Halloween Costume Trends for 2014

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In recent years pre-made or packaged Halloween costumes have become increasingly generic, lower quality, overplayed, and downright expensive. Who wants to spend anywhere from $75-300 for a costume that will be played out and will just have to be replaced come this time next year? Luckily for you there is a better way to make sure you stand out and save yourself some money. This is the first part of a three part series that will serve as the perfect inspiration when you’re shopping for your costume this year.

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Some of the most memorable costumes you’ll see all night are the ones ripped straight out of the pop-culture lexicon. Whether it’s a character from a popular movie or paying tribute to a fallen icon pop culture costumes are sure to be on the rise this October. Be sure to make a statement this year with this clothing exchange and thrift shop Halloween shopping guide.

Any Robin Williams Character

Halloween Costumes Robin Williams Characters

Source: huffingtonpost.ca

Back in August iconic actor Robin Williams passed away at the age of 63. While the world is still mourning the loss of one of it’s most beloved actors people the world over are looking to pay tribute to the man by dressing up as one of his many characters this Halloween. Luckily for anyone hoping to pay tribute to the man who shaped a generation you can actually find ways to recreate the looks of his many characters at your local exchange or thrift shop.

John Keating (Dead Poets Society)

Halloween Costumes Robin Williams Dead Poets

Source: insidepulse.com

What you’ll need

  • An oversized white dress shirt with a chest pocket
  • A pen for the chest pocket
  • A brown tie with diagonal orange and gold stripes
  • Brown slacks

Peter Pan (Hook)

Robin Williams as Peter Pan for the Film Hook

Source: corbisimages.com

What you’ll need

  • An olive green long sleeve shirt or sweater with the sleeves cut unevenly
  • Olive green sweats or slacks cut unevenly as well
  • Gray thermals/tights
  • Green shoes/boots

Sean Maguire (Good Will Hunting)

Halloween Costumes Robin Williams Good Will

Source: thecatholiccatalogue.com

What you’ll need

  • Light blue polo shirt
  • Brown patterned cardigan
  • Navy blue pants
  • Beige driver’s hat

Mrs. Doubtfire (Mrs. Doubtfire)

Halloween Costumes Robin Williams Mrs Doubtfire

Source: fearlessfathers.wordpress.com

What you’ll need

  • A white granny blouse
  • A navy blue cardigan with a white and light blue stripe
  • An oversize navy full length skirt
  • Large oversized circle glasses
  • A feather duster

 

Anna (Frozen)

No film this year has been a bigger box office smash or become so readily accepted into the pop culture lexicon than Disney’s Frozen and arguably no character was more beloved than princess Anna of Arendale.

 

Halloween Costumes Anna Frozen

Source: popsugar.com

What you’ll need

  • A light blue long sleeved blouse
  • A black floral print corset
  • A royal blue full length skirt

 

Lloyd and Harry (Dumb and Dumber)

With the sequel to the comedy classic set to hit theaters on November 14th there is no better time than now for you and your best friend to become the comedic duo the rest of your friends are jealous of.

Halloween Costumes Dumb and Dumber

Source: sophic.rssing.com

What you’ll need (Lloyd)

  • A plain red t-shirt
  • A gray work jacket
  • Gray pants

 

What you’ll need (Harry)

  • A brown striped shirt
  • A gray jacket. One with red, white, and blue trim would be preferable.
  • Old faded blue jeans

 

Katniss Everdeen (The Hunger Games)

There is currently no bigger pop culture behemoth than the Hunger Games franchise and with the first part of final film coming out on November 21st the timing is perfect to dress up as heroine Katniss Everdeen.

Halloween Costumes Katniss Everdeen

Source: cosplayisland.co.uk

What you’ll need

  • A black v-neck t-shirt
  • A black windbreaker
  • Olive green cargo pants
  • Black combat boots
  • A quiver filled with toy arrows and a toy bow to complete the ensemble

 

Do you have any other pop culture costume ideas? Leave a comment below!

Clothing Exchange Back to School Shopping

    As summer comes to an end, students are looking for their new back-to-school outfits. The excitement of a new year inspires students to get new outfits and accessories for a fresh start.  Check your POS system to see what inventory you currently have to decide what you want to add to your store.  From the beginning of August to the end of September you want to promote your school apparel. This includes outfits, backpacks, shoes and accessories.

 

For outfits, show off your simple offerings that can be easily layered or mixed and matched. Also, since it is still the end of summer, you want to include more shorts and tops on your display a well as light cardigans or jackets. Focus on the weather that is appropriate in your location.

 

for girls

Emphasis goes on stylish summer outfits such as shorts, skirts, dresses that are simple that can be easily accessorized.

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for boys

Simplicity trumps all. Keep the choices very casual and loose fitting where students are able to participate in sports and stay active in the clothes comfortably. Tees, tanks, shorts are all perfect and easy finds for guys.

 

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Try to stock on backpacks or oversize bags that the girls will enjoy to take to class for their books. Offer different styles and different prints. If you can, have a few solid color and the majority fun colors or patterns that girls will love.  Place these near the cash register or the front of your store so that customers will have a chance to see them as they are shopping.

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Lastly, we have shoes!! Most people start the school year with new shoes. For girls and boys, vans are very popular and now there are so many different options. Everyone wears some form of sneaker shoes so try to have converse, vans and sperrys as offerings. Have plain colors to crazy patterns and designs and different styles. Also for girls, flats and boots are popular. For boys its sneakers and running shoes.

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Wish all of your customers good luck in their upcoming year!

 

Best Point of Sale for Clothing Exchange Stores

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Mercury StoreCard is the Great Find at Exchange Stores

The Mercury StoreCard has great benefits for your Clothing Exchange Shop

 

Clothing Exchange stores are very popular for great finds without emptying your wallet. With the growth of this business, shops are starting to upgrade their technology to provide an easier experience for customers in hopes that it will make them come back.

 

The trend of using mobile StoreCard proves that is effective and convenient to both the customers and the owners.

 

advantages include:

– great way to run a rewards program for your customers

– after each transaction there will be money added to the card, encouraging customers to come take advantage of their extra rewards

– the media integration allows customers to share their purchases through social media and also send gifts from the store to their friends

 

This mobile app is a perfect addition to incorporate in your stores where customers value the easy payment transactions as well as the ability to navigate gifts through their mobile device.

 

Stores are quickly beginning to adapt this service because they see an increase in their business through the Mercury exchange card. Do not wait for the competition to beat you to it, instead invest in a Mercury StoreCard now to gain the loyalty of your customers.

 

Why Choose Mercury?

– Mercury StoreCard already combines your CCS POS where everything is managed automatically

– you can track your most valuable customers and follow on spending trends

– it is easy to use for scanning and quick transactions

– comes with 24 hour customer support service to solve any complaints or hiccups

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Accessorize Your Clothing Exchange Business

It is so easy to change an outfit by using accessories. From strict work attire and adding some fun accessories to go meet up with girlfriends, or by trying to dress up for a special event- accessories can truly be game changers! Customers can find so many ways to accessorize that it is a vital item at clothing exchange stores. Add some sun glasses, a different colored bag, a stand out belt and BAM that’s already a completely new outfit. Here are some basic accessories that every clothing exchange store should have to enhance customer outfits to match their styles and events!

 

  • Let’s start with our hair pieces

– here are some simple and creative ways to bring attention to your hair and make it an art work. You can easily pick up any of these items: headbands, beads, ties, clips at a clothing exchange store. Once you buy it, it’s time to have fun with it.

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There is no wrong way to rock these accessories, so go ahead and play around with it

  • Another alternative is to rock a hat! Look at how good these hats look with a simple outfit

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  • Have you ever looked at the mirror and realized your outfit is too plain and simple. Sometimes we just need to add a scarf for a casual but dressier look. Choose to make it long, or have it wrapped up around your neck.

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Now lets move down and focus on jewelry

When you plan out an outfit think about how you can use earrings, necklaces, bracelets and/or rings to complete an outfit. Jewelry really defines what kind of look you are going for. If you wear pearl earrings and a simple, thin necklace it comes off clean and sophisticated. If you load up on bangles your outfit seems bohemian and relaxed. Let’s take a look fun ways to use jewelry in your outfits.

  • Earrings are simple accessories that go a long way. They add a great touch to your look, even if your hair is down and the ears are not always visible.  Here are some samples of earrings for all different occasions. From formal events, to hanging out with friends, to concerts, parties or a casual look.

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Next… necklaces!!

  • Necklaces can be great center pieces that define the outfit, or they can be added as an addition to complete an outfit. The length and heaviness of a necklace matters when it comes to picking out the perfect outfit. Look below for a reference.

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Here is a great guide to help show how to wear different length necklaces with different neckline shirts.  This would be a great poster to have near the necklace rack for customers to learn different ways to wear necklaces.

 

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Let’s move on to bracelets, watches and rings.

  • When you put these together be careful that you do not over do it and that it all goes together to get the style you want.  These three items should be found together or near each other in an exchange store.

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The best part about all of these accessories is that they are a great addition to a clothing exchange stores and with great deals.  Mixing and matching works very well with this department. Since there is so much variety in accessories, the organization is not important to maintain because customers will be able to find what they like on their own.

Instagram: A Millennials’ Story About Clothing Exchange and Growing Your Business

Two weeks ago I went to my favorite clothing exchange shop conveniently located two blocks down from my house. Until then I probably frequented this place once a season. This particular time I was on a treasure hunt for a party dress to wear to my younger cousin’s tea party themed 4th birthday. Occasions like this are what usually prompted me to visit this particular consignment shop, the cheap prices and funky, trendy styles keep me coming back. I happily found a name brand black and white sun dress with a matching floppy yellow hat. Extremely satisfied I made my way to check out, met the cashier with a smile as he rang up my items. Pleased with the price I pulled out my wallet but he stopped me.

“Like us on Instagram and I can give you 10% off”

10% off, Yeah of course! So I pulled up the clothing exchange’s Instagram liked it and happily left the shop with two new dresses and a fancy hat without having to spend more than 10 dollars. The pride I had for myself left me feeling like I had just worked out like crazy and ate healthily for a month completely enjoyed it and now had a Sofia Vergara body. Seriously, I think I get a little too excited about saving money but I did feel good. Normally, my shopping experience anecdote would be over here, great shop, great deal, great experience, I’ll probably go back when I need something else.

But something happened, I check my Instagram frequently, multiple times a day. This is probably attributed to my age (23) as well as my profession (I’m a social media marketer.) But now when I go on Instagram I see pictures like this:

and this:

It’s like my Instagram just became a high end editorial magazine all provided by my neighborhood clothing exchange. And the best part? Featuring clothes they just got in so I can literally run down there and pick them up NOW!

Do you now know how often I now go to this clothing exchange shop?

Once a week. And I never leave empty handed, and I tell everyone about it, and I can back up my seal of approval with beautiful pictures on Instagram.

 

Moral of the story?

Ya’ll need to get on Instagram.

How to Take Pictures for Instagram

The beauty of Instagram is it’s simplicity and ease of use. You can make almost any picture look beautiful with the right filter. I should know, I’m a terrible photographer.

 

Step 1:

Pick an outfit or couple of items to feature, it helps if there’s something eye catching in there such as a pattern, a statement belt or necklace or bright color.

Step 2:

Find a blank background (so it doesn’t compete with the clothes) with good lighting. Natural light is best, but it is Instagram and you can use filters to lighten things up. I really like, how if you don’t have a model, laying the pieces on the wood floor looks. Now arrange the pieces how you like, look to fashion magazines for inspiration. The goal is to make your new stuff look desirable and trendy, almost indistinguishable from the pages in a fashion mag.

Step 3:

Go a little wide when you take the picture, Instagram cuts your picture into a square so you’ll want to make sure you get every detail in there. Now take ten more and pick the best one.

Step 4:

Pick a filter. Don’t go too crazy with the filters. You’ll want the clothes to shine more than your filtering. Just pick something that lightens up your picture’s dark spots. May I recommend Amaro, Rise, or Valencia.

Step 5:

Post it with a call to action getting people excited to come shop for your newly stocked items. And brand a hashtag for your shop! #yourbrandhere #getinmycloset #heymaclemorecanwegothriftshopping

Step 6:

Get people to follow you on Instagram by giving them 10% off their purchase.

Best Point Of Sale For Clothing Exchange Shops

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Are your Ready for Black Friday in Your Clothing Exchange Store?

With the holidays around the corner it’s time to get in the black friday mindset for your retail store. Increasingly clothing exchange shops have been getting a bigger slice of the black friday pie as consumers search for unique great buys at great prices.

To get your clothing exchange store ready for black friday you’ll want to make sure that you stock some hot items that are in demand for the holidays. This will make sure that your thrift store sales are meeting customer demand

Some items to be sure to have in stock

  • Ugly Christmas sweaters
  • Winter coats/jackets
  • Tights
  • Scarves
  • Dresses for holiday parties
  • Dark Reds and Burgundy
  • Boots
  • Leather and Military Jackets

Check out our five step plan to get your shop ready for Black Friday and Shop Small Saturday for Small Businesses!

5 Step Plan for Black Friday in Your Clothing Exchange Store

1.) Hold an Green Friday event: While 307 million Americans shopped Black Friday last year, there are many of us who just won’t go there. Hold an Green Friday event by distributing Black Friday discounts that can be used for a longer period of time. No lines. No stress.

2.) Social media plan: This time of year many people are on the look out for the best deals. Let them know about your Black Friday deals through social media. It’s free and is the most efficient way to get the message out to your customers.

3.) Hire some help: The weeks leading up to Black Friday is the time where nearly a third of small businesses hire temporary workers. You might want to start reading a couple resumes and get a couple extra hands to help you deal with the holiday rush.

4.) Update your Clothing Exchange Software: Making sure that your clothing exchange point of sale is up to date and ready to handle your inventory along with keep track of your store credit is key in staying organized during this frenzied holiday madness. Do yourself a favor and if you haven’t already, switch to a reliable clothing exchange pos.

5.) Focus on Customer Service: The holidays can be a stressful time for everyone. Employees who work directly with customers should have the right attitude, the necessary experience, and the determination to help. Make sure to spread the holiday cheer to your support staff—good help is hard to find.

 

Happy Holidays!

 

Halloween Costume Trends for 2013

Pre-made halloween costume prices are astronomical and quite frankly so boring. How many witches, pirates, slutty “everything,” and vampires can you possible pack into one holiday. Stand out this year and save a ton of cash by getting your costumes at you local clothing exchange or thrift shop. This mini Halloween series will serve as an inspiration guide to crafting that perfect halloween costume from your local clothing exchange shop creatively and on the cheap.

This year we’ll probably see less people dressed as Psy doing Gangnam Style and I predict many more striped suited Robin Thickes with nude bikini Mileys. Some of the most memorable costumes I’ve seen are ones commenting on popular culture. For example; another trend I’ve seen on the rise, thanks to the rise of the website reddit, are people being turned into entertaining memes for Halloween. Even the ever popular Waldo has become a longstanding pop culture costume. Make a hilarious statement with your unique Halloween costume this year with this clothing exchange Halloween shopping guide.

 

VMA performance 2013

This years VMA performance launched a million tweets thanks to Miley’s twerking and Robin Thicke’s Beetlejuice suit. Re live the performance on Halloween by using the duo as inspiration.

 

Twerking Miley Cyrus

Miley’s outfit for the VMA’s was shocking but luckily for you super simple to put together.

You could probably get away with a nude bandeau bra or bralette and matching boy shorts.

Search through the clothing exchange accessories for the microphone, heavy gold necklace and big foam finger.

Finish it off with a ruby red lip and knotted buns at the top of your head.

If you’re not into looking completely naked on Halloween cut up a sweater you can find in the outerwear section that resembles Miley’s cover up and fasten it to an old bathing suit using velcro from a craft shop.

Don’t forget a healthy dose of tongue and tons of twerking

 

Robin Thicke

The most difficult part of this costume may be the Beetlejuice inspired suit Robin Thicke wore at his VMA performance. But luckily your local clothing exchange shop may be the answer to this.

Check the mens suit section for a vintage black and white striped suit. Don’t worry if its not perfect, with Miley at your side your look will be complete.

Grab all of the accessories in the prop section of your thrift store.

Don’t forget a skinny black tie.

Bad Luck Brian

Grab a plaid sweater vest from the mens or boys section

Put in a little extra effort for the hair and teeth. These are key elements in getting the message across.

Speaking of getting your message across go for bonus points by giving yourself a meme background like this socially awkward penguin.

 

Waldo

Ironically, the costume for this hard to find mascot is pretty easy to find at clothing exchange stores.

Grab a red and white top and some thick black glasses

The pair of oxfords lends a vintage feel for this almost 30 year old comicstrip character.

Don’t forget Waldos beanie and cane.

Check out our other Halloween Costume Series at Clothing Exchange Trends:

Halloween Costume Ideas for Men

Halloween Costume Ideas for Women

Leave a comment if you have something you want to add or take a picture of your clothing exchange costumes and share them below!

Halloween Costume Ideas for Women

Pre-made halloween costume prices are astronomical and quite frankly so boring. How many witches, pirates, slutty “everything,” and vampires can you possible pack into one holiday. Stand out this year and save a ton of cash by getting your costumes at you local clothing exchange or thrift shop. This mini Halloween series will serve as an inspiration guide to crafting that perfect halloween costume from your local clothing exchange shop creatively and on the cheap.

Women often get pegged into being a witch or a provocative witch for Halloween. Why when there are so many really cool and fun options?! Check out these retro glamour girls for some costume inspiration.  

1.) Margot Tenenbaum (The Royal Tenenbaums): This apathetic character can only be complete with the accompanied demeanor so get ready to do a lot of sighing and frowning, but it’s such a fun role to play if only for a night!

What you’ll need

  • An oversized faux fur coat. You’ll probably find one towards the back of the clothing exchange shop. It won’t be really hard to find.
  • A striped dress
  • Some simple hair clips
  • Brown oxfords or flats
  • Heavy black eyeliner
  • Lollipops make great prop cigarettes and please please please do the iconic Margot Tenenbaum hair.

2.) A PanAm Stuartess: These quintessential glamour gals ruled the skies. You might have to do a little digging but chances are a bright blue skirt and jacket will probably have gone untouched.

Tips:

  • Check the accessories section of your local clothing exchange shop for the scarf, sunglasses and flight pin. I routinely find funky retro accents for all of my outfits and costumes here.
  • You don’t need a Pan Am bag exactly. A patent leather blue bag will probably be hiding somewhere.

3.) Cher Horowitz (Clueless): Just because you’re Clueless doesn’t mean you’re a virgin who can’t drive. Any one out there get that? No, just me, right… just make sure you have a grounded friend to play Dionne to help you out of awkward situations like that.

Tips:

  • This is probably the only instance where a plaid suit jacket will get bought at your local clothing shop. Grab that baby up!
  • A fluffy pen is key as well as bubble gum
  • Check the hat section for a great Dionne hat!

Who else misses the 90’s!? Just me again huh?

4.) Holly Golightly (Breakfast at Tiffany’s): Stepping into Audrey Hepburn’s shoes for the night will have you wanting to adorn a little black dress and tiara everyday of the week.

Tips:

  • Tease your hair a bit to get the tiara to stay in place
  • Most of the jewelry you’ll have an easy time finding in the jewelry cases
  • Carry a tiffany’s retail bag to really drive the point home.
  • You can usually find a smoking stick in vintage or antique consignment shop.

Stay tuned for the follow-up post in the mini series “Funny and Topical Halloween Costume Trends for 2013” and check out our “Halloween Costume Ideas for Men

Leave a comment if you have something you want to add or take a picture of your clothing exchange costumes and share them below!

Halloween Costume Ideas for Men

Pre-made Halloween costume prices are astronomical and quite frankly so boring. How many witches, pirates, slutty “everything,” and vampires can you possible pack into one holiday. Stand out this year and save a ton of cash by getting your costumes at you local clothing exchange or thrift shop. This mini Halloween series will serve as an inspiration guide to crafting that perfect Halloween costume from your local clothing exchange shop creatively and on the cheap.

All you guys out there a good strategy to go for is topical and funny. I love looking to the tv for inspiration on what guys should wear for Halloween. Here are some simple, yet really unique ideas and how to search for the pieces at your local thrift store.

1.) Donald Draper (Mad Men): While the character Don is constantly dressed to the nines and spends lavishly, you’ll be able to put this together for about $20.

What you’ll need:

  • A dark suit that fits you. If the leg is a little long grab some Heat n Bond Iron-on Adhesive from your local craft store for an easy hem.
  • A retro tie
  • a crisp white shirt
  • black shiny shoes

Accessorize with an old fashioned in hand and a mad men swagger.

2.) Walter White and Jesse Pinkman (Breaking Bad): Say farewell to Breaking Bad the right way by celebrating your favorite meth dealers on Halloween.

What you’ll need

  • While it might be difficult to find a yellow hazmat suit, you can easily substitute a yellow windbreaker set.
  • A gas mask. For some reason, finding a gas mask at a thrift shop isn’t as hard as you would think.
  • Rubber kitchen gloves
  • Beer
  • a pair of reading glasses

3.) The Most Interesting Man In the World (Dos XX commercials): This will definitely get you some cool points at your Halloween party. But I don’t think you’ll care much. Take it a step further and turn yourself into a meme

What you’ll need

  • A smoking suit jacket. Check the older mens suits, you can afford to go a little bit broader and slightly bigger.
  • A watch, doesn’t need to be functioning. The jewelry cases should have a silver mens watch.
  • Facial hair… either grow it out or stick it on
  • Dos XX (do not drink anything else)
  • a cigar

4.) The Dude (The Big Lebowski): This might just be the easiest one to source.

What you’ll need

  • A used robe in a neutral color
  • Some plaid shorts
  • a white tee
  • some slippers

Leave a comment if you have something you want to add or take a picture of your clothing exchange costumes and share them below!

Stay tuned for our follow-up posts in the mini series featuring:

  • “Halloween Costume Ideas for Women”

  • “Funny and Topical Halloween Costume Trends for 2013”