Halloween Thrift Shop Spree

Yes, I'm doing further research on the subject of a previous post.  In the meantime, please enjoy this post.


My best Halloween costumes have been found in thrift stores---and the best part is, well-chosen items can be worn again in the light of day. On this most permissive  and creative of holidays, you can carry that  free spirit all year long.

Here are just a few examples---

Flannel shirts--this iconic grunge look (and  L.L. Bean style) can also be worn as school attire. And for post-graduates, it's just the thing for chores and errands.

Jeans--depending on the style, you could be a carpenter,  a farmer, a rebel without a cause, Rosie the Riveter, a flower child, a disco queen. Truly egalitarian, jeans can be whoever you want to be.

Black suit--Men in Black tonight, interview tomorrow!

Tight Sweaters--you can be the classic 50's sweater girl--bonus points if you find a real vintage sweater. Add a black skirt and  black tights, and you're a beatnick chick--or a French art student?  (This is one  I have done myself. My find was black cashmere!  I wore that sweater again and again. Still have it, too, but I have to patch the elbows...)

A fitted red top--You're ready for Star Trek--Original or Remake, that's up to you.

A trench coat--How about a detective, a spy, a reporter, a diplomat? This is another item I incorporated into my own work wardrobe.

Cargo shorts--Explorer, archeologist, tourist?

And then, there's the Holy Grail of  thrifters--the Little Black Dress---Maybe you weren't thinking of going as Audrey Hepburn, but if you should happen upon this treasure, you should reconsider. I would! The Thrift Goddess can be  choosy with Her gifts, but She is generous...maybe that's what She wants you to be...

Why am I telling you this?  I'm just passing on the knowledge. Be open to the possibilities.  What could you do with a prom dress, parachute pants,  or scuba gear?

Remember that props can make your costume but can also be problematic. Many years ago, I went as a Voodoo Economist. (Voodoo Economics was quite topical at the time.  Now, maybe you could  be Neo-Voodoo?)

This get-up required the trench coat, a suit, and a briefcase containing a copy of the Wall Street Journal and a rubber chicken. Big mistake!  The zombie makeup was fun, though.

Speaking of makeup, this is the opportunity to stock up on black eyeliner and wild-colored nail polish at Walgreens.

Not to mention candy for all those other trick-or-treaters, too!



Like this? Why not subscibe? Type your email address in the box and click the "create subscription" button. My list is completely spam free, and you can opt out at any time.



Leave a comment
  • I was wondering why Goodwill was advertising "buy your Halloween costume here." You have an explanation.

    Also, when Craig Ferguson was asked whether there are any costumes of him, he said "at any second hand clothing store," and Geoff Peterson said "I'm at any Halloween shop."

  • Jack, thanks for reading! Hope you found my post amusing. Yes, I'm a thrift shop girl from way back.

    Maybe Goodwill is becoming the Target of second-hand stores--the cool place to shop for hip and unique stuff (not just for poor people). And the charitable mission is an added bonus...

    Anyway, it seems thrifting is trendy again. Also, there's the "green" aspect, recycling and reusing things. I have seen many folks looking for vintage things to sell on Ebay, too.

Leave a comment