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    How to Shop Goodwill for Your Halloween Costume

    How to Shop Goodwill for Your Halloween Costume

    Shopping for a Halloween costume doesn’t have to be frightening for your bank account. Goodwill® stores carry everything you need to make your Halloween fantastic, without breaking your budget.

    New Halloween costumes can start at about $30, but when you add in all the pieces and accessories, they can add up to more than $150. Spending that much for one night is completely unnecessary, especially when most store-bought costumes are mass produced, making it almost impossible to enjoy your night without running into another person or even multiple people wearing the same exact costume as you.

    If you want to stand out for being smart and creative, than Goodwill is your best option. Goodwill stores across the country have organized Halloween sections that include costumes as well as decorations. Prices vary, but it’s completely possible to get a head-to-toe costume for less than $20. Just follow these simple steps.

    Keep an open mind.

    Blue graduation robeJust like when you’re making any trip to the thrift store, you have to realize that you may not find exactly what you were looking for. However, if you keep an open mind you just might find something even better.

    If you’d rather keep it really simple, then start with something super basic. A simple black dress can go a variety of different ways, and so can an old graduation gown. A white graduation gown can be worn as either an angel or a ghost, while a black one can be used for a vampire cape.

    Going as a zombie is an excellent idea if you want something simple and don’t want to spend a lot. You can buy any piece of clothing from Goodwill and then just poke some holes and add some fake blood and dirt stains. Old wedding dresses are perfect for zombie brides or Brides of Frankenstein; just tatter them up.

    Find a starter piece.

    Eqyptian Halloween costumeStart with whatever jumps out to you the most and then construct a Halloween costume around that piece. You may find your starter piece in the Halloween costume section, but be sure to circulate the entire store to find the rest of the outfit. You can even make a day of it and hit up more than one Goodwill store for more variety.

    Even if you have to go to a regular Halloween retail store for one or two pieces, it’s still better than buying the entire costume at full price. Maybe try getting the outfit at Goodwill, and then buying the perfect mask somewhere else. You’re still saving money and diversifying your version of the look.

    Think characters.

    Blue and black glittery Goodwill outfitHow many TV shows or movies have you loved over the decades? Characters are some of the easiest costumes to make from thrift store pieces, because you can find old clothes that match the fashion of that era.

    Some favorite ideas of mine that would be possible to make from thrifted clothing items include: Little Red Riding Hood, Audrey Hepburn, Jackie Kennedy, The Golden Girls, Cruella Deville, the Wicked Witch from Snow White, Carrie, Stepford Wives, Sandy from Grease, Dick Tracy, and Miranda Priestly from Devil Wears Prada.

    Don’t forget the kids.

    Thrifting a Halloween costume is even smarter for the little ones, because what are the chances they’ll fit into that costume next year, or will even want to go as the same thing again? Parents often donate children’s costumes to Goodwill at the end of the season, so you might even find the exact costume your child wanted, and chances are it’s only been worn once. Don’t forget, old dance costumes are perfect for girls wanting to go as fairies or princesses!

    Black tulle skirt with yellow trim

    Shopping at Goodwill for Halloween can help not only you and your family, but your community as well. Goodwill trains people for careers in fields such as financial services, computer programming, and manufacturing, as well as in emerging industries such as technology and health care.

    So don’t hesitate; Halloween is one of the busiest times! Make it a point to check out your local Goodwill store for costumes and decorations as soon as possible.

    For more tips on finding a great Halloween costume at Goodwill, check out this video.

    Stacey Kay
    is a freelance fashion writer residing in Binghamton, New York. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Fashion Merchandising from Kent State University, and has studied fashion throughout Europe and Asia: specializing in fashion retailing through an exchange program with Hong Kong Polytechnic University. She has produced her own personal style blog, GoodwillHuntingg.com, as well as The Goodwill Huntingg Thrifting Guide, a seasonal fashion magazine for women interested in learning how to thrift the latest trends.
    Read More Posts By This Author

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    • Fatema
      October 22nd, 2012 at 9:55 pm

      I wanted to buy some affordable costumes from Goodwill, but after going to my nearest Goodwill on Richmond Highway in Alexandria, Virginia, I was told by an employee that the costumes weren’t sold, and only kept for decoration. What is the actual policy for halloween costume sales? I don’t want to spend a lot of money on a costume I will wear only once.

    • Charles
      October 25th, 2012 at 1:18 pm

      Dear, Stacey Dash. Your the best at what you and some of your “IDEAS” have got to some of the “GREATEST IDEAS” a round let me tell ya. And you have made Goodwill proud as well and you go Girl. And lets all give Stacey Dash a pat on the back for a job well done. Charles (10/25/12)

    • bridgette
      October 31st, 2012 at 8:12 am

      i love this

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