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If you haven’t picked your costume yet, shop your closed for an awesome Halloween look. Read to get some low cost ideas, some of which you can create last minute from what you already own.

  1. Set Your Upper Limit Price Tag for an Awesome Halloween Look
  2. Sew a Costume Ahead of Time
  3. Modify Clothes you Already Own for Halloween
  4. Make an Awesome Halloween Costume by Adding Accessories
    • Pirate
    • Ballerina
    • Cinderella
    • Motorcycle Biene
    • Mad Men 60s Sectretary
  5. Recycle Impulse Buys as Halloween Costumes
  6. Check Thrift Stores for Refashioning
  7. Trick or Treating Outfit Ideas
  8. Get Inspired by What Is Trending in Halloween Costumes This Year
  9. Halloween at Work
  10. Welcome to the 323rd Top of the World Style linkup party

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Set Your Upper Limit Price Tag for an Awesome Halloween Costume

Did you see the prices on the rack with the Halloween costumes? The sign that made you stir there says sale in big letters and 50% off. Looking at the tags you think it is a joke as they still cost $25 to $40. When being on a budget fashion-wise, it is not wise to spend your money on a costume that you wear only for 4 hours on one day (a year). However the invitation said “Halloween costume.” Thus you’ve got a problem because you actually can’t waist your clothing budget for a costume. Moreover, you are not willing to spend money on a cheap costume that despite being 50% off fails to be a good deal. The piece is looking plain cheap and would just show-cast all your most hated features! Yuck!


Halloween costume for adult woman
Vampire Halloween dress in velvet with mesh accents at the hem, fishnet tights, and L.K. Bennett pumps (all own). This dress is one of these $20 costumes bought on sale. It has a Princess cut, which is rare for cheap Halloween costumes. I wore this for Halloween dances which interestingly are not on Halloween


Ok, I am in with you. Costumes that look like one-way clothes, are badly sewn together, or are looking like they were the first piece of the new seamstress in training who never had sewn before, look never great! Period! Do I have to mention that the fabrics are often so shiny that they will highlight every lump and bump? Often the darts for the breasts would not even be a fit for Diana the Goddess of hunting. You are right! There is nothing worse that cheap fabrics in combination with bad sewing, fit and color. And who wants to look like Frankenstein’s monster, Snow White’s stepmother, or Dracula’s mistress?

Why not spending the money on something you like or just save it, and nevertheless look great at the Halloween party in clothes that fit?


Sew a Costume ahead of Time

You are probably right that you could do that for half the price and better when you had the time to look for fabric, and do the sewing. But you don’t have that time now on the last minute or just in general. In case that you have the time, you may think carefully about the pattern. If there are occasions like Pioneer Days or a St. Patrick’s Day parade or something similar on an annual basis, it’s best to double-dip and sew a piece that works for both.


DIY costume with bonnet, lace gloves, and bucket bag

DIY Halloween costume to save
DIY 19th century Halloween costume that I sew myself.


I would wear this 19th century costume for a sit-down dinner party that would ask for a Halloween inspired theme. This skirt is way to heavy for dancing! What I like about this costume is that it is a real costume for me. Me in a bonnet! LOL!

Here some Halloween costume patterns to try, if you can sew.

Don’t let the right outfit be a random thing. Wear the right look in every situation by looking up what to wear when in How to Dress for Success in Midlife. Buy my book now.

Now what if you are very last minute?

Shop your own closet for #Halloween! #budgetfashion Click To Tweet

Modify Clothes You already Own for Halloween

My late mom never bought any costumes for us girls. Instead she made us to take a look at the various items in our closets to build a costume out of items we already owned. It is pretty easy when you ask yourself “what are the roots of this design” and then take your costume inspiration from there. You also could ask yourself what could it be with a slight (reversible) modification? As a kid I sew gold foil on a nightgown to be the Star Dollar of the fairy tale by the Grimm Brothers.

I also liked to disguise as a witch in all black with a self-made wide brim cone hat and loafers.


Make an Awesome Halloween Costume by Adding Accessories


For instance, this gray blazer could make a great pirate costume by just adding your son’s plastic sword, wrapping a silk scarf around the head, and tights under a cotton capri that you bind tight to the leg with a wide band. You could also pair it with riding boots and pants, something that you would never do otherwise, as it would be over the top and look costumery. But that’s for Halloween exactly what you want. 😉

riding jacket

Fit-And-Flare blazer for Halloween
This gray asymmetric fit-and-flare c/o Lookbook Store blazer would make a great jacket for a pirate costume when paired with the right accessories and a pirate hat. It could also serve as an historic officer costume.


If you are the proud owner of a layering mesh or tulle skirt like in the photos below, why not going all the way down the ballerina path by adding a leotard and ballet flats and wearing your hair in a ballerina knot?


mesh skirt for posh chic adult Halloween costume
Nude net skirt c/o Lookbook Store styled with own gray silk cashmere sweater and gray belt plus pale pink patent leather sling back. The waistband of the skirt features pale pink satin


ballroom dancer Nicole twirlling in a tutu with gingham shirt in a parking lot
Unbranded 7 layer skirt, ruby flower statement belt, Ivanka Trump nude ankle strap pumps, Hispstik pantyhose, garnet necklace and earrings (all own), and long sleeve gingham shirt c/o Whistle River


Wear an evening gown to pretend to be a Princess or Cinderella.

Cinderella costume
Disney ballroom dance dress in green velvet with Swarovski crystals along the neck and front, green satin over-skirt and bow, and multi-layer white chiffon as Cinderella

Motorcycle Biene

You have long blonde locks, a motorcycle jacket, motorcycle boots, and black leather pants? Why not wear them all together and be Mrs Beryl Swain for a night? In 1962, she was the first female TT rider, riding a 50cc Itom. She came in twenty second, but who cares? She plowed the road at least and tried. <3

Mad Men 60s secretary

What about that sheath dress? Instead of wearing it in a modern way like shown in the photo below go full down the line of the 60s by styling your hair up in waves and going matchy-match on the jewelry (pearl earrings and a matching pearl necklace work best), on the colors of the bag and shoes. Think Mad Men.

fashion blogger in closet shopped Mad Man look
Ruby Belle plaid sheath, giraffe print sweater, Harley Davidson booties, grounded with black GNW tights, Festina watch, Hermes collier de chien bangle and Ray Ban sunglasses (all own)


Recycle Impulse Buys as Halloween Costumes

Think where you have that ethnic outfit that you loved so much when you saw it when on vacation. The one you never had the nerve to wear it after then, because in the aftermath, you think it looks costume when out of the cultural context? Well, that’s your chance to introduce others about the beautiful traditional clothing of the country you visited. Wear it respectful and in an educational way. For instance, think of this cute Lederhosentuerle skirt with a puff sleeve blouse (no low cleavage please) and (low) Heidi braids, white lace knee high socks and Mary Janes – a German little girl’s Sunday’s Best look. High braids and large cleavage would take it into disrespectful territory (in my opinion as ex-German who lived a couple of years in Bavaria). I am sure you get the idea and will do it right.


Lederhosentürlerock for Halloween

ethnic items as Halloween costume
Bavarian Hosentürle skirt, Carhartt gingham shirt, GNW tights, Aigner sandals, Fossil denim jacket.


Note in the above Halloween outfit idea a wool, lodden or felt traditional janker would be better than adding a denim jacket.

What about changing your eye color or inserting some spooky eyes lenses for cat eyes, bloody eyes? You get the idea.

How to get a Halloween Costume without Breaking the Budget

Here are some further examples of costumes that I made by shopping my closet, re-purposing items and DIY. Get inspired and have fun creating your low cost outfit for Halloween.

blogger in 1890s inspired pioneer time women costume in white with vest makes an awesome Halloween costume
Gold Rush costume made out of a western style slip, with a peasant blouse under a corsage and a metallic belt with Double HH lace up booties, and a fake pony tail (all own)


Amelia Mary Earhart inspired look
American aviation pioneer Amelia Mary Earhart inspired aviator look with shearling jacket, skirt and hat


Pretty woman inspired polka dot dress makes an awesome Halloween costume
Style your brown polka dot dress like Vivian Wards’ look at the polo in the movie Pretty Woman. I would just add white gloves and a white hat


Shop your own closet for a costume! #Halloween Click To Tweet

If someone wonders about your costume just say I shopped my closet for Halloween. #Halloween #budget Click To Tweet, and spread the word so your friends owe you a good budget tip too. 😉

Check Thrift Stores for Refashioning

Thrift stores often have cool pieces that combined or alone make a cool costume (see the dance hall look above). Ask yourself what could this item be beyond what it was made for.  A beautiful gown makes an ever pretty Princess dress costume with a sash.

Trick or Treating Outfit ideas

When you need an outfit for trick-or-treating make sure that you wear the right underwear underneath to not catch a cold. This is especially true for the northern states. Also take a flash light with you so you won’t trip. And when you are invited to a party make sure to inquire first whether it’s an indoor or outdoor party. After coming to Alaska, my first Halloween party was a bonfire in the scary cold.

Get Inspired by What Is Trending in Halloween Costumes This Year

The following gallery shows what is currently trending in Halloween costumes. Maybe you can recreate the one or other with items from your closet or just order them.

Halloween at Work

Are you  looking for a work appropriate Halloween costume idea?

I hope this post inspired you and gave you some ideas what to wear for Halloween without spending (too much) money for a costume.


Never worry again what to wear when. Just look it up in my style book How to Dress for Success in Midlife. Buy the book now.


Happy Halloween and celebrate responsibly. Have fun at your party, and designate a driver.

Top of the World Style Linkup No. 323

Top of the World Style linkup party logo

Welcome to the Top of the World Style linkup party.

Laura Bramwick in white denim pants and blush henley
Laura Bramwick from I Do deClaire became Top of the World Style Winner. Photo from her post


Tiina L in abstract print dress and mirrored glasses
Tiina L from Elegance Revisited became the Top of the World OOTD Readers’ Fav. Photo from her post.


Donna in sand henley-style knit dress and jacket fall outfit
Donna from Donna Does Dresses became the Top of the World OOTD My Fav. Photo from her post.



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Please invite your friends.
Come join me at the Top of the World Style #linkup party. #ffblogger Click To Tweet


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