Friday, October 18, 2013

- - Halloween Costumes - -

Happy Friday!

With Halloween just around the corner, I figured it was time to finally sit down and figure out what I would be going as this year. There are a few places where I could go in Toronto to get costumes, but I wanted to see what I could find online first. The sites I looked at were: Amazon, Party City, Spirit Halloween, and Wholesale Halloween Costume. It's from this last site that I ended up buying my costume, but I will go through each site in detail...

Spirit Halloween
This is a great store for anything that you could possibly need for Halloween. I live in an area where Spirit Halloween has been locating their stores for the past three years, so I know that Halloween is just around the corner when I see one of these stores pop up. My boyfriend, Andrew, and I bought our costumes from here two years ago, when we went to a party as the Phantom of the Opera and the Angel of Music.

Naturally, this was the main website that I checked out for inspiration. There are a lot of really great costumes that this place has, but I couldn't help but notice that most of the costumes that were catching my eye were only available online.

What I really like about +Spirit Halloween (other than the incredible selection of costumes) is that they seem to constantly have promotions/discounts. They seem to be advertising a discount whenever I check out their Google+ page. Right now, you're able to get "20% any single item" (Code: SCREAM20TWT - expires Sun, Oct. 20, 2013). I was just at the Spirit Halloween website and they have a little window in the right bottom corner that pops up every so often with offers such as "10% off your entire order" or "Free Economy Shipping" that can be redeemed through your email.

Here are some of the costumes I liked from Spirit Halloween:

Despicable Me Minion

Ghostly Gal

Blood Thirsty Beauty
Red Riding Hood Strangelings
Egyptian Goddess
Foxy Roxy - What does the fox say??

Party City
I've never ordered from this site, but I did like the following costumes:

Lady Jack Skellington

Amazon is a pretty fantastic site when you're looking for various items - including costumes. Honestly, I would've ordered my costumes from Amazon if the Canadian site had the ones I wanted. I've often had American sites re-direct me to their Canadian counterpart before, so I'm just not 100% sure if I'm able to order from the American site when there's a Canadian version.

Wholesale Halloween Costumes
This ended up being the winning site! I've ordered from here before and I find that the prices are slightly better than, say, at Spirit Halloween. This site also offers quite a few discounts over the course of the year. Right now you're able to get 15% off (code: ADULT15) - expires on Sun, Oct. 20, 2013. There's quite a large selection of costumes that are available to you year-round.


Now...the downside to sites like Spirit Halloween & Wholesale Halloween Costumes (and a lot of other American-based sites actually) is that the shipping costs can be quite extreme for us Canadians. The shipping costs can range anywhere from $15 - $60. Depending on the cost of your items, the shipping cost can easily be on the higher end of the spectrum. It also happens that you might pay a fairly reasonable price for shipping & handling and then have to pay an additional charge (it's usually been something like $20 extra for me) when your package comes to you. 

Having said that though, I have found that if I paid quite a lot for shipping then I don't get any additional charges when my package comes in. In the end it essentially doesn't matter. You either pay low shipping (and if your item costs $60+) but pay additional charges; or you pay a lot for shipping and get no extra charges. I paid quite a bit on Monday, Oct. 14 to get my costumes shipped out to me; I received my complete order on Wednesday Oct. 16. I have an event to go to on the 26th so I didn't want to risk getting my items late via economy shipping (which would've been $20 cheaper!!). Moral of the story -- either buy your costumes early on so that you can actually allow yourself to get economy shipping OR buy costumes when stores have discounts (especially on Nov. 1st)...OR make costumes yourself and save tons of money.

Of course, there are sites that offer free international shipping. I find that these sites tend to be mostly UK-based (Kudos to you, UK!). There are also websites that do not have a high shipping & handling fee. But these are not sites where you can necessarily buy costumes from...

It's just one of those things that as a Canadian - and an international - buyer you have to be careful with. When buying costumes online you also should consider the nature of what you're buying. Costumes are often overpriced for the quality that you receive. Moreover, you have to really ask yourself if it's worth spending the money on a costume that you might only wear once a year. 

I find that buying costumes is always exciting, but I do try to stick to lower-priced costumes. Besides, I'm not really that skilled at creating my own costumes, so I tend to rely on what I can buy. In exchange, I do, of course, pay a lot more for ready-made costumes.

Good tip: Always make sure to check the reviews for every costume as sizing can vary. In general, try to find anything at all that can help you out in determining your size for a costume or for any piece of clothing.


I was passionately writing another two paragraphs when I realized that I was approaching a bigger issue (sizing when shopping online) that is probably better explained in another post. So, I am just going to end off this post by saying that you do get a larger selection online than you do at stores. Keep in mind that there are only so many stores that you can visit in one day, but there are so many websites where you can shop (for costumes, since we're still on the topic) online. I got so worked up about writing this post -- I apologize in advance for any mistakes that I might have missed.
Finally then, what costume did I choose? I'll give you a hint...
Thank you for reading!~  

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