Arc’s Value Village’s legendary Boo-Tique has been around for over 10 years; the Arc’s crew keeps the wildest, weirdest, most glamorous, and surprising pieces in their collection for the event, which runs from early September to Halloween.
Each Arc location (Richfield, New Hope, Bloomington, and St. Paul, which will close in October) has a selection of goodies, and you truly never know what you may find, or what genius costume idea may pop into your brain while perusing the racks.
We recently visited the Richfield Boo-Tique and created a few simple, clever costumes with pieces you can actually wear after the holiday. Plus, when you shop thrift for your costume versus buying a pre-packaged bag costume on Amazon, you make a difference with your dollars: Arc helps support people with disabilities and their families, so you’re doing good and looking good come Halloween.
COSTUME #1: Elvis/Country Star
This vintage ‘80s white leather suit was an incredible find. Pair it with a bustier-style top for a Dolly Parton look or give in to your inner Vegas Elvis.
Wear it again: Separate the suit! The jacket is just retro enough to look trendy, not dated, and the pants would look chic with a black turtleneck or vintage band tee. Then again, pantsuits are having a moment, and why wouldn’t you want to wear this gem everywhere?
Total cost: Suit jacket: $15.99. Pants: $15.99. Earrings: $1.99. Shoes: Model’s own.
COSTUME #2: Art Teacher
Everyone loves an art teacher. The mismatched pieces feel very Miss Geist from Clueless, don’t they? The Boo-Tique is full of adorable oddities like this cat and dog print skirt, and other things that make you wonder, “Who the hell wore this?” That’s part of the fun! Grab some funky beaded jewelry and channel your inner art teacher or Miss Frizzle from Magic School Bus.
Wear it again: A skirt like this is a statement piece, and easily worn again with simpler items.
Total cost: Sweater: $7.99. Shirt: $5.99. Skirt: $7.99. Necklaces: $2.99 each. Shoes: Model’s own.
COSTUME #3: Ringleader
Dance costumes abound at the thrift store come Halloween, so channeling your inner Britney Spears circa her “Circus” era or becoming an extra from American Horror Story: Carnival is easy. Find one that fits, grab some tights, toss on a black tuxedo blazer, and swing from the trapeze. (Or not. Be careful.)
Wear it again: Is there anything more versatile and essential than a slightly-oversized black tux jacket? Nope. It’s as perfect with a gown as it is with a glittery playsuit.
Total cost: Tux jacket: $7.99. Costume: $7.99. Vintage hat: $3.49. Tights and shoes: Model’s own.
COSTUME #4: Nancy Drew/Cute Librarian
Give ‘70s wool pieces a new life this Halloween and get a little nerdy. We created a cute Nancy Drew/librarian look from vintage pieces found on the Boo-Tique racks. All that’s missing is a magnifying glass. The secret of the old mill is no match for you.
Wear it again: You know what else is having a moment this year? Brown herringbone blazers. Madewell sells them for over $100. You can get yours for $5.99. Done and done.
Total cost: Jacket: $5.99. Blouse: $3.99. Skirt: $6.99. Glasses: $.99. Shoes: Model’s own.
COSTUME #5: ‘60s Housewife
When you find a vintage vacuum in the aisles of Arc’s, you have to create a costume to match it. It’s the law.
Wear it again: This vintage floral shift dress is a classic. If you feel too costume-y wearing it on its own, toughen it up with a leather or denim jacket and boots.
Total cost: Apron: $.99. Dress: $7.99. Martini glass: $.99.
COSTUME #6: Party Animal
Oops! Need a last-minute costume for that party you forgot about, and don’t want to resort to a boring witch or ghost look? Make your friends laugh when you show up as a party animal. There are a plethora of animal-print items at the thrift store, so pair ‘em together, toss on a party hat, and enjoy the night.
Wear it again: Animal print is basically a neutral at this point, so grab a pattern you love (zebra, tiger, leopard -- whatever) and incorporate it into your wardrobe.
Total cost: Jacket: $7.99. Playsuit: $9.99. Hat and bow: $1.99 each.