Tuesday, Jul 22, 2014 07:26 pm est

Thrifty thrills for Halloween costumes with a twist

Posted on October 29, 2012 | by Emily McDermott

Faced with a sea of glittering shoes, feathered masks and sequined multicolored mariachi dresses among thousands of other pieces, a vintage Halloween costume hunter can suddenly feel overwhelmed. But you do not have to be. From celebrity stylists to thrift store managers, New Yorkers share advice on how to successfully thrift a Halloween costume without any stress.

File Photo by Jonathan Tan


Find a Staple Piece

“Find a piece you fall in love with and build off that,” said celebrity stylist David Eiduks. A vintage black dress with lace midriff detailing and a belling skirt can be transformed into an authentic Gothic Victorian costume with costume jewelry, gloves and, if you’re daring, a veil. Adding a leather trench coat to a simple outfit helps you become detective Dick Tracy.

Make it Your Own

“Create a unique idea … basically custom built from scratch,” said Metin Erinc, a manager of BrowNY, a New York pop-up shop. Add studs, diassemble jewelry and reuse beads. Don’t want to be Dorothy but want to use the round, woven basket you found at a thrift store? Dye the basket’s material black and transform it into a witch’s cauldron.

File Photo by Jonathan Tan


Use Found Objects

“Use something that is ‘non-clothes clothes,’” said Seri Traipoom, a Halloween associate at Screaming Mimis. To be a 1950s housewife, search vintage stores for aprons and old cooking materials. If you find an old woven basket and stuffed dog, you could be on your the way to skipping down the Yellow Brick Road.

Have No Fear

“Just go with your fantasy,” said Tatiana Neal, a manager at BrowNY. Halloween is about standing out, so follow your intuition and do something unexpected. Utilize a faux fur coat that swallows your body to become Wes Anderson’s Margo; a hat that towers two feet tall to call yourself Willy Wonka; that one piece you have always wanted to don but didn’t know how to do it.

This Halloween, the more daring the costume, the better.

Emily McDermott is a staff writer. Email her at emcdermott@nyunews.com.


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Felipe De La Hoz

Multimedia Editor | Felipe De La Hoz is a Colombian national studying journalism at the College of Arts and Sciences. Having been born in Colombia and raised in the United States, Mexico and Brazil, Felipe is a trilingual travel aficionado and enjoys working in varied and difficult environments. Apart from his photography, Felipe enjoys investigative reporting and interviews, interviewing the likes of Colombian ex-M-19 guerrilla fighters and controversial politician Jimmy McMillan. He has covered everything from governmental conferences to full-blown riots, as well as portraiture shoots and dining photography. Having worked under Brazilian photojournalists for Reuters and AFP, Felipe hopes to one day work on demanding journalistic projects and contribute to the global news cycle.

Ann Schmidt

News Editor | Ann is a liberal studies sophomore who lived in Florence during her freshman year. She plans on double-majoring in journalism and political science and is always busy. She is constantly making lists and she loves to laugh.


Daniel Yeom

Daniel started at the Features desk of WSN last Spring, writing restaurant reviews whilst indulging on free food and consequently getting fat. Last Fall, he was the dining editor, and he this semester he is senior editor. Daniel is in Gallatin (living the dream) studying Food & Travel Narratives, incorporating aspects of Food Studies, Journalism, and Media, Culture, and Communication. He loves food more than life itself.

Hannah Luu

Deputy Multimedia Editor | Hannah Luu is a ridiculously great Deputy Multimedia Editor. She is a sophomore from Northern California. If you think Northern California means San Francisco you might need to closely examine a map. She is passionate about NPR and being half Asian.

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