Fashion & Style Clothing

How To Use Old Clothing As Costumes


Dressing up in a costume can be loads of fun for people of all ages. Whether you are getting ready for Halloween, attending a costume party or just dressing up for the fun of it, escaping into another world for a few hours can be exciting. During the fall, stores are packed full with pre-packaged costumes that can be very expensive and are certainly unoriginal. If you are planning to dress up soon, skip those cookie cutter store-bought costumes and make your own. All you need are a few items from your closet or the local thrift store. Here is a look at five costumes or accessories you can make from old clothing:

Step 1

The first of the costumes you can make from old clothing is a gypsy costume. This one is probably easier for women, but men can do it too. It would also be a great couples costume. 

Ladies, start by layering old skirts; the wilder the colors and patterns the better. Once you've picked out two or three old skirts to wear, find an old billowy shirt, such as a peasant blouse, to top it off. Throw on your biggest pieces of jewelry - bangle bracelets, necklaces, dangling earrings and rings for every finger; tie a scarf around your head and put on some bright, colorful make-up and you will look just like a gypsy.

For men, you can use those old boots you thought were too worn out for work with a pair of loose-fitting pants tucked into the tops to make them billowy. Top it off with an old white button-up dress shirt (left unbuttoned if you dare). Borrow some gold chains and other jewelry from your wife or girlfriend and tie a scarf around your head. These costumes can easily be turned into pirates as well.

Step 2

Zombie costumes are all the rage with both men and women and can easily be made from old clothing. The best thing about zombie costumes is the more tattered and torn they look the better. Everyone has some clothing in their closets that is just too torn or faded to wear on normal days. Maybe your pants have holes in the knees or you ripped an old shirt sleeve. These make great zombie costumes. If you prefer more formal zombies, mean can wear old suits that are maybe a little too short or out of style with a tie tied loosely around their necks, while women can put those old prom or bridesmaid dresses to good use. Just remember, you've been dead for a while and living in the ground, so the worse your clothing looks, the better. Finish this look with wild hair and pale make-up with black around the eyes and you have yourself a very fun, inexpensive costume.

Step 3

Remember those old pajamas you bought because they were cute but you only wore them a few times? They may be hiding in the back of your closet, but when it comes to dressing up, they make great baby costumes. Maybe they were a gift from your boyfriend or girlfriend or your grandmother, but almost everyone has pajamas that they are too embarrassed to wear to bed. Grab a blanket, a teddy bear and a pacifier; throw some blusher on your cheeks and you are instantly transformed into a much younger version of yourself.

Step 4

Another great costume that's quick and easy to put together using old clothing is a cowboy costume. The main articles of clothing you will need are an old pair of jeans and plaid button-up shirt. Again, most everyone, both male and female, owns these items. The clothing alone is almost enough to finish your costume. If you have any old accessories, such as a cowboy hat, boots or a belt with a big buckle, these make great additions to your cowboy costumes.

Step 5

The final costume made from old clothing is a tourist. Almost everyone has an old Hawaiian shirt lying around the house; they are great for costumes. Throw it on with some khaki shorts and you are half-way there. If you own a camera, you can wear it around your neck or a fanny pack can be worn around your waist. You can also wears an old pair of sandals or a baseball cap or sun-visor. Add your favorite sunglasses, a strip of sunblock across your nose and if you have an old map, stick it in your pocket so it's visible. Both men and women look great in tourists costumes.


Remember to get creative when creating costumes from old clothing. Almost anything in your closet can become a new costume in minutes. Not only will you be saving money, but you will look so much more original than the people who  buy the expensive costumes at the store.

Sources and Citations


By Sarah Anderson, published at 03/22/2012
   Rating: 4/5 (11 votes)
How To Use Old Clothing As Costumes. 4 of 5 based on 11 votes.


Most Recent Articles

  • Tips on Finding Clothing For Costumes
    Whether you are dressing up for a big Halloween party or just looking for everyday dress-up clothing for your children, store-bought costumes can be expensive and very unoriginal. However, w...