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Hit the thrift shops for last minute Halloween outfits

Not every costume needs to come from a store - but this mask was too scary to pass up!
Not every costume needs to come from a store - but this mask was too scary to pass up!
Photo by Michael Curcio

     The recession is tough on everyone - even Halloween spending is expected to be down this year by 18%. Now, before you rush out to make a mercy purchase at the local Halloween shop, consider this - this year's spending is still expected to be $4.75 billion dollars! That's $4,750,000,000 - so save your money and improvise a great unique costume at your local thrift store. Not only are there aisles of actual costumes used one time for 2 hours and then set aside, but you can let your imagination run wild and come up will great costumes from non-costume articles of clothing. 

 Here is a list of the top 5 costumes for 2009 -

  1. Michael Jackson
  2. John and/or Kate Gosselin
  3. Vampires ( i.e. True Blood, Twilight)
  4. Miley Cyrus/Hannah Montana
  5. Gray's Anatomy

All of the items you need for these outfits can be found easily at thrift shops.

For Michael Jackson, just pick your favorite look by the King of Pop and duplicate it. A red leather/pleather jacket, a graphic t-shirt, one white glove, a pair of dark pants, white socks, and black shoes will give you the classic Thriller look. 

Jon Gosselin is always in Ed Hardy tees, so find a similar graphic tee and pair it with some jeans and sunglasses. Kate's defining feature is her hair, so if you can recreate that with your own hair, you are ready to go. Just add oversized sunglasses and either a power suit with capri pants or that famous 2-piece swimsuit for those of you that will be inside for the night, and the outfit is complete. A great added touch would be 8 dolls of various sizes (easily found at the thrift shops as well!) that you could rope together and drag around all night. 

Vampires costumes are easy to create - black is the way to go here. Depending on your mood you can do a sexy vampire with a low-cut black dress with dark red lipstick, or a more frightening just from the grave vampire with torn clothing and lots of blood all over (lipstick again). 

Miley/Hannah is a  trendsetter for teens all over the USA. The juniors aisle in the thrift shops will be filled with great ideas, just add a hair clip or cute hat and you're all set!

The Harry Potter characters are also easy to duplicate - graduation gowns make great Hogworth robes. Add scarves for the sashes and get a twig for your wand and start casting spells. 

Thrift shops are great places to find scrubs for that medical costume - and they make great pajamas for the rest of the year!

This is just the tip of the iceberg - use your own creativity and be whoever you want to be this Halloween - just stay safe - and don't waste money!