Remember the good old days when Halloween costumes were made, not bought? I DO remember it, quite well, in fact. One year, I dressed up as an old lady using one of Mama's dresses and pocketbooks, and shaking powder in my hair to make it "gray" and then twisting it back into a bun. Then there was the year I was a hobo. I used one of Daddy's old shirts, a bandanna, rolled up jeans, and we added makeup to look like a stubbly beard. Those were fun costumes, and a big part of the fun was putting them together piece by piece.
The same can still be done today. See below for proof that Halloween costumes need not break the bank. For this particular photo, we were actually dressed to attend a murder mystery dinner. However I think we looked like we just walked straight out of the Clue board game. Mrs. White and Col. Mustard, anyone?
So here's how these costumes came together. Mine was a result of shopping my closet, while John's getup was mostly courtesy of our local Goodwill.
For my outfit, I browsed my closet until I found just the right dress. I knew I wanted something simple with a wide swing skirt. So I choose this one. I have worn this dress many times before and since, but the difference here was in the accessories. I also owned the pearls, the gloves, and the shoes, so it was just a matter of hunting them down and putting them together. The only piece I didn't have was the hat, and I knew it was an important part of my "look", so I trotted myself down to the Goodwill, and they surprisingly had a ton of hats there. This was was just a little hat with a nice birdcage veil. I knew it would be perfect, and I must say it finished the look nicely. Total cost for my outfit was less than $5.00!
John's outfit was a little trickier for us, because we wanted to find certain pieces, most of which he didn't already own. So the majority of his ensemble came from Goodwill. In fact, we found his hat, tie, coat, pants, and wingtip shoes there. He added his own white button up shirt to complete the basic look. As with my costume, the accessories are what make it. We found the hat and tie at Goodwill, so that was a good start. But my ingenious husband had the idea to pop the lenses out of a pair of old 3D glasses to make his eyeglasses for this outfit. I tucked one of my scarves into the chest pocket of his coat. And then to complete the look, I made a quick trip to the party store for the pipe. It was the perfect finishing touch. Total cost for his outfit was less than $20!
And since this time, we have used Goodwill to put together other costumes too. Our local Goodwill store is HUGE and nicely laid out with a ton of merchandise to look through. What's more, as if the prices weren't already good enough, one weekend of every month, they discount their prices even more. And you never know that you will find. For example, the houndstooth jacket that John is wearing in these photos was made by Ralph Lauren and sold for about $5. Unbelievable!
So as Halloween approaches this year, consider shopping your own closet to see what you can do, and for the rest, look no farther than your local Goodwill. You might be surprised how much fun you have "making your own costume", and your wallet will thank you too!