That’s the A in the ABCs of Halloween costuming.
The B is for Budget.
And the C? For Creativity, of course.
That’s basically all you need, especially if you wait until the last minute to devise a costume.
Halloween is nine days from now. Nine days is considered last minute.
People start planning weeks and months in advance. Some plan all year.
Not to worry. Nine days is plenty of time. You can even wait until the day before to pull it off. Or the day of: Be a newspaper by using clear tape to layer multiple sheets of newspaper around your bod, then tie a ribbon around your waist for that just-delivered look.
Many people take a mixed approach to their costume by combining new pieces with second-hand finds. That’s why thrift stores such as Value Village and Goodwill have jumped on the bandwagon, offering racks of new costumes so people (and pets) can get it all done under one roof. Don’t forget to dress the dog — and the cat, if you dare.
Value Village has its own label, Alterego, of new costumes and accessories. Prices are similar to big-box stores. Adult costumes start at $14.99, kids costumes at $9.99 and accessories for 99 cents and up.
There are hundreds of wigs, masks and costume choices, from superheroes and vampires to bananas and beer maids.
It is not uncommon to overhear conversations like this:
Child: “Mommy, you need to be a banana.”
Mom: “I do not want to be a banana.”
Need help pulling a costume together? No problem.
Value Village workers, who dress in costumes, will fix you up. Stores also have catwalk fashion shows. The aisle end caps are “transformation stations” with a ready mix of new and used items grouped in themes of clowns, cowboys, dragons and demons.
Example: A used bright red jacket, silky pants, suspenders and goofy tie combined with a new rainbow wig came to about $30 for the whole clown getup. The $4.99 jacket was stylish enough to be worn all year to work or a party.
Want something easy?
Be Mario, with overalls, red shirt, baseball cap and big mustache. Or a prisoner in a comfy black-and-white striped jumpsuit, which can also be worn all year doing yardwork.
Value Village costume consultant Leslie Rice made it look easy. “My turtle outfit, DIY,” she said, rocking a tutu, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle shirt, turtle shell backpack and red mask as Raphael.
Green T-shirts paired with masks in the four turtle colors (red, blue, green and orange) will do the trick. Use a marker to draw turtle shells on the shirts and scissors to cut eye-holes in bandanas… and cowabunga! You’re ready. Nunchucks optional.
Brandi Carlson dressed as Wonder Woman, said wearing a costume to work is fun. It’s her 11th Halloween on the job.
“It brings you back to your kid days,” she said. “It’s nice to be able dress up and relive your kid time. My child enjoys it, too. She thinks it’s cute every time I come to work. We take lots of pictures.”
Worker Christina Bezuglyy suggests that shoppers first figure out the genre they want and base the costume from there.
No matter what you choose to wear, there is one requirement.
“You have to like the costume,” she said.
Websites for costume ideas
Red Tricycle: From Disney darlings to monster truck drivers, flip through the album to see kids costumes.
Goodhousekeeping has ideas for couples: Team up with your mate to be Snapchat filters or Sonny and Cher.
Goodwill: Goodwill’s Halloween website has a costume generator function, make-up tutorials and videos.
Value Village: Value Village has DIY ideas from a demon monkey to garden gnome.
Popsugar: Popsugar claims to have scrolled through every corner of the internet to dig up the most amazing and creative costumes so you don’t have to.
It offers 101 DIY costume ideas from outfits you can put together in minutes to projects that only advanced costumers will be brave enough to tackle. Everything from a Disney princess to zombie Taylor Swift to giant fidget spinner and moments such as Beyonce’s pregnancy announcement.
Top trends at Value Village:
Game of Thrones
Wonder Woman, Star Wars and Despicable Me 3
Traditional themes, such as witches and vampires
Have your four-legged friend join in the Halloween fun. Transform your hound into a superhero or sushi roll. There are wigs, hats and capes made for pets.
PetSmart stores in Everett, Lynnwood and Marysville will have a Halloween “Spooktacular” from noon to 3 p.m. Oct. 28. The event is free, with photo-ops with PetSmart’s Chance the dog mascot.
Petco stores have a Halloween “Bootique” with toys, costumes and treats.
Party City has pet costumes in categories from movies stars to careers. Instead of chasing the UPS driver, your dog can dress as one.
To see how to not dress your pet, go to www.viralnova.com/pets-hating-halloween-costumes.