Much like toys at Christmastime, retailers have to figure out the trends and get ready months ahead of time. That is, except for one.
Pierre's in Old City Philadelphia has been in the costume business for 70 years.
Most of that time, they've outfitted casts for stage shows, but as word got out, more and more private partygoers have come to want what Pierre's can do.
Their costumes are professionally-tailored and built to last. Wigs and masks are the same. And many of the people who staff Pierre's are certified stage makeup artists.
They actually get called to work theatrical performances which come to town. So they offer professional-grade products likely to look better and minimize rick of things like allergies. And they can instruct you how to apply them for the effect you want.
When a customer visits Pierre's, they're interviewed to find out why they're renting a costume, how much they want to spend, and how long they need an outfit.
As you might expect, there's a last-minute rush. So Pierre's offers early-bird specials which might net you a lower price, a longer rental, or both.
Costumes which have been in their inventory for years are sometimes retired...which means you may buy them at a deeply-discounted price.
They also stock a small inventory of mass-market costumes such as you're likely to find in your neighborhood retail store...these generally at clearance prices.
Despite an inventory of thousands of products, once a costume is rented, it's gone until it returns. For information, you might want to visit their website, Pierre's Costumes or phone.
Remember that you're most likely to get the level of personal attention you want if you visit early.
By the way...once Halloween's over Pierre's gets busy again almost at once.
They're also the largest outfitter of Santa Claus suits in the region.