Inside my Costume box


I remember when one of my friends (it's the girl in the photo up there) asked me "when you were packing for college, what exactly did you think you were going to need?" She was referring to my bag full of seemingly random accessories and costume pieces. She was so naive at the time, and weeks later she was asking to borrow items from my collection. Welcome to college, where dressing up isn't saved for Halloween. Themed exchanges and mixers happen regularly, and you'll need to be prepared. Start shopping and collecting costume accessories now so you aren't running to every thrift store in town looking for something specific the day of an event. To get you started, I've compiled this list of essential items every college student needs in their costume box.

Hawaiian Shirt
Beach themes are popular, and my Hawaiian shirt was passed around my group of friends often last year. It will also be essential for the perfect tacky tourist outfit.

Fanny Pack
Your fanny pack will complete your beach or tourist costume. It's also great for 90's themes. And, hello, you can hold your phone and keys in something attached to you? Any day I can wear my fanny pack is a good day. Choose one in a solid color so it'll go with anything.

Jersey
I underestimated how important it would be to own a jersey going into college. Currently, I have a referee jersey and a hockey jersey. When thrifting for jerseys, head straight to the men's section. Find something a couple sizes too big. Remember, you can never go wrong with a basketball jersey.

Athletic Socks
These complete a variety of looks. Obviously they are perfect for the sports/jersey theme. You can also make them work for 90's or 80's.

Flannel Shirt
When plaid is required for a costume, I just use a flannel from my everyday wardrobe. However, you can find some great ones at thrift stores! The best part about wearing a flannel out is that they actually keep you warm. You'll need this piece for country and western themes.

Suspenders
You never know when you'll need suspenders. Pair them with your flannel and you have a lumberjack costume. Add a red or green shirt and hat and you're basically Mario or Luigi. Wear a plaid shirt with your suspenders and you've got the mathlete look down. 

Bandannas
I have bandannas in so many colors. I recommend starting with black, white and red. Like suspenders, a bandanna can be used to complete almost any look. For example, take your red bandanna and throw on a denim shirt. You're already Rosie the Riveter. The best part about this accessory is that you can get one for $1 at Walmart.

Neon
Neon anything. I recommend purchasing a bright yellow or pink t-shirt. This will be essential for your 80's look. Just pair it with leggings, and stay comfortable too. You never know when you'll need something bright.

A Men's Shirt
Risky Business? Check. Frat Guy? Check. Schoolgirl? Check. Like I said before, building your costume box is all about choosing pieces you'll wear again and again. A white button down shirt is pretty much one of the most important items in your costume collection.

Red, White & Blue
'Merica.

Beads
Collect all the beads you can before going to school. They can complete almost any look. From Mardi Gras to St Patrick's Day and everything in between. Beads can be especially helpful for holiday themes if you don't actually have clothing that fits the theme.

Christmas Sweater
Although you'll probably only wear this once a year, you should definitely have a Christmas sweater. Tackier is better. If it doesn't have glitter or pom-poms or some kind of animal, you're doing it wrong.

Camouflage
A camo hat or t-shirt will be useful for redneck and country themes. You can also use your camouflage for the popular "hunt or be hunted" theme. Camo will also be essential for army themes. Are you noticing a trend? Almost everything in our costume box will have multiple uses.

Animal Ears
Cat ears. Mouse ears. Deer antlers. Basically just collect all the animal accessories you find. You never know when they will be needed. My chapter recently had an exchange that was 'Indiana Jones & Jungle Girls' themed and we all dressed as wild animals or explorers. It was a really fun and adorable theme and my black cat ears were a vital part of my costume.

Now that you know what you really need for college, start thrift shopping! The best part about these pieces is that you don't have to pay a lot of money for any of them. Make monthly thrift store trips with your friends, and know what you are looking for. Don't buy too many multiples and stick to common themes for a well-rounded collection. Remember, you can never have too many costume accessories. You never know when something will work with your look. Check out my other college related blog posts here! 

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