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Retropolis on 19th Street

Image: Beth Levine

Halloween is by far my favorite holiday. Costume shopping never gets old, and there's an inherent giddiness that overcomes you when you let your inner child's imagination out for the night. With that in mind I went costume shopping with one of my best gal pals, Itzyjar. As a wanderer, frequent costume-wearer and festival-goer, I could not think of a better person to set out with on the quest to become Imperator Furiosa from Mad Max and check out some of Houston's costume scene in the process.

Our first stop is the intersection of Dunlavy and Westheimer in Montrose, which is home to Houston's thrift-shopping trifecta. Right next to Poison Girl—one of favorite bars—Pavement Clothing (1657 Westheimer Rd., 713-528-5500, instagram.com/pavement_houston) is conveniently located and open late. The store carries all sorts of everyday second-hand clothing, vintage clothes and costume wear. They also have a seriously awesome shoe collection. The staff is eager to help and always on hand. Word is they are throwing a party on Halloween, so if you're in the neighborhood, be sure to stop by!

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Trying on Imperator Furiosa looks at Pavement.

Image: Beth Levine

Located right inside Pavement is Leopard Lounge (1657 Westheimer Rd., 713-526-5100, instagram.com/leopardloungexo), so you get two for one when visiting. Although the stores are technically separate, staff will coordinate with you to grab pieces from both to complete your costume if you ask. Known for their period costumes, the collection might just inspire you to pick up a few vintage items—like the fantastic Chanel purse we saw—for your everyday closet as well.

Just down the street is Houston's original Buffalo Exchange (1618 Westheimer Rd., 713-523-8701, buffaloexchange.com). At one point or another, we have probably all walked into a Buffalo Exchange store. It's great place to not only pick up seasonal items, but to resell some of your own pieces and keep your wardrobe festival fresh.

Next up on our hit list was Retropolis (321 W. 19th St., 713-861-1950, facebook.com/retropolis) on historic 19th Street in the Heights. With over two stories of vintage clothing from every era, Retropolis also carries unique one-of-a-kind items from local artisans, so you can savor the old while checking out the new. As the store is part of the 19th Street shopping district, there are other vintage stores to check out around Retropolis, like Replay on 19th Street and StyleCycle, so bring your walking shoes. Remember, too, that businesses in this part of the Heights close early, so don't wait till the witching hour to go.

Finally we hit Houston's own legendary Frankel's Costume (2801 Polk St., 713-228-9445, frankelcostume.com) on the east side of downtown. If you have not been to Frankel's during Halloween season, be prepared. Frankel's is crazy busy during their peak season, offering both rental and purchase of costumes ranging from simple accessories to oh-my-god outfits. If you aren't brave enough to visit them in person before the 31st (trust us though, it is worth the trip), you can check out their online store and ship away.

So did we find what we were looking for? We won't tell until Halloween, so be sure to answer your door for trick or treaters...two of them just might be us!

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