Second-hand Halloween costumes

The front steps in Downtown Edmonds are decorated with pumpkins and the local scarecrow contest. It’s almost Halloween, and the treasure hunt of piecing together a great costume is getting more urgent.


1.Find some inspiration before you shop – Look at blogs, find examples of your favorite costumes, scroll through Pinterest and Instagram. Get an idea of what kind of costumes you like and what other people have managed to put together when second-hand shopping.


2.Combine costumes – Wear zombie makeup with that beautiful prom dress. Be a ballerina witch. Creative freedom is yours.


3.Go for a non-traditional twist on a classic costume – Sure, Minnie Mouse wears a polka dot dress, but why not wear a polka dot jumpsuit? Why not a white dress with red spots? There’s no mandate to match a character exactly.


4.The classics – All a witch costume really needs is a hat and a black outfit. Combining crazy prints can make an easy clown costume.

5. Look for something unusual and build a costume around it. Find a pair of cool boots? What kind of character would wear them, and how can you plan the rest of your costume around it? Find a retro jacket you love? See if any other pieces in the store match the silhouette of the era and wear it all as a historical costume.


6.Repurpose clothes – Use a giant floral scarf as a wraparound skirt or ear warmers as a collar.


7.Make some changes – Hot glue guns are your best friend, safety pins are cheap, and nothing says you can’t use a stapler on fabric (staples can even come in colors to match your costume). Hot glue a fur embellishment and leather patches to a thick duster cardigan for a Game of Thrones vibe.


8.Dedicate some time to the search – Unlike a costume store, shopping second-hand requires searching. Costumes aren’t always obvious and on display, but there’s always something unique.


A little creativity can open up options, especially when second-hand shopping is already be limited by what’s available on the racks.

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