This post was sponsored by Goodwill of the Olympics & Rainier Region. All opinions are mine.
I love Halloween. Costumes are my jam, I love little kids all dressed up and strung out on sugar, I love spooky decorations and scary movies. I love those weird little cotton spiderwebs that stick to everything except where you want them to.
In the past few years, I skipped Halloween altogether. I sat at home, watching scary movies in the dark by myself, with one kid at their dad’s and one kid off with their friends.
Last year, I got up and got over myself. But not until October 30th. I was kind of screwed, since I had not worn a decent costume in years and the yoga pants that stood in for my “work clothes” would not make any sort of a costume at all.
But my awesome thrift shopping skills kicked in, and Goodwill came through.
I walked in with no idea what I wanted (or if I could even pull it off), and walked out with everything I needed (except the green hairspray) to be the Joker.
I even found a pretty great Batman while trick or treating with my friend and her kids!
So this year, when Goodwill of the Olympics & Rainier Region invited me out to their Tacoma store for a costume-hunting contest and a little Halloween fun, of course I made that happen.
Goodwill is pretty amazing year-round, but during Halloween, they really step it up. In the Olympics & Rainier Region, they have a costume expert stationed within each store. Over the last three years, Georgeann Johnson worked within this family of Goodwill stores, and has built a team of people who LOVE Halloween.
Each expert gets 2 hours of training before heading into their store, where they can help you not only find the pieces you need, but build a costume around pieces you already have. They have lookbooks to peruse and racks upon racks upon racks of costumes that they amass all year long.
They can even work within your budget, outfit your kids and take a look at your Pinterest boards with you to make your Halloween amazing.
So I had the pleasure of visiting with a crew of the costume experts and a squad of fellow bloggers in that Tacoma store. They had a contest, where they gave us an hour and a gift certificate, and we had to come up with the best costume we possibly could.
Listen, I’m competitive as all get out. I’m also really passionate about costumes and I have always wanted to try cosplaying (which is basically Halloween on the other 364 days). So Marie (the costume expert I got paired with) and I went after it.
The signage on the racks had a variety of costume ideas, and the look book got a quick peek, but we found this one hat, and the rest of it fell together pretty quickly after that.
And that’s my actual hair, not a wig like one of the employees thought!
So, Marie and I won the contest. We didn’t think we would (some of our competitors were so awesome!) but we had SO MUCH FUN putting the costume together, we would have been ok not winning too!
We only had an hour to put this costume together. It can be done.
How can you put a costume together at the last second and look awesome?
- Have some ideas. Throw together a Pinterest board of some costume ideas you like. Think of your favorite cartoon characters or comic book characters. Have a few ideas in mind.
- Bring your smart phone. You can google characters to see what they look like to get a little authenticity, or just get an idea of what to do with that awesome leather jacket you found!
- Have an open mind. I started out thinking I would just try and revamp the Joker costume. I saw that steampunk hat, and the whole plan flipped. Don’t be married to a plan, and Goodwill will come through for you!
- Know what you have at home. Being able to use what you’ve got at home is a big bonus. Spend less $$ on costumes, have more to spend on candy. Or whatever your Halloween treat of choice is.
Not only does Goodwill have great costumes, but Goodwill of the Olympics & Rainier Region does some good work. I’ve talked about it before; they have an amazing training center in Tacoma, and some wonderful programs to help people better their lives, or get back on their feet.
So buying your costume at Goodwill not only has an effect on your wallet, but helps out a lot of really amazing people.
I know that sounds really cheesy, but it’s true and I really admire what my friends at the Goodwill are doing to help out their community (and make it possible for my awesome thrift shop trips)!