In 2016, Americans spent around $1.6 billion dollars on Halloween costumes. proving how expensive dressing up can be for families, whether it’s Halloween, Christmas, birthdays or just a bit of fun. Along with the myth that creating your own personal style is costly, many people believe having a great fancy dress costume will mean that they have to break the bank in order to take part in the fun. However, spending less to get a great look can be even more satisfying and is far easier than people think, and it’s especially great when the compliments start rolling in.
Do it yourself
It’s amazing what you can do with simple sewing techniques. By buying cheap badges or fabric online and stitching them or ironing them onto clothes you already own, you can save yourself a lot of money in exchange for very little effort. A great example is a Star Trek badge sewn or ironed onto a t-shirt and then pairing that with black bottoms, completing the finished look. A winged cape for a little one who wants to become a bat can be made by cutting wing shapes into a piece of fabric and after, looping onto it a small piece of elastic. Go to a local craft store and see what they have in stock to become inspired by what original outfit you could craft, whether it be a creating an entirely new dress for you and your little princess, or just adding a strip of material to a bodysuit as matching superhero costumes for your superfamily. With just the basic skills of ironing or simple sewing, a lot can be achieved.
Sticking to what you have
A costume party will often be associated with spending large amounts of money on items you’ll only wear once, but this can be avoided. Once you have managed to find inspiration for what you and your family would like to dress as take a look at your closets and see what you can find. It may be that the basic elements of the costume are already there and you only need to accessorize by finding the other items at the supermarket or even the dollar store. To go as a devil, for instance, wear an all-red outfit and then you only need to find a pair of horns. Dressing as celebrities can be even easier as for the majority of the time, at least one outfit can be copied by using something you own already.
I’m gonna pop some tags…
Macklemore was onto something, thrift stores are not only environmentally beneficial, as you’re getting multiple uses out of the same garment, but also great for your bank account. Only 3 out of 20 Americansgo to them, proving just how overlooked this option is. Having a look at a thrift store could help find the perfect item needed to complete a look, or even gain inspiration for an entirely new costume. Get the whole family in on it and let the kids run around trying to find the best garment as a competition, you may be surprised what they could find. If you’re going for a costume of a more vintage character or celebrity, then these are even better as plenty of the clothes in a thrift store will be genuinely in the style of that period, making your look even more authentic than a costume store would.
Then next time the kids (or you, adults have fun too!) get an invite to a costume party, pause before whipping out your card. It may just be that before you splash out on an expensive new outfit from a store, you’re more than halfway there at home. A DIY outfit is often one which gets more complements than one bought entirely from scratch, as your effort will never go unnoticed. If all else fails, you can always use the all-black-cat-outfit-with-the-eyeliner-whiskers as a backup, because even a plan B costume is better than no costume at all!