Halloween Thrifting 2 – Costume Ideas

Part 2 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.

A pair of old shoes can be the finishing touch to a Frankenstein costume.

There are so many ideas that can be found among the racks of clothing, ready for your creative touch.

Be brought back to life – or at least partially alive as a zombie bride. There is many a scorned bride who can’t wait to rid themselves of that fancy white dress they wore for only a few hours. What cost them hundreds of dollars or more will only cost you a fraction of that. Add a matted wig, some horrific make-up, torn up tights and scuffed up shoes, as well as a dead bouquet of flowers, and you’re set. For the young’ns, you might be lucky enough to find a confirmation or communion dress, or an old flower girl dress. Other variations are an actual bride, a runaway bride (wear your running shoes!), or the Bride of Frankenstein.

Speaking of Frankenstein, an oversized suit is key. Cut the legs so that they are too short. Find some clunky boots. And using the cut off tops from a soda bottle, make neck bolts by spray painting them silver and attaching them to a headband that can connect to the back of the neck for an eerie look of disconnect.

Maybe you have something a little more worldly in mind…and tacky. Creating a tacky tourist costume is super easy with the fine selection of t-shirts boasting the name of random unknown cities from all over. Pair it with a wildly loud Hawaiian shirt, some Bermuda shorts, and an old camera, and you’ve got yourself a costume. Kudos if you pair it with hiking boots and long white socks. Bonus points if you can locate a folded up map to make reference to periodically.

Spruce up your costume by perusing the Vintage Section.

Feeling a little storybook nostalgic? Fall down the rabbit hole in a blue dress and white apron as Alice in Wonderland. Embrace your inner madness as the Mad Hatter, wearing a long plaid jacket with a mismatched vest, a top hat, a bow tie, and some strategically placed playing cards. Don’t be late with your retro timepiece on a chain, a suit and tie, and some leftover bunny ears from Easter as the infamous worried white rabbit.

Go a little more uniform, in uniform. Nurse, Military, Flight Attendant, cheerleader, football jock… Thrift stores often carry discarded uniforms – perfect for pulling together a realistic costume!

Perhaps you’re waiting for your fairytale to come true. Transform that old prom dress on the racks into the dress of a princess, pairing it with gaudy costume jewelry and some pretty shoes. Your prince can surely wear that casted off powder blue suit that is collecting dust in the corner.

If you’re not feeling a little green with all this recycled costuming going on, you certainly will transformed as a pregnant housewife. A giant muumuu with a lumpy pillow for your belly, curlers for your hair, and an old bathrobe with cheerios glued on for effect will have you with child in no time. Strap on a few babies, and you’re suddenly OctoMom, or maybe even Angelina Jolie on an off day.

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:

Sacks Hospice Thrift Store
Each week there’s a different sale. Super clean store and the staff is extremely helpful. It’s especially popular for their kids’ selections.
128 Liberty St, Petaluma, CA 94952
(707) 765-2228

Alphabet Soup Thrift Store
Small shop with extremely small prices, located conveniently downtown.
213 Western Ave, Petaluma, CA 94952
(707) 776-4620

Goodwill Petaluma
A little bit of everything in a large store. Clothes are all organized by color, though the mix up of sizes and men’s and women’s might have you searching a little longer. Still, there is so much to find here, it’s worth it.
1000 Lakeville St, Petaluma, CA
(707) 778-7485


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