This Halloween, my roommates and I decided it would be fun to dress up as Jimmy Neutron characters. But, after a quick google search it appeared that finding Jimmy Neutron merchandise for a reasonable price was not going to be easy. That’s when we decided we should thrift instead of buying pre made costumes. It was actually the most fun I have ever had with a Halloween costume.
This was my first real experience with thrifting. As a kid, my sister and I used to love the hand-me-downs we would get from our older cousins, but as a teenager I had moved away from second hand clothes. It was partially because my aunt no longer gave us the hand me downs, but it was also because as we got older we wanted to create our own styles. Because of that, we started shopping at places like TJ Maxx because they were convenient. I did not know of any easy ways to transition to second hand clothing for teenagers, and frankly I did not really look.
When I walked into the thrift store, I was surprised by how much was there. There were full women’s men’s, and children’s sections filled with different shirts, pants, coats and accessories. I never knew thrift stores had so many options. Even though we were looking for some pretty niche pieces (my friend who wanted to play Carl was looking for an orange striped shirt and green pants and my friend playing Mr. Neutron needed a blue sweater vest), we were all able to find pieces that worked pretty well and would only need a few minor alterations. And, not only were we all able to find pieces we needed, but it was so much cheaper than a normal Halloween costume. I was going as Jimmy Neutron and was able to purchase my plain red t-shirt for $1.50. Red t-shirts on amazon were running for around $5-$15 (not including shipping). I was so excited by the price.
After thrifting, we started to get creative. I needed to add the Jimmy Neutron atom logo to my shirt. I bought some fabric paint and got to work. After tracing out the logo in some pencil and applying a few coats of paint I had my costume! I was so proud of having created something. I didn’t realize when I started this process how rewarding it would feel. I was sending everyone I knew pictures of my homemade and thrifted Halloween costume, bragging about the price and the fun I had!
Not only did I feel good because I created something so cool, but I also felt good reflecting on how much I reduced my environmental impact this Halloween. If I had bought a pre-made Jimmy Neutron it would have been made in some factory using coal, oil, or natural gas to power it. Then, the shirt would have been shipped to an Amazon warehouse, then to me. Then I would have worn the shirt once for Halloween (maybe a second time for fun, but probably not). But by thrifting, I was giving a shirt a new life.
So next time you’re looking for a Halloween costume (over even a new outfit!), consider thrifting. I hope you find it as rewarding and fun as I did!