This is my very first sponsored post. That means that Savers sent me a gift certificate to go check out their Halloween selection. Thanks Savers!
One of the most fun reasons to thrift shop – and a great way to ease newbies into thrifting – is hunting for costumes:
Molly Ringwald costume at a rollerskating party, circa 2008. That sweater was thrifted for the occasion; afterwards I wore it, unironically, in real life. #noaccountingfortaste
Halloween – aka primo opportunity to thrift a costume – is just a few weeks away. So when Savers asked me if I wanted to peruse one of their stores for costume thrift finds, I was all over it.
If you are new to Savers like I was, it’s a for-profit thrift store chain. Although a small amount goes to local nonprofit partners, percentage-wise, the overwhelming majority of what you pay goes to Savers. Nothing wrong with that – pre-owned items still end up with a new lease on life – but since I was confused by some of the messaging in the store about donations and non-profit partners, I want to be clear.
My first impression was that Savers is really on it vis-a-vis Halloween. A lot of thrift stores sort of half-heartedly assume you will come thrifting for a costume but don’t do much to make your search easier. By contrast, Savers has a smorgasboard of strategically organized offerings.
This Savers location had one of the better collections of used costumes I’ve seen, including these gems.
For the Trekkie:
For when your friend goes all out as Thor but you’re lazy and just want to put on a Loki t-shirt:
And Supergirl – which I would have bought for my kid if we didn’t already own this exact outfit (thanks Uncle Chaka & Uncle John!):
Next up: themed costume sections with potential secondhand costume ideas and accessories in one spot. Here we have all things clown, with rainbow craziness as the centerpiece of your costume…
…plus retail accessories to finish it off:
There was a similar pirate section, superhero section, etc.
Then there’s retail makeup (something you probably don’t want to get secondhand):
And for those in a creative rut or working on a deadline, Savers has a line of retail costumes:
The quality on these was pretty low and the prices pretty high – $25 for a cheap Luke Skywalker-esque costume when you could have thrifted an old karate jacket and brown pants and borrowed your kid’s lightsaber – so as with all but the best pre-made costumes, I recommend you skip this section.
Last but not least, and my personal favorite: costumes made out of non-costume thrift finds.
How often do you see hideously out-of-date wedding dresses at the thrift store? Find one that fits reasonably well (or can be safety-pinned), dump some red paint on it, and you have zombie bride, newlywed ghost, or Carrie at a prom-gone-wrong:
Or skip the blood, paint your face white with heavy black eye makeup and some white streaks in your hair and you’ve got bride of Frankenstein.
Next up, the erstwhile Kate Middleton at a disco roller party:
…right?? Or you could do a modern-day take on Rainbow Brite, a unicorn, etc. etc.
Your preschooler wants to be a bumblebee? Grab this and some pipecleaners for antennae and you’re in buzzzziness (sorry, couldn’t help myself):
This has mermaid written all over it:
SO much leopard print to be had at thrift stores – just grab bottoms like this and a leopard print top, paint your face, stick on some cat ears, and you’ll look purrrfect:
Olive green pants + aviators and you’re Tom Cruise from Top Gun:
This is decidedly Hamiltonian – pull some knee-high socks over leggings or up to meet knee-length capris, thrift some brogues, use a chiffon scarf as a cravat, put your hair in a ponytail, and you’ll look as fetching as a federalist:
This + fedora + one of those grabby arms to reach things on the top shelf = Inspector Gadget:
Throw this over some puffy snow pants and get yourself a fondu fork (there’s at least one in every thrift store) for a 1970s ski bunny ensemble:
Tweed pants (also easy to find at the thrift store) + this gorgeous heather green/purple tweed blazer by Ralph Lauren = Scottish game warden. Put on some waders and carry around a fishing pole and you’ll be a fly fisher. Or slap on your nicest leggings and a pair of riding boots, top it off with a black baseball hat and be an equestrian à la Lady Mary:
Stuff this with a pillow, stick on a sheriff’s badge, top it off with a faux-fur Russian-style hat with ear flaps (also plentiful at the thrift store), and you’ve got Marge Gunderson from Fargo – bonus points if you’re already pregnant:
Y’all, I am not even that creative in the costume department but just by strolling through the aisles I came up with over a dozen ideas. The thrift store is the place to concoct your costume – and Savers’ mix of thrift finds, accessories, and makeup makes it so easy you might even be able to one-stop-shop your look.
Now I want to know – what costumes have you thrifted?
Thanks again, Savers, and Happy Halloween hunting, Thrifters!