Yvette LaFontaine, AS in fashion technology ’77 Honolulu; AAT in liberal arts ’90 Kapiʻolani; BS in fashion merchandising ’91 Mānoa
Career: Costume store proprietor
Family: Daughter Tiffany
Pets: Pugs Harley and Mocha
Hobbies: Baking, gourmet cooking
Favorite costumes: Fat Bastard from Austin Powers, King Louis XVI, Mardi Gras costumes
Halloween best sellers: Fangs and wigs (especially ’50s, ’70s and ’80s)
Halloween isn’t just for the kids. While seasonal shops open in October and carry mostly children’s costumes, the Costume Closet sells and rents adult-sized costumes year round.
The shop also has a wide variety of wigs, make up, prosthetics and other accessories for sale.
“The people you meet are the most fun, definitely,” owner Yvette LaFontaine says. “The characters and their ideas for Halloween always give us a laugh.”
From roadkill to disco queens, flashers to comic book heroes, the possibilities are endless, and LaFontaine enjoys helping customers find the perfect costume, crown, scars, wings or glitter.
LaFontaine opened the Costume Closet in 1991 on Oʻahu’s North Shore and later moved to the Kapahulu. Some customers are apprehensive, she observes. “But once we bring out the costumes and they try them on, you can’t stop them. They want to try on everything!”
Halloween 2008 fell on a Friday, so partygoers had extra time to celebrate. Funny costumes were very popular, she observes. “People were just so stressed from everything. They just needed to feel better, not worry, and just go crazy on those two nights.”
She extends store hours during the last two weeks in October for the Halloween rush, but Christmas, Easter and Mardi Gras also bring in customers looking for festive outfits and accessories.