It’s all fun and games to dress up for a costume party until you realize how much it’s going to cost for just one night. Thankfully, Bakersfield has a slew of thrift stores and consignment shops, should you choose to piece together your own attire.
At the end of August, easing into early September, In Your Wildest Dreams downtown prepares its special Halloween costume section in the back room of the store. The store offers an array of colorful costumes.
Dixie Brewer, owner of In Your Wildest Dreams, said the best way to stay on a budget is to “shop for your costume second-hand.”
Brewer’s shop offers hats, wigs, accessories, and, of course, a wide range of costumes from fancy gowns and wedding dresses to military and doctor uniforms.
Most customers have their costume put together at home and just need one item to neatly tie it up when they visit. They may just need to walk through the colorful and shiny racks of clothes to find something that catches their eye.
“We have such a large selection of eclectic, vintage clothing — it’s more about customers coming in and creating their own unique costumes,” Brewer said.
In Your Wildest Dreams is located at 716 19th St.
The American Cancer Society Discovery Shop is also a great stop for costumes. Its dedicated Halloween section opened the last week of September.
Store manager Traci Vanburkleo said most people come in looking for wigs and fabrics. Customers who are making their own costumes will find options in the fabric section.
Most costumes are $10 or less, while children’s costumes are around $5.
The American Cancer Society Discovery Shop is located at 5420 California Ave.
While Encore! Boutique isn’t necessarily a thrift store, it does have many gently-used designer items, along with accessories and home decor at a reasonable price.
If you’re looking to model a costume after an A-list celebrity or someone seen in a movie, Encore! Boutique has quality clothing that just might fit the bill.
Sales benefit people in The Mission at Kern County's residential recovery program.
Encore! Boutique is located at 1817 Eye St.
Here are a few do-it-yourself costume ideas should you need a place to start before thrifting:
Witch - You will need a corset, a long skirt or maxi dress, an oversized blouse and black boots.
Zombie - You will need aged or worn clothes, lots of tissue paper, white and green face paint, skin safe glue, gel and a powder (i.e. flour, chalk, pressed powder).
Boogie Man - Grab a hoodie and sweatpants of the same color or a boilersuit, some yarn and some creepy crawly insect packs.
Dead Bride - Find an old wedding dress, tulle, white face paint, black eye shadow and red acrylic paint.
Scarecrow - Find a pair of overalls, a checkered or line-designed button up, some boots and a straw hat.
Bat - You will need a black hoodie, some black felt, an old black umbrella, and plastic fangs.