After-holiday sales result in fuller pockets for students

Halloween is my favorite time of year. Lighted pumpkins decorate many front porches, the weather is cooler and television programming is chock-full of scary movie marathons. But I live for the upcoming after-Halloween sales. Fans of wearing black who have not already checked out the Halloween aisles for costume accessories should be sure to indulge in the half-off sales for everyday goth wear.

Those who opt for this darker dressing style may run the risk of small children crying out, “Look, Mommy, a witch!” even after Halloween season, but they’ll be glad they stocked up for the following year’s fishnet fiascos and the often-elusive hunt for decent black eye shadow.

With the overpriced, mainstream goth and punk fashion provided by Hot Topic and a vast array of Web sites, fans of the macabre have few places to turn to for reasonably priced wear and room decor. The morbidly inclined — particularly those dedicated to their dark appearances — may find it difficult to maintain what can be a pricey sense of fashion without thrift store finds and do-it-yourself skills. But post-Halloween sales give savvy shoppers the opportunity to expand their wardrobes and spice up their rooms despite a tight budget.

Halloween costumes found on clearance could double as the basis of a new shirt. Crinoline lining can be used to alter a pre-existing skirt. Cheap, tacky Halloween jewelry and charms are great for decorating scrapbook pages and picture frames that harbor mementos from the year’s costume party. Skull goblets and shot glasses can be used as candle holders to add a subtle glow to one’s dorm room or apartment.

Last year I spent only $5 at Walgreens the week after Halloween and got four spider-adorned tea light candle holders, six tombstone-shaped candles, a couple pairs of black lace gloves, some black lipstick and glitzy fake eyelashes.    

This isn’t just a holiday-themed shopping spree for people with gothic tastes, however. There are a variety of uses for just about anything rescued by those scavenging the sales racks.

Spirited students can stock up on green and gold body paint for football games, taking advantage of the discounted racks of colored hair spray, face paint and other forms of makeup. Furthermore, opaque tights and leggings that come with some costumes could be reused on chilly autumn days after All Hallows’ Eve has passed.

Start looking now while the pickings are good. Halloween is Friday and the seasonal outfitters and many retail stores already have aisles lined with sales signs in an effort to push out the remainder of the Halloween products and start filling their shelves with Christmas items.

Much more money can be saved by stalking the Halloween aisles of department stores during the post-holiday sales than by shopping the clearance racks of mall novelty shops like Spencers and the aforementioned Hot Topic. Though they provide cutesy skull accessories and all the trimmings for a punky outfit, the prices of such stores are outrageous and the quality of the product is typically not much better than what’s available to shoppers at Halloween aisles or outlets.

Bargain shopping has always necessitated creativity and is a must for those who take pride in being unique.

Halloween is the one time of year the ghoulish-hearted can take advantage of widely available accessories at affordable prices, even after the witching hour has come and gone and the candy gorging has subsided.

Daylina Miller is a sophomore majoring in mass communications.