Halloween costumes – Thinking outside the package

It’s that time of year again, when we have an influx of first time customers who are often expecting a normal costume store. They come in with a photo of a packaged costume and want the whole thing just like the picture from the hat to the same stockings.

Can we do that? Yes.  Do we like to? Not really.

I don’t understand the fun of taking something out of a bag and then trying to look like the photo on the front. The stuff never looks like that anyway! Package costume catalog photos are incredibly deceiving. And who wants to spend all that money just to look like five other girls at the party? We encourage originality, inspiration and creativity. Think of that packaged costume as a starting point and go from there. Don’t be stuck in the same old costume rut! Make it your own.

Need some ideas of how this is done? It’s all about layers, accessories and make-up. Here’s four examples of costumes that started in the bag and became much more. The photo on the left is the catalog photo. The photo on the right shows where you can take it with a little imagination. And yes, we sell all these bits and pieces in the store. That’s what makes it a different kind of costume shop!



This costume is Polka Dotty by Leg Avenue. It’s cute on it’s own, but I had to do something different! I added the split tone wig, Harry Herbert monster kit, purple waist cincher, blue and purple tutu, neon green fishnets and teal blue fuzzy leg warmers.

Pirate Vixen

Pirate Vixen

Here we have Leg Avenue’s Vixen Pirate Wench and swashbuckler hat. I was pretty excited to get this costume at first. This was before I had a store! The costume arrived and it was too big in the waist. It just sort of hung off me and looked sad. So I took off the front lacing and attached it to a real corset. Fit problem solved!  I also added a striped skirt to the bottom and a pirate belt and pouch.

Miss Krueger

Miss Krueger

This one is the Miss Krueger costume by Secret Wishes. I don’t even sell it in the store anymore because it was so terrible right out of the package! The dress was incredibly ill fitting, like a scratchy turtle neck. And the glove fell apart the first time I put it on. I had to go through and wire each finger piece back on and reattach the top part to the glove. The hat it comes with is a really stiff felt fedora, like something you might get at a party store, so I got a nice real hat that fit better. The other one kept falling off my head. I also slashed up the dress and attached it to a bra to make it a more customized fit. Of course the thing that really sets this one apart is the make-up! I used 3-D gel to create a burned appearance on one side and FX blood in the dark color.

Miss Wonderland

Miss Wonderland

This is another Leg Avenue outfit that is actually cute right out of the package, but I had to spruce it up just a little! This one shows just a few accessories can make the difference. I started with Miss Wonderland and just added a black leather waspie cincher and lace leg warmers. So don’t be afraid to start with something in a bag, but try and think of it as an inspiration and see where you can go with it!



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