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America's Boo-It-Yourself Halloween Spirit

Pretend to be a pineapple.
Jeff Mindell
Pretend to be a pineapple.

How about we call it boocycling — putting together an adult's or child's costume using recycled, thrift-store clothing?

According to Goodwill, the favorite costumes for adult men and women this year will be zombies and pirates; for young girls, princesses, witches and fairies; and for young boys — Ninja Turtles, Spider-Men and zombies, all of which can be thrown together with secondhand threads.

Looking for trick-or-treat trends, Goodwill recently polled more than 9,500 Americans about Halloween disguises and discovered that 62 percent of women and 57 percent of men prefer do-it-yourself costumes to store-bought, prepackaged ones.

Lo and behold, some 17 percent of respondents prefer funny costumes; another 17 percent make do with minimalist makeovers; and 14 percent seek something unique.

Out of her in Los Angeles, do-it-yourselfer Kelly Lanza creates costumes that are funny, minimalist and unique, like the human pineapple pictured here.

When NPR asks Kelly about boocycling, she says, "I've never seen a store-bought costume get the same impressed reaction a homemade one often gets."

Easy to do and, she says, "by making your costume yourself, you aren't limited to the same prepackaged costumes we see year after year, and you guarantee that it's one of a kind."

Everyone "can reuse and repurpose items — saving money — and you can involve friends or kids in the process — making better memories than just grabbing the last pirate costume off the rack."

Now, send snaps of your funniest, minimalistest and uniquest costumes to [email protected].
The Protojournalist:Experimental storytelling for the LURVers — Listeners, Users, Readers, Viewers — of NPR.@NPRtpj

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Linton Weeks joined NPR in the summer of 2008, as its national correspondent for Digital News. He immediately hit the campaign trail, covering the Democratic and Republican National Conventions; fact-checking the debates; and exploring the candidates, the issues and the electorate.