The time for trick-or-treating and costume parties is upon us. The good news is, when it comes to shopping for Halloween costumes this year, there are plenty of options in Fort Myers. The top two place are Party City and Spirit Halloween, both have more than one location in the greater Fort Myers and Naples areas.
Open year-round with five locations in Fort Myers and Naples alone, Party City is one of the most easily-accessible stores for your Halloween-shopping needs. Unlike its competitors, both storefronts keep its costumes in the back and line the walls with photos of its collections. Customers can browse the selections quickly and efficiently, and ask an attendant to bring out their favorite costume in their size.
However, if you prefer to browse your options in the flesh, so to speak, Spirit Halloween may be more your style.
With over 1,100 stores in the U.S. and Canada, Spirit Halloween is one of the biggest Halloween superstores’ in the country. They begin appearing in otherwise-empty spaces around September, signifying the beginning of the season and stay open through just after the holiday. More than that, they are one of the largest Halloween stores in terms of square footage, with what their website calls the “widest and most unique selection anywhere.”
“Spirit has more of a variety of make-your-own costumes,” said Aimee Scheick, manager of a Spencer’s, Spirit’s sister company. “Spirit is catered to only Halloween merchandise, but Party City does have more of a variety of whole stock costumes.”
If neither of those sound appealing, there’s also the Halloween Megastore and Funtree Costumes, both off of Cleveland Avenue in Fort Myers.
Now for the bad news: whichever store you choose, you might be emptying out your wallet to get the hottest new costume.
Browsing both Party City and Spirit’s new costume selection online, the most common in-store price is $49.99 and the lowest seems to be $29.99. Spirit’s “Create a Costume” line allows you to spend anywhere between $2.99 and $29.99, depending on how many pieces you choose to buy.
Party City’s most expensive new costume is an Assassins’ Creed pirate for $139; Spirit Halloween’s is an elaborate Cinderella ball gown for a whopping $219.
“I don’t have that kind of money,” Michelle Bloodworth, a senior community health major, said. “Plus, the costumes in stores never even fit right. That’s why I always just make my own.”
Bloodworth said that she does her shopping at Target, Ross, and Goodwill and wherever else she can find inexpensive clothing. Then, she pieces it together to make a costume.
“I made an Aladdin costume for my boyfriend by cutting a purple kids’ shirt and getting him a pair of khaki pants to wear with some fabric I got from Joanne’s,” she said with a laugh. “I made a fez out of an old Starbucks cup and a sock.”
For ideas on DIY costumes, check out Pinterest or popsugar.com.