What Your Halloween Costume Shopping Says About You

So how knee deep are you in your Halloween costume hunting yet? The Google phase? The ordering phase? The crafting phase? The ‘I’m not worry about this until October” phase? But what does your way around this craft-centric holiday say about you?

1. If you’re buying online


You want NO muss, NO fuss. No climbing over screaming ducklings while you crane over “for sale” plastic pumpkins and try and grab that last size 6T pirate costume. No, no, no. You’ve already had the “what do you want to be this year?” convo with your little one (or picked something random out of the sky if your kid doesn’t talk), and you’ve decided you’re just going to order and send back what doesn’t work. It’s the only way to stay sane.

2. If you’re going to brick and mortar stores

halloween store

You want to get this done early this year. That is the mantra. So you’re heading to the mall or the big Halloween store that pops up every fall and letting your kid scan the merchandise. No buy yet but you’re confident. You’re even grabbing a few extra $19.99 costumes just to avoid the BS of the last year when your kid suddenly announced that he or she DIDN’T WANT TO BE A COWBOY THIS YEAR after all. You spent the entire evening trying to at least get some photos in the getup and asking him or her over and over again if he or she was sure about forgoing trick or treating? Survey says tantrum, bath, and then bed.

(photo: TimmyGUNZ)

3. If you’re making your kid’s costume 

Oh, you’re fancy! You’ve been spending a little time on the Pinterest boards, clicking through some pins that are either A). Not too daunting or B). Push the limits of what you may have attempted last year. You figure if it doesn’t come together, you can run out last minute and buy some Lycra crap. But for right now, you’re aspiring to put together that cute DIY owl Halloween costume come hell or high candy corn.

4. If you’re using the same Halloween costume from last year

Obviously, there are pieces here and there that don’t fit anymore. But that’s where a run to Target to get new black leggings or a slightly bigger leotard comes in. You can reuse the same animal ears, tail, hats, props, etc. It’s not your fault your kid has insisted on being a cat three years in a row. He or she likes what she likes and you’re not about to rock that boat by introducing other options. We already tried that with couscous instead of rice and let’s just say it didn’t end well.

5. if you’re the last minute costume parent

Year in and year out, you berate yourself for not getting a jump on the Halloween costume thing. Yet, despite cursing under your breath on October 29th and piling everyone into the car to pick through retail scraps, you never seem to get your shiz together. You’ve resigned yourself to the fact that this will all play out again this year, with your youngest crying because there aren’t any clown costumes left while your oldest tugs on you and asks why she can’t be a sexy Alice in Wonderland. It’s all just preparation for the insanity of the holidays, you tell yourself.

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  • Ptownsteveschick

    Haha, I’m not fancy! I am just not a fan of the cheapy plastico costumes at the store. For the first two Halloweens when she was just little, we found some good stuffed costumes that were adorable, this year I am making her one and she is going to be a biker extra from SOA. I knitted a beard already.

    • Koa_Beck

      That sounds like an amazing costume. EXTRA points for a knitted beard! And yes, you are fancy!

    • Rachel Sea

      You’re knitting a beard? I think that is the definition of fancy. I would glue fun fur to the kid’s face and call it good.

    • Ptownsteveschick

      Lol! Her face is small, it literally only took me like an hour. But I am always knitting something!

    • gothicgaelicgirl


  • NicknamesAreDull

    I make my costumes because when I ask my daughter what she wants to be, it’s never “A ladybug, mom!” or “A transformer!” it’s “A Transformer ballerina mouse!”.

    • Koa_Beck

      The best one I’ve heard is, “I want to be a horse-riding ballerina.” Um, awesome!

    • gothicgaelicgirl

      yup…little one wants to be a cowboy. Me: You mean a cowgirl? Her: *Withering look* NO, a cowBOY! With everything PURPLE!”

      So, I’ve made a purple cowboy waistcoat complete with purple glitter embroidery, customized purple skinny jeans, made a wraparound cowboy mouthshawl, customised belt with minibags of prospector gold, painted toy guns and holsters purple with silver, customised boots (complete with sheriff star on the side) made a bloody silver and purple sheriff badge and tracked down a purple fluffy stick on mustache….I used to sit with a cup of tea after work….now I fling down my bag and grab my sewing kit and stitch furiously.

      That child is going as a purple cowboy if I have to STAPLE everything onto her!

      And I’ve still to finish girl #2′s Pocahontas/Sacagewea costume…so….many…beads….0_o

    • bookworm81

      Similar boat here. My son has a speech delay so even at 4 he can’t really tell me what he wants but he’s never into things/characters are widely available as costumes. Last year he was The Count from “Sesame Street” (I bought a tux for $20 so I only had to make the cape and the sash). This year he’s really into Kipper but despite a diligent internet search you can’t buy that costume. I actually made it already (did not want a repeat of last years up at 2 am on the 31st sewing) and since I’ve finished it he’s only taken it off to sleep and go to school so I think it’s a hit.

  • Cee

    I’m “making it myself” in the sense that I’m just going to put regular clothes together to make it look like the costume? So yea, its more like lazy than fancy. I’m going to be Franny Robinson from Meet the Robinsons. The costume itself is pretty much a navy and cream dress or shirt with a full skirt and a red handkerchief to make into a turtleneck arrangement. The hardest thing to do in this costume will probably be combing my hair like hers, but even then it is doable.

  • keelhaulrose

    Last year my daughter wanted to be Doc McStuffins, which was easy to piece together from thrift store items, though getting her hair to stick out in braids involved an hour, some wires, hair spray, and a prayer.
    This year she wants to be Merida from Brave, which will probably involve a store bought costume, but she’s a redhead, so we’re going all out on the hair.
    But my husband and I? Totally the “piece together from the closet” route.

    • Guest

      My daughter wanted a Brave costume and I found a RIDICULOUSLY easy pattern to make one. Here’s the pattern: http://rowena.typepad.com/rostitchery/magistrate-dress.html
      And here’s my finished product [she's wearing my old irish dance wig, and the bow and arrow set my brother made for her from pvc] [IMG]http://i43.tinypic.com/2n6fedk.jpg[/IMG]

  • LiteBrite

    I’m waiting a few weeks before plonking down money for a costume. The boy is still trying to decide what he wants to because I told him he couldn’t be Spiderman for the third freaking time. He’s thinking about Wolverine now.

    I think I have my costume set but haven’t done jack about getting anything for it.

    • chickadee

      My 16-year-old is going to be Wolverine!


    • LiteBrite

      Slightly off-topic: A friend of mine knew her son was no longer a little boy when she asked him what he wanted to be for Halloween when he was 8.

      Son: “I wanna be the Grim Reaper.”
      Mom: “Don’t you want to be a pirate or a fireman or something like that?”
      Son: “Nope. I wanna be the Grim Reaper.”

      I’m waiting for that day.

    • gothicgaelicgirl

      try the day your 13 year old son looks at you in disgust for dressing as a SIM (Ultimate in lazy costumes, I just made a giant green wooden Plumbob and wired it to a hairband) and says- “O my god….” now THAT is a fun day, when YOU get more excited about Hallowe’en than your kids. =P

  • T

    I actually forgot costumes last year…Best. Mom. Ever.
    Thankfully is was freezing and snowing, soI bundled them up in snowsuits and painted their faces like puppies and kitties

  • kay

    My cousin’s son last year kept going back and forth between being a dinosaur and a fireman. So she bought both just in case. Come halloween night he went all out and was a dinosaur firefighter. It was the cutest ever.

    (I did a similar thing in college when I was going to be a ballerina, then found a whip at a costume store, and ended up going as a dominatrix ballerina. Still my favorite costume ever)

  • JulesInFL

    Gave her a Dora backpack, complete with Map, stuffed Boots & Swiper, for her recent birthday. Planning to stick her in some shorts, a pink T-shirt, socks and shoes, add backpack and stuffed friends, and voila! Close enough to a costume for a 2-year-old.

  • Toaster

    Both of my kids are being Star Trek people this year because they already have the shirts and we can use my husband’s Star Trek accessories because we’re gigantic nerds. Oh and it’s easy ;)

  • Jessie

    I’m an avid cosplayer and also happen to be a goth, so halloween is never a problem for me. If I’m feeling fancy, I dig one of my anime or video game costumes out. If not, I just wear my normal clothing, go a little crazier with my make up than normal, and maybe throw on some dark faerie wings or some crap if I feel like being extra festive for the kiddies. Voila! Instant costume.

    • Emily

      OK, so what is your best bet for boots? I am trying to decide between a duct tape creation and a fabric shoe cover for the kiddo.

    • Jessie

      Depends on how crafty you are and the weather in your area. If it’s wet weather, duct tape will come right apart because moisture ruins the adhesive, so fabric is the better way to go if you can manage it. Otherwise, duct tape is probably easier and cheaper for a one-night type of deal like Halloween. :)

    • chickadee

      No one should vote this comment down. And everyone should have a cosplay friend so that you can raid their closet.

  • Helen Hyde

    Yoda costume from eBay!

  • Rachel Sea

    All of the above. Even the crappiest store bought costume can be made awesome with the right customization and accessories.

  • Paul White

    I just pull a Wednesday Addams.
    “I’m a homicidal maniac. We look just like everybody else.”

  • Kelby Johnson

    I’m the last minute shopper. I always have good intentions of getting costumes early but it never happens… Maybe this year I will try harder!

  • historychick79

    C has gone back and forth between a dragon and a firefighter. At 3yrs old, his mind changes every millisecond and he has Strong Opinions about everything. I’m planning to ‘spoil him,’ get both, and if nothing else he ends up with 2 dress up play outfits, and he can decide between them for Halloween. I just wish I could find the dragon costume in a small rather than a 4T because he’ll probably outgrow them before Christmas with his long torso. And knowing my luck, that day will come and he will suddenly want to be a pirate….

  • Muggle

    If I do anything for Halloween, I’m going as either Asami or Korra. Only I don’t really want to dye my hair, and the cheap costume wigs look awful.

  • Alex Lee

    Halloween 2012: “Chef Lady Gaga” http://misuser.blogspot.com/2012/10/halloween-2012-costume-1.html

    Halloween 2013: Zombie Queen of Hearts from Wonderland

  • G.S.

    My seventeen-year-old brother’s been making his own costumes for years. Last year, he went as The Once-Ler from The Lorax. And I don’t mean the human-looking one with the hat and the guitar, I mean he got a refrigerator box, painted it like the Lurk-em, staple-gunned some cardboard strips to a hole in the front for shutters and made himself a pulley system with a wooden dowel, a metal coat-hanger, some twine and a bucket (and then put some seeds in it for good measure). Then he donned some green gloves and crawled under it.

    The whole neighbourhood lost their SHIT over it. The kids at school kept putting loose change and sticks of gum into his bucket, parents of kid trick-or-treaters would be all, “Look, child! It’s THE ONCE-LER! From the BOOK! Ask him about The Lorax! Fill his bucket up with candy!” and then somebody must have panicked and called the cops, because one came by to ask, “What’s with the kid in the box?” He left after he told him it was a Halloween costume, telling dispatch it was fine, and it’s still the best Halloween story any of us have.

  • CW

    Bought them on clearance the first week of November last year- you’re one of the many families trying to keep afloat in this crappy economy. The last time we bought costumes in September/October was probably 2007 before the economy tanked…

  • BubbleyToes

    The sewing cattttt!!! Can I just have that as every background I have and also carry him around in my car and house? He can sew his little heart out all day! I die!!