If you ever needed to dress like Big Bird — for whatever reason — chances are you went to Drapeau’s Costumes.
Same for Santa suits and period theater costumes. That Star Trek convention you don’t talk about.
And Halloween. Oh, so many Halloweens.
Alas, soon no more. After more than 60 years of pantaloons and poodle skirts, Drapeau’s is closing. While the owner has said she’ll keep renting out Christmas, Easter and mascot costumes from her home (so you can still play Santa without growing your own beard), the Lisbon shop will shut its doors by the end of the year.
But right now — right now! — Drapeau’s is selling most of its 4,000-plus costumes. Kind of a good time for it, too, what with Halloween in just over 10 days.
Most are get-ups you won’t find at your local big-box store or Halloween pop-up shop. Plus, they tend to come fully accessorized, so you won’t leave with just gold genie pants and a sinking sense that your favorite “Star Wars” T-shirt will not a genie make.
As closing sales go, it’s spooktacular.
• Flapper, $42 to $48
Tons of flapper costumes to choose from: small, large, simple, colorful — all with necklaces or other accessories. Wigs are $10 more. For the person who wants to party like it’s 1925.
• Michael Jackson, $60
MJ’s red vinyl pants and jacket circa 1982, the “Thriller” era. Outfit comes with a single sequined glove and a very 1980s wig. (Think perm. Very perm.) Instantly recognizable to anyone over 30. For anyone under 30, just say you’re dressed as Paris Jackson’s dad.
• Elvis, $130
At least two versions available: cape Elvis or no-cape Elvis. Each includes the suit, plus accessories, including a wig and glasses. A classic costume that can take you from work party to trick-or-treating to officiating weddings. A triple threat.
• Genie, $75
There are a few genie costumes to choose from, but I liked a gold outfit that came with pants, vest, shirt, shoes, turban and a weighty gold necklace designed to look like the face of a genie with a red jewel in his turban. A great deal, no wishing necessary.
• Poodle skirt and accessories, $25
Drapeau’s has a ton of 1950s costumes and vintage outfits. I favored a gray skirt decorated with a white poodle, a stretchy gray belt, scarf and poofy petticoat — all for $25. The skirt has an elastic waistband and is large enough to be plus-sized, yet the belt could be cinched to fit almost anyone who wants to look like a teenybopper heading out to the malt shop. Coolsville.
• Steampunk costume, $110
Includes a brown wool tailcoat and an antique helmet decorated with a feathered Mohawk and faux goggles. (Can be sold separately for $40 for the coat and $70 for the helmet.) Toss on over black pants and a black shirt and you can look cool without trying too hard. That’s the best kind of cool.
• Accessories, various prices
All of Drapeau’s new, store-bought accessories are half off. There’s a lot of standard stuff — pointy ears, cheap wigs, witch’s brooms, plastic crowns — along with a smattering of the hard-to-find. Going for a “Mad Men” look? There’s a two-pack of fake cigarettes for 50 cents. Got a kid who wants to look fierce, but you’re hopeless with make-up? There’s a werewolf facial tattoo for $1.50.
Note: The tattoo is temporary, so your little one won’t be scarred for life. At least not from this. There’s still that time you called her “wittle poopikins” in front of her friends.
Best find: Stocks, $50?
Not a costume — at least not if you value being able to move in your costume — but this wooden pillory is so awesome that it bears its own mention. According to a shop associate, it was built by the owner’s husband and it opens and closes, allowing someone to stick their head and hands through the holes, like an old-timey criminal. (She seemed unsure of the price but threw out $50.)
A creepy-cool lawn decoration for Halloween, especially if you add a mannequin. Or get your annoying Uncle Ronald to play prisoner for the night and you can enjoy Halloween without his annual lecture on the evils of bite-size candy. Snack on.
Think twice: About skipping Drapeau’s before it closes
Even if it’s just to say goodbye and thank you for the memories.
Shopping Siren’s true identity is protected by a pair of stylish, sweater-wearing Doberman pinschers (who once dressed as cats) and the Customer Service counter at the Sun Journal. You can reach her at [email protected].
Even going out of business, Drapeau’s Costumes can do better than fake nose and glasses.