PolyEsther's Costume Boutique

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Orange County weekly: Reno, the new Portland? June 2016

Esther Dunaway


I figured jet fuel was being blown up my ass when it was mentioned during an Alaska Airlines press junket that Reno, Nevada, is becoming the new Portland, Oregon. Yes, thatReno, of meth-mouthed Reno 911! Mini-Me to Las Vegas'Austin Powers fame.

But upon closer inspection, I can see the Portlandia-fication of "The Biggest Little City In the World." This is due to:

• Sky-high housing costs pushing people out of the Bay Area.

• Location as the provisions center for the Burning Man gathering, which is a couple of hours away every August.

• The opening of Campo restaurant in the fall of 2011.

So off to the Portland of the Great Basin we go!

Mark Estee's Campo, which was one of Esquire's Best New Restaurants in America for 2012, is credited with sparking the revitalization still under way in Reno's riverfront downtown. Handmade pasta, house-made salami, local farm-sourced produce and Napoletana-style pizza fired in a wood-burning oven are served. 50 N. Sierra St., Reno, 775-737-9555; camporeno.com.

Downtown's rehab has been parlayed in recent years to the rise of Reno's funkyMidtown on the other side of the Truckee River. In between liquor stores, boarded-up units and homeless people, you'll find hip shops, galleries and a whole bunch of brew pubs. www.downtownmakeover.com.

The old-world-style ales and lagers at Brasserie Saint James won so many awards—including the Best Mid-Size Brewpub and Brewers in America at the 2014 Great American Beer Festival—that a second location opened in San Francisco's Mission District. Come for the suds, but stay for the house-made pretzels, poutine with duck and one of the best paninis I have ever vacuumed: the Cubano de Santiago. Wash it down with Daily Wages, a Saison/farmhouse ale. 901 S. Center St., Reno, 775-348-8888; brasseriesaintjames.com.

I stumbled off the meal with a walking tour, stopping at several Burning Manoutfitters. Reno embraces the annual festival by adopting giant art pieces that would otherwise be burned at the end of the week, sprinkling them around town as public art. burningman.org.

While in PolyEsther's Costume Boutique, a bulldog wandered through, a former seamstress to casino showgirls had a sewing machine humming to finish a last-minute order, and owner Esther Dunaway helped a customer with a corset that would be on her person at a fancy party that night. The place has all the Burning Man work they can handle, but it's even busier other times of the year, Dunaway confides. 655 S. Virginia St., Reno, 775-420-5050;www.polycostumes.com.

Wild River Grille owner Chuck Shapiro made me feel right at home at dinner. That's partly because he used to live in Orange, but mostly thanks to his locally sourced short ribs braised in a port-and-shallot demi glace. It's a modern menu and interior—inside Reno's historic Riverside Hotel. 17 S. Virginia St., Reno, 775-284-7455.

The perfect way to glide into night is by pedaling with up to 11 other suds-lovers on the Reno Brew Bike, whose route includes stops at bars and pubs that give you discounted beers. 775-771-0164; www.renobrewbike.com.

Like Portland (and Seattle and San Francisco), Reno has a different excuse to drink—I mean, bond as a community on weekends. Coming up: Reno Rodeo (June 16-24); Great Eldorado BBQ, Brews and Blues Festival (June 17-18); Hemmings Motor News Great Race (June 19); Artown (June 30-July 31); Hot August Nights (Aug. 2-7); Reno Greek Festival (Aug. 19-21); Canfest, a canned-beer festival (Aug. 26-27); Burning Man (Aug. 28-Sept. 5); Best In the West Nugget Rib Cook-Off (Aug. 31-Sept. 5); Great Reno Balloon Race (Sept. 9-11); National Championship Air Races (Sept. 14-18); Downtown Reno Wine Walk (third Saturday monthly); and the Reno Beer Crawl (fourth Saturday monthly).

And how to get there? Road-tripping is fun, but Alaska Airlines(www.alaskaair.com) has hour-and-change flights from John Wayne Airport to Reno daily—and free wine and beer are served.

The San Fransisco Cronical, Reno’s luck — and local scene — finally looking up

Esther Dunaway

It’s a good bet that Reno’s luck (and life) is looking up.

It’s not because the city went after the “big score” — a giant, glitzy attraction solely to bring in tourists. It started taking care of itself. Having recognized that the California gamblers diverted by Indian casinos are never coming back, Reno and its people have spent the past decade making minor adjustments and improvements that make life better for locals — and they’re starting to pay off.

The result: a downtown with more outdoorsy diversions and an increasingly sophisticated dining and drinking scene; a fledgling Midtown district with hip cafes, wine bars and brewpubs that would have seemed unthinkable not that long ago; and an attempt by one resort to bring Vegas-style (and Vegas-size) nightlife to a town that never really had it before.

Lucky or not, the city seems to be on a streak and might be worth a trip over the hills — if only to be surprised by, well, Reno.

Why now? Summer heat is retreating and the bleakness of winter in Reno (and the wretched drive through snow) is still months away.

Backstory: Reno was sucker-punched by the sudden boom of Indian casinos in California 20 years ago, and visitors have declined steadily ever since. Previously strong casinos went belly-up, the buildings turned into condos or just unused shells.

In the 1990s, the city created the Riverwalk district scenic corridor and focused on outdoorsy diversions, but it wasn’t until the past 10 years that new businesses really took hold in downtown. Now the focus seems to be on Midtown, a short walk from downtown and Riverwalk, where new starter shops and cafes — most of them independent — are taking root, in some cases inside very old venues.

Checking in: The downtown casinos (Silver Legacy, El Dorado, Harrah’s) are an easy walk to the Riverwalk and to Midtown, although if you plan to partake in nightlife at Lex Nightclub, the city’s first venue comparable to Vegas clubs, consider staying at Sierra Grand Resort. (It isn’t particularly walkable from downtown, but the drive is short and the parking is free at most downtown casinos.)

At Grand Sierra, the style and upkeep are a little more upscale than in downtown, but in most cases the rooms and rates are comparable (especially if you sign up for discount alerts at the website). Along with the new $15 million Lex, Grand Sierra has one of the better lineups of in-casino restaurants, including the Reserve wine bar (80 different bottles for sampling) and Charlie Palmer Steak. Tip: Higher floors offer great views of downtown at night.

Spend your day: In a town full of casino breakfast buffets, Peg’s Glorified Ham n Eggs in Midtown is a popular alternative (if only because it’s not inside a casino). The menu offers standard breakfast dishes, as well as Tex-Mex and Hawaiian plates. It’s part of a small chain, but the vibe is down home. Another alternative is Little House on Center Street (725 S. Center St.).

To work off breakfast, rent a bike for a morning ride on the Truckee River Path, a paved trail along the river that west of downtown winds into the hills. (The trail east crosses town toward Sparks, passing a few small parks and greenbelt on the way, although it can attract a dodgy crowd.)

Another option for getting the heart pumping is BaseCamp, the climbing wall and gym (a 7,000-square foot “bouldering park”) connected to the Whitney Peak hotel, inside the former Fitzgeralds Casino and Hotel. The 164-foot climbing wall on the outside of the tower has been there a few years, but Whitney Peak just opened, offering boutique lodging without a casino. Not into climbing? You can still sit by the Reno Arch and watch others burn off breakfast.

From the Riverwalk area, follow Virginia Street south across the river and past a block of office and government buildings. Once you pass Liberty Street (and a white bunker-like strip club), you’ve entered Midtown, a commercial district trying to revamp what was once one of Reno’s more unremarkable neighborhoods.

Do a little window shopping now, making sure to top at artisan cheese shop Wedge (16 St. Lawrence Ave.), PolyEsther’s Costume Boutique (655 S. Virginia St.), Recycled Records (822 S. Virginia St.) and at secondhand palace Junkee Clothing Exchange (960 S. Virginia St.) for sensory overload.

Along the way, grab lunch and an excellent margarita at Mari & Chuy’s Mexican Kitchen, one of three newish restaurants in the Sticks Project. The food is great, but a meal here is also a window seat to most of the revitalization and shaping of Midtown. The Sticks Project is a modern complex that includes UnCork’d Eatery at Midtown, and across the street are Shea’s Tavern and Midtown Eats taking up older brick storefronts on Virginia Street.

For a better example of reuse, walk a block on East Taylor Street to Brasserie Saint James, a hulking, airy restaurant, pub and brewery in what was once the Crystal Springs water plant and ice house. Saint James specializes mostly in Belgian styles, so ask for a row of sampler glasses and study up on the styles. Tours of the brewery are available with advance notice.

If, after all the community-oriented places, you need a dose of Vegas, head to Lex nightclub at Grand Sierra. The $15 million club is the first of its kind in Reno, patterned after the giant, over-the-top megaclubs in Las Vegas, with a swimming pool, private booths, drink service and go-go dancers. And while tourists are a big part of the business, owners have said it will rely also on locals spending plenty of time (and cash) there.

Dining: If you stay around Midtown, try Midtown Eats, a boutique restaurant where the menu has a surprising amount of variety — from pork belly to elk burgers — despite being really short. If you’re up for the splurge, head back to Sierra Grand and get a table at Charlie Palmer Steak.

Don’t miss: A plate of mortadella, gruyere, asiago and moronga (Spanish blood sausage), washed down with a nice Malbec, at the brand new UnCork’d Eatery at Midtown, a hybrid cafe and wine bar that serves up fine meats and cheeses to go with the healthy, worldly wine list.

Don’t bother: South Virginia Street loses some of its charm past Mary Street. Pick up one of the Midtown district maps available at most businesses, although be aware it’s not entirely up to date (see below).

Word to the wise: The Midtown district map lists the Chocolate Walrus (1278 S. Virginia St.) as “specializing in handmade chocolate products” — which might be true, but the current business is a quirky adult boutique with sex toys and lingerie.


Spud Hilton is the editor of The San Francisco Chronicle’s Travel section. E-mail: travel@sfchronicle.com Twitter and Instagram: @spudhilton


News Chanel 2 Reno: Someone 2 Know: PolyEsther's Costume Boutique 7/10/13

Esther Dunaway

If you are a regular at Burning Man, you likely know about PolyEsthers Costume Boutique in Midtown Reno. Esther Dunaway, who goes by Polyesther, makes faux fur, tutus and other popular burner attire. You will also find Halloween costumes in her Virginia Street store. When we showed up to meet her, however, Polyesther was working on something a little more traditional – a coat.

In the back of her shop, Polyesther was busy at her sewing machine, stitching together colorful fabrics of all sizes; creating a Coat of Many Colors. Polyesther designed the shepherd-style coat with the help of some University of Nevada students who are part of a journalism class to help area non-profits.

This semester, the group of Nevada seniors chose Good Shepherd's Clothes Closet as its case study. In researching the non-profit's business model, they learned the clothes closet is at risk of closing in the next six months if changes are not made. They brainstormed a unique way to raise money. They hope to sell pieces of the coat to individuals and businesses and then have the donors' named silk screened onto the sponsored squares.

When the students asked Polyesther for her help, she didn't hesitate. "My heart just melted," she said. While Polyesther is now in the business of clothing people, she used to be clothed non-profit. Eight years ago, she relied on Good Shepherd's Clothes Closet. "I was pregnant. I was pretty much homeless. I lost my job. I was in a really bad situation. And I signed up for Medicaid because I had no health insurance." That is where she received a voucher for the free clothes and stocked up on maternity clothes every month during her pregnancy. The staff even offered baby items for little Willa when she arrived. With a smiling eyes, Polyesther recalls, "They were just welcoming and kind and friendly and I just so appreciated it."

Now she is honored to be able to give back, by not only stitching together fundraising fabric, but also by providing hope for both the non-profit and everyone who walks through its doors. "I think I decided when I was homeless and pregnant and didn't have anyone that if I could live through that, and I told myself every morning, if I could live through that - that I could do anything."

If you would like to support the donation-based clothes closet, there are a number of ways to help. Executive Director, Chris Rhodes says they are always in need of clothing and monetary donations as well as volunteers. Also, you can purchase a square on the Coat of Many Colors. To see a sketch of the coat in progress, click on this link:http://www.gsccreno.org/events/coat-of-many-colors/

Yellow square – (4"x4") – $25

Purple square – (6″x6″) – $50

Green square – (8″x8″) – $125

Blue square – (10″x10″) – $250

Red square – (12″x12″) – $500

To give donors recognition, the group would also like to silkscreen the names of donors on each square, however, the students are still looking for someone or a company that can donate its services. If you are a web or graphics designer, the students are also looking for help upgrading the non-profit's website. To learn more, make a donation or offer your services, log on to www.gsccreno.org. To learn more about PolyEsthers Costume Boutique, check outhttp://www.polycostumes.com/.

Written by Kristen Remington


RN&R: Dress rehearsal Time to play dress-up with Burning Man paper dolls 8/20/08

Esther Dunaway

There are no rules when it comes to costumes at Burning Man. Only two faux pas come to mind on the fashion front: wearing no costume at all (unless you’re naked, which is fine) and, ahem, shirtcocking. Burning Man is like playing dress-up every day, like when you were a kid, raiding your parent’s closet for clunky shoes and oversized necklaces and dressing up paper dolls. Except now it’s with pasties and bustiers.

To inspire some unbridled mixing and matching, we raided the closets of three local stores with an expertise in Burning Man fashion: The Melting Pot World Emporium,1049 S. Virginia St.; Prism Magic Clothing,2161 Pyramid Way; and Polyesther’s Unique Boutique, Wildflower Village, 4335 W. Fourth St., Suite 7. Feel free to cut them out and dress our model Burners, Heidi Adkins and Jake Peck. It’s playtime.




RN&R: Costume ball, local clothing designer has created a boutique for Burning Man and the rest of the year! 7/25/11

Esther Dunaway

An old burnt-out tire shop might seem like it detracts from the neighborhood, but PolyEsthers Costume Boutique isn’t any ol’ tire shop, though it sure is Burnered-out.

The store opened a month ago when owner Esther Dunaway, or PolyEsther, filled the South Virginia store with funky fabrics, neon-colored faux furs and plenty of pickings for those playa people heading out to the desert in just a month or so. The seamstress' focus on custom, high-end wear for all the parties, pub crawls and other themed events that Renoites seem to flock to. And these are not just the everyday out-of-the-bag “slutty nurse” costumes.

“What we do is custom—custom costumes for all occasions and funky faux fur fashion,” Dunaway said. “If you have a dream of a costume we make it come true.”

The 1,400 square-feet retail space isn’t necessarily what one would expect walking into a shop geared toward Burners. Though the display windows are full of colorful fur jackets and handmade hula-hoops, the interior looks more like a San Francisco boutique.

Only about a third of the boutique is actual store space, with the back workshop taking up most of the shop. That’s because about 80 percent of the clothes in the store are custom made, and the other 20 percent is fine vintage. Though you can buy the clothes on the floor, they are mere examples of what the two can do. You want a dragon-print fuzzy vest? It’s on the floor in orange, but if you want it in blue you just have to ask for an appointment.

The store has a personal shopping service. Dunaway can also stock her store with custom theme party supplies with four to six weeks of warning. But the store is all about high-end costumes, swimsuits, nightwear and wedding dresses. They’ve made a few renaissance fair costumes and a pirate outfit.

But with Burning Man just around the corner, the store is in full playa mode. So many neon fur jackets line the walls, the store almost looks like a Muppet-tanning factory. PolyEsther’s has been holding sewing classes and electroluminescent wire workshops for the do-it-yourselfers. EL wire is neon LED strings flexible enough to be sewn into clothing or fastened on a bike. And Dunaway will be taking orders until two weeks before the Burn.

“We don’t do last-minute around here; we do quality,” said Dunaway. “We aren’t gonna make something last minute because we won’t be happy, and you won’t be happy, and we want it to be a really nicely finished item, and that doesn’t happen last minute.”


Dunaway had been making Burner clothes for a Tahoe boutique for a few years and operated a Burner-themed pop-up store last summer in the same space.

Their styles and personalities are much like the cities in which they studied fashion. Dunaway is the extremely friendly, highly energetic face of the store. She’s responsible for the wild and funky clothes, like the jean skirts and anything with faux fur on it. 

With the funky clothes comes a funky business style. PolyEsther’s is an out-of-pocket, cash-forward business, meaning they didn’t borrow any money to start the boutique. The owners are proud of the way they run their business, but it does come with its share of difficulties.

Without loans, the two have to buy supplies for the business a little at a time. The store has yet to buy a huge sign or spend a lot on advertising, but Dunaway had bought the store racks the previous year and already had a good relationship with the landlord. Saari said they had to cut back on luxuries, as the uncertainty of running a business can be very stressful.

But the two have no loans to pay off, so they can invest the extra money into the store rather than pay back the bank for money already spent. If the shop ever goes under, they’ll have to deal with a bunch of extra fur rather than debt. Saari said she really believes in the cash-forward business model, especially since she, Dunaway and their husbands were all unemployed when they started the business. But just a few months later, both their spouses have work and despite a smaller sign, the community has been very interested in the new boutique.

To help themselves, the two reached out to the community and took on a few interns to learn the business and help run the store. They also feature many textile artists from around the region, including chain “maille” and leather apparel from Catherine Sweet and Kat “Atomic,” who hand paints Taiwanese Umbrella “Parasouls.”

Though Dunaway operated a pop-up store last Burner season, and the store is currently in full playa swing, the boutique plans to expand its business beyond Burning Man.

“We want to emphasize that this isn’t just a Burner store, although we really love the clientele, and they are very loyal, and we are thankful and grateful for that, but we do all one-of-a-kind specialty,” Saari said.

Dunaway is planning a big Halloween display that she doesn’t want to give away. Last year she did aBeetlejuice window with the striped suit and Lydia’s red wedding dress.

“Stop by in September, and you’ll see a lot of really beautiful costumes. Come closer to Christmas, and you’ll have some lovely gowns, some fun party dresses,” Dunaway said.

Clothing designer Esther Dunaway has set out to make Burning Man and other custom costume creations at her shop, PolyEsthers Costume Boutique.

Clothing designer Esther Dunaway has set out to make Burning Man and other custom costume creations at her shop, PolyEsthers Costume Boutique.

PolyEsthers Costume Boutique, 655 S. Virginia St., 420-5050, presents CosmoPlayaton Fashion Show: Where the City Meets the Sand on Thursday, July 28, at 8 p.m., a part of the MidTown Art Walk. For more information, visit www.polycostumes.com.

RN&R: Want to stand out at Burning Man? Wear jeans and a T-shirt. Don’t get caught dressed in normal clothes at Burning Man 8/21/08

Esther Dunaway
Esther Triggs of polyESTHERS Unique Boutique models some of the clothes she’s modified to sell as costumes for Burning Man.   PHOTO BY KAT KERLIN

Esther Triggs of polyESTHERS Unique Boutique models some of the clothes she’s modified to sell as costumes for Burning Man.


At my first Burning Man experience, I did the unthinkable. No, no Ecstasy-riddled orgies or unprotected fires on the playa. Nothing so fun as that.

I arrived without a costume.

Walking among stilt walkers with stuffed horse heads, winged fairy princesses of both genders, and naked-but-for-body-paint Burners, there I was, in my “normal” clothes—and I’ve never felt like such a freak.

“I think dressing up is one of the easiest ways to participate,” says Mairin Tausch, manager of Melting Pot World Emporium and an eight-year Burning Man veteran. “One of the first rules of Burning Man is ‘no spectators.’ If you’re not dressed up, you’re really just observing. At Burning Man, you get to transform yourself, and again, one of the easiest ways to do that is through your clothes.”

Forgive me. I was new to Nevada and certainly new to Black Rock City. Now I know better, and I know where to go in Reno to suit me up in order to do Burning Man right.

Fabulous burn

The Melting Pot World Emporium
1049 S. Virginia St., (775) 322-9445
Mon.-Fri.: 10 a.m.-7 p.m.; Sat: 11 a.m.-7 p.m.; Sun: 12 p.m.-5 p.m.

The Melting Pot is Burning Man central. Aside from Burning Man books, DVDs, and Burning Man tickets, this place is fraught with fantastic costumes. To enter the shop midday in mid-August is to witness the calm before the storm. One male customer peruses the funky hats and playa-dust-deflecting goggles. Another shopper tells her friend, “I want furry stuff all over me.” But it’s hardly swarmed with people. Just wait.

“The week before [Burning Man] is mayhem in here,” says manager Tausch.

Customers will find plenty to choose from. Women can dress up as sexy Robin Hoods with feathered cap and bustier. There are fuzzy bikini tops with fairy wings, genie pants, glittery blue hats, sequined belts and scarves, the all-important glow sticks, and warm fuzzy hats. (It gets cold on the playa at night.) Fishnet stockings, bumblebee striped stockings and clothing made from sheer, glittery, fanciful material hangs on racks taking up at least half of this store. Feathers aren’t allowed at the playa—Burning Man is “green” now, remember?—but Melting Pot sells “playa safe” boas. This store goes out of its way to find some of the most creative, beautiful, unusual costumes in town.

Homemade burn

polyESTHERS Unique Boutique
Wildflower Village, W. Fourth St., No. 7, (775) 336-7573
Open in August and October; Fri. from 1p.m.-6p.m., Sat. and Sun. from 10 a.m.-5 p.m., and by appointment

Inside polyESTHERS Unique Boutique, Esther Triggs is holding up a cranberry red dress that’s newly received a black fur lining along its v-neck. She calls it the “furry pink vagina” costume. “That was my grandma’s,” says Triggs. “She was a hottie.”

For about 10 years, Triggs has been collecting and revamping clothes from thift stores, grandmas, great aunts, her mom and anywhere she can find them and turning them into costumes. This month, she opened polyESTHERS in a small room at Wildflower Village and is selling her costumes for Burning Man and Halloween.

What once was part of a blue bath mat now joins a string of seashells to line the hem of a turquoise frock. A zebra-patterned coat from Savers has been embellished with shoulder pads made from a pink wig—she calls this one “Sgt. Pepper.” Two stuffed monkey heads that were once on a pair of goofy slippers found hilarious new life when Triggs sewed them onto the cups of a bra.

“I collect this shit all year long,” she says, holding up some plastic pinwheels from Target she intends to turn into “pinwheel ta-tas.”

Triggs tries to keep everything under $50, except when, she says, “it’s too fabulous for $50,” at which point she’ll go up to $100. She’s also trying to get more “king and queen” sizes in, as not everyone on the playa is a size 6.

The boutique is open every weekend from now until Burning Man, will reopen again for October weekends leading up to Halloween, and by appointment. Triggs says she’ll also hold “bitch and stitch” sessions throughout the year for people to make their own Burning Man costumes, trade materials and outfits with others, and ultimately give them a venue to sell what they make.

“The minute that you change your clothes, it’s almost like being an actor—it gives the facade of another person,” says Triggs. “I know so many doctors and moms and lawyers that go to Burning Man. The whole rest of the year, they have to be professional and live this thing that other people say they are or their degree says they are or their birth certificate says they are, which is what they are. But then, everybody needs a chance to get out of their own skin and let loose.”

She adds, “You don’t need a ticket to Burning Man to dress Burning Man. You don’t need somebody else to make an event for you to dress up and be fabulous. You just need a few good friends to back you up, and make your own idea. Start your own Burning Man.”

RGJ: Reno Comic Con costumes, simple to splendiferous 11/21/14

Esther Dunaway

Cosplayers are gluing and sewing the final details on their wearable personas for today's opening of Reno Comic Con.

Getups can be super-elaborate or not, but one thing is necessary, according to Reno cosplayer Mel Hoppe: Fun.

"If you're enjoying yourself while you're in costume, that's the perfect form of cosplay," Hoppe said Thursday. (The word "cosplay" is a mashup of "costume" and "play.")

Hoppe, known online as Wind of the Stars, will appear at this weekend's event as several characters from steampunk, anime and video games.

She has traveled as far as Sweden for a "con" to show off her costumes, network with other cosplayers and sell prints of herself as various characters. Two rooms in her north Reno home hold sewing equipment, boxes of costumes and accessories.

It can take several hours to get into costume, character and makeup for a convention, but Hoppe said it's all a good time.

"It's my form of expression for things I really enjoy," she said.

At PolyEsther's Costume Boutique in Midtown Reno, costume specialist Tara Davis takes care of the more serious costume fans.

"Typically, when people approach us (for custom work), they have a vision in mind," Davis said. "They want to do the original costume, or they want an artist's variation."

Sometimes, a customer wants an outfit from a particular TV episode or video game scene right down to the buttons, she said.

The crew at PolyEsther’s Costume Boutique in Midtown Reno shows off some last-minute costumes for Comic Con. They are, from left, Tara Davis, Willa Dunaway and Jessie Stipech.     (Photo: Yvonne Beasley/RGJ)

The crew at PolyEsther’s Costume Boutique in Midtown Reno shows off some last-minute costumes for Comic Con. They are, from left, Tara Davis, Willa Dunaway and Jessie Stipech. (Photo: Yvonne Beasley/RGJ)

Last-minute getups

The casual Comic Con goer can express super-hero-ness in a simpler way.

At PolyEsther's, the staff took a vote on what to put on the shelves.

"We did the Batman crew, everyone voted for that," said owner EstherDunaway. Other votes led to Star Wars and Star Trek costumes. There are togs for Thor and Green Arrow, Superman and Wonder Woman.

Wizard World Reno Comic Con begins at 3 p.m. Friday and runs through Sunday at the Reno-Sparks Convention Center. Admission ranges from $35 to $45, depending on the day. You can get more information at WizardWorld.com.