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Funky Monkey: Costumes and Beyond 

With Halloween just around the corner, it's high season at Funky Monkey (3127 Magazine St., 899-5587). The clothing exchange store is known as much for its wide selection of new, one-of-a-kind and resale costumes " complemented by a large, colorful selection of reasonably priced wigs (starting at $20) " as it is for its inventory of stylish new and gently-worn everyday apparel and accessories for men and women.

Among the costume offerings are New Orleans Magpie pieces handmade by the store's owner, designer Sarah Wheelock. Although she creates plenty of skirts, bustiers, headdresses and hair accessories " adorning them with feathers, vintage jewels and other found objects " Wheelock prides herself on being an equal-opportunity designer.

'I think men deserve more costume options " beyond just being a pirate or a pimp," she explains. 'It's their chance to be a peacock for a day and wear something really flamboyant. Women can do that any day of the week."

Funky Monkey has an entire room dedicated to men's fashion, featuring vintage and resale items alongside overstock inventory from high-end designer stores " including labels such as Ben Sherman, Fred Perry and 7 Diamonds " with great price points. Also on the men's side is a T-shirt shop run by store manager, DJ and musician Michael Mayfield (keyboardist for the Buttons), who designs some of the many silkscreen transfers available at the store. The T-shirts come in a variety of cuts and colors for men and women, and the transfers created by local designers range in theme from music, sports and pop culture to local nostalgia, retro prints and abstract designs, Mayfield says, adding that customers also have the option of choosing their own words and fonts to create custom T-shirts.

On the women's side of the store, Wheelock sells a good deal of jewelry, some of it vintage and some of it new but made to look vintage.

She offers the following guidelines to customers who want to sell vintage and other used jewelry, clothing and accessories to Funky Monkey for cash or trade: 'Items should be in perfect condition," she says. 'We buy costumes year-round, but all other items must be in season. We don't buy dated-looking things unless they're from the '80s or before, and we think they will sell."

Sellers have the option of receiving 50 percent of each item's assigned price in store credit or 40 percent in cash.

click to enlarge Customers can buy, sell or trade costumes, clothing and accessories at Funky Monkey.
  • Customers can buy, sell or trade costumes, clothing and accessories at Funky Monkey.

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