InSustainable Fashion

Something To Think About When Halloween Costume Shopping

I’ve been creating my own DIY Halloween costume since I can remember. I remember makeshift yellow brick roads, furry vests, and even making my own Wonder Woman costume in college. It’s one of my favorite times of the year, because I can let my creativity run free. But last year, something changed.

It was my first year back from college, and I was busier than I expected. My boyfriend and I went to the Halloween store to see what our options were for costumes. I was absolutely blown away to see how much the outfits were. The store was filled with tons of different super heroes, cartoon characters, and, of course, the typical booty short ensembles as well. I kid you not, there was nothing there for under $40. It was absurd.

The closer it got to Halloween, the more I realized that spending the money on a costume was what I might have to do. Especially since I couldn’t just throw something together in less than a week. I spent many days walking through Halloween shops until it got to the very last minute. It was the day before Halloween and I had no idea what to do.

This was before my purposeful journey started, mind you. I was purely looking to nail my costume. Not to save the world, like I am now — or so I like to think.

Halloween Costume

Then I wandered into Goodwill with my mom. I went in with the intention of finding a red and white striped t-shirt to throw together an Where’s Waldo costume, but I got so much more.

I started in the costume section. Yes, Goodwill has an entire section of Halloween costumes, and it’s actually pretty awesome. So many people donate costumes that they promote it from the month of September on. I didn’t end up finding anything that I like that was already made.

What I found was so much better. There was a family there with three little kids looking through the costume section. The little boys were so excited to see all of the different things that they could dress up as. I’m talking running around, trying everything on, and screaming “mommy look” every five seconds. That was something I didn’t see in any of the Halloween stores that I had gone to.

I knew in my head that buying a Halloween costume was an option, but for some people it’s not.

My mom ended up knowing the family from the school she works at. We started to help them pick out their costumes, and the smiles were just as big on their faces as mine. It was a Halloween that I have never experienced before.

It made me realize that, just like other holidays, there is so much more to Halloween. To some people it’s not all about finding the perfect outfit. It’s about finding an outfit that they can afford, while still making sure they — and their kids — are included in the fun.

Keep that in mind this Halloween. When you’re searching for the right Halloween costume, think about what you’ll do with it afterwards. Can you donate it? Is there someone you can pass it down to? Can you thrift it instead?

Halloween Costume

Speaking of thrifted Halloween costumes, I did end up pulling something together that day. After I was done helping the kids find their holiday looks, I found one of my own. If you can believe it, every single item from this costume came from Goodwill.

It all started with the shoes. As soon as I found these high, pointed-toe boots, I knew that a witch was in the works. I scoured the skirt section, found the perfect tie-up skirt and black shirt, and then went to the Halloween section. The store sells some new items for the holiday too. The stockings and hat came from that section. Ready for the kicker? It was less than $15. Take that, Party Central!

If you haven’t already guessed, I plan on doing tons more thrifted Halloween costumes throughout the month. I want to show people that it is possible and actually way more fun. What do you want to me for Halloween this year? Let me know in the comment section!




  • Gluecksgeist

    This is such a hearttouching post Kali. We don’t really celebrate Halloween in Germany, so no costumes for me. I really like your outfit! These socks and shoes are so pretty and orange screams Halloween to me. Excited for all your upcoming Halloween posts xx

    October 2, 2017 at 8:33 am Reply
    • KaliBorovic

      Thanks so much! I hope this year’s costume can be as great as this one haha. So sad that you won’t be dressing up! xx.

      October 2, 2017 at 1:25 pm Reply
  • Keri Elaine

    Beautiful story! I wore the same costume for years, because I could not afford another one. I wish I had your skill back then for thrifing a costume together. I’m so touched you helped those kids find costumes 🙂 you’re such an angel Kali
    Keri Elaine

    October 3, 2017 at 2:25 am Reply
    • KaliBorovic

      I don’t know if I’m an angel, but I do the best I can haha. I see so many children, and people in general, shopping for costumes at the thrift store. I wish it would be the norm xx.

      October 3, 2017 at 11:32 am Reply
  • whatismaria

    This is such an important point and your costume looks absolutely lovely! Although making DIY costumes is always fun. We don’t really celebrate halloween in my family and I don’t have any plans with my friends this year so I probably won’t get to dress up but it is always interesting to see what other people can pull together:)

    October 3, 2017 at 6:02 am Reply
    • KaliBorovic

      Aw I’m sorry to hear that! Finding stuff for dress up is one of my favorite parts of fall. You can live vicariously through me haha xx.

      October 3, 2017 at 11:28 am Reply
  • sylvielois

    Your outfit is sooo cool. I love the pointed toe boots soo much! xx

    October 3, 2017 at 6:22 pm Reply
    • KaliBorovic

      Thank you! The boots were SUCH a lucky find! xx.

      October 3, 2017 at 11:47 pm Reply
  • K.M. Sutton

    This gave me the warm and fuzzies! And I LOVE your costume! So cute and Halloween chic! I feel the same way that you do. I hate spending all that money on costumes you only wear once (because let’s face it, who wants to wear their costume two years in a row?), I usually try to create outfits from clothes I have. This year, I am going to go as Khaleesi, I have a dress, that is very khaleesi-esque and I bought beanie baby dragons. Simple and easy 🙂 <3

    October 7, 2017 at 2:28 pm Reply
    • KaliBorovic

      Ah I can’t wait to see your costume! That sounds absolutely perfect! I have a few costumes coming out this month on the blog too, but I’ll keep them a secret hehe xx.

      October 9, 2017 at 12:32 pm Reply
      • K.M. Sutton

        Thanks beautY! Haha I can not wait to see yours! I know they are going to be amazing! And creative! 🙂 <3

        October 9, 2017 at 7:45 pm Reply
  • kittyp0p

    Perfectly said, Kali. I’ve never owned a Halloween costume from a shop cause growing up we always made our own and it was just more fun. As I got older, I realized it was also practical because who ever wears the store-bought costume more than once? And doesn’t it cost upwards of $100 most of the time? Didn’t seem worth it AND takes the adventure out of doing it all yourself. This year, I’m not sure what we’re gonna do. We might have a very small party at our apartment with like 4 friends cause we don’t want to be loud (and we don’t have a high budget whatsoever). My boyfriend and I have been brainstorming couples costumes, but we still haven’t decided on anything… I’ll let you know (:

    October 8, 2017 at 10:36 pm Reply
    • KaliBorovic

      I completely agree! It’s way more fun to create your own costume. It also helps to save the money. You guys should try walking around the thrift shop and see what inspires you! xx.

      October 9, 2017 at 12:45 pm Reply
      • kittyp0p

        Totally! We have a Salvation Army down the road that I’ve been dying to go to (:

        October 9, 2017 at 2:33 pm Reply

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