Part 1 of 3. This post also appears on ShopSoCo.com. The full article can be read on October 17th in the Sonoma Living section of the Press Democrat.
It’s the treats that have kids clamoring for the perfect costume to collect candy in this Halloween. But it’s the trick of their disappearing paycheck that has parents dreading another holiday – particularly the money they are going to be parting with for a costume the kids will only wear once. The average costume search can cost hundreds to a family of four, buying useless items that will end up stuffed in a costume box that will no doubt be donated in a few years time. But there’s hope for those of us who are financially strapped, or even just sick of the payout, and it lies behind the doors of our local thrift stores that are scattered throughout Sonoma County.
Of course, mention thrift shopping, and immediately pictured is a dingy smelling room with bad lighting and items you could find in your grandmother’s attic among the cobwebs. I’m not going to lie. Some of those places do exist. But for the most part, thrift stores are actually clean shops with countless treasures just waiting to be discovered within the racks and shelves. And regardless of any odor that may or may not exist, thrift shopping for your costume can actually bring some amazing results as well as saving you a ton. That was the underlying tone among those who volunteer at thrift stores.
“It’s less expensive,” Lorrie Hawkins of Heavenly Treasures in Santa Rosa said, implying that Halloween thrifting just makes sense. “Last year I bought a child’s Halloween costume from Costco for $30!” she told me, noting that the Halloween costumes in her thrift store were less than $5 apiece. Proof was in the baby ladybug costume and the unopened Jack Sparrow costumes for only $3 apiece.
“A lot of people come in looking for costumes.” said Cynthia Rhode of Angel’s Attic in Santa Rosa. “People in theater come in, and it’s amazing what kinds of creative costumes they create,” she told me, noting the eclectic jewelry and vintage clothing they carry.
Looking for a thrift store in the area? You’re in luck, there are plenty to choose from. Here are a few of our favorites:
From what I can tell, this is quite possibly the least expensive thrift store in town. 90% of their proceeds benefits local organizations, such as “The Living Room”, a shelter for homeless and at-risk women. Hot Tip: They have a rack in front dedicated solely to Halloween costumes, and nothing is more than $5.
576 Mendocino Ave, Santa Rosa
Plenty of vintage clothing, as well as favored labels (Chicos, Talbots, Coldwater Creek). A frequent stop for actors and theater buffs for their costume needs, so obviously a great choice for a creative Halloween costume.
411 E Street, Santa Rosa
Goodwill Rohnert Park
This shop just opened up in the old Q’Zar location in Rohnert Park. It’s extremely well organized and clean, with lots of room to house hundreds of new-to-you items.
6591 Commerce Blvd, Rohnert Park