From the outside, McGrew Studios looks unremarkable. Housed in a plain building in Salt Lake’s Granary District, the studio is indistinguishable from just about every other warehouse on the block. Peek inside, though, and you’ll find a place that is anything but ordinary. Surrounded by ornate Victorian dresses and over-the-top cosplay costumes, artist Jen McGrew designs and sews just about anything her clients dream up: A high-quality Wonder Woman costume for a four-year-old? No problem. A pageant dress for Miss Italy? Sure thing. Outfits for a horse to wear in a commercial? She’ll get right on that. For McGrew, the art of costuming isn’t a one-day lark every October­—it’s a daily joy.

“We’re a custom shop, meaning we think like a producer and plan a few months ahead for the ultimate, cool costume,” says McGrew. “We build something custom-made for the client to own and love forever – something that their family can pass down and forever tell stories about.”

Not Just For Halloween

Get inspiration for this year’s Halloween costume at FanX Salt Lake Comic Convention at the Salt Palace Convention Center. The annual event, formerly known as Salt Lake Comic Con, is a 50,000-strong celebration of cosplay (short for “costumed play,” or dressing up as a character from a movie, book or video game). Not big on crowds? Grab a cocktail and a window seat at Lake Effect (155 W. 200 South, SLC) to watch the parade of superheroes and Star Wars characters. It’s the best people-watching in town.