Those seeking a unique look this Halloween should explore some of Philadelphia's quirkier costume institutions, which offer more interesting alternatives to the bobbing-for-apples standard.
Pierre's Costumes at 211 N. Third in Old City (215-925-7121) is primarily a rental shop ($65-$125 per costume), specializing in "weird." The full-service operation outfits customers with one-of-a-kind creations, altered to each client's specifications. "If we can't costume you, nobody can," says owner Richard Williamson.
For the more intrepid trick-or-treater, Philly AIDS Thrift at 710 S. Fifth Street in Queen Village (215-922-3186) is a whimsical hodgepodge of costume treasures. The two weeks before Halloween are the busiest of the year for the shop, which also offers scary movie classics within its impressive collection of vintage VHS and DVD.