Halloween Costumes from Thrifted Items – You Can Wear Again!

This Halloween, be smart - not scary. Create customized second hand Halloween costumes with items you can add to your regular wardrobe and wear again!I may cause those of you who love Halloween to scratch your wig-covered heads – because you’re already wearing your costume, obviously – when I tell you that I’m not a fan. Then you ask through your plastic glow-in-the-dark vampire teeth, “What’s not to love?”

Don’t you like costumes? I’m a dancer – of course I like costumes! What about candy? I’ve been known to down an entire bag of sour Skittles in one sitting. A big bag too. And scary stories? I’m not a fan of the super gory stuff, but a tastefully told ghost story? Yeah, you got my attention.

So, why don’t I like Halloween? Well… because it’s wasteful! I’ve already harped on the wastefulness of Christmas, which I actually do love because at least Christmas is about peace and family and all those beautiful things. What’s Halloween about? I’m not talking about it’s origins of remembering the dead, which I respect. But, nowadays, it seems all Halloween is about is buying a whole bunch of shoddily made stuff in order to celebrate one single day that has no actual meaning.

Costumes we’ll only wear once, decorations made of plastic and – the candy. Oh the candy! According to this infographic, Americans purchase 600 million pounds of Halloween candy each year. Candy with wrappers that end up in landfills. As for the aforementioned costumes, whatever happened to the humble homemade costumes of my youth? When I wanted to be a cat, my mom stuffed a leg from a pair of old tights, pinned it to the back of a ballet leotard, glued some felt ears to a headband and drew whiskers on my face with her eyeliner. Voila! No purchase necessary. Minimal waste created.

This Halloween, I encourage you to go back to the basics. Instead of buying cheap Halloween costumes in a plastic bag, unleash your imagination and see what you can come up with using secondhand items and things you already have at home. Be extra smart when choosing your costumes and pick pieces you can add to your regular wardrobe and wear again.

Here are four ideas for second hand Halloween costumes. I hope they inspire you to create your own!


Note that this post contains affiliate links, meaning if you click on a link and make a purchase a small percentage of the sale goes to yours truly. Please know that I only link to products that are good for the earth, good for the soul, or both!


All the items listed below are from ThredUp, which is my favourite online shop for secondhand clothing and accessories. Some of these pieces you may already have at home. You could also borrow from a friend, shop your local thrift stores or check out any buy and sells or garage sales in your area. Just remember to buy #secondhandfirst!

Treehugger

Of course this was going to be my first idea! These items also work for a hippie or boho-inspired costume.

Flowing Dress

Create customized second hand Halloween costumes with items you can add to your regular wardrobe and wear again! Like this flowy dress, which would be perfect for a treehugger costume.

Crocheted Vest

Second-Hand-Halloween-Costumes-Treehugger-2

 

Scarf Headband

Create customized second hand Halloween costumes with items you can add to your regular wardrobe and wear again! Like this scarf headband, which would be perfect for a treehugger costume.

Comfy Sandals

Create customized second hand Halloween costumes with items you can add to your regular wardrobe and wear again! Like these comfy sandals, which would be perfect for a treehugger costume.

Plus…

Find a fallen branch and cradle it in your arms like a baby. If you’re going the hippie route, draw a peace sign on your cheek and slip in some funky earrings.

Modern Ballerina

Contrary to popular belief, ballerinas are not just little girls in pink tutus, here are some items to help you create a Black Swan inspired look.

Black Bodysuit

Create customized second hand Halloween costumes with items you can add to your regular wardrobe and wear again! Like this black bodysuit, which would be perfect for a modern ballerina costume.

Black Tutu Skirt

Create customized second hand Halloween costumes with items you can add to your regular wardrobe and wear again! Like this black tutu skirt, which would be perfect for a modern ballerina costume.

Tights

Create customized second hand Halloween costumes with items you can add to your regular wardrobe and wear again! Like these pink tights, which would be perfect for a modern ballerina costume.

Black Lace Up Flats

Create customized second hand Halloween costumes with items you can add to your regular wardrobe and wear again! Like these black lace up flats, which would be perfect for a modern ballerina costume.

Plus…

Throw together a DIY tiara, smudge on the black eye shadow and you’re ready to grande jete away.

Superhero

This costume is modelled after the classic Wonder Woman, because you know you’re wonderful… right?

Red Tube Top

Create customized second hand Halloween costumes with items you can add to your regular wardrobe and wear again! Like this red tube top, which would be perfect for a superhero costume.

Blue Capri Leggings

Create customized second hand Halloween costumes with items you can add to your regular wardrobe and wear again! Like these blue leggings, which would be perfect for a superhero costume.

Gold Belt

Create customized second hand Halloween costumes with items you can add to your regular wardrobe and wear again! Like this gold belt, which would be perfect for a superhero costume.

Red Boots

Create customized second hand Halloween costumes with items you can add to your regular wardrobe and wear again! Like these red boots, which would be perfect for a superhero costume.

Plus…

DIY a Wonder Woman tiara and grab an old piece of yellow rope for a magic lasso.

Elf

Think Lord of the Rings, not Christmas. Majestic, powerful and just super cool… if you’re a nerd like me!

Brown Tunic

Create customized second hand Halloween costumes with items you can add to your regular wardrobe and wear again! Like this brown tunic, which would be perfect for an elf costume.

Black Leggings

Create customized second hand Halloween costumes with items you can add to your regular wardrobe and wear again! Like these black leggings, which would be perfect for an elf costume.

Brown Woven Belt

Create customized second hand Halloween costumes with items you can add to your regular wardrobe and wear again! Like this brown woven belt, which would be perfect for an elf costume.

Brown Boots

Create customized second hand Halloween costumes with items you can add to your regular wardrobe and wear again! Like these brown boots, which would be perfect for an elf costume.

Plus…

Pull the top of your hair back, add some tiny braids and whip up your own DIY bow and arrow.

Have a fun – and thrifty! – Halloween.

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This Halloween, be smart - not scary. Create customized second hand Halloween costumes with items you can add to your regular wardrobe and wear again!

Posted October 14, 2018

2 thoughts on “Halloween Costumes from Thrifted Items – You Can Wear Again!

  • October 15, 2018 at 7:01 am
    Permalink

    These are wonderful ideas and I completely agree as I make my way through the big box stores and think of the entire area as not only waste but a waste of time. There is very little originality or creative thinking in buying a plastic cape, hat, glasses, and blood. So much blood. I asked my granddaughter what she will dress up as this year and she said a zombie nerd. Last year she was a zombie cheerleader. I asked her why she had to always be something dead. Or bloody. She looked at me and did not understand the question. She is 10. But there is hope as her older sister will be a cowgirl using mostly items she already wears as she is – well – a cowgirl who rides horses. I’m just glad it’s only one day and that the world and marketers haven’t managed to squeeze it into Halloween Week. Yet.

    Reply
    • October 24, 2018 at 3:09 pm
      Permalink

      I already feel like Halloween has been spread out into a multi-week event. Essentially as soon as back-to-school marketing is over, it’s Halloween marketing, and then of course Christmas comes earlier every year. I think we need a time of the year where we are preparing for absolutely nothing and buying absolutely nothing. Okay – I’ve just made up my mind. It’s happening!

      Reply

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