Oversized Costumes

Creative Play Lasts All YearNemo clownfish costume Disney bodysuit orange fabric with eyes on hood shown on hanger

  • What: Buying costume in a size up
  • When: 12 months and up
  • Why: Use them for multiple years
  • Where: Amazon or local consignment stores

Tired of buying new costumes every year? Or getting rid of costumes after only a couple wearings? Ever done the math on how much it costs per wear for your kid’s costumes?

Here’s a tip. Buy costumes in bigger sizes. My firstborn obsessed over fish, so for his second Halloween, when he was a toddler, I started looking at consignment stores for second hand bargains. I found an awesome Nemo clownfish costume for $15, but it was a size XXS for kids (roughly a 5T), which would hardly fit my barely year old toddler.

Toddler wearing oversized Nemo clownfish costume

My son wearing his clownfish costume for the first time, at a little over a year old. You can see the rolled up sleeves.

I bought it anyway. Seven years later, we still have it and use it throughout the year. For that first year, I pinned the bottom up to the right length, and rolled up the sleeves. He wanted to be the same thing for the next two years, so I adjusted the safety pin and the sleeves, and didn’t spend a penny more.

Child wearing clownfish Nemo hooded costume playing at train table

Same kid, same costume, one year later at age two.

In between Hallloweens, I kept it in the dress up bin for fun pretend play anytime. While my eight year old can’t squash himself into it any longer, both his younger siblings, at ages 4 and 6, fit into it quite nicely.

Child looking in mirror while wearing Disney Nemo clownfish costume hooded

Same kid, same costume, third times he wears it for Halloween at age three.

Not all costumes will translate quite as nicely, but if you can adjust some part to make it work, it can be worth the investment. Sleeves and cuffs can be safety pinned and require zero sewing skills and very little time. And in lots of cases, bigger costumes only look more realistic, changing the usual proportions of arms and legs to torsos.

Toddler in pink fox homemade fuzzy costume with hood

My daughter wearing her homemade costume for Halloween at age two.

Sewing your own? Consider making the costume one or two sizes up for longevity. Most patterns comes with multiple sizes, and don’t require that much more fabric. If you’re going to put that much time and energy into your kid’s costume, it might as well last. We (well, not me, my sewing skills don’t extend past safety pins and the occasional button) made a pink fox costume for our two year old because it turns out you can’t buy one off the rack. My husband left some room to grow (some by intent and some by accident), and four years later, she can still wear it.

Child swearing pink fox costume walking dog in pink sweater on sidewalk

My daughter at age five wearing her costume offseason while walking the dog.

If you want to get a little more for your money or efforts, size up and enjoy costumes for months to come. No one will bat an eyelash when your little one goes out incognito, even in the middle of winter or the grocery store.

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