Making the cut

Oct. 30, 2005, midnight | By Juliet Garlow, Eve Gleichman | 18 years, 4 months ago

Two girls, $20 and a pair of rockin' Halloween costumes

Okay, it's official; we have lost our trick-or-treating rights to old age. Instead of opening our hallowed plastic pumpkins for a handful of candy, we're opening our eyes and ears to disapproving looks and deep sighs from the neighbors who now toss the bite-sized Snicker bars - the ones that that should have gone to the kids behind us - into our bottomless bags. Our scavenging is on the brink of pathetic, and our lame endeavors show through our questionable made-from-whatever's-around-the-house costumes.

This red blazer is one of the many one-of-a-kind finds at Value Village that can make any Halloween costume fabulous.  Photo courtesy of Juliet Garlow.

We have singled out our feeble attempts at creative Halloween costumes as the main cause of our declining candy count. The fact of the matter is, if we want to pull off another year of successful trick-or-treating, we're going to have to raise the bar, eschewing the lackluster costumes that seem to have plagued our neighborhoods for the last couple of years. We're willing to make two unrivaled costumes if it means gaining back our respect - and our candy. We have established a $20 budget, and we have a week to fulfill the task.

Spot, select, save

The first step in our journey is finding a costume haven, and a cheap one at that. We've settled on Value Village as our home base, a giant sanctuary for thrift store savvies. They've got everything from feety-pajamas to tablecloths, so surely they will have just the things we need for two great costumes.

For thrift store amateurs like us, Value Village's vast interior is nothing less than intimidating. Lanes of secondhand clothes crowd the white aisles that we squeeze through, and the smooth-jazz rendition of Lion King's "Circle of Life" doesn't help cure our frustration. There is too much to choose from, and we are still unsure of what exactly we're looking for. After 20 minutes of unsuccessful browsing, we decide to regroup and establish a new plan.

Eve shows off her red fishnets and hairspray – two preliminary costume essentials – before taking on Value Village.  Photo courtesy of Juliet Garlow.

And then we see it: a pair of green and gold slippers, glowing amongst the worn brown boots and tacky black sandals. It's a perfect accessory for a Tinkerbelle ensemble, and there's no way we're passing these beauties up. Now with a purpose, finding the rest of this outfit is a breeze. A lacey forest-green skirt and simple lime colored tank top, coupled with a sparkling pair of wings and an earthy belt make Juliet's costume a winner. While scavenging, we come across a row of cherry red men's blazers, which brings Tinkerbelle's nemesis, Captain Hook, to mind. And all for just $3.10. With a black pirate hat and matching black pants and boots, our grand total amounts to only $17.25, almost $3 below our budget. We leave the giant box of a store victorious.

Bringing home the goods

Now it's time to head home, celebrate our success and doctor up our findings. The green skirt needs to be shortened about 14 inches, and we need to create a Captain Hook-esque mustache and hook. With some difficulty, we manage to work out the mechanics of Juliet's sewing machine, stylizing our new goods with zigzag cuts and foil hooks. We find that a mustache made of black construction paper frames Eve's face best, and that a configuration of twigs and vines from outside is the perfect touch for Juliet's ensemble. Two hours later, we have hammered out one sexy-chic Tinkerbelle, and an equally imposing Captain Hook.

We proudly sport our creations, which are done well in advance for the big day. We're so confident that we've cured the candy dilemma that, in the unlikely event of a disappointing Halloween, we are willing to accept our old age as the sole kink in the process, and end our annual ritual once and for all. To be continued…

Tags: print

Juliet Garlow. CAP junior Juliet Garlow loves almost all music but is especially fond of country. She plays softball too much and is training for the upcoming field hockey season. She is terrified of clowns and being eaten by a shark. Her guilty pleasures include watching entire … More »

Eve Gleichman. Eve Gleichman didn't do it. More »

Show comments


No comments.

Please ensure that all comments are mature and responsible; they will go through moderation.