Trick or treat? Store-bought costumes vs. homemade costumes

With Halloween around the corner, many are torn between purchasing a costume versus making their own.

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Trick or treat? Store-bought costumes vs. homemade costumes

Alyssa Mandell (9) happily poses in her homemade jellyfish costume alongside Lauren Buckingham (9) and Reagan Barnum (9).

Alyssa Mandell (9) happily poses in her homemade jellyfish costume alongside Lauren Buckingham (9) and Reagan Barnum (9).

Photo by Kami Mandell

Alyssa Mandell (9) happily poses in her homemade jellyfish costume alongside Lauren Buckingham (9) and Reagan Barnum (9).

Photo by Kami Mandell

Photo by Kami Mandell

Alyssa Mandell (9) happily poses in her homemade jellyfish costume alongside Lauren Buckingham (9) and Reagan Barnum (9).

Story by Marlene Calderon, Co-Editor in Chief

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    The school and office supply haven found in San Marcos’ Grand Avenue shopping center has waved goodbye to its Winco and Best Buy neighbors, and a new pop-up store has eerily taken its place: Spirit Halloween.

    With the long-awaited “spooky season” bringing in temporary Halloween costume stores to town, people are left wondering if they should break the bank and buy a store-bought costume or go on a different path and make the costume themselves. 

   Much of store-bought costume’s appeal is attributed to their convenience and blatant resemblance to beloved movie characters or pop culture figures. Fall is a busy season for many students since the majority are dealing with rigorous courses or loaded sports schedules. Because of these high demands, students often prefer a trip to Target or Party City over crafting a costume.

I have been wearing homemade costumes for my entire life. I prefer them over store-bought costumes because they have so much more meaning and have brought me amazing memories,”

— Alyssa Mandell (9)

 

    “I prefer buying costumes because the pieces I find are so amazing, and I don’t have to do any of the work myself,” Athena Dornin (10).

    While a store-bought costume notably saves time, it often comes with a price tag that is scarier than the costume itself. The National Retail Foundation predicts that Americans will spend an estimated $2.8 billion on costumes in 2019. Finding a costume that is under 20 dollars is only feasible for infant costumes, and many cannot afford a 40 dollar costume that will only be worn for a couple of hours. 

   A more affordable alternative is crafting a costume at home; items already owned can be used for the costume and a quick trip to a Dollar Tree or thrift store can be made. Halloween is a beloved holiday by teens, and making a costume can provide some holiday spirit and an opportunity to showcase one’s creative skills.

   “I have been wearing homemade costumes for my entire life. I prefer them over store-bought costumes because they have so much more meaning and have brought me amazing memories,” Alyssa Mandell (9) said.

    Not only can making a costume provide an outlet to express creativity, but it will also result in a costume that is unlike others that are found in stores. Social media such as Pinterest or Twitter can provide inspiration, but every creative aspect is up to the designer, and they can guarantee an original costume. Whether it be a meme costume or cosplay, popular culture has made a presence in costumes and many stores have not caught up with this trend.

   Whether a costume is homemade or not, shouldn’t determine the overall enjoyment of the holiday, and either costume is equally valid when celebrating. But if a student has the desire to avoid coming across hundreds of other mass-manufactured Harley Quinn or Fortnite costumes similar to their own, then a homemade costume may provide the originality they seek.

Are you purchasing a pre-made Halloween costume or are you making it yourself?

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