Costume Accessories You Should Never Buy From A Thrift Store

If you love Halloween, you've probably been planning your 2021 costume since the minute Halloween ended last year. You're not a kid anymore, though, which means mummy costumes made of toilet paper and papier-mâché robots like your parents used to make you are no longer an option. That being said, that doesn't mean you have to shell out loads of cash to buy yourself a costume from the store. This year, we recommend getting a little thrifty and DIY-ing your costume. Not only will you be able to impress all your friends with your totally awesome costume, but you can brag about having made it with your own two hands. Score!

One of the best places to check for budget-friendly costume accessories is without doubt a thrift store. There will be loads of options for you to check through with their own character and style that are sure to put the finishing touches on your costume. That being said, as great as a thrift shop is at offering unique and inexpensive pieces, experts warn that there are some accessories and items that you should never buy second-hand.

Give your items a good scrub

First of all, no matter what you're buying from the thrift store, it is strongly encouraged that you give it a good clean. After all, as cool and trendy as the thing you bought probably is, it was owned by someone before you. There are some items, however, that no matter how much you clean it, it might still be carrying germs — and in those cases, we suggest passing them up.

While it might sound obvious, try to avoid items that are stained or damaged. While thrift stores usually do a pretty good job only selling items that are in great condition, sometimes items make it onto the shelves even if they shouldn't. We also recommend giving your items a good sniff before buying them. The smell of an item can reveal a lot about its state and condition, even if it might look outwardly fine (via Business Insider).

And besides — you deserve clothes that don't have anyone's stains or holes or weird smells in them, right?

Opt for new shoes over second-hand ones

Going for a Halloween costume that requires a specific pair of shoes? You might want to avoid the thrift store for this accessory, as experts suggest skipping the shoe aisle of the thrift store all together. According to Money Talks News, shoes often conform to their first owner's feet, which would make them pretty uncomfortable to wear second-hand. After all, we all know that uncomfortable shoes have the power to ruin a perfectly good event — Halloween parties included.

Furthermore, the outlet strongly recommends never buying makeup from the thrift store, whether it's Halloween makeup or otherwise. According to Bustle, sharing your makeup with others is a pretty bad idea. Indeed, it can lead to eye infections, cold sores, pink eye, staph infections, and acne due to the likelihood of the products holding bacteria and germs. In addition, according to Jacqueline Gilchrist of Mom Money Map, "It's difficult to tell if the makeup is expired as there is often no expiration date, even if it's sealed," she says.

In the case of makeup — or really anything you put on your face — cheaper isn't always better.

Don't buy waterproof items

Speaking of things you shouldn't put on your face, do us a favor and avoid those classic Halloween masks from the thrift shop. We know you want to get an awesome Michael Myers or Pennywise mask to spook your friends this Halloween, but don't give into the temptation of a bargain — we recommend going for a brand new one that hasn't been worn yet.

On the subject of Pennywise, we suspect seeing a lot of Georgie from "It" themed costumes this year — galoshes and all. However, believe it or not, experts suggest not buying rain gear from the thrift shop, as it's actually not built to last. According to Outside, raincoats and rain boots can become easily damaged after too many washes or after intense weather, making them less rainproof. "The waterproofing that coats the face fabric will deteriorate over time," explains Clara Culp of Gear Fix. Second-hand isn't necessarily the way to go when it comes to waterproof-dependent items.