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Five Halloween costumes you can thrift

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OCTOBER 06, 2022

As we reach the 10th month of the year, Halloween is finally right around the corner. Unlike the nostalgic trick-or-treating of our childhoods, Halloween around here often means several days of dressing up and going out. Finding different costumes for every day can be pricey, so I’ve gotten in the habit of trying to find my costumes secondhand and making my own accessories. Here are some Halloween costumes with minimal firsthand purchases required. 


Some may say that this costume is overdone, but I personally think there’s a lot of room for creativity within a Western-inspired costume. The basics are simple enough: denim shorts or jeans, a brown or plaid top, and a cowboy hat. Possible accessories include a chunky leather belt, silver jewelry, cowboy boots and a denim, leather or fringed jacket. Possible variations of the classic cowboy costume include space cowboy, gothic cowboy or zombie cowboy. Try adding fringes to the edge of your cowboy hat for a slightly edgier look. 


For a Catwoman costume, anything black leather works. For a more daring and bold costume, opt for a black leather bodysuit and some thigh-high boots. For other options, search for a black leather skirt or pants. Gloves are a plus as well! A cat mask and whip may be tough to come across secondhand, so maybe say a quick prayer to the thrift store gods before you head out. 


The four seasons make for a fantastic group costume with a lot of room for unique pieces. The only real requirement is following a seasonal color palette — the rest is up to personal interpretation. Winter can involve either all white or light blue or actual winter clothing, summer can be made of greens or some sort of swimsuit variety, spring can be a sundress or pastel colors and fall can be reds and oranges or a Christian girl autumn-esque outfit. Depends on your vibe — you do you! I did this costume with a group of friends one year and we each wore a flower crown of different seasonal flowers, which I think completed the look. 


Pink, pink, pink! That’s all you really need to be on the lookout for when trying to emulate the queen of dolls. A pink jumpsuit or miniskirt, some big glasses and either blonde hair or a blonde wig will easily make you look like Barbie. You can also take inspiration from the broader Barbie universe, such as the Barbie princesses. And for a counterpart Ken costume, just do your best to look stereotypically preppy. If you need to repurpose the costume for a second day, just say you’re Elle Woods instead. 

Thrifting Halloween costumes allows for dressing up without breaking the bank, and it’s better for the environment as well! Costumes tend to end up more unique and interesting as well, which is always fun. Like many other former emos, this time of my year is one of my favorites, and Halloween is always the icing on the cake. I’m excitedly looking forward to the week of festivities that’s now just right around the corner. Stay safe and stay spooky!

Contact Lauren von Aspen at 


OCTOBER 06, 2022