halloween-graphic

Need a Halloween Costume, Head to a Thrift Store!

The following article is by writer Leah Ingram for Parade Magazine. 

By LEAH INGRAM

When it comes to this year’s Halloween budget, how much do you think you’ll spend celebrating? According to the National Retail Federation, the average American will shell out nearly $83 for Halloween candy, costumes (kids and pets) and decorations. Of that amount, they’ll spend about $31 on costumes.

To be honest that seems like a really low number. I know that when my daughters were into store-bought costumes, I would see prices at around $30 per costume.

It’s clear those surveyed have learned how to stretch a dollar. In fact, that same NRF survey found that nearly half of all people shop at discount stores for Halloween.

I’d bet that some of those discount stores include thrift stores!

Turns out that October is the busiest and best month for many thrift stores, because they’ve become a popular destination for Halloween costumes. Goodwill says that it has its highest sales in October–even higher than December, even with all those people looking to buy ugly Christmas sweaters.

Goodwill recently completed a National Halloween Poll and found out the following about Halloween preferences:

· Nearly six in 10 people prefer cheap, easy DIY Halloween costumes.
· More people want to wear funny costumes this year.
· Adults are interested in coordinating costumes with friends, families or significant others.
· Parents like to dress up in costume while trick or treating with children.

With it being an election year, people are bound to dress as a political figure. However, nearly seven in 10 people think that’s a bad idea.
When it comes to actually putting together your Halloween costume, the folks at Savers/Value Village suggest mixing things up. That is, using what you already own combined with pieces you find at the thrift store. So for a little girl wanting to dress as a fairy princess, take a fancy dress she already owns and pair it with new accessories–a wig, wings, wand and tiara. Yes, it’s possible to find items like that at a thrift store.

Also consider shopping in a department other than where you buy your own clothes for costume ideas. A man wanting to dress as a pirate may find the perfect puffy shirt in women’s clothing at the thrift store whereas a woman wanting to dress like a secret agent or singer Sia will likely find the menswear she needs, well, in the men’s department. (If you like the idea of dressing up as Sia–good luck seeing with that hair–Savers/Value Village has a how-to on its website.)

Still not convinced that you can get a great, cheap, easy DIY Halloween costume by shopping at a thrift store? Click on the slideshow gallery for seven Halloween costumes all purchased from and created by Goodwill!