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Halloween Costume Challenged? Here are a few budget-conscious ideas…

By Danielle Zickl, Contributing Writer, October 26, 2016

Halloween is right around the corner, but don’t worry if you haven’t bought a costume yet. Maybe you’re stuck on an idea, or maybe you just don’t want to spend $60 on a ready-to-wear one from Party City or Ricky’s. Well, we’ve got a solution for you: thrift stores. They’re a cheap and easy way to ensure that you’ll still have the best costume in your posse, even at the last minute. Below are costume ideas and what you’ll need to complete them, along with the best thrift stores in the city to find everything you’ll need. Happy thrifting!

  1. Rosie the Riveter

An iconic figure in American history, Rosie the Riveter represents all the working women during World War II. As it turns out, her outfit is super easy to recreate with items you’re sure to find in a thrift store. All you need is a denim shirt, jeans, and a red bandana. Alternatively, if you happen to find a rad denim jumpsuit, don’t let it pass you by! The best part? Everything you need for this costume can double as everyday wear, so you’ll definitely get your money’s worth.


Find it at: Crossroads Trading Company // Locations in Manhattan and Brooklyn //

  1. ‘60s Hippie

Throw it back to the days of Woodstock, Haight-Ashbury, and the Summer of Love with this classic costume. Bell-bottom jeans are a must, but the rest of the outfit can be whatever you want it to. From flowy shirts and fringe vests to oversized sunglasses and beaded necklaces, you can find everything you need at your local thrift store. Clothing from this era has made a comeback and shows no signs of going away soon, so you’ll easily be able to reuse the pieces of this costume.


Find it at: Angel Street Thrift // 118 W. 17th St. in Manhattan //

  1. Where’s Waldo?

Waldo may be hard to find in books, but luckily his outfit is easy to find stores. You’ll need four simple pieces to put this costume together: jeans, a red striped shirt or sweater, black rimmed glasses, and a red beanie. Though you may have to endure some jokes about blending into your surroundings, it’ll still be worth this inexpensive and accessible costume.

where's waldo

Find it at: Vintage Thrift Shop // Locations in Grammercy and the West Village //

  1. Wednesday Addams

The daughter of Morticia and Gomez, Wednesday Addams is a character everyone knows and loves. Aside from pigtail braids, the only other thing that completes this costume is a black dress. The hardest part about finding a black dress will be narrowing it down to only one. (But who are we to judge? If you find four cheap black dresses, by all means scoop them up!) Post-Halloween, you’ll have a new wardrobe addition to wear to work or out with your friends.

Wednesday Addams

Find it at: AuH2O // 84 E. 7th St. in Manhattan //

  1. Lumberjack

This costume—a flannel, jeans, and suspenders—offers ultimate comfort and warmth on a chilly October night. It’s a bonus if you have a beard, but definitely not a necessity to successfully pull off this look. The lumberjack costume is so easy to find, you’ll be in and out of the thrift store in minutes (unless you get caught up in browsing through infinite racks, which is totally understandable). Use your newly bought flannel throughout the rest of the winter to keep you toasty yet fashionable.  (The axe is optional, but a nice touch).


Find it at: Buffalo Exchange // East Village, Chelsea, Williamsburg, Boerum Hill, and Astoria //

  1. Dwight Schrute

Dwight Schrute, Dunder Mifflin’s highest ranking salesman, will have everyone at your Halloween party entertained. All you need is a pair of oversized reading glasses, a tie, and a dress shirt, all of which can be found at one of the city’s many thrift stores. Though you may not wear this getup everyday, at least your bank account won’t hate you.

Dwight Schrute

Find it at: Goodwill // Locations in the Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Queens //


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