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Last-minute Halloween costume ideas

This article originated from Frolic Hawaii; written by ; and published Oct 27, 2015



Mirror, mirror on the wall
What should we be for Halloween this fall?

Has Halloween snuck up on you? Are you still costume-less and afraid you won’t have time to come up with a plan to dress to impress? Don’t fret: Frolic style expert Amanda Stevens and adventure seeker Olena Heu have paired up to bring you some affordable last-minute ideas.

Savers is a great place to score cheap makeup, accessories and anything else to jazz up your look. Most items are under $10.

There are plenty of places around town selling costumes, accessories, consignment items and home decor to spruce up your Halloween vibes. And don’t forget your closet: You can spruce up things you already have to achieve the look you want.

The cool thing about shopping at Goodwill and Savers is you’re finding great deals on second-hand items, and these stores give back to the community in a big way. Goodwill helps people with job training and employment, while Savers purchases donations from local non-profit partners.

image35If  you’re stumped for ideas, Goodwill has a great look book, available at its stores and online.

So, how to create a well-designed Halloween costume by using a single item as an inspiration and starting point? Here are Amanda’s and Olena’s real-life demos. Neither ensemble cost more than $40 total or took much time to create.

image34You can pretty much find anything you need among the donated clothes at Goodwill and Savers to get your look going. Literally thousands of items to help you craft your costume.


olena-and-amandaMovie iconica has been my Halloween inspiration for decades, from Pebbles to Cat Woman to Charlie’s Angels. This time, Olena would be my stylist helping me build my whole look at the Beretania Goodwill store. When we came upon this epic mid-length black bob wig, we both knew it would be the anchor piece for my new look.

2015-10-24-16.55.37At first we were thinking Mavis from Hotel Transylvania 2, but we couldn’t get the bangs right. Then we thought Cleopatra, but it was too played out. Then Olena said, “Mia from ‘Pulp Fiction’!” Next thing you knew, we found a crisp white boyfriend button-up shirt, and instead of Mia’s black flare pants, we opted for black tights, a black skirt and red shoes, to update the look.


Here’s a breakdown: wig – $6.99, white boyfriend button-up – $8.99, black skirt – $6.99, black tights – $3.99, red chunky heels – $6.99. Grand total: under $40.


Olena suggested that I add a dark red lip, false eyelashes and a black bralett to the ensemble for dramatic effect. I love the look because it’s easy and not at all cumbersome, and Uma Thurman’s character is a pop culture icon. Now I just have to find my John Travolta, nail the dance moves and I’m all set.



I usually dress as a fairy or something pretty, so I thought this Halloween it might be cool to be something darker. The Goodwill look book had a photo of a sexy witch that I liked. With the help of Kelly Cho from Goodwill Hawaii we started with some black dresses. There were several that I liked, but the fit wasn’t right. I found one that I loved, but it looked more professional than witchy. Then Kelly found a perfect lacy tank dress that screamed “Where’s my broom?”


We found a witch’s hat that was layered with bright green and black and from that I was inspired to be Elphaba, the witch from Wicked, one of my favorite musicals of all time! Kelly found some green leggings and paired those with black fishnet stockings and that was it! Perfection!

Amanda helped me accessorize with black funky heels, bright green 80s sunglasses, lace gloves, a lacy scarf, feather and silver earrings and the outfit evolved into an 80s punk Elphaba witch. So cute! Head to toe, the look cost $40. Here’s a breakdown of the items:

Witch hat – $4.99, dress – $8.99, earrings – $3.99, glasses – $2.99.
Lace gloves and scarf $3.99.
Neon tights – $3.99, black fishnet stockings – $3.99, zip-up heels – $6.99.

Here are more recommendations on where to find your Halloween look for less:

373 N Nimitz Hwy

Goodwill Hawaii – locations in Waipahu, Wahiawa, Pearl City, Kapolei, Beretania, Kaimuki, Kailua, just to name a few.

Party City
888 N Nimitz Hwy

Dillingham Plaza
1505 Dillingham Blvd
94-300 Farrington Hwy

Spirit Halloween
Kamakee and Auahi (old Nordstrom Rack)