If you want to put together a unique and affordable Halloween costume, be sure and check your local Goodwill store first. Here in Orange County, CA, all of the 21 Goodwill stores have a great inventory, plus they have all of their Halloween costumes organized right at the front of the store.
If you need inspiration for your costume, look at all of these cute, creative ideas you can DIY with items from your favorite thrift store:
For men, find a black leather jacket and a white t-shirt with the sleeves rolled up. Women can choose between a pink jacket, a tight-fitting sweater worn slightly off the shoulders, or a button-down blouse.
Both men and women can wear blue jeans with the cuffs rolled up. Women can also opt for pedal-pusher pants or a poodle skirt. You can spray paint an old pair of white tennis shoes to look like saddle shoes.
Men should slick back their hair to make it extra “greasy,” and women can put their hair in a high ponytail with a bump in the front. A pair of retro-looking sunglasses can complete your look. Just add a little swagger.
Your cowboy hat will reveal if you are a good guy, (white hat) or bad guy, (black hat.) You will also need a plaid shirt, your favorite pair of old jeans, a leather belt, cowboy boots and a red bandanna or Bolo tie which you can make from a shoelace.
You can make a big belt buckle or a badge out of tin foil if you want to become”the law.” You can add a toy cap gun, a Pogo Stick horse and a bow-legged walk.
Along with your bridal gown, just add ghoulish white make-up and some plastic flowers or dead flowers. With a bridal gown as your costume, you can also dress up as the Bride of Frankenstein, the Runaway Bride, (add a suitcase), the Princess Bride, or a Mail-Order Bride,(add stamps or Fed-Ex package labels.)
Feeling devilish? You can dress as a plain old devil, a dirty devil, or even a red-hot sexy devil.
Start with a red dress, and add fishnet stockings, a pitch fork, devil’s horns and a devil’s tail. You can craft a pitch fork out of a large cardboard box or poster board. Draw the pitch fork and then cover it with spray glue and glitter.
For the devil horns, you can stuff a rubber glove with cotton balls and then cut off all but the two index fingers. Spray paint the fingers and hot glue them to a plastic headband.
To make a devil’s tail, cut two strips of red fabric to the desired length of the tail and sew or glue them together from the inside. Leave the top end open and then turn the tail right-side out and stuff it with old clothing or socks until it is stiff. Seal the end with glue and safety pin to the devil’s clothing.
Some devils have been known to stick out their tongues and have an evil laugh.
Your baggy black or dark pin-striped suit should have the jacket buttoned up all the way. Add black shiny shoes, a fedora style hat, suspenders, a tie with a big puffy knot and a shirt buttoned up to the top button. A silk pocket square or handkerchief should fit in the top jacket pocket, laying flat against the chest. Slick back your hair and practice your sneer and icy-cold stare.
Optional: a violin case, toy gun, suitcase stuffed with fake money, or plastic fish (when you are sleeping with the fishes.)
Dress in black and paint your face like a skull. For women, Victorian-style gowns, parasols, and gloves are popular “Day of the Dead” props. For men, a tuxedo or black suit and a large brimmed hat are worn to complete this look.
You can add some baby powder to your costume once you are dressed to make it look dusty.
Find a white lab coat or medical scrubs. You can add some plastic shower caps to fit over your shoes, a plastic mask, a toy stethoscope or tongue depressor, and a toy reflex hammer. Wear a name badge with Dr. in front of your name.
Remember, you don’t have to be a doctor to play one on Halloween!
Wear a glittery short dress, a beaded headband or scarf tied to one side, platform shoes or white “go-go” boots, and big hoop earrings.
Wear your hair long, straight and parted in the middle. Use phrases such as “Can you dig it?” and “Groovy!” You should continually flash a peace sign.
Find a white halter-style dress, a blond wig, high heels, and add a breathy voice. Optional: singing “Happy Birthday, Mr. President.”
Wear black pants cropped at the knee, white socks, black shoes, a red cape, a black hat, and black “Zorro mask.”
You can use a red towel or sheet as your cape, and glue gold trim to your matador jacket. Craft a your black hat (called a Montera,) out of black felt which you can glue together.
Here are 10 more Halloween costumes that you can pull together in a snap:
1. Throwback Housewife
Suggested supplies: Sheath or shirt-waist dress with full skirt, high heels with pointed toes, pill box or cloche hat or head scarf, short or long sleeve gloves, frilly chiffon apron, mink stole, thick head band, pointed frame eye glasses and bright red lipstick. Tease your hair high and keep repeating “yes, dear.”
2. The Nerd
Suggested supplies: Straight-leg pants, a white button-down shirt, white socks, black dress shoes, calculator, belt, dark-framed glasses, white tape on the glasses, pocket protector, pencil in the pocket, and textbooks. Slick back your hair with pomade or gel and add a goofy laugh.
3. The Artist
Suggested supplies: A paint-splattered smock, white button-down shirt, artist’s palette (make one out of cardboard if you don’t have a real one), beret, old paint brush, washable paint or bold-colored makeup. You can smudge some paint on your face and hands for extra authenticity and add a thin mustache using some eyeliner.
4. Flo from Progressive Insurance
Suggested supplies: White polo shirt, white apron, paper name tag with “Flo” written on it, blue marker, wide head band, red lipstick. Be extra annoying to everyone.
5. Greek Philosopher or Goddess
Suggested Supplies: White bed sheet (twin or full-sized) for your toga, cord or belt, safety pins. Add a crown that looks like a wreath of laurels. You can make this from a coat hangar and some green plastic leaves found at Goodwill or you local craft store.
6. Beauty Pageant Contestant
Suggested supplies: an old prom dress, sash, crown, glitter, glue. Write “Miss America or a funny saying to your sash and practice your prom queen wave.
7. Fortune Teller
Suggested supplies: A muumuu or house dress, a scarf or turban, sandals, a Magic 8 Ball or Ouija board. You can also find a clear glass bowl at Goodwill and spray the inside with glue and then add some glitter.
8. Publisher’s Clearinghouse Winner
Suggested supplies: Balloons and a bouquet of flowers. A suit and tie for man, hair rollers, bathrobe, slippers and coffee cup for woman. Make a big cardboard check with your name as the payee and “Publisher’s Clearinghouse” as the guarantor. Don’t forget your surprised look!
9. Yoga Instructor
Suggested Supplies: Yoga pants, shirt, head band, ballet flats (if outdoors), yoga mat, yoga mat bag, towel. Practice saying “namaste.”
Suggested Supplies: Bathrobe, knee-length athletic shorts, boxing gloves, towel, high top tennis shoes, and black make-up to draw a shiner under your eye. Optional: humming the Rocky theme song.
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