Summer is over and it’s time to get spooky.
Halloween is waiting around the bend––the one holiday that helps us cope with the tragedy of summer’s end. This year, prepare yourself ahead of time so you don’t end up frantically throwing your costume together last minute like last year. We suggest getting ahead of the game by assembling your costume sooner, not later (AKA this weekend), before time and supplies run out. But before you make a beeline to Party City, we have a few alternative suggestions to help you get into the Halloween spirit.
Instead of buying a pre-made costume at a Spirit store, get creative and build your own costume by making an appearance at your local thrift store. San Francisco thrift stores are as cooky as one would imagine, which makes ideal for gathering costume-ish garments and accessories. This will also probably save you a couple bucks and, most importantly, engage you into the creative spirit of Hallow’s Eve.
These 8 thrift stores in San Francisco are great to pick up a few items to put together a Halloween costume. Though you might have to do a little more scrounging around than a typical Halloween store, you’ll certainly yield more compelling look than a Target witch costume.
Related: The Bay Area’s Best Pumpkin Patches
1. Held Over, Haight-Ashbury
A trip to Haight Street is a must for anyone thrifting for a Halloween costume. Held Over is a great spot to pick up army surplus and Wranglers any time of the year, and their affordable and eclectic collection makes its a fun place to pick up a wacky garments.
Held Over |1543 Haight Street, San Francisco, CA | Hours: Monday-Friday: 11AM-7PM, Saturday-Sunday: 11AM-8PM | $
2. Mars Mercantile, Berkeley
If you’re making a trip to Cal, plan a pitstop at the lovably eccentric Mars Mercantile, which is the sister store to Held Over. You’ll most likely find pair of high-waisted culottes that can be turned into a sailor costume, but then repurpose the culottes for a cocktail party.
Mars Mercantile |2398 Telegraph Avenue, Berkeley, CA | Hours: 11AM-7PM daily | $
3. Out of the Closet, SoMa and Nob Hill
Out of the Closet is as colorful as its display and name suggest. Importantly, your purchase will benefit the AIDS Healthcare Foundation. Shop for a good cause at one of their two locations (or both) on Folsom Street and Polk Street.
Out of the Closet |1295 Folsom Street, San Francisco, CA | Hours: Monday-Saturday: 10AM-6PM, Sunday: 10AM-6PM | $
Out of the Closet | 1498 Polk Street, San Francisco, CA | Hours: Monday-Saturday: 10AM-7PM, Sunday: 10AM-6PM | $
4. Mission Thrift, The Mission
They put out new Christmas sweaters daily, allegedly.
Mission Thrift | 2330 Mission Street, San Francisco, CA | Hours: 11AM-7PM daily | $
5. Fantasy Clothing Company, SoMa
Fantasy Clothing Company is more costume shop than thrift store, so they can really deliver on your costume needs. And if you don’t want to bulk up your wardrobe with another costume, they have rentals! The dunce cap photographed above should be convincing enough.
Fantasy Clothing Company | 1275 Folsom Street #100, San Francisco, CA | Hours: Tuesday-Friday: 11AM-6PM, Saturday: 11AM-5PM | $$
6. Crossroads Trading Company, The Castro
When in doubt, do the familiar. Crossroads is a pretty consistent thrift chain, and their Market Street location in the Castro tends to have buried treasures. And if you can’t find a costume here, then you’ll at least walk away with a solid Banana Republic cardigan.
Crossroads Trading Company |2123 Market Street, San Francisco, CA | Monday-Saturday: 11AM-8PM, Sunday: 11AM-7PM | $
7. Fashion Exchange, Nob Hill
Fashion Exchange has some finds that actually lean toward the fashionable, which means that on a good day of rummaging, you can fashion together a Bella Hadid costume. Or any Hadid costume, really.
Fashion Exchange | 1446 Polk Street, San Francisco, CA | Hours: Monday-Saturday: 11AM-7PM, Sunday: 12PM-6PM | $