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Thrift or treat

October 19, 2010

As my normal posting day rolled around, I thought for awhile about what I wanted to write about. I have been lacking a bit of inspiration as of late (school, etc), but obviously wanted to still post. So I figured I’d write about Halloween.

Yes, Halloween. The holiday where we can channel something or someone else and dress up. We can go as crazy we want, or as lazy as we want. I’ve never been a big fan of Halloween (at least since clearing the age where begging for candy was acceptable). Halloween when I was in college always fell on UGA’s fall break and I was either watching Georgia play Florida in football or home giving my mind a mental vacation. I think I dressed up once (a matador) and it was for a sorority social a few weeks before Halloween.

Since moving to D.C., I’ve actually embraced dressing up and going to a party or a bar. But this always begs the question — what will I be?

About a month ago, my roommate and I got a Halloween costume catalog in the mail. As we skimmed through it, the only thing that jumped out at me were the prices. $60 bucks for a “naughty” firefighter costume? Yea, right. Most costumes you can buy aren’t worth the money. The materials are cheap and usually fall apart the night of. So I decided to take a different approach this year. I was going to thrift my costume.

Instead of browsing the catalog for a costume, I instead browse for inspiration. I ended up really liking this sailor girl costume. It was a tad bit inappropriate but I decided I could probably find pieces for something similar in my own closet or at a thrift store. Then just get a sailor had and BOOM — saucy sailor. I’ve actually revised to be sort of a pin-up girl/sailor so I can rock a retro hairstyle and a red lip.

Screen shot 2010-10-19 at 3.20.10 PM

This was the photo inspiration for my costume. I already have red pumps (my friend also might let me borrow these saucy red heels she has, if I can learn to walk in them) and a white button-up shirt, so I just needed to fill in the rest (sans the thigh highs, just not my style). I’m going to go to JoAnn Fabrics and pick up some red fabric for the scarf, so I just needed the navy skirt and the hat.

21NrTWv+vZL._SL500_SX300_SY390_CR,0,0,300,390_The Halloween store by my house didn’t have the sailor hat I wanted, so I bought the above one from for 4 dollars. Can’t beat that.

I thought the skirt would be easy. The Salvation Army store by me as well as one of the Goodwill stores organizes their clothes by color, so I thought it would be a piece of cake. Boy, was I wrong. I went to six different thrift stores over the course of a month and found zero workable skirts. I was beginning to panic slightly because Halloween is quickly approaching and I have put all my eggs in to the sailor basket.

I was hit with a dilemma. No thrift store skirts to complete my costume, but there was no way I wanted to spend a lot of money on a navy skirt I might not ever wear again. So I took to the Internet and thankfully, crisis averted.



I found this high-waisted navy skirt on Amazon for 7 bucks. It’s actually meant to be part of a school uniform, but who’s really paying attention? I might end up taking it up an inch or two because, let’s face it, it’s Halloween and I can get away with it.

So those are some tips for finding a thrifty alternative to pricey Halloween costumes. I will be sure and post a picture of my finished costume.

What are you going to be for Halloween? Did you make your costume or buy one?

4 Comments leave one →
  1. October 19, 2010 4:17 pm

    I was originally going to be Peggy Olson from “Mad Men” for Halloween, but after I cut my hair I decided to rock a Cleopatra outfit instead. I already have lots of (fake, cheap) gold jewelry and gold gladiator sandals (and black eyeliner, of course), so my mission this weekend is to thrift a white dress. I’m sure I’ll end up spilling something on it before the end of Jenny’s Halloween Housewarming party, though.

    I love the sailor idea! I like taking items I already have and making a costume out of them. I used to do that a lot when I was a kid – I never had those store-bought costumes.

    • Katy permalink*
      October 19, 2010 4:36 pm

      I like the Cleopatra idea! My hair isn’t hard enough to pull it off. I figured my current red hair could go well with the sailor theme too. As I am typing this, I just got red pen on my white dress shirt, so I can feel your pain on keeping white clothing clean.

  2. October 19, 2010 6:58 pm

    Liz Lemon, now that I’ve got a semi-similar haircut and glasses (though I think I’m going to spring for a cheap pair that look more like hers). Planning to copy this outfit:

    Planning to add some food stains and maybe some chips in my hair, and a Snuggie instead of a jacket. And maybe a sign that says “What is the deal with my life?!” or some such.

    And accepting any other LL imitation tips! 🙂


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