Sales & Events




DIY Halloween costume tips Q+A

POSTED October 28, 2019 IN: DIY Projects


Creative costumes from Goodwill for Halloween!

Goodwill stores have tons of costume options that are silly, scary, spooky or sweet. Choose from a great selection of new or gently used costumes that cost a fraction of those at pricier costume stores. Even better, use your imagination while browsing rows of clothing and accessories to create a unique look for Halloween. The stores also stock face make-up, hats and other accessories to put the finishing touches on your creation.  We talked to Erica Fairchild, a freelance wardrobe and props stylist based in Seattle for some tips.

What is a good Halloween costume?

A good Halloween costume has to be something you feel good in! Halloween is such a fun time to step outside of our comfort zones and get to be a totally different character for a day. I love costumes that are creative, clever, and unique. One of the most fun and exciting things about Halloween is deciding on a costume, then putting it all together to create your vision – and while you may encounter someone else dressed as the same character, with one-of-a-kind thrifted pieces added in, your individuality will still shine through!

What are some tips you have for shopping thrift for Halloween?

  • Addamsfamily

Thrift store shopping is the best way to create a unique costume! Whether you already have a costume in mind or are still looking for inspiration, you will find ideas and pieces at thrift stores that you can’t get anywhere else. If the store has a vintage section, that’s a great place to start. The Halloween department always has really great new pieces that you can combine with secondhand items for a more customized look.

Thinking outside of the parts of the store you’d normally shop will help you find hidden gems to compliment your costume perfectly, along with looking past the typical use for something (a belt can become a headband or chest piece, or a scarf a belt!). If you’re going to be a scary clown, you may find the perfect neckpiece is a tutu in the children’s section. Utilizing props can really up your costume game as well – such as a golf club for a golfer, or an old boom box for an 80s aerobics star! If you find something that you think could work but isn’t exactly right, you can always use some stylist tricks: cut a skirt or sleeves to length, or pin a too-big garment along the seams, or personalize the item with a trip to the craft store! A teapot can become the Genie’s lamp from Aladdin with gold spray paint; putting craft wire along the collar can take a draped black coat from regular to Maleficent-worthy!

Do you see any trends this year for Halloween?

For 2019, much like past years, we are seeing a lot of costumes derived from popular television shows and movies. For young adults, shows like Riverdale and Sabrina have many characters that make noteworthy costumes. Stranger Things gave us the Scoops Troop in Season 3, which will have us seeing many people in the fun ice cream shop sailor uniform. Game of Thrones, Star Wars, and Harry Potter-inspired costumes will continue to have a strong presence, along with superheroes and scarier costumes like zombies and clowns. There’s been a huge increase in demand for costumes for our furry friends. There are some really darling costumes for dogs and cats that are trending for 2019 – everything from a doggy dragon to a kitty cowboy!

How can accessories and wigs make your costumes more unique?

  • Evilfairy

Attention to detail is what really sets a costume apart from the crowd, which means utilizing wigs and accessories is a must! Different accessories can change a simple clothing item already in your closet or found at a thrift store into a costume in a number of ways – add a long black wig in two braids, a white collar and cuffs, and you have a Wednesday Addams costume! Or add a black and white wig, red gloves, and a black and white coat, and you’re Cruella de Vil! The options are endless with the right accessories, wigs, and makeup. A simple black suit can be a skeleton, Gomez Addams, Men in Black, or John Wick with the right styling.

Do you have any suggestions for couple’s costumes? Or kids costumes?

There are so many fun ways to do couple’s and group costumes! Having a themed family or group costume (my friends went as Hagrid, Harry Potter, Hermione, and a Dementor last year!) is so fun! I think we will see a lot of Spider-Man costumes from ‘Into the Spider-verse,’ along with many video game and Disney-themed costumes for children (and adults!) as well. Putting a funny ‘play on words’ spin on a couple’s costume is always a great way to make it unique and showcase your personality!

If you haven’t decided on a costume yet or tend to do things last minute, don’t worry! There are so many options that can be put together quickly and on a budget. To see some inspiration on how to style a DIY Halloween costume entirely from a thrift store, please visit the Halloween inspiration looks we put together at

Sign up for our newsletter

Receive the latest news on sales, classes, and more from Evergreen Goodwill!

Sign Up