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Halloween Headquarters

Halloween is always much more fun when people get creative with their costumes, celebrating the tradition with a do-it-yourself attitude and pulling together unique outfits limited only by their imagination. Pledge to dress up, to have fun while being green, and to give back by saying "I Will Goodwill This Halloween."

Shopping at Goodwill to put a truly creative costume together (versus buying a ready made polyester one) will not only increase your chances of making Halloween memorable -- maybe even contest-winning -- but your spending dollars also help us to provide job training, career services, and youth programs to the community.

Here are our favorite timeless and pop-culture-inspired costumes for adults and kids, which work alone as well as in groups!

Halloween Headquarters Costume Ideas

Game of Thrones - The citizens of Westeros and beyond not only kept us on the edge of our seats this year, but they also offer a range of costume inspiration. Going as a Black Brother, wildling, or Stark ensures you’ll stay toasty while trick or treating. Look for warm neutral (or black) layers, faux fur, and leather. A King’s Landing look is more glam: search for velvets, embroidered details, bridesmaid dresses or renaissance faire garb in red and gold for that Lannister look. Across the Narrow Sea, Khaleesi bares more skin, so search for sheer scarves, bolts of airy fabric, maxi skirts, and arm bands. Practice your braiding for perfect dragon-mother hair.

Orange is the New Black - Netflix’s latest original series makes for an easy group costume: orange or beige scrubs can quickly transform you into Piper, Alex, Crazy Eyes, or any of your favorites. Carry a mat, and you’re Yoga Jones. A chef coat and short auburn wig, and you’re dinner-slinging, chicken-chasing Red. Have some guys in your group? Blue shirts, dark pants, and a radio, and you’re a mustache away from passing as Mendez.

Duke & Duchess of Cambridge - It was a big year for Royal watchers. The birth of Prince George saw Kate keeping her gorgeous style through her pregnancy and into new mom territory. For the “leaving the hospital” look, don a blue polka dotted dress, perfectly wavy hair, and a swaddled infant. Prince William also wore blue.

Great Gatsby - Flapper style is a perennial Halloween favorite, but it’ll be enjoying a pop culture boost from the glitzy film adaption of the classic Fitzgerald novel. For true Jay Gatsby party attire, ladies should shimmer in beaded dresses, fabulous feathers and fur, glimmering hair accessories and fascinators, plus plenty of jewelry; men don black or white tie, with a little bling of their own. For summer days, West and East Egg style requires light-colored three-piece suits, suspenders, and straw hats. Ladies also wear pale, loose-fitting shift dresses.

Superhero Season - Between the newest Superman, Kick-Ass 2, and the latest Iron Man, it's never been a better time to embrace your inner superhero. Dress in head-to-toe maroon (including gloves), Duct tape and gold face paint for Iron Man; pick head-to-toe green lined with yellow masking tape and yellow gloves for Kick-Ass; a purple wig, black eye mask, and school girl garb is what you need for Hit-Girl; or layer a Superman tee under a suit with the perfect Clark Kent glasses for Superman in transition. The options are literally endless for thrifted superhero combinations!

If you're more of a Halloween purist, you can always shop the classics at Goodwill, too:

Pirates - Striped shirt or ruffled blouse, cutoff pants, silk scarves (for head and waist), leather boots, oversized hat, eye patch. If you find something with a skull & crossbones on it, even better! Think: Johnny Depp in Pirates of the Caribbean.

Vampires - Tuxedo or corseted dress, heavy black eye makeup and red lipstick. Fake plastic vampire teeth a plus. Or go more modern and channel your favorite True Blood/Twilight character, hiding in plain sight.

Werewolves - Since modern werewolves only seem to go shirtless, you can really save big on this one, guys. For Twilight's Jacob, all you need is black jeans and a temporary tribal tattoo; for True Blood's Alcide, regular jeans and layered silver necklaces. Add a cotton henley and a plaid flannel shirt for modesty and authenticity to either one (especially if the forecast is chilly).

Fairies - Join Sookie Stackhouse and her ethereal kin in the fantasy of fairyland with a simple, gauzy floor length dress, natural hair pulled back with a headband, glitter body paint and a mason jar covered in glow-in-the-dark paint.

Zombies - If you're a fan of the Walking Dead, then you know anybody among us could turn zombie at any moment. Grab regular street clothes (or mimic those of your favorite zombie character), powder your face and circle your eyes in black, pour fake blood on yourself liberally, then raise arms and moan scarily. Fright night, indeed!

Most of all, whatever you dress up as this Halloween, have a safe, happy one from all of us at Goodwill. Boo!

Did you know?

Morgan Memorial Goodwill Industries collaborates with hundreds of employers to promote and facilitate the hiring of individuals facing barriers to employment. These collaborations bring trained, dedicated employees to the workforce, and help people achieve independence and dignity.

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Eric Chouinard - I Will Work

Visitors to the Peabody Essex Museum (PEM) in Salem see exhibitions and collections that include Native American artifacts, fashions of Iris Apfel, photographs by Valerie Belin, and paintings from India.  What they don’t see is dust, fingerprints, or smears.  That’s because the museum hired an enthusiastic high school student named Eric Chouinard as a member of their maintenance and janitorial team.