Best Costume Store 2014 | Easley's Fun Shop | Shopping & Services | Phoenix

We can't be the only ones who start plotting our Halloween costumes come November 1. And we're sure this makes the good folks at Easley's very happy. The bright yellow building off McDowell is home to rooms and rooms of costuming goodies from full-on Maleficent and Captain America costumes to glue-on noses and a mind-boggling array of wigs. More elaborate still are its rental costumes, should you decide on being a human-size hot dog but feel unprepared to commit to such a purchase. Of course, Easley's caters to last-minute dresser-uppers, too, with an array of animal ears and costumes ready by the bag.

Graphic T-shirts are back in style. And what better way to embrace a trend than by putting your own spin on it? The folks at Brand X specialize in just that. The Mill mainstay offers a variety of shirt styles, colors, fonts, and graphics that'll help make your dream top a reality. Whether you're hoping to knock off Madewell's shirts with laissez-faire French sayings or hype your band, the Tempe crew can help (and help you look awesome).

Don't be frightened. Curious Nature beautifully blends creepy and cool. The shop deals in oddities. And if taxidermy gives you the heebie-jeebies, then you're not going to love it. But if you have a flair for the freaky or an appreciation for scientific pursuits, then you'll likely find entrancing the preserved bugs, bats, and coyote skulls among the frightening, fascinating items stocked. If you'd rather your décor didn't look you in the eye, the shop also offers mirrors topped with antlers, cement planters, and crystals.

The Bragg's Pie Factory building continues upping the artsy ante. Only helping things is the recent relocation of Hazel & Violet from Roosevelt Row. With white and orange walls and industrial furnishings, the letterpress printing shop offers a line of ready-made coasters, greeting cards, and posters, as well as custom services. The new Hazel & Violet has more than two times the square footage of its previous location, and that means more space for more workshops with more participants. Sometimes more really is more.

There's just one problem with Design Lab: We want all of it. The Mesa shop stocks everything from delicate apothecary jars and industrial lettering to plush accent pillows and seasonal decorations. With all those odds and ends, it's the perfect spot to load up on go-to gifts like candles, novelty knickknacks, and picture frames (yes, grab a few journals and maybe a lamp for you, while you're at it), greeting cards, and twine to wrap it all up with. You'll be set on birthdays and thank-yous for months to come, and that's well worth the trek to Mesa.

Unless you're a teenager with nothing better to do or a pyromaniac with money to burn, heading to the mall can be a chore. But heading to Scottsdale Fashion Square is anything but. With world-class stores at a variety of price points, shoppers can splurge at Barneys New York and Neiman Marcus, go fashion-forward and budget-friendly at Madewell and Zara (yes, we have a Zara!), and daydream at Tiffany and Prada. Add in a trip to Sur La Table and audio indulgences at Bang & Olufsen, and you're looking at a fairly full day.

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