LOOKING RIGHT ON FRIGHT NIGHT

Halloween is serious business. Gone are the days of dime store costumes and trick-or-treating in the neighborhood. Now, it’s fast becoming an adult holiday, and its many lavish events require just the right disguise. We’re told that to be the life of the party this year, come dressed as Rambo, Madonna, Mad Max or Tina Turner.

The cost of renting a costume depends on how elaborate it is: you’ll pay extra for jewels, props and detailed masks. No matter what the cost, however, all but one of the shops we visited require a deposit generally equal to the rental fee.

Don’t worry about returning it clean; in most cases, a cleaning fee is figured into the cost of the rental. Don’t worry about broken zippers or ripped hems, but large stains and cigarette burns mean damage beyond repair.

All the shops frown on late returns of rentals, and charge steep fees for those who “forget.” Make sure to read your rental agreement, since “no-return policies” vary widely. Unless you want to be the one stuck with the ET mask, shop early.

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