Halloween enthusiasts, lean in. In case you didn’t already know, a thrift store is the best place to buy an awesome Halloween costume. It’s not just because thrift stores are gold mines of decade-authentic throw-back fashions that make dressing up easy. It’s of course also because thrift stores sell new, packaged costumes at much better prices than those Halloween costume pop-up shops you see everywhere – and they’re much more original costumes, too. At a thrift shop, you have the option of buying a costume new, used, or using a mix of new and vintage pieces.

Sometimes, even just browsing through a thrift store gets the creative juices flowing and something you see in a thrift store might spark the idea for a super creative costume – whether it be that cool vintage flight attendant uniform you find among the racks, that sexy black leather one-piece or that hilarious ’80s prom dress.

In a recent survey conducted by the huge thrift store Savers on Halloween trends and shopping behaviors, half of Americans aged 18 and over said that Halloween is their favorite holiday and 88 percent upheld that spending a fortune isn’t necessary to create the best costume. Three-quarters of Americans said they enjoy mixing a variety of pieces to create a unique costume, which is easy to do at a thrift store. Even more interestingly, half of Americans stated that they hate it when a friend has the same costume as them. It goes without saying that creating a unique costume nobody else would have is easy to do at a thrift store. Just to really drive this home, below are 6 irrefutable reasons to get your costume from a thrift shop:

1. There’s Fashion From Every Decade

In essence, thrift stores are fabulous time capsules that house clothing from every decade. There are fashion finds from the ’60s, ’70s, ’80s and ’90s that are authentic looking and quality vintage. That means that if you want to dress up as a ’70s flower child, an ’80s aerobics instructor, a ’60s mod party girl, a ’90s goth or an ’80s prom girl you can find what you need at any thrift store. Most thrift stores have plenty of ’70s bell bottoms, ’80s neon exercise clothing, ’60s shift dresses and ’80s prom dresses. You’ll look fabulous in vintage fashion when you head off to your fun Halloween date, work party or costume party.

2. You’re Guaranteed a Unique Costume

The best part about getting your Halloween costume at a thrift store is that you can mix new, secondhand and vintage pieces to create the perfect, unique costume. I was recently shopping for my own Halloween costume at my favorite local thrift store, Value Village, and I’m always blown away at how seriously they take Halloween. There are organized sections of new costumes in packages, sections of animal accessories, sections of crowns, wigs, gloves and other key add-ons. There’s also vintage fashion from various decades, and tons of other cool and unique accessories that will add a unique flair to any costume.

They take Halloween so seriously that they actually temporarily remove racks of regular donated clothing to make room for the racks of Halloween finds. Mary Ginnaty, Merchandising Buyer for Value Village Thrift, explained that when shopping for a Halloween costume you shouldn’t be shy to peruse the entire store for unique accessories that might be a perfect match for your costume. “Don’t forget about the small details that can really pull your look together,” says Ginnaty. “Whether it’s costume jewelry, props, wigs or makeup, there are plenty of unique options available at Value Village that will add the finishing touch to any costume. Be sure to check out departments of the store that you wouldn’t normally think to look at, because sometimes the perfect accessory can be discovered in the most unexpected section of the store.”

3. Thrift Stores Sell Vintage Uniforms and Oldschool Sports Gear

Speaking of thinking outside the box and perusing a section of the store you normally wouldn’t look at, this is how I found my vintage baseball player costume a couple of years ago. Value Village, for example, is a thrift store that I go to, and it has a ton of vintage sports uniforms including vintage jerseys and vintage baseball caps. Thrift stores often have old-fashioned roller skates and other cool accessories that might spark the idea for a costume. There’s also plenty of other types of cool vintage uniforms hiding among the racks such as private school uniforms, military uniforms and flight attendant uniforms.

4. Thrift Stores Have Something For Everyone

You’re probably getting the idea by now that thrift stores truly have a costume for every personality. When it comes to Halloween costumes, thrift stores have new (packaged) costumes as well as vintage finds that are perfect for DIY throw-back costumes. There’s something for everyone because at a thrift store you’ll find scary costumes, fashionable costumes, character costumes, medieval costumes, pop culture costumes, animal costumes, royalty costumes – the list goes on and on. At a thrift store, you’ll also find sections of animal ears, fairy wings, vintage jewels and all of the accessories you’d need to perfect any costume. Thrift stores always have an impressive selection of both new and pre-owned Halloween merchandise, plus the above-mentioned fashion from every decade and oldschool uniforms. This truly allows shoppers to easily find a costume they’ll love, and if you go costume shopping with friends, it’s likely you’ll each end up with something very different but equally awesome.

5. You’ll Save Money

Remember that you don’t need to spend a fortune to show off an awesome costume on Halloween. At Value Village, for example, new adult costumes start at $14.99, kids costumes at $9.99 and accessories such as costume jewelry starts at only $1. Boutique Halloween shops and pop-up costume stores often charge $99 for one packaged costume. It’s absolutely ridiculous to spend nearly $100 on a costume when you could find something better for a quarter of the price at a thrift shop.

6. Thrifting is The Best Way To Stay Green This Halloween

Getting your costume from a thrift store is not only a more economical option, it’s a greener option, too. It’s better for the planet to buy from thrift stores, because you’re more likely to include some pre-owned elements in your costume and you might even avoid packaged costumes altogether. Thrift stores keep millions of pounds of used goods out of landfills each year, and often donate percentages of proceeds to very good causes for the community including vital community programs and services. It’s also much less wasteful to buy an inexpensive second-hand dress if you’re just going to smear blood all over it for your costume anyway. Supporting a green Halloween is easy if you head to your local thrift store for your costume. Happy thrifting, everyone!

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