Finding the Perfect Halloween Costume

By: Jolene Roehlkepartain

Halloween is coming. Are you ready? Follow these five tips for finding the perfect Halloween costume, and bask in all the fun the season has to offer! Read more >

Tip #1: Help your child identify his or her heroes. Before you step into a store, make a list with your child. Identify which characters he or she admires. Maybe it’s WordGirl, SpongeBob, a princess, a pirate, or Harry Potter. Halloween stores can be overwhelming places. A little bit of planning and preparation will save you time, money, and undue stress as you help your child chose an appropriate Halloween costume.

Tip #2: Set a budget. Halloween costumes can really bust your budget. It’s easy to get caught up with finding the perfect costume and then accessorizing it. When my kids were in middle school, they could find elaborate, expensive costumes that cost close to $100 when you added in all the accessories. Without a budget, I would have been sunk! If your child has his mind set on a costume that’s priced outside of your budget, you might try suggesting a compromise. One year, my teen and I agreed that we would each pay for half of the costume since he wanted it so badly. Problem solved.

Tip #3: Shop early. The best Halloween costumes sell quickly. Even though kids can change their minds, we set a deadline for deciding on a costume and purchasing it. We usually try to buy the costume by mid-October at the latest. If you plan on making your child’s costume, get started early! I made a few of my kid’s costumes when they were younger, but I discovered sewing a Halloween costume could become a huge, time-consuming project.

Tip #4: Be clear about what’s an appropriate costume. Some costumes can really raise eyebrows. Three-year-olds should not look like strippers! If your tween or teen daughter has her eye on a skimpy Halloween costume, it’s important to be clear about what’s appropriate and what’s not.

It’s also important to look for costumes that are comfortable and weather-appropriate for trick-or-treating. For children 5 and younger, look for costumes that are comfortable and roomy. In our part of the country, Halloween can sometimes be quite cold, so we always tote along an extra layer of clothing, just in case temperatures start to drop.

Tip #5: Create a Halloween countdown. Finding the perfect costume is only one way to get ready for Halloween. Another fun way to get ready for Halloween is to bask in the fun activities the season has to offer! Bonus: This will also distract your child and likely keep him from changing his mind about his costume ; )

Go pumpkin hunting; carve pumpkins, decorate your home. Buy treats to hand them out on Halloween.

Take your kids to haunted houses, corn mazes, or other Halloween-related outings. With young children, you can create a Halloween countdown chain using orange and black strips of paper. If you’re the crafty type, you might try this idea for creating a countdown.

And once Halloween arrives, take out your camera and snap away! Our family always has a tradition of taking photos of our kids with their carved pumpkins. Remember, Halloween is not only fun for kids, it can also be a great community-building holiday. Click here to learn more.

So, are you in the Halloween spirit yet? Check out these great links for some fun inspiration.

Feeling extra-creative? Try these fun costume tutorials from some of our favorite parent bloggers.


1. “Tips for a Safe and Festive Halloween,” ParentFurther.

2. Holidays and Special Occasions, ParentFurther.

3. Image via Joe Shlabotnik on Flick’r.

Great tips, especially the notes on preparation. If you take an unprepared child into a costume store they'll run around like a kid in a candy shop (pardon the pun!). And likely go straight for the most expensive costumes. It's best not to just guess what they'd like, you really have to chat about it. You might think of their favorite toy or cartoons, but then out of the blue they want a Mad Hatter costume from Alice in Wonderland because he'd seen it the week before :) And like you said, get them prepared for their favorite characters, and decide yourself if those costumes are appropriate and warm enough, and then get them prepared with some back up ideas to avoid disappointment. Cheers! Dan

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I am also looking for the perfect Halloween costume. I think you should add a section to use coupons to save more money. I have used them to buy Halloween costumes on the target and it has helped me save a little money. You can try

Great tips and blog, i love it and will bookmark and share with all my friends thank you!

Thanks for dropping this creative info to the net. I’ll use it this year helping my 4 y.o. granddaughter decide.

I also found a similarly-veined site at that offers reviews and quick links to various Halloween related material(s).

Cheers for now!

- Michael

If you live where it’s chilly weather during Halloween, you might want to consider Kigurumi Pajamas. Kigurumi PJs are popular among tween and teens in Japan, they are made to look like cartoon characters and farm animals. They are made of fleece and will keep a trick or treator warm. It can also double as lounge wear for the rest of the holiday season.

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