoke service involving a co-ordinated design process of sketches, mood boards and fabric samplings. Costume hire prices range from £65 to £105, with bespoke styling available at separate prices. The shop is by appointment only. Open Tuesday-Thursday, 10am-6pm, and Friday to Saturday, 10am-7pm.
Studio 38, Great Western Studios, 65 Alfred Road W2 5EU; costumeboutique.co.uk
3 Carnival Store
If you’re seeking crucial fancy dress accessories – think moustaches, false teeth, glow-in-the-dark eyes and fake tattoos – Carnival Store is the place for you. Established in 1952, it is still a family-run business today and caters for a variety of themes. There are two floors of fancy dress wear for adults and children. And yes, they not only do Smurfs, but Smurfettes too. Open Monday-Saturday, 10am-7pm
95 Hammersmith Road W14 0QH; 020 7603 2918; carnivalstore.co.uk
4 Violet’s Box
Spotting a gap for high-end, eclectic fancy dress, this Fulham-based boutique covers a range of themes and periods from burlesque and fairy tale to superhero and Studio 54. In addition to an especially designed corset range by Morua, the boutique’s extravagant accessories are quirky yet tasteful – opera gloves, feather headdresses, and Christy’s top hats being a few examples. Everything is available to buy, but many items can be rented too.
6 Bishop’s Road SW6 7AB; violetsbox.com
Known as a destination shop for Kylie and Kate Moss, Rellik is independently owned by three local clothing aficionados who all met as traders at Portobello market. The shop is founded on a love for vintage women’s clothing and accessories. If you’re after original pieces for a retro costume, this is the place. Open Tuesday-Saturday, 10am–6pm.
8 Golborne Road W10 5NW; relliklondon.co.uk