By Emily G. Peters
If you’re having trouble tracking down the perfect Halloween costume, worry no more—Arcadia’s Pok-a-Dots Costumes has you covered.
Pok-a-Dots Costumes is a gem hidden in plain sight. Operating from their storefront on Huntington Drive for over 30 years, this boutique costume shop is known to locals for its unique collection of clothing and accessories, featuring a dazzling array of new and vintage costumes for rental or purchase.
Opened by Carie Nuss and her mother Arlene Vezerian in 1984, the shop began as resource for vintage items in Arcadia. “There weren’t any vintage stores out this way. I felt it was a good idea so people wouldn’t have to go out to Pasadena or Melrose,” said Nuss. Though they initially carried antiques and collectibles, local demand soon made it clear that costumes were their hot-ticket items. “Fads changed, and customers wanted to rent [costumes] instead of buy—and we listened,” said Nuss. “We transformed our shop into one of the best year-round costume shops in the San Gabriel Valley, with costumes for infants to adults and full lines of makeup and accessories.”
Neither Nuss nor Vezerian were new to the vintage scene before opening Pok-a-Dots. Nuss worked at a vintage clothing shop in her college years, while Vezerian, a born entrepreneur, started out selling vintage clothing out of trunks in the ‘70s and ‘80s. She soon set up shop at the famous Rose Bowl Flea Market in Pasadena, finding success with her one-of-a-kind clothing selections. “She was always a trendsetter,” said Nuss. “Little did we know that she was meant for costuming.”
Pok-a-Dots sets itself apart from by being one of the few locally-owned, year-round costume shops in the area, with plenty of rental costumes available for those who only need them for a one-time event. Their shop stuns with its large size and incredible inventory selection, with uncommon costume options at every price point and unique items not often available at other costume shops. Special orders can be placed for clients with a particular costume requests, with exclusive discounts for bulk purchases and school projects. Perhaps most unusually of all, Pok-a-Dots clients can even try on their costumes prior to purchase or rental to ensure a perfect fit.
“We strive to get our customers whatever they need,” said Nuss. “We can help anyone, no matter their age or price range.”
In this digital era, Pok-a-Dots is keeping up with the modern consumer by building their presence on social media and launching a new-and-improved website. And though some may be tempted to find their next costume online, there’s something to be said for dropping by a local store to ensure your purchase is exactly what you want. “It’s so convenient to have someplace on your doorstep, and we have a wonderful following,” said Nuss. “We value our customers. They’re the ones that have kept us here all these years!”
Pok-a-Dots Costumes is located at 115 E. Huntington Drive in Arcadia. Contact them at (626) 445-0254 or visit their shop to discover your perfect costume purchase. Their website www.pokadotscostumes.com is under construction, so be sure to follow them on Facebook and Instagram @pokadotscostumes.