Thrift shops offer creative costume alternatives

JACOB COLON TTN (Above) Retrospect offers a variety of vintage clothing and accessories for men and women. The store is located at Fifth and South streets.

College students don’t always have to dress promiscuously for Halloween. Thrift and vintage stores can provide the perfect pieces for a creative costume.

On one of the most beloved nights of the year, girls on college campuses across America wear the most promiscuous things they can imagine.

For many college-aged kids, Halloween is about dressing up as the cliché sexy-something and heading to the nearest party to make some drunken mistakes. However, for those who want to put a little more thought into costumes and look good while making drunken mistakes, there are places out there for great costumes besides the cheap Halloween shops that line South Street.

Vintage shops in Philadelphia have a lot to offer. Besides cool pieces to wear everyday, they can also be the best place to shop for costumes. Wilbur Vintage in Queen Village has some of the most decadent vintage in the city. It’s the perfect spot if your idea of a great costume is a flapper or a young socialite at Studio 54. Wilbur also has tons of accessories, so if you don’t find your entire costume there, you may have luck picking up a few props.

If you make the trip down to Wilbur and don’t find what you’re looking for, walk a few blocks north to Retrospect on South Street.

Retrospect offers a more down to earth, less glitzy vibe than Wilbur Vintage and is possibly the best place to find mod, ‘50s and ‘80s inspired costumes. The store is currently carrying costume wigs for the Halloween season too. So if you’ve already purchased a costume but it didn’t include a wig, then you can pick one up here for a pretty good price.

Thrift stores can offer a lot, and there’s no shortage of them in Philadelphia. Probably one of the most well-known is Philly Aids Thrift. The South Philly thrift shop just relocated to a bigger spot, with a lot more stuff to rummage through. If you have the patience to sift through the junk, you may find some pretty decent things.

Right now the store has bins of Halloween props and a rack dedicated to costumes. There’s also a $1 section, where one can find a few pieces without breaking the bank. Philly Aids Thrift is perfect for putting together granny costumes–or even sexy granny if you still want to go that route–and finding ‘80s working-women suits.

Finally, there’s Circle Thrift with two locations at Frankford Avenue and South Broad Street. Its prices compete with Philly Aids Thrift, but the vibe is a little younger–think ‘90s to early 2000s. Like any thrift store you’re going to have to sift through the junk to get to the treasure. Tie-dye shirts and old high school tees with goofy mascots are everywhere, which may come in handy if you decide to dress as a ‘90s frat guy. There’s also never a shortage of chunky heels, for assembling a ‘90s club kid or a Spice Girls getup if you wish.

With the variety of shops in Philadelphia, there’s no need to dress like every other person on Main Campus for Halloween. Venture out and create something a little different. It’s totally possible to be creative and cool.

-Sydney Scott

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