Thrifty Halloween Costumes: Margo and Richie Tenenbaum

Money Savers

I am not that into dressing up for Halloween, but my husband seems to love it. I guess costume parties are a regular thing in England, even though Halloween doesn’t seem to be that big of a deal. But the spectacle of Halloween in Waikiki is something not to be missed. We also got free tickets to a benefit party for the Make a Wish Foundation. It’s called Crazy, Sexy Ghoul, and it was definitely crazy. We went as Margo and Richie Tenenbaum from The Royal Tenenbaums. A few people even managed to figure it out.

Margo and RichieTenenbaum

So I had no choice. I had to have a costume this year. Luckily, we were a bit more prepared than last year when we ended up at Floradec the day of our party, spending a fortune on premade costumes. This year, we had a much better strategy.

Step 1: Decide ahead of time what you want to dress as, rather than waiting until that morning. Duh!

Step 2: Choose a character that’s basically an actual human, real or fictional. This will make it much easier to find costume elements than if you wanted to go as, say, a unicorn or Iron Man.

Step 3: Hit the thrift stores, and give yourself plenty of time to look around.

Step 4: Be flexible on the details. Everything doesn’t have to be 100% perfect. Especially if you choose something from an obscure indie film that almost nobody has seen. If you can’t find a “fur” coat in Hawaii, just make sure you’re wearing plenty of eye liner. Everything will be fine.

Richie Tenenbaum costume

For Geoff’s costume, he wore his own khaki pants and trainers, his Blackburn Rovers shirt, an $8 tan blazer from Goodwill, and a $3 headband he ordered from Ebay. Oh, and he’s been growing his beard for weeks.

For my costume, I managed to find some size 8 loafers at Savers for $9, a blue Ralph Lauren polo dress at Goodwill for $3 (it was half off red tag day), and a cheap blond bob wig for $8, also at Savers.

Margo Tenenbaum costume


My favorite detail is the 39¢ piece of brown felt I bought at the craft store and then turned into a “wooden finger.” I cut a rectangle long enough to go around my finger with a skinny tab on the top to fold over. Then I whip stitched it along the long seam, then used masking tape to hold it in place. It worked like a charm.

There may or may not be a fur coat on it’s way to me in the mail, thanks to Kaleigh of A Rambling Fancy. But it’s really all about the eye liner. I put on more eyeliner than I’ve ever worn in my life, and I still don’t think it was enough.

I felt a lot better about my costume this year since I put a little effort and commitment into it. It’s also totally comfortable.

I can’t wait to check out the utter mayhem and impressive creativity in Waikiki next week. I hope your Halloween is totally awesome!

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