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Costumes 101

I love Halloween. I always have. As a kid, there is nothing more mind-blowing than discovering that not only do you get to wear your dress-up clothes out of the house, but people will reward you for it with CANDY (as Jerry Seinfeld said, “Wait, who’s giving out candy? EVERYONE?”).

As I reflected on the years of Halloween past, I compiled a short list of the many looks I’ve donned over the years: Pioneer (I’m on the left), Little Red Riding Hood, Princess, Bride, Princess Bride, Cat, Secret Agent, Cheerleader, Degrassi Prom Queen, Flapper, and most recently, Cruella De Vil. While my Halloween identities have widely varied over the years, the one common thread between them is that they were all thrifted, and all awesome. My mom did an amazing job of rooting through the Salvation Army when we were kids to put together some seriously cohesive looks.

And this past Saturday, I did the very same. You see, we didn’t have much of anything planned for the evening, and I had quietly resigned myself to watching Buffy re-runs and littering my floor with tiny chocolate bar wrappers. But an impromptu trip to the Sally Anne with my sisters ingnited the Halloween spirit. Next thing I knew, I was walking out of the store with a faux-fur black jacket and a De Vil-ish vision in mind. We made a few more stops at other thrift stores, and my Cruella came to life! My sister Laura took a similar approach to her bird of paradise, and my sister Adele slid into my Flapper costume from last year, looking fit for a night out with Gatsby.

Now, before I reveal to you our sensational costumes, I rounded up some “new costume” comparables. They suck. They look cheap, cost a fortune, and say “SKANK” in big, cheap synthetic letters.They perfectly illustrate why thrifting always makes for a better costume.

Skankalicious, huh? And these lazy costumes cost $60 – each! Wigs and accessories not included. What a rip-off my friends, what a rip-off.

I now present to you our second-hand, first-place alternatives 😀

And of course, a break-down of our sweet disguises:

The final piece to any costume is attitude. For instances, I made ridiculous faces all night long and threatened to make coats out of peoples’ pets, and it was fantastic fun. So, if you still want to rock a Halloween look tonight, skip the Wal-Mart and get ye to a Salvation Army.

Oh, a live prop never hurts either. Thanks, Maggie the cat.


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