Five Last Minute Halloween Costumes from Thrift Stores

Halloween Pumpkin wearing a Witch Hat

So it’s October 31st and you were just invited to an impromptu Halloween party. You didn’t plan on dressing up and now need something fast and you don’t want to spend a lot of money. Thrift shopping may be your last-ditch solution.

1. Lumberjack or Lumberjill

A quick run through your local thrift shop’s flannel shirt section and a pair of rugged looking blue jeans is all you need to pull off a basic classic lumber worker look. There is a good chance you might already own the pair of comfy well-worn blue jeans.

2. Zombie Office Worker

Zombies are still all the rage, right? All you need is a basic office shirt off the rack, the more worn the better, a well-worn simple tie, and pants. With some red dye and a few other ingredients, you can create the clothing look of a zombie.  Including some tears, rips, and or holes to your clothing will help sell the feel of the zombie look. Add in some basic makeup and all you need to worry about is making the perfect zombie sounds for the rest of the night.

3. Tradesperson

Jeans and a shirt alongside the right accessories can quickly create a tradesperson costume with little effort. Blues jeans and a regular work t-shirt combined with a hard hat and safety goggles makes for a great construction worker. Add a toolbelt for even a more convincing look. Overalls can be substituted for mechanics. With minimal accessories and some quick creative though almost any profession can make a quick fun go-to costume.

4. Mad Scientist

Some thrift shops carry things like old smocks, aprons, and lab coats. Besides the obvious evil chef costume, you just need to grab a white lab coat. Add a few accessories, anything that seems like a mad scientist would use should work. Safety goggles, a turkey baster (paint the bulb black), broken glasses, ruler, calculator, rubber gloves are all a few easy to find items that really sell the look of a mad or crazed scientist.

5. Pick a Decade

This one is easy. You loved the 1980s. Pick a style and grab some stuff off the racks. How about a 1970s rocker? Or try an early 90s grunge look. Odds are there will be items available on the racks for any of the basic themes for the last few decades.

Now if you are looking for a 1950s poodle skirt, a 1940s zoot suit, or a 1920s flapper dress the odds are going to be against you unless you go to a store that specializes in vintage clothing. At this point in time, you did wait until October 31st after all, anything like those items will have more than likely have been cleaned off the racks of your local thrift stores.

Just keep an open mind and remember all those various period movies and tv shows for clothing ideas from different decades.

Get out there and put it all together

The above are some relatively simple costume ideas. If you hit the racks early enough and fast enough today you should be able to pull something off that looks good and not break the bank.

Above all else when quickly looking for a costume keep an open mind, be ready to compromise, and think creatively. Your imagination will help you out greatly.

Let me know on Twitter or Facebook of any additional last minute Halloween costume ideas that you can create with a quick trip to your local thrift store. And if you happen to be the person who is trying to find a costume of October 31st from a thrift store let me know how it worked out for you and what you put together.