It doesn’t matter if you’re heading to a Comic-Con-esque convention or prepping early for Halloween. You’re not a kid anymore, and those store bought costumes aren’t cutting it, but if you’ve dived into the world of Etsy and serious Cosplay, you’ve probably discovered that killer costumes can also kill your budget. Do you really need a premium leather cat suit, and how many times are you going to make use of that authentic Japanese sword? You can build your own costume without breaking the bank, and it all starts with these options:
1. Oxygen concentrators
Are you going to be a zombie apocalypse survivor? Strapping on a mask and hose (no need for the machine for costumes) lends a serious note to just about any apocalyptic scenario. It’s also a great tool for attaching other pieces of the costume to your head (think keeping those wigs on). There’s something a little creepy about face masks and hoses out of context, and they’re an affordable binge for multiple costumes.
2. Gun holsters
Don’t head to a party with a real gun (it’s not just unsafe but probably illegal), but who said anything about holsters? Yes, they can be expensive, but that’s often only for the highest quality options that are in prime condition. Start perusing online auctions and even pawn shops for holsters that are worse for wear. They’re perfect for costumes because they look like they’ve seen plenty of action.
3. Latex shoes from adult shops
Not all latex shoes are expensive, and you’ll be surprised what you can find on sale. Usually, the best bargains come from adult shops because folks with all types of budgets want to have fun in the bedroom. However, now is also the perfect time to start checking out local thrift shops as people clear out last year’s costumes for something new.
4. Camo in spades
Genuine military camo will have you kitted out for multiple personas, and as a bonus it comes in a variety of weights and breathable fabrics. Check with your local VA association, thrift stores or even used military supply shops. Few people want to get used military goods, which means you can find it for a bargain. Just be respectful if you come across any garb with patches or badges (it’s often best to remove them).
If you want to get your geek on year-round, make it a habit of checking consignment shops, Craigslist and the like. You don’t need a multi-hundred (or thousand) dollar custom getup to win the costume contest.