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Thrift stores. The Cheap…um…er…Creative Way Out.

Oct
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Thrift stores 

The Cheap…um…er…Creative Way Out 

I can’t afford to buy or rent a Halloween costume this year.  I’ve looked in my closet, garage and basement and don’t have anything that I can convert to a Halloween costume.  What do I do?  What do I do?

When I was active in the costume industry, it was routine to haunt the second hand stores or thrift stores for something useable, convertible and nicely priced. 

The local ‘Salvation Army’ or ‘Goodwill Industries’ might have a store near you that might help you solve your problem.  There, too, are a scattering up upscale thrift stores near the more affluent areas.   Since you never know what will be in any one store at a given time, visiting several might be a good idea.

Pinstripe Gangster Adult Costume                                                 Gangster Moll 6 Button Double Breasted (Black/White) Adult Plus Costume

A double breasted suit can be easily converted to a ‘gangster suit’ with a black shirt and white tie.  Add a plastic machine gun and a fedora and you are ‘Al Capone’. A business suit and a beret or tam and you can be “Al’s’ gun moll.

A prom dress?  Bwala!  A princess!    And you never know what you might be able to build out of a few accessories.

Prom Queen Adult Costume

 Thrift stores are a goldmine of Halloween costumes ideas. 

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27

OOPS! What About Footwear?

Oct
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It’s Almost Halloween Costume Party Time…

and OOPS! What About Footwear? 

It’s still a few days away, and most of the final touches have been made to your Halloween costume.  Maybe a tuck here or a minor adjustment there, but you are ready to go. 

OHMYGOSH!  (or use another expletive if you prefer)   You forgot about what shoes or footwear to use with your Halloween costume. 

Roman Adult SandalsJuliet (Black) Adult Shoes

Not a big problem if you are wearing a long gown or a witches robe, although you should try to match the colors up as best you can just in case someone gets a glance at your feet.  Black always works.  Maybe using a can of spray paint over some old, throwaway shoes might work as well.

 But a prima ballerina in sneakers leaves a lot to be desired.  In this case, not wearing any footwear at all might be the best option.

 Fake boots can be made easily out of a vinyl material and creating a boot cover (no soles or heels, just sides).  Perhaps attaching buckles to a pair of shoes might create a Louis XIV type of shoe wear.

Pirates of the Caribbean - Jack Sparrow Child Boot CoversMilitia Adult BootsJester Adult Shoes

No old throwaway shoes?  Perhaps a visit to the thrift store?

 

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26

Masks for Halloween!

Oct
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Masks for Halloween

Not always the most comfortable of disguises, but masks can create an interest and mystique.  And the range of masks is wide-spread from a simple black eye mask (ala the ‘Lone Ranger’ to very large heavily plumed, and/or feathered masks. 

Sequined masks always have an appeal not only because they are pretty, but just a glint in the right lighting might catch the eye of the beholder (you know, the guy you are interested in).

At any costume shop, you will see a wall filled with every monster mask known to mankind.  Some are face masks (which cover the entire front, but not the back or sides), some cover ¾ of the head, and some are overhead masks.  The mask of the incumbent President and some of his predecessors will be featured on these shelves or walls.  Perhaps another politicl figure. An assortment of cartoonish characters may also grace the ‘wall of infamy’.  Most of these masks are made of vinyl or rubber.

The caveats to wearing a vinyl/rubber mask are many, but the main two are the inability to drink (other than through a straw) comfortably; limited vision because the openings for visibility might be an inch or so from the eye.  And lastly, because of the materials used, and depending upon how much of the head is covered, these masks can be very, very warm.  But then again, some people like it hot.

There are clear plastic frontal masks of a young man or woman, or an elderly man or woman.  Clear plastic is opaque so they allow the skin tones to show through but distort the features of the wearer. 

There are also ‘hoodwink’ masks that have no eye openings at all.  Sorry, I forgot.  These are used by those people who need total darkness when they sleep.  Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz!!

 

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25

Yet More Movie Character Costume Ideas

Oct
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Yet More Movie Character Costume Ideas

 There was a harvest of romantic comedies and musicals in the 1950s, many of which were based on Broadway productions.  There, too, were the epic Biblical movies such as ‘Ben Hur’, where a simple toga or a Roman soldier costume might fare well.   

       

 Along with the likes of ‘On the Waterfront’, and ‘Marty’ (neither will provide you with a good Halloween costume idea), were several Broadway musical productions converted to film.  ‘Carousel’, ‘Oklahoma’, ‘Kismet’ and ‘South Pacific’ to name a few, and costume ideas are plentiful in this genre.

       

There were movies like ‘Rebel Without a Cause’, ‘Blackboard Jungle; and another musical ‘West Side Story’ that were based on teenagers and teenage gangs of the fifties.  Poodle skirts and black leather jackets would fit well (more or less) for a Halloween costume from these movies.

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24

What Halloween Costume is in Your Closet?

Oct
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What’s in your closet?  

A Halloween costume, perhaps?

What Halloween Costume is in Your Closet.  You can create a terrific costume by using things you have in your closet with the addition of some make-up and accessories.  How easy is that?

Do you have an old graduation robe?  A tube of green make-up, a scraggly black wig, and a witch’s hat – Voila!  If you’re really feeling adventurous, add a fake nose & a wart or two.  Grab a broom & you’re ready to go.


Bridesmaid’s dresses are usually shoved to the back of the closet.  Bring them back out into the open!  Add a sash and some smeared mascara and you just became the loser in a beauty pageant!

Your torn, paint-splattered work clothes can turn you into a slasher victim.  Wrap some bandages around your body; add some fake blood and you are ready to go.  Word of warning: fake blood will stain clothing and skin – so don’t wear anything you don’t want ruined!

Make-up, wigs, and hats can turn the most basic wardrobe item into a costume.  Let your imagination run wild!

 

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24

Don’t Wear the Same Halloween Costume That Someone Else is Wearing

Oct
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A little diversion today.

What would happen if you saw someone wearing the same Halloween outfit as you at the same party?  Don’t Wear the Same Halloween Costume That Someone Else is Wearing.

 

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23

Makeup and Accessorize

Oct
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Makeup and Accessorize 

Paint on a mustache with a black greasepaint stick, add a pair of horn rimmed glasses and a cigar….and there you have it.  Groucho!   A short blond curly wig and a bicycle horn (a white or tan duster if you can find it).  And there you have Harpo.

A little makeup here, or a special hat there, or a cane or a pair of red suspenders.  It takes a little imagination, and not much money to come up with that perfect Halloween costume.

A trip to your local costume store?  Probably a great idea to get great ideas for makeup and accessories.  While you’re there, look at the makeup display case and see what you can see.

Nose putty?  You can build a new nose, or re-shape your nose, or just add a wart or two.  With an adhesive like spirit gum, you can even rebuild your chin.   Your new nose and chin will need some makeup to help blend it in with the rest of your face.  Green greasepaint or a water soluble cream makeup or pancake helps make a great witch or Frankenstein.

If you want to be a clown or a mime, then a tube of clown white will do the trick.  Put it only very lightly though, and suddenly you become very pale in appearance….almost Ghostly or Vampirish.  Clown White can be cream base or water base, each having its own advantages.  Some shops might also carry it in pancake.

Crepe hair is a well known product available at the full service costume shops; and can be used to make mustaches and beards, or even hairy faces like a werewolf.  If you are into monsters and vampires, then makeup is the best way to go about it.

For great makeup ideas, visit your local library and borrow a copy of Richard Corson’s “Stage Makeup”, one of the best makeup books ever published on makeup.   It is also for sale at Amazon or Barnes and Noble.  As you scan through this book, you will find numerous ideas that you may want to implement.  Then off to your local costumer.

‘Stage Makeup’ as shown above is available through Barnes & Noble or Amazon, and many other booksellers. Earlier editions are also available.

<All makeup items above are available via our Amazon Halloween Store>

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21

Movie Character Halloween Costumes

Oct
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Movie Character Halloween Costumes 

Sometimes a role is defined by the actor/actress; and sometimes the actor/actress is defined by the role. Are you Scarlet O’Hara or are you Vivian Leigh?  I think that Scarlett O’Hara is the more recognized name.  Clark Gable might be better known as Clark Gable, rather than Rhett Butler.  Either way, you want to be recognized, even if you have to tell the other guests who you are. 

Dressing as copyrighted characters are usually a big no-no; but you might assume that wherever you get a famous character costume, whether it be from a costume shop, a retailer, or from the net, that the licensing fees have been bought for whatever character it is that you choose.

Movies open up another world to your imagination.  You might take the movies by genre (westerns, musical comedies, gangster, war) or you might just to back to the silent movies or perhaps the decade that you grew up in.   20's Film Star: Charlie Chaplin Adult Costume

Or as mentioned in the previous paragraph, pick a star and the movie that that star was most famous for.

Lastly, is there a costume you might buy, rent or assemble from your favorite movie?  And was your favorite move, “Wizard of Oz?”

Wizard of Oz - Tin Man Plus Adult CostumeThe Wizard of Oz - Scarecrow Plus Adult CostumeThe Wizard of Oz Dorothy Adult Costume

<Costumes available through our Amazon store>

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19

Halloween Historical Costumes

Oct
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  Halloween Historical Costumes   
Wow!  History takes in a looooooog, loooooong period of time.  Eons of time. From the Cro-Magnon or Neanderthal days up to today.  History probably goes back to Adam and Eve (a nice couples costumes, BTW), but I don’t know if they were pre or post Cro-Magnon. Hmmmm…..let me see.  What periods of history can I recall?  Roman, Greek, Biblical, Medieval, Renaissance, the French Revolution period , Early America, the Civil War, the Turn of the Century (NO!, not this past one, the one before it),  the Roaring Twenties, the Thirties, the Forties, the Fabulous Fifties and the list can go on and on..  Also consider your own history, which might take in the Sixties and the following decades. Throw in the Tool Age, Bronze Age, the Iron Age, the Computer Age. 
 In an earlier post, we mentioned that assigning names to costumes and playing that role was a major part of having a great time dressing up.  The ‘putting a name of a character on the costume’ theme will resonate in many of the subjects to follow.   From the Roman period, maybe a Marc Antony and Cleopatra; from the French Revolution perhaps Napoleon Bonaparte and Josephine.  
How about an Abe and Mary Todd Lincoln from the Civil War era, or Bonnie and Clyde from the 1930’s?  Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton made a nice 60’s couple, and you even tie them back to a movie (‘Cleopatra’) they co-starred in. 

 

Interchangeability is also a keyword in these posts.  People from one category might also be associated with another category.

 So dig out those old History books, and while you’re at it, can you also find the book from Freshman Geography 101?

<All costumes available through our Amazon Costume Store>

 

 

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17

Transform Yourself This Halloween

Oct
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Transform Yourself This Halloween 

On the subject of costumes for Halloween ideas for kids  (although we weren’t on the subject), the options are actually unlimited. Phineas and Ferb or Purple Bunny inspired costumes are the possible Halloween costume ideas for kids that you might consider.

You will find several internet sites (especially this one 😛 ) which have some creative Halloween costume ideas for 2017 that you may search and find to fit your requirements. Get a little creative this Halloween with memorable Halloween costumes. If you are unsure about some of the newer choices, you may still wear the classic Halloween costumes for this year’s Halloween 

Any person troubled with the many choices of costumes to wear need to first have a suitable theme under consideration. You will discover many options for costumes for Halloween ideas but an excellent place to begin basically by drawing inspiration from some of the happenings of the year 2017.

You may be innovative this Halloween with many different options for your wigs, masks, makeup, et al that you may purchase for a unique look. 

You can try Halloween makeup tips with some theatrical grease paint kits that have great colors that are very easily applied and can be removed at the end of the night hassle free.

Depending on what you’re trying to accomplishment Halloween makeup may allow you to transform yourself into another Halloween character better than buying a Halloween mask.

 

By using makeup it can be less expensive and a lot safer for kids when Halloween trick-or-treating and not impairing their vision with a Halloween mask, also with the variety of Halloween makeup that is available you can create some fantastic Halloween effects. 

 

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