Want to be the devil this Halloween? Or maybe you’re more the Snow White type. We all know where you are going to be this Halloween (actually, Oct. 28) — but what are you going to wear? Whatever you’re looking for, Shanghai’s specialty costume shops have a plethora of fun and affordable options. For do-it-yourself types, there are tons of great accessories including wigs, tattoos, face paint, colored hair spray, fake asses, fake breasts, pitch forks, swords, cowboy hats, chicken hats and elephant hats, too.
Costumes generally start as low as 80 RMB, but average around the 100-200 RMB range. The outfits are not the classiest things, but they work well enough for one night. If you’re ambitious, you can head down to one of the fabric markets this weekend and have your dream costume tailor made, just keep your fingers crossed with only a week left.
Here are some stores that offer pre-made Halloween costumes and accessories:
- Holiday House, 1188 Panyu Lu (near Hongqiao lu). Tel: 64477189, Open 9:30-6:00 pm (Sucky hours!). A kind of one-stop-shop for costumes for kids and adults and decorations. Staff speak English and can be pretty surly.
- Shanghai Zhongbao Dress Ornament Co. Ltd., No.99, Lane 2035 Wuzhong Lu (吴中路2035弄99号). Open until 9pm on weekdays and slightly different hours on the weekend (we suggest you call first). Tel: 64780825/54859199, Fax: 6419 3855, E-mail: [email protected] Longer hours, wider adult selection and cheaper prices, but really far from downtown (expect a 40-50 kuai cab fare) and a little hard to find as Lane 2035 is hard to see, the street numbers are out of order and the “99” is spray painted on the wall, and it’s a warehouse behind a gate. But it’s worth the effort!
- Dan has written about another place here that focuses on Chinese outfits. Nantai Costume Company, 181 Henan Zhong Lu, near Fuzhou Lu. Tel: 63238344:
“For a little fun, try Nantai Costume Company, five minutes west of the Bund. Nantai outfits many of the local opera troupes and has the ambience of a factory store. Shelves are stacked with everything from tasseled platform slippers to stringy beards. Say hello to Chun Ge, the store’s pet mynah bird — he’ll say ni hao back.”
- Chain stores like Carrefour and Hola, with a second location here, have a limited selection of Halloween supplies.
- Party Monster is a place Shanghaiist has heard about, but never visited.
- Finally, if you’re throwing a pre-Halloween party — before heading out to Shanghaiist’s bash — cheap decorations can be found at 338 Fuyou Lu (53067671 or 13661958246) and several other small shops in the Yu Yuan area. There are also some big multi-story “crafts” markets on the same road that sell Halloweenesque items (or at least what we would only use for the holiday). Just be ready to fight the crowds.
- Old standby markets like Qipu Lu (at its intersection with Henan Lu) could also be an inspiration. We wish we went there before our 80s party.
Happy hunting and remember, if you don’t dress up this Halloween … we will write bad things about you on the internet. (Well, probably not, but come on — dressing up is fun.)
Photo by downtownpete.