The scariest part of Halloween is the waste created by costumes that are only worn a few times, and then end up in landfills. Avoid that horror this year, and try buying second-hand instead at one of these five thrift shops in Portland (you can always try to sell or donate your costume back to the thrift stores below when you're done).
Pro tip: Venture beyond the designated costume sections and shop the racks of vintage and unique clothing to create a one-of-a-kind costume no one else will have.
Hollywood Vintage | 2757 NE Pacific Street
Don’t be intimidated by the stone gargoyles atop the pink building that houses this treasure trove of a store. Step inside for a massive collection of vintage clothing, jewelry, and other crave-worthy knick-knacks, plus racks of costumes that range from 70s fashion to western gear to 1920s flapper dresses.
What we found: Red, black, and green flapper dresses adorned in sequins, princess gowns, and clothes straight from the 70s, perfect for your go-go dancer look.
Red Light Clothing Exchange | 3590 SE Hawthorne Boulevard
Once again, don’t be intimidated by the window décor, which was, on our visit, a pile of mannequins. Right as you enter the store you’ll find racks of costumes, including a clown costume, cartoon character gear, and bright plastic earrings.
What we found: Sequined gowns for channeling your inner '80s pop star, provocative pirate gear, and a black dress with Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s legendary white collar.
House of Vintage | 3315 SE Hawthorne Boulevard
If you strike out at Redlight, head down the street to House of Vintage. Although no sections are dedicated specifically to costumes, you can find costume-ready pieces and jewelry storewide. Just need costume inspiration? They have a wide variety of movies and posters for background info purposes.
What we found: Everything you would want for any character from Stanger Things (a striped button-down shirt straight from the 80’s for Will, quirky graphic T’s for Dustin, and denim zipper jackets for Eleven), vintage Boy Scout uniforms, and countless cowboy boots.
Buffalo Exchange | 1036 W Burnside Street and 1420 SE 37th Avenue
Both locations have large selections of new and used costumes, as well as accessories. The Buffalo Exchange Instagram even has a collection of costume ideas on their Instagram story highlights for those who still haven’t nailed down a look.
What we found: RBG’s wig (to go with her robe!), a button-down dress with math equations written all over it that gives off Ms. Frizzle vibes, and neon platform boots for you to embrace your inner Berlin club scene kid.
Beanstalk Children's Resale | 3527 NE 15th Avenue and 8021 SE Stark Street
With how fast kids grow, it’s a no-brainer to buy second-hand costumes. Beanstalk sells costumes all year round for children who like to dress up, but they have a specific section for Halloween. You can even shop their selection online on their website.
What we found: A fireman’s outfit, a pink flamingo costume, and Slimer, the green glob of a ghost from Ghostbusters.