The Fashionista is in: Thrifting for Halloween

Thrift shops offer cheap thrills and easy fixes for Halloween costumes.

Maddy Folstein

Halloween is just around the corner. Maybe you’ve been dreaming of the perfect costume for months — Eleven from “Stranger Things?” Joanne the Scammer? Or maybe you’re comfortable throwing on any pair of cat ears on your way out the door.

Either way, local thrift shops are the best way to save time and money.

On Oct. 15, Dinkytown’s Gina + Will was full of shoppers scouring the racks for the perfect spooky ensemble. Thrift shops constantly cycle through new merchandise which can be both a blessing and a curse depending on what your costume needs are.

“I think it’s great to come in with a couple ideas but keep an open mind,” Danielle Stager, the general manager of Gina + Will, said. “It’s about getting excited about how you can create your own [look.]”

Something you can always find? Accessories. Lots of them.

Don’t shy away from non-traditional costumes, either. Stager’s go-to is the 100-year-old grandma look: hat, jogging suit, tennis shoes and prescription sunglasses.

Three Gina + Will customers on Oct. 15 ended up finding their perfect Halloween ensemble, from flashy and fun to clever and cozy.

Calla Saunders, 18

Costume: “The Green Party”


Saunders, a freshman studying filmmaking at Sarah Lawrence College, found her inspiration in those looking to elect Jill Stein in November.

“The upcoming election is a really topical choice for costumes. There are going to be a lot of Trumps and a lot of Clintons. You can set yourself apart from the game but still be current,” Saunders said.

To get the look, grab anything green-hued and accentuate with funkier accessories,, such as a shiny headband.

Saunders already owned her polka dot Forever 21 tights and Doc Martens, proving that a good costume doesn’t have to be made of new pieces from head to toe.

Claire Rude, 18

Costume: “Dad.”


Rude’s costume might seem like a homage to a Disney tourist, but it’s really a tribute to classic dad fashion.

All she needed was a tool box and a grill.

“I love my dad. Everyone loves their dad. Dads are kind of getting their moment now with the rise of the dad bod,” Rude, a freshman at the U studying biosystems engineering, said.

Funny costumes like Saunders’ and Rude’s will keep you comfortable at any Halloween gathering. In case of colder weather, switch out high-waisted jorts for full-length jeans or pleated khakis.

Cassidy Drummond, 18

Costume: “Flapper”


Another monochromatic gem, Drummond’s dress and headband came together in a set from Walmart. Her red sparkly pumps are Dorothy’s ruby slippers’ cooler older sister.

If you’re looking to dance Halloween night away, this is your costume. Drummond, a freshman at the U double-majoring in statistics and women’s, gender and sexuality studies and minoring in urban studies, chose this look for three reasons — “It’s fun to move around in. It’s bright. It’s cute.