3 Vintage Costume Themes To Look For This Halloween

group image of people wearing vintage costumes for fancy dress party or halloween

Image via brit.co

As well as being fun, shopping for vintage looks can bring you an authentic costume for Halloween made up of truly unique pieces to integrate into your regular wardrobe during the other 364 days of the year. With donations pouring in from homes across the U.S. and Canada, at Goodwill® it’s super easy to track down looks inspired by some of your favorite TV shows and movies, especially those that remind us of a bygone era! Here are three vintage costume ideas to inspire your shopping this fall…


Ready to travel back to the ‘80s with me and the cast of Stranger Things? Pick your favorite character from the hit Netflix show (it’s Barb, right?) and head over to this Stranger Things costume breakdown from Brit + Co for their guidelines. With the basics they’ve laid out, you’ll be able to quickly comb through your local Goodwill’s selection to find what you need. Whether you seek mom jeans, cross-trainers, or a perfectly broken-in screen printed tee, the only place to meet your Carter/Reagan-era clothing goals will be at Goodwill, I promise.


photo showing two cute kids dressed up in costumes

Image via skirtastop.com

Go a little further back in history and you’ll find the shift dresses and saddle shoes of the early ‘60s that were perfectly embraced by Wes Anderson’s film Moonrise Kingdom. The tiny Sam and Suzy costumes pictured here were shared in this Halloween-centric blog post by Goodwill Industries of Michiana, Inc. (South Bend, IN) and it, alongside the other ideas in the post, completely charmed me! As with every Anderson movie, there are so many one-of-a-kind characters — from Bill Murray’s despondent dad to Bruce Willis’s dim but devoted police officer, and the tribe of audacious khaki scouts — that could steal the show this Halloween, especially as a group costume!


image of a woman wearing a leg lamp costume surrounded by halloween decor

Image via amazinggoodwill.com

Now if you’re ready to really head back in time, maybe you’ll want to dive leg-lamp first into a costume from the film A Christmas Story. Set in the frigid winter wonderland of suburban Indiana sometime around 1940, the costumes from this classic holiday movie are mostly humble and hardy, so they’re perfect if trick-or-treating tends to be cool where you live. Dress as Randy bundled up “like a tick about to pop” or Ralphie in his pajamas and galoshes with the highly-prized Red Ryder BB gun in hand. If low temperatures aren’t an issue where you live, you could take a little inspiration from the Major Award costume pictured above, which I found on Goodwill of North Georgia (Atlanta)’s Holidays & Occasions pinboard. Or, for a really eye-catching costume, search your local Goodwill for a set of pink footsie pajamas that you can add bunny ears to. It would be a Halloween to remember, for sure, and the perfect segue into the rest of the holiday season.

But let’s not dwell too much on the past. Goodwill believes that career navigation and skills attainment can lead to long-term economic stability for individuals, their families and the greater community, so it’s in programs designed to support these goals and build a brighter future for all that Goodwill invests their revenues. Don’t forget that, just like history, fashion repeats itself. So, pick up what you need for your vintage costume this year and hang onto it. When that style comes back in vogue you’ll instantly be ready for the runway.