There are many tried-and-true-and-blue-sky pluses to calling Southern California home.
"Fair and sunny" is pretty much a way of life, meteorologically speaking, nearly year-round. The beaches are good, if you don't mind gorgeous sunsets, postcard-perfect waves, and soft sand. And, yes, the fish tacos and donuts really live up to the foodie-fierce hype.
But another funny perk arrives each Halloween, and it is dressed up in a familiar costume. It's familiar because you may have seen it on television, on one of your favorite stars. Yep, we're talking about the distinctly local ability to rent or buy clothing seen in films and on TV.
There are a few places in this oh-so-LA biz, but It's a Wrap and Western Costume Co. are two of the mannequin-dotted majors.
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It's a Wrap is a Magnolia Boulevard stalwart (there's a newer outpost on Robertson, too). What will you find? Oh, just about everything vintage-y on its many packed racks, but here's the difference: The tags reveal that this one cardigan was worn on that show while that weird belt appeared on that one series starring that one guy. Meaning this: You could easily cobble together a funky get-up from a dozen recent sitcoms after just twenty or thirty minutes of browsing.
Tempted? Go for it. Also go all year long, too, if you like -- It's a Wrap is not just a Halloween thing.
Western Costume Co. is another pillar of both the Valley and the costume-up industry, and has been so for over a century. The mondo rental house has been involved with bevies of flicks -- perhaps you've heard of "Titanic"? -- but it does rent costumes as well. The North Hollywood-based company's October Halloween shop is a bustling spot, but note that it is closed on Sundays. Still, if you go Western, go big -- think velvet or hoop skirt or something outrageous (and, fingers crossed, rent from a movie you love).