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Make a Great Costume With Vintage Clothes


Make a Great Costume With Vintage Clothes
Image by Christina Lam Photography via Flickr
If you're stumped about what to wear for Halloween this year, the answer may be as easy as a trip to your local vintage or thrift store.

Vintage clothes make great costumes because they are original to the time period and best of all they are more comfortable because they are real clothes!

Here are some thrift store pieces to look for that are easy to build a costume around:

Prom and Wedding Dresses

  • Bride of Frankenstein
  • Prom Queen or Beauty Queen (dead, zombie, or just the regular kind)
  • “Ex” Wife
  • Princess

Overalls or Coveralls

  • Scarecrow
  • Redneck/Hillbilly
  • Serial Killer (Leatherface from Texas Chainsaw Massacre or Michael Meyers from Halloween)
  • Farmer
  • Plumber
  • Super Mario Brothers
  • Bob the Builder
  • Rosie the Riveter

Vintage uniforms make for an easy and flawless costume. Look for uniforms such as:

  • Military
  • Nurses
  • Stewardess
  • Cheerleader
  • Sports Team

You can also look for vintage clothes that embody the style and zeitgeist of a particular decade. Some iconic looks and people from the 20th Century that make great costumes:


  • Flapper (drop waist dress, short hair with a cloche or headband
  • Gangster (full suit with fedora and a tommy gun or violin case)


  • Jazz Man/Swing Kid (Zoot Suit, long pocket watch, hat, and cane)
  • Bonnie and Clyde (high trousers, suit jacket and fedora hat for Clyde, depression era dress, trench coat, and baret for Bonnie)
  • Carmen Miranda(tropical print sarong, bathing suit or halter top, espadrilles; lots of ruffles, fringe, pom poms, and fake fruit)
  • Greaser Boy - Elvis, James Dean, etc. (dark denim with rolled cuffs, tee shirt with rolled sleeves, boots, leather motorcycle jacket)
  • Greaser Girl (tight stovepipe pants, tight boatneck shirt, scarf, high heals, leather jacket)
  • Doris Day/Sandra Dee (circle skirt, petticoat, cardigan, saddle shoes)


  • Mod/Go-Go/Twiggy (shift dress, opaque tights, patent leather accessories, heavy eye makeup)
  • Hippie (bell bottom jeans, headbands, loose flowing shirts, fringe)


  • Disco (tight fitting dresses and suits, vests, platform shoes, polyester fabrics)
  • Ziggy Stardust (spandex pants, jumpsuit, platform boots, metalic or lamé button down shirt, bright colored scarf)


  • Hair Band rocker (leather, acid wash, or spandex pants or skirt, band tee shirt, leather cuffs, studded belts)
  • Preppy (Izod or Polo shirt, Lacoste sweater, penny loafers, khaki pants, pastel colors, Members Only jacket)
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