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Look Fabulous for Halloween Without Going Broke

Updated on June 27, 2014

Look Amazing and Save that Money!

Halloween is one of the BEST holidays of the year. Why? (Do I need to ask?!) Because you get to dress up and no one thinks it's weird. In fact, the weirder you look, the cooler you probably will seem. Example, I once saw a guy dressed as a Christmas tree complete with blinking lights and ornaments. Unusual choice but completely funny to see.

The problem with so many great costumes is the steep price you have to pay for them. Enter any halloween store and expect to put down a lot of cash. Most generally lie in the fifty to seventy dollar range. Costumes with more features obviously come as more expensive and you might find yourself debating between food or an outfit. Fear not! I can help ease your budget while still looking great.

Most people assume the only place to find costumes are costume specialty stores. This is definitely not the case. As crazy as it sounds, thrift stores will often have a whole lot of costume for a little price. Doubting me? The photo of this lens is my sailor pin-up-girl costume from 2010. For less than eight dollars, I not only got the costume but brand-new Chinese Laundry shoes to accompany it. I found the costume at a thrift store and was amazed how it fit me so well (only to discover it was made-for-tween sizes later which explained a lot). Most stores will put out costumes weeks before Halloween. Sometimes, they are good places simply to buy accessorries for a costume. Side note: I only buy things clearly unworn or unused and never ever anything like a wig. If you are going to put it on your head, then you might want to purchase it new to be safe.

Not a thrift store fan? That is just fine. I did not have the energy to go out looking for a costume this past Halloween. Instead I opted for the best way to! I love online because I never had to leave my bed to find what I want. I wanted to be a Japanese geisha girl and thankfully I had ebay to help me along. So instead of buying the costume I liked for $60 at a costume shop, I got it for $16 dollars (that was with shipping & handling). I decided to even get a second costume which cost me all of $17 (that was with shipping & handling too). Both of these were purchased through the auction part of the site. Auctions are a great way to snag great costumes for cheap prices.

Do you plan ahead? My friend loves the day after halloween because everything gets marked down majorly at places like Halloween Express. She loves Halloween and stocks up on next year's costumes for half the cost. I haven't had much luck in finding the right sizes left for me at these sales but I do pick up good accessories. I've gotten halloween boots and petticoats which I know will always be Halloween useful.

Now. Those of you with a budget of negative are probably saying "How does this help me??!" Sometimes the best costumes are ones which don't cost a thing. Example, last Halloween I was out and about when I saw an awesome sight. A guy had a box on painted to look like one of those box wine advertisements. His friends were covered in green or purple balloons to be grapes to be with the wine. They were completely memorable and still homemade. Personal examples: one year we did Hallowang (a special halloween celebration in April), with the Alice in Wonderland theme. I went as the queen of hearts by attaching heart playing cards all over an old costume I had. I completed it by making my own crown of heart cards. One of my friends went as the Cheshire cat. She wore black leggings and a black top, then wrapped purple duct tape to look like stripes and borrowed a tail and cat ears from a friend.

Options I have seen include:

*Dressing up in a suit like the Mayhem man with a name tag saying it (you know..the guy who stands on a tree branch over a car saying..shaky..shaky...before it crashes into the car's roof...that guy)

*Cowboy/cowgirl- just put on some denim, a plaid top, get a cowboy hat, put a piece of grass in your mouth to chew on, and some boots.

*Diver attacked by jellyfish-this one is completely unique by a family member who dives all over the world. He ripped up an old wet suit, wore flippers, a snorkel mask and put red paint all over the rips.

* I saw one guy dressed as Edward from Twilight. Gelled hair, very pale skin, dark clothes, the usual moody vampire stuff. O. If you want some blood and have no money for paint ask a good girl friend for some red lipstick. Its Halloween so its acceptable

*Back to the eighties-big hair, crazy clothes, and large earrings (google eighties)

*Pro soccer player-get a soccer jersey, running shoes, shorts, and carry a soccer ball

*Hippie- I had a friend who was a real hippie. She loaned me long skirt scarf everything and made me go barefoot like her (not recommended in cold climates)

Options no one should do: *I saw multiple girls wearing nothing but saran wrap around them. Terrible costume. Now if they had been wearing tinfoil...I would've have understood. If you are wrapped in tinfoil, you are obviously a baked potato. Saran wrap? Eh...

A Salute to All My Readers!


This entire outfit cost me less than eight dollars. When I say entire, I mean everything from the cap down to the unused Chinese Laundry shoes. This fit me perfectly (which is very difficult when it comes to costumes and petite sizes). I like to see this as proof of the wonders from thrifting.

Hidden Costume Success

Ever wonder why those lady dress costumes are so bouncy? The secret is the petticoat underneath which gives the outfit more flair and life. The best part is buying one means being set for halloween after halloween. Definitely worth the money for the look. I own mine in white but feel free to get any color you want

Sailor Moon To the Rescue!


My friend has a childhood love of the character, Sailor Moon. She purchased her outfit (minus the boots) for around twenty dollars by buying online instead of in stores. The petticoat she bought in a previous year's sale. She saved and you can too by taking advantage of end-Halloween sales to stock up for next year.

Japanese Geishas and Greek Goddesses


I actually had people check at multiple stores for a Japanese geisha costume and could not find one in my size. So I looked on ebay and ended up finding the perfect size for under twenty dollars. I used a wig (I could only find blonde at the last moment) to skip the hair effort.. My friend also saved money by planning ahead and using the internet to find a great bargain.

Hair Aware - Blond, Bluenette, Redhead, Anime crazy?

Sexy Long Curly Blonde Wig
Sexy Long Curly Blonde Wig

Wigs are one of the best ways to aid your costume fun. Take good care of them and you can expect years of hair changes. Last year I could not find the right wig so I picked up this one. My costume looked much better worn by a long curly blonde and I skipped the typical hair hassle. This year may be a curly redhead or straight bluenette. The choices are endless so find yours.


Do Not Pass This Lens; Do Not Save Money - The Monopoly Man Comes to Life


I love Monopoly so when I saw the Monopoly man, I had to get a picture with him. His mustache was actually cardboard and the cane he had borrowed from an older relative. The only items actually purchased were the hat and bow tie. I loved it and it just shows how much you can do with buying a few accessories instead of pouring tons of money into a simple costume.

Order Hair Today...

Blond and sexy not for you? Check out more of ebay's great picks for wig ideas!

Halloween Fabulous for Your Pet


My friend adores her dog so she obviously needed to be included in our Halloween celebration. By using some simple fabric and a sewing machine, Sasha became Underdog. Unfortunately, the cuteness lasted about ten minutes before she wanted it off. The cute pictures were worth it though!

Puppy Love! - Don't Forget a Costume For Your Pet!

A Little Box Wine Anyone?


Remember the box wine and grapes? Sadly this picture has only one of the grapes and one box of wine. Even so, the costumes were still awesome and the grape consisted of merely attaching purple balloons to an outfit. The wine box took definite creative painting effort but put together they look amazing.

What Would Halloween Be Without Candy?

I love when Halloween appears in grocery stores because so do these delights. They are so sweet and delicious. Just do not eat to many at once (or let your kids). You will have a definite sugar crash before the night is finished :)

Great Halloween Costume Creativity - Give your own costume experience!

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    • evitaa profile image


      6 years ago

      Very nice lens. Can't believe that your entire outfit cost less than 8 bucks. So cool.:-)


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