Anyone who knows me knows I LOVE Halloween. October is the superior of all months, fall is the only worth while season, and autumn changing leaves quite literally give me life. I also adore black cats, pumpkins taste like cake when cooked right, and corn mazes make me feel like an explorer.
However, all that said I don’t typically love to dress up. I don’t love parties, I don’t love the attention wearing a costume brings, and I get an odd anxiety when I’m one of the only people in a room who is not in costume. Like when I am working somewhere that advocates for Halloween participation.
I recently and somewhat unexpectedly got a job at REI. I have always wanted to work for REI, and when I saw the store in my town was hiring I decided why not. I needed something to do while I figure out what’s next for me, and traveling isn’t an option right now, so I’m currently getting paid to research about my hobbies.
Every job I have worked in the past has encouraged employees to dress up for Halloween, but REI decided to take it one step further and encouraged us to dress up for Halloween…for an entire week. I initially thought I would sit out on this game of participation, but when more and more people were dressing up I decided I needed to play too.
Especially when there were such awesome prizes at stake…
Participation alone earned you an extra 10% off coupon. As an employee I get 30% off, and with this coupon I can get 40% off most anything in the store. I have my eye on a Yakima FullBack that I’d save $100 on with this coupon! Then there were the prizes for the best costumes: a full paid day off work, a half paid day off work, a $25 TJ’s gift card, and two $25 Starbucks gift cards.
Game on REI, I’m in.
Now, I am a frugal human. I always have been and likely always will be. So I knew spending a lot of money on a costume wasn’t going to happen. I also didn’t want something uncomfortable or high maintenance as I was going to be working 8 hours in whatever I chose to wear. I decided on two costumes for the week, one to wear on Halloween, and one to wear the day before.
First up…the Domino.
This was by far one of the easiest last minute costume I could have possibly chosen. I spent a whopping $4.17 to make this costume, and I will 100% be doing this again. I went to Michaels and bought white felt with a sticky backing, cut circles using a standard masking tape roll as my template, and slapped them onto some already owned black clothing.
And of course the mask, don’t forget the mask.
This costume was fun, easy, and most of all COMFORTABLE. I accepted my first extra 10% off coupon after a full day of work, and made my way home to make costume number two. My choice for the next costume I wore on Halloween was a bit of a surprise, not only for myself, but for my family.
I chose the scariest costume I could have possibly worn – my real life phobia on my back and on my head. I bought brown craft paper, masking tape, yellow ribbon, a headband, yellow cotton balls, and superglue. I then made myself into a human snail. Oh, and don’t forget the Saran Wrap slime trail.
I have a legitimate fear of slugs and snails, stemming back to my childhood (if you follow me on Instagram, you likely read my more detailed caption regarding this phobia), but when I saw an adorable little girl donning this creative DIY costume I knew it would be the perfect fit.
This costume took me a couple of hours to make and all together cost me about $8-$10 (I spent more on the supplies, but I still have a ton of left over tape and ribbon accounting for less on the actual costume cost.) I had a great laugh putting this all together, but if I’m being honest the antennas freaked me out a bit.
Old fears die hard.
As proud as I was of this creative project, I only managed to wear this for 2 hours at work. The backpack shell hurt my shoulders and upper back more than I expected, and I decided to take it off. I was also quite warm with the thick sweater and the extra baggage made me uncomfortable.
This costume is a good option for a quick night of trick or treating, or perhaps a very short Halloween party, but definitely not for a full day of work. Carrying your home on your back ain’t easy! Ultimately this snail costume won me fourth place, and a $25 Starbucks gift card.
I just can’t seem to escape Starbucks.
While I originally didn’t plan to participate, REI dulcified dressing up by offering prizes, and at the end of the day it was a lot of fun. Winning a gift card was just an added perk. As for the new job, I have no idea how long I’ll be with REI, but I know it’s a great “right now” job for me.
I welcome a company who respects their employees and encourages them to get outside.
Q: Did you do anything for Halloween this year? With Covid it never truly felt like Halloween, even with these costumes.