How to fix the horrors of Halloween costume prices

Allison Duchin, Staff Reporter

There is nothing spookier taking place this post-Halloween weekend than the horrible Halloween costume prices found at even the most discounted stores. Instead, this Halloween, try and think of ways to buy the minimal accessories to make a great costume by pairing them with already existing elements of your wardrobe.

Halloween costumes typically retail between 30 and 50 dollars and are often over-the-top, tacky and often not creative, so why take a hit to your wallet this year when there are simple and inexpensive ways to have an awesome and more unique costume? When randomly asking a small group of Case Western Reserve University students how much they spent on their Halloween costume this year, they were asked which one of the following three categories they fell into: $0-9, $10-20 or over $20; The majority of responses, at 56.3 percent, said that they spend less than 10 dollars on their Halloween costumes. From the most expensive to the least, or no-cost, these Halloween do’s and don’ts will help you create your own version to some of the most popular costume choices. reported that the most popular costumes searches from Google for this year’s Halloween includes some of the most beloved pop-culture icons, inclusive of “The Great Gatsby,” Miley Cyrus, “Breaking Bad” characters and the adorable Minions from “Despicable Me.” One easy way to make these costumes inexpensively is to go thrift shopping in the nearby stores of Coventry, which provide low cost and unique items. To create a look for “The Great Gatsby,” look for a great 1920’s inspired flapper dress, or simple accessories like a boa, long gloves or over-the-top costume jewelry. If you chose to portray a figure from pop-culture like the frequently Googled Miss Miley Cyrus, perhaps a few friends could choose to portray the starlet from different phases of her life, going back to her Hannah Montana days.

Portraying a real person can easily be created by using clothing from one’s own closet, therefore minimizing costs.

When it comes to beloved animated characters such as Minions from “Despicable Me,” Minnie or Mickey Mouse or some of the classic comic book heroes, of course there are big plush factory-made costumes, but how often will those get used? Instead, here are some ways to create these costumes from your closet. For minions, all you need is a yellow shirt, glasses and overalls, or even just pants with suspenders; when you’re done with that outfit you can even use the suspenders and glasses to channel Urkel from “Family Matters.” All Minnie Mouse needs is a red skirt with polka-dots on it, short white gloves a black shirt. Yes, a white and red polka-dot skirt might not be the easiest to find, but it is pretty simple to make with a red skirt and white circular cutouts. This zero-cost technique of making a costume also comes in handy when trying to personify a comic book character. All you need is the clothing with colors associated to the specific comic book icon of choice and print out their logo and place it accordingly to their animated image.

In the long-standing college tradition of Halloween being a week long celebration, having multiple costumes is essential, but it can quickly take a toll on your budget. A remedy for this dollar-destroying problem is like in case of using the suspenders in the Minion and Urkel costumes: Buy accessories that can be used for multiple costumes. The easiest costumes to probably do this with are decade costumes, because many styles of decades often repeat themselves at later dates. For instance, things with fringe or bejeweled headbands can often work as accessories for both the 1920s flapper and 1960s hippie costumes .If you have already used up your good closet-made costume, raid (with permission) a friend’s closet and swap costumes for a night.

No matter what you pay for your Halloween costume this year, don’t let sticker shock stifle your creativity. Some of the most creative costume ideas are the simplest ones, whether they’re puns, ironic, or simply goofy, the most important thing to keep in mind is that Halloween is the one time of the year that even the craziest thing, like seeing a shower curtain walk down Bellflower Drive, is not just okay, but embraced.