Halloween is almost here, and the holiday's finest house parties bring the right blend of recreational drugs, candy corn, inappropriately intimate conversations in a stranger's kitchen, and, most importantly, the visual splendor of costumes flung hastily together from combinations of trash, nudity, and other low-budget items. For those who prefer to wear clothes and need shopping direction, Sodo's pay-per-pound Goodwill Outlet offers frowsty piles and unbeatable savings. Red Light and Value Village are also popular choices, but go now before the stores are teeming. If you've got at least $50 to spare, head to Roosevelt's Vintage Costumers—a rental store that's been in business for 35 years and rests in a converted three-story house embedded with creaky wood and residual cigarette smoke.
Vintage Costumers' garment racks are everywhere and crammed real tight, so use the binders with images of lightly run-down and stunned-looking mannequins wearing apparel categorized by decade. The 1970s-era looks are heavy on sparkle, with wet-looking synthetics and assorted Frederick's of Hollywood gowns. Tux-wise, they've got pastel-orange, mint-green, and powder-blue versions, paired with ruffle-front shirts. Renaissance-inspired getups feature tights, pumpkin shorts, and leg-o'-mutton sleeves the size of a damned watermelon. Or you can wear an authentic 1920s-era raccoon-fur coat. Or be a slutty Roman-era slave boy in a skimpy white micro-tunic. Or pick the priest, bishop, or nun vestments, and showcase your unshakable faith in God's infinite wisdom.
On to the next store. Occupying a stark warehouse in Lower Queen Anne, Greg Thompson Productions develops and builds glitzy stage shows for cabarets, casino revues, cruise ships, and the like. They produce the costumes, too, and though they're not usually open to the public, they recently hosted a sale that would've been perfect if your Halloween-wear aspirations put you in the market for used G-string leotards, tear-away denim slacks flanked with leather-fringed concho medallions, or filmy peignoirs trimmed in ostrich feathers. (Perhaps you're going as a casually-sexed-out time-traveling country-line-dance aerobics instructor and pajama-party hobbyist.) If you missed this event, watch for it next year. Bin rummaging produced some seemingly valueless items, such as fabric remnants and worn-out balconette bras. But there was also a spangled jockstrap, a Vegas-showgirl headpiece in the shape of a giant fucking pretzel, and—resembling an art sculpture—an arrangement of preowned wigs that hung in forlorn mounds from a vertical plywood panel.
Send fashion tips to firstname.lastname@example.org