How to Thrift Your Halloween Costume for an Unforgettable Look

Second Glance’s Jackie Colussi Shares Tips and Tricks for Creating a Costume from Scratch

With pumpkins on doorsteps, falling leaves and a crisp breeze in the air, the time has come to start planning your annual Halloween costume.  

For Jackie Colussi, shift leader at Second Glance, the thrift store of The Open Door, thrifting for Halloween costumes is a beloved tradition she maintained with her daughters as they grew up and enjoys to this day. She previously owned a business selling vintage items, and has a love of fashion that fuels, in part, her love of crafting an entirely unique costume.  

“We always enjoyed thrift shopping anyway. When it was Halloween time, we took it as a personal challenge,” Colussi said. “We always wanted to come up with something unique and different, and something we created ourselves. It took time and imagination, and we had fun doing it.”  

She says one of her favorite thrifted costumes was a dead prom queen look her daughter once wore, which included an all-gray formal outfit and a poufy veil. 

“You’re only limited, in my opinion, by your imagination,” Colussi said. “You might have to purchase some makeup or fake blood, but it definitely makes for an interesting costume. I think there’s a lot to be said for buying and reusing as well, and its more cost efficient.”

“There’s not a lot a pair of scissors and a hot glue gun can’t do,” she added.

Colussi also says for many, thrifting for a costume at Second Glance is a more meaningful experience, because patrons know all revenue supports the programs at The Open Door and helps feed local people. 

For those looking to thrift their costume this year, Colussi has shared tips and tricks for getting started: 

  1. Brainstorm costume ideas before you shop. Go to the thrift store with a few costume ideas in mind and know what you might need to build that costume. Colussi says this is particularly helpful for parents and guardians shopping for a young child’s costume. 
  2. Keep an open mind. She says you never know what you mind find, or what item(s) might stick out to you as you browse. 
  1. Give yourself time and don’t limit yourself to the clothing section. Don’t rush the creative process—part of the fun is browsing the various clothing departments, accessories, jewelry, shoes, fabric, art supplies, household wares, and so on that could be turned into clothing and props for your costume.  
  2. Think outside the box. Don’t be afraid to turn your costume into an art project or re-imagine something. For example: a curtain or lace tablecloth can be cut and sewn to suit a wide variety of costumes, fake flowers can be fashioned into a flower crown, and a large frame without a painting or photo in it can be perfect for someone who would like to dress up as a painting themselves. 
  3. Don’t forget the classics. She says classic Halloween costumes, like a witch or warlock, are often easy to shop for at a thrift store as black tops and dresses are almost always in stock, and accessories can be found to suit the look too. 

Once you have your costume ready, don’t forget to enter Second Glance’s Halloween contest! Details below.

Second Glance Halloween Costume Contest Details:  

Second Glance is holding its FIRST EVER Halloween Costume Contest this year. To enter, participants must create a costume using at least one item from Second Glance, post a photo on Instagram and tag the thrift store at @secondglancethriftstore. The deadline for entry is midnight on Oct. 31, and the winner will be announced Nov. 1 on Instagram after being selected by a small panel of staff and volunteers. The winner will receive a $50 Second Glance Gift Card. 

Questions? Give us a call at 978-283-4298.  

The Book Fair at The Glance!

Saturday, June 29 & Sunday, June 30

Second Glance Thrift Store | 2 Pond Road, Gloucester

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Second Glance Thrift Store presents The Book Fair at The Glance with a wide variety of reading choices. Come shop from a selection of high-quality books pulled from premium inventory and saved for this special two-day blowout event. Thousands of titles are available at this book bonanza with something for everyone.

The Book Fair at The Glance on Facebook

Saturday from 9 am to 7 pm and Sunday from 11 am to 5 pm. All proceeds benefit The Open Door.

The mission of The Open Door is to alleviate the impact of hunger in our community. We use practical strategies to connect people to good food, to advocate on behalf of those in need, and to engage others in the work of building food security. The Open Door serves residents of Gloucester, Rockport, Manchester-by-the-Sea, Essex, Ipswich, Topsfield, Boxford, Rowley, Hamilton, and Wenham.

To find out more about The Open Door or donate online, visit FOODPANTRY.ORG.