Saturday, October 6, 2012

Questionable Items on Thrift Store Halloween Racks

Just about any item of clothing you find at thrift stores can be made into a costume, even if it's not on the designated costume racks.  I was surprised almost a month ago when casually browsing at Goodwill and found a used poodle skirt.  Often on the racks designated or costumes there are used costumes that are often stained, ripped or incomplete.  And then there's stuff that isn't  a costume at all but which the store's sorters have seemingly decided might be used as such.  Alongside used stained Spiderman costumes, ninja costumes lacking hoods and weapons, French maid dresses without the aprons, and pinstriped gangster pants without the matching jacket, there are items such as t-shirts with Halloween designs,  Army jackets, sporting uniforms, graduation robes and bridal gowns.

And there are really questionable items on such racks that seem like they could be used as a costume but the customer isn't sure what they could actually be used for. Or would they make a costume at all?

First, this floral dress.  What do you think this would be for? What could the workers have been thinking when they placed it on the costume rack?  Of course, it's also possible that it was just placed on the rack through customer error, as often happens in retail establishments.  But does this dress look bizarre enough to be mistaken for a costume?

And this blue checkered skirt?  I guess they thought this looked like Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz's dress, but it's just a skirt and probably not the best way to make a girl a Dorothy dress. It might be difficult, if not impossible, to find a shirt that matches this skirt exactly, so anyone's better off buying a ready-made Dorothy dress, which you can find just about anywhere.  But what else can you make with a blue-checkered skirt like this?   I have no clue, how about you?

Here we have something that isn't a costume at all and would be depressing as such.  It's a plastic kids raincoat with a frog hood. Sorry for such a crappy photo, but I was in a hurry today to get it snapped and was too lazy to snap it from all sides, so this was the best I could get.  Why this got placed on the rack designated for costumes I don't know.  Do they not think kids will know it's a raincoat?  I'm sure most kids don't used their raincoats for costumes even if the hood is in the shape of a frog.

And this multicolored shirt?  Kind of looks like a medical  scrub top with a fancy collar and long sleeves.  Is it supposed to be for a clown?  Kind of looks that way, but will anyone think to use it as such?  Who knows?  Looks to bizarre even for medical use.  Then again, if that's what it's used for, it'll just get stained.  Gd only knows what this shirt was originally used for. let alone how anyone would use it as part of a costume.

And one last thing, this dress.  It looks kind of bizarre and foreign (in more ways that one), but who knows what it is supposed to be.  I have no clue abut this one.  What do you think?

As I said earlier, it's possible that some things get put on this rack by customers by mistake.  It's easy, in any sort of retail store, for customers to  place items they decide  they don't want anywhere they can reach before going to get their purchase rung up.  As someone who works in retail, I see this all the time, and I have been guilty of doing it myself when I'm in hurry to leave the store.   But most of the items being on the costume rack don't appear to be through customer error.   Today at one thrift store in my town I saw a dark-orange women's tank top from Lane Bryant.  I didn't get a photo, sorry, hard to explain.  I had to wonder if it was just placed on the costume rack by mistake or because it was orange. What costume it would be used for, I cannot even imagine.

And I still wonder about graduation gowns.  Why is it that these things only appear in thrift stores at Halloween time?  Why are they never in these stores starting around May when students are preparing to graduate from grade school, junior high, high school or college?  Do schools not allow students to wear used gowns?  I don't recall this whether or not this was true when I was in school.  And are there  any kids who graduated from whatever level of school this past June planning to use their robe for a  Harry Potter or Judge Judy costume?  Or have your robes already been sent to your local Salvation Army, Goodwill, Savers, or whatever other thrift store? When I did the Half-Devil, Half Angel costume about seven years ago, I decided to make it using graduation robes.  I got one in red and one in white, of course, and used half of each. Sewing them together was easy because I only had to sew them on the back.

And bridal gowns.  When I was browsing these racks one day about a month ago, another customer remarked how expensive these things are and why are they on the costume rack.  While it seems that these would be the obvious choice for being the Bride of Frankenstein on Halloween, you may want to consider how expansive these things can be even in a thrift store, but if you can afford them, so be it.  But there's also the bulkiness of these things.  Riding in your car  to a celebration at a local bar or another person's house in one of these dresses might get uncomfortable. At least that's how I imagine it. Some costumes are a bit difficult to move in, and this seems like one of them.  But using a real bridal gown seems better than making a fake one out of toilet paper, something that seems best reserved for bachelorette parties. If you have to go to more than one party for Halloween,  you may not be able to duplicate the toilet paper bride costume the second time exactly as it was the first. And you don't want to risk your creation being ruined if rain on Halloween seems eminent in your area.   Then again, if  even a used bridal gown is too expensive for your budget, you could make a white graduation robe look like bride's dress.  It will be less bulky and won't get destroyed by rain.

Who knows about these other items--maybe someone will use their imagination to transform them intosomething.  But who knows.

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