Monday, October 31, 2011

Last Minute Halloween Costume Ideas from Value Village

Charlie Sheen, Nicki Minaj and the “Walking Dead” among easy DIY ideas for late costume planners

Approximately 20 percent* of all people planning to dress up for Halloween will wait until the last minute to choose their costume, according to the second annual Halloween Shopping Survey from Value Village, the global thrift retailer. But delaying until the last day doesn’t mean shoppers need to sacrifice having an amazing Halloween costume. Value Village and its network of in-store Costume Consultants today announced a list of the best last-minute costume ideas for 2011, along with do-it-yourself instructions for how to create them. Included on that list: Charlie Sheen’s Charlie Harper from Two and a Half Men; colourful pop star Nicki Minaj; and apocalyptic zombies, inspired by AMC’s series The Walking Dead; among others.

“Just because you wait until the last minute to pick your Halloween costume doesn’t mean you have to settle for whatever pre-packaged costumes are left at that time,” said Meg Allan Cole, a DIY blogger and National Costume Consultant for Value Village. “Pop culture icons, news headlines and nostalgia are some of this year’s best inspiration for last-minute costumes, and it’s easy to recreate an iconic look when you combine secondhand items with new accessories.”

Also, data from the annual Value Village Halloween Shopping survey which reveals consumer trends include some interesting facts like:
A family of four expects to spend $300 celebrating Halloween this year.
Pet owners plan to spend more on costumes for their dogs ($59) than on costuming their kids ($32).

More than half (54 percent) of those planning to dress up this year say they will either combine new and secondhand items or make their costume by hand. With more than 270 stores across Canada and the U.S. and the largest selection of new and used costumes, accessories, makeup and home décor of any retailer, Value Village is the best retail destination for last-minute costumes. A Halloween “store within a store” at each Value Village location features new costumes starting at $9.99, wigs starting at $5.99 and new seasonal accessories as low as $1.99. Combined with aisles of gently worn merchandise at a fraction of the original price, shoppers are able to be resourceful and inventive in creating a completely unique costume that fits within any budget while standing out from the crowd.

Value Village stores also have certified Costume Consultants on-hand at every location that can help create perfect Halloween looks for the whole family on any budget – even if it’s an hour before the party. Additionally, every Thursday at 3 p.m. throughout October, every Value Village store holds a Halloween Costume Catwalk fashion show to highlight the week’s most popular costumes and provide tips and tricks for recreating the looks.


With their fingers on the pulse of pop culture inspiration, Value Village’s Costume Consultants have a keen understanding of the iconic costumes that Halloween shoppers want to bring to life this year. And with such a large percentage of people waiting until the last minute to create their costumes, many will need creative and flexible ideas that don’t require one particular item that may be in high demand. Following are Value Village Costume Consultants’ picks of the top last-minute costumes and “DIY” instructions for creating them using a combination of secondhand items and new Halloween merchandise.

Charlie Sheen’s Charlie Harper from Two and a Half Men – Pair a vintage men’s bowling shirt with a pair of secondhand khaki cargo shorts. Then add accessories like a men’s black wig, prop cigar and “old-fashioned” cocktail glass. Winning!

Nicki Minaj – Go crazy with colour! Choose several brightly coloured or neon women’s separates, such as a full floral skirt, a paisley patterned top and fluorescent jacket. Then add candy-coloured pumps, pink bob wig and prop microphone, and you’ll have everyone’s “heartbeat runnin’ away.”

Walking Dead Zombies – One of the best and easiest costumes to create and personalize, just choose any combination of secondhand clothes that can be ripped – for men, a white dress shirt, slacks and a blazer; for women, a dress or skirt and blouse. You can also go with a theme – cheerleader, mailman, or even bride! Then just add blood and makeup to finish the un-dead look. For a zombie makeup tutorial, visit

80’s Movie Nostalgia – Get the Halloween party conversation started with a costume throwback to the 1980s. For a Top Gun Maverick costume, embellish a vintage leather bomber jacket with homemade “patches,” printed from your computer on cardstock. Pair the jacket with a white t-shirt, aviators and dog tags, and you’ll be partying in the “danger zone.” Or, transform into “Teen Wolf” by layering a brown faux fur jacket underneath a yellow basketball jersey or tank top. Then complete the classic costume with werewolf “gloves,” brown makeup and prosthetic ears and nose.

Bridesmaids – This year’s blockbuster comedy is also a perfect group Halloween costume. Choose one secondhand wedding dress and a variety of gaudy secondhand bridesmaid dresses for your group of friends. Make simple bouquets out of silk flowers to carry along, and be sure to sing Wilson Philips’ Hold On throughout your Halloween festivities!

For more last-minute inspiration, Do It Yourself costume and décor instructions and makeup tutorials, visit Shoppers can also become a part of the Value Village social community this season by visiting or @SaversVVillage on Twitter. Additionally, from now through November 11, 2011, members of Value Village’s Facebook community can submit a photo of themselves, their child or their pet in Halloween costumes for a chance to win up to $500 in Value Village Shopping Vouchers**.
To locate the nearest Value Village store, please visit There are currently 13 Value Village stores in Great Toronto Area, the newest of which was opened in Mississauga this month.

*Methodology Note: The Value Village Halloween Shopping Survey was conducted by Kelton Research during the summer of 2011 and polled 1,068 nationally representative consumers aged 18 and older – Bellevue, Washington, October 2011.

**Visit for official rules.


Value Village, a Savers, Inc. brand, is a privately held for-profit global thrift retailer offering clothing and accessories for men, women and children and household goods. Through its unique business model of purchasing, reselling and recycling secondhand merchandise, Value Village benefits local nonprofit organizations, gives consumers a smart way to shop, and saves millions of pounds of quality used goods from landfills each year. Savers, Inc. has paid more than $1 billion to its nonprofit partners over the last 10 years, turning otherwise unused items into sustainable funding that supports vital community programs and services. The company operates more than 270 locations and has nearly 15,000 employees in Canada, the United States and Australia. For more information, please visit

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