How to get creative with thrift store Halloween costumes
Halloween is such a fun time of the year. You get to be whoever or whatever you want. If you want a unique costume that is one of a kind, then you should consider checking 2nd Avenue Thrift Stores to find the perfect fit. Making your own costume and upcycling from thrifted finds is an affordable and eco-friendly way to get the best costumes for the whole family. Learn how to get creative with thrift store Halloween costumes at 2nd Ave. today.
Step 1: Have an Idea in Mind for Your Costume
It can be challenging to walk into a thrift store and create a costume if you don’t know what or who you want to be. So brainstorm some costumes beforehand so you have an idea of what to look for while thrifting. Here are some costume ideas to help get you started:
- Cartoon characters: Aladdin, Popeye, Buzz Lightyear
- Famous celebrities: Audrey Hepburn, Elton John, Ariana Grande
- Book or novel characters: Sherlock Holmes, King Arthur, Mary Poppins
- Animals or bugs: Cat, mouse, bumblebee
- Movie characters: Han Solo, Spiderman, Peter Pan
- Jobs and occupations: Doctor, scientist, police officer
- Spooky-themed costumes: Spider, bat, vampire, clown, zombie, mummy, ghost
- Fall-themed: Pumpkins, leaves, Starbucks lattes
- Couples costumes: Harley Quinn and the Joker, Fred and Wilma Flintstone, Fiona and Shrek
- Children’s costumes: Scooby Doo, Elmo, Winnie the Pooh
- Group costumes: Ghost Busters, Tetris pieces, Willy Wonka, and Oompa Loompas
Step 2: Visit 2nd Avenue Thrift Stores
Now that you’ve got some ideas in mind, it’s time to start visiting thrift stores and looking through the racks. Keep your costume idea top of mind as you search through items. It may help you to bring a reference photo along so you can look at it as you shop and help to give you some direction on which pieces to buy for your costume. Look through every part of the store as you search for the perfect pieces and articles of clothing to build your look. You’re going to have a pretty original costume if you’re creating it from all thrifted finds, upcycling, or even mixing DIY pieces with new, full-priced items. 2nd Avenue Thrift Stores has an extensive selection of secondhand clothing that can make an amazing addition to your Halloween costume this year, so be sure to visit our stores on your search for the perfect costume.
Step 3: Start by Finding the Main Parts of Your Costume First
What’s the one standout piece of your costume that makes it recognizable? Focus on searching for these main parts of your costume first to make building your look a bit easier. When you have the main components of your costume, it will make looking for all the details that much simpler. For example, if you’re dressing as Alice in Wonderland, it’s helpful to look for your blue dress first; that way, you can find all the other accessories to match the dress after. You can start checking items off your list as you go so you can keep track of what you already have and see what you still need to find next.
Step 4: Think of an Item’s Potential
Use your imagination as you shop so you can see an item’s full potential. A simple black dress might not look like much on the rack, but when you add pearls, gloves, and a fancy hairdo, you have a gorgeous Audrey Hepburn costume from the movie Breakfast at Tiffany’s.
Never overlook an item just because it doesn’t look like a Halloween costume yet. Remember that you’re building a costume out of several thrifted pieces, so you’ll need to look at each item you pick up from a different perspective. For example, when you come across a pair of yellow sweatpants and a yellow hoodie, that could create the perfect base for a Winnie the Pooh costume; then, all you have to look for is a red T-shirt to go with it. Seeing an item’s full potential will allow you to make the most out of each article of clothing and help you to create a unique look that is truly one of a kind.
Step 5: Put All of Your Items Together
Once you have most of the pieces of your costume, you’ll want to put all your items together so you can see how they look. Try on what you have so far so you can see what needs tweaking and how you can improve different parts to create the costume of your dreams. It helps to look in a full-body mirror or to take pictures of yourself wearing the outfit so you can see how everything looks together when you are in the costume. After all, you want your costume to be as realistic as possible, so add the necessary touches and make the needed changes to get your costume to that top-tier level.
Step 6: Add Accessories
Accessories can make or break your costume. Let’s go back to the Audrey Hepburn costume example for a moment. To complete your look, you’ll also need gloves, pearls, and black sunglasses. Luckily, 2nd Avenue Stores carries all kinds of accessories that you can include in your costume. You can easily find sunglasses, jewelry, purses, and many other accessories. And if you don’t find what you’re looking for one day, come back the next. We have thousands of items arriving daily at 2nd Ave. Stores, so you won’t want to miss out on all these amazing options.
Step 7: Make Alterations
If you find the perfect dress, shirt, or pants, but they don’t quite fit, consider making alterations or taking it to your local tailor. You want your costume to fit well and be as comfortable as possible, so make the necessary alterations to ensure everything fits properly. Who knows, you may even be able to wear the different parts of your costume for another occasion later on, and with the right alterations, you’ll have something that will fit for years to come.
The best part about making your own Halloween costume with thrifted finds is that there is no right or wrong way to do it. You have complete creative freedom to make your look however you like, and if you need to take something in a few inches for a more polished look, then alterations will help you achieve the look.
Step 8: Have Fun in Your Costume
Now that you have your thrifted DIY costume, it’s time to RSVP to one of those exciting Halloween parties, hit the neighborhood cul-de-sacs, or visit your local mall and get trick or treating in style. Then when someone asks, “Where’d you find that costume?” you can say, “I created it myself from thrifted finds at 2nd Avenue thrift stores!”
Now you know how to get creative with thrift store Halloween costumes. To find the best items for your costume this year, stop by one of our 2nd Avenue Stores’ thrift shops in Philadelphia or our other locations. You’ll find all sorts of unique items that you can DIY and put together to ensure that your Halloween costume is one of a kind.