October 27, 2015

5 Thrifting Tips: Halloween Costume Shopping

I  really LOVE Halloween. I love dressing up, I love planning my costume and finding exactly the right pieces for it. I love carving pumpkins and decorating the front yard/house for the night. I love going to parties and seeing other peoples' costumes and getting into character. I EVEN love social media the next day - to see what creative costumes people came up with the night before. It is such a fun time - how often do you get to dress up and look super silly and wild and be in public where no one cares? It's so freeing and fun.

I have all this love for Halloween yet my most favourite part is dressing up. Coming up with a costume is one of the best parts of my year, and I always try to go all-out! That being said, some pre-made cosutmes are just too repetitive and expensive for me. So I usually make my own out of DIY and thrifted goodies!

Here are my tried and true tips to thrifting for Halloween!

1. Know what you're looking for.
What is your costume? What items do you need for it? It will really help to know your costume beforehand. If you walk into a thrift store without knowing what you want to be, or without knowing what you need for your costume, it can get super overwhelming and you might get a new idea with every cool piece of clothing you pull off the rack. ("Oh! With this dress I could be a witch - but with this jacket I could be a lizard, or maybe a magical dragon? But maybe I still want to be a bumble bee....") Ask yourself what you're focusing on: texture? colour? structure? type of clothing? and start looking within those categories.

For example: This halloween, I ran through the thrift store looking for MINT coloured clothes. The only specific type I needed was a blazer. When it came to bottoms though? I just pulled out any and every mint thing I could find.

2. Use your creative thinking.
Can you pull off your costume in either pants, a skirt, or a dress, so long as it's the right colour? Can you layer tops to get your desired effect? Maybe there are accessories you can add (or make!) to add that extra touch if you've only been able to find half-appropriate costume pieces at the thrift store. Can that belt or scarf work as a headband or cross-body sash instead? Maybe that weird purse can be used as a hat, or that old flag can be used as a cape! On Halloween, nothing is as it seems! And by that I mean not every item has to be used as it was initially intended. ;)

3. Think with an 'editing' mind.
This really ties in with creative thinking! If you find a t-shirt that has the right colour but might need a stripe, you could add it yourself with fabric paint from the dollar store. Or maybe you find the perfect skirt but it is too long/big - Google how to do a basic alteration! It doesn't have to be perfect - since it's Halloween. I have always been big on DIY for Halloween and most often add alterations to the pieces I find. One year, I thrifted a giant pink sweater, spray painted cotton balls, glued them to the sweater, wore a pink afro wig (which I also spray painted) and BAM! I was cotton candy.

4. Try to buy what you would wear everyday, too.
I was very happy this year to buy pieces I will most likely wear on a day-to-day basis too! To be fair, it depends on the costume whether that's possible. But it is always really nice when you are buying something to know you'll get more than one night's wear out of it.

5. Go crazy!
This is your time to buy items you normally wouldn't! Buy that ridiculous faux fur coat you've always secretly wanted but never could justify to yourself. Make it part of your costume, and then make it part of your everyday wardrobe too. Halloween is a really good time for crazy, and it's always fun to shake things up and add a little bit of crazy to your life - isn't it? ;)

Are you a Halloween enthusiast too? What are you dressing up as this year?!


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