By Alison Caracciolo | Staff Columnist
What’s scarier than zombies, ghosts and ghouls combined? How about being a broke college kid during Halloween?
With the spooky holiday right around the corner, the average college student scrolls through Pinterest, looking for the most unique do-it-yourself costumes that could essentially save them a fortune for just one night. The overpriced, cheaply-designed Halloween costumes found in stores across America are emptying everyone’s pockets for what could be just one party out of the entire year.
Retailers find many ways to capitalize on Halloween by keeping the main costume separate from the wing, wand or any other accessory that completes the costume. One hundred dollars later — a bank account basically emptied — the perfect Halloween costume has swallowed a considerable amount of cash for just one night.
It shouldn’t be surprising to find that consumers this Halloween season plan to spend an average of $82.93 on costumes, according to a new survey by the National Retail Federation. All in all, it’s about $8.4 billion nationwide spent on Halloween costumes alone, as per the same source. Each year, more money is spent on Halloween than the year before, whether it is on costumes, candy or decorations.
Instead, students should try to create their own costumes.
Halloween has become a whole bunch of dollar signs for the American economy. It is becoming more essential for college students, and other fans of dressing up for Halloween, to find the best costumes for their money.
Today’s Halloween costumes can cost about the same as a prom gown, or even a wedding dress, and retailers bank on those who want to take a creative, and even perhaps lazy, shortcut. Halloween is all about creativity and how well you can make those unique ideas come to life, but not everyone has the time to whip up their own Halloween costume.
If you wanted to be a princess and wear a replica Cinderella dress, it is only $900. If you are one to dress up like Melisandre from Game of Thrones the cost is just a mere $475, according to Prestige Couture. Nadia Goodwin, the owner of Prestige Couture, has her distinct Halloween costume company on Etsy. No costume is priced lower than $200.
Realistically, those costumes are for those who have a strong, overbearing Halloween spirit to drop some serious cash for a single holiday to wear such a costume. For a typical consumer, ABC News found that the average retail store price for a costume is $29.60.
According to the National Retail Federation, about two-thirds of Americans said they plan on partaking in the festivities of Halloween. The growing hype for this holiday has everyone wanting to dress up for the night, but it comes at a price.
Halloween falls on the same day every year, and it shouldn’t be news that the price for costumes will continue to reach new heights with the continuous increase of popularity for the holiday. If you know you want to drop a large sum of cash on a costume, start saving ahead of time.
Being a college student, a lot of things tend to happen at the last minute because, somehow, there never seems to be enough time in the day to get everything done. It can be easier to just order something simple and cheap on Amazon rather than scavenging for random articles of clothing to make one costume come to life.
However, depending on how creative and money-savvy you are can help you find the perfect costumes for dirt-cheap or for no cost at all by doing-it-yourself. A do-it-yourself costume can cost between nothing to $30, according to The Simple Dollar. The easiest way to save money this Halloween is to find a costume idea that you already have some of the articles needed, in which you may only need to spend money on one item to complete the outfit.
Who knows, you may even end up wearing the blue sweater you bought for a garden gnome costume to class. The perk of do-it-yourself costumes compared to store bought ones are the more realistic opportunities you have of wearing such an article of clothing again. It is very unlikely to find another use of a superhero onesie costume besides Halloween night.
Be smart with your money this Halloween season, and don’t drop $100 on one costume that you will only wear once. Retailers do a great job of showcasing their costumes’ superiority over others, but the costumes you make on your own are the ones you’ll never forget and will make for a memorable Halloween night.