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.
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?
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!