Halloween is coming up so the pressure is on to
find the perfect kid's costume. There is no shortage of adorable
choices, but most store-bought costumes come with a hefty price tag
that is hard to justify for one-time use. (It might actually be
cheaper to rent an actual pachyderm than to buy an elephant costume
from Pottery Barn Kids. Who are they kidding?)
Sure, DIY is an option, but that gets harder for
those without seamstress skills and as kids get older and have very
definite opinions about their costumes. (You can slap a hard hat on
a baby and call him Bob the Builder and he won't care. An
eight-year-old will call shenanigans on that.)
For those who don't want to dip into the 529
account to pony up for a Halloween costume, resale is a great (and
green) option. Craigslist and eBay are worth a try, as is swapping
I've put together a resource guide of costume
swaps, kid's consignment shops and resale events that all carry
costumes to ease the search. (Caveat on consignment sales: The size
of the costume section varies, so don't hit these up exclusively
for costumes. Only check them out if you have other items on your
list or have the time to pop in and out quickly.) Happy
Maya Papaya & Tony
Macarony 1917 Central St., Evanston,
This upscale kid's boutique in Evanston, is hosting
a costume swap event on Saturday, Oct. 12
from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Bring in gently used
Halloween costumes between now and Oct. 11
and receive a voucher for each costume dropped
off. Bring the voucher to the swap and choose a "new to you"
costume. (Costumes must be in new or gently used condition and
between sizes 0 to 12.)
Trading 110 N. Marion St., Oak Park,
This shop that encourages kids to trade in designer
duds and clothes for new (and used) threads, is holding a Costume
Swap Event as part of Oak Park's Green Halloween on Oct. 19
from noon to 4 p.m. Drop off costumes now
through October 19 and receive a swap
token to use on the day of the event to redeem for another costume.
Sizes 0 to 16 accepted. (Costumes must be clean, complete and
without stains or rips. Kids should be ready for public try-ons the
day of the event so bring something to cover up those
Consignment shops carrying secondhand
954 W. Armitage Ave., Chicago, 773-883-0880
This Lincoln Park children's shop has been in the
consignment biz since before it was cool - first opening its doors
in 1987. Children's consignment items run infant through size 14
and include high-end lines such as Lilly Pulitzer, Ralph Lauren,
Janie & Jack, and Baby Lulu, as well as gear, toys, and books.
It requires climbing stairs to get inside, so the shop provides
stroller locks to secure your wheels outside.
Kids 2071 N. Clybourn Ave., Chicago,
An upscale consignment shop that carries size
infant through 14 in brands such as Mini Boden, Flowers by Zoe,
Gap, Ralph Lauren, Hanna Andersson, and Gymboree. The shop is
well-organized and clearly labeled by size, with plenty of room to
maneuver. And it has a parking lot, achieving the impossible
Lincoln Park dream.
Closet Resale 5413 W. Devon Ave., Chicago,
A Devon Avenue institution since 1981, My Sister's
Closet carries all manner of resale-women's clothing, toys,
furniture, and more. Come for the children's clothing, which not
only includes consignment from newborn to teens, but current season
samples at wholesale prices, and Melissa and Doug toys at reduced
Once Upon a
7246 W. Foster Ave., Chicago,
1600 W. 16th St., Oak
9900 Ridgeland Ave., Chicago Ridge,
9520 W. 159th St., Orland
552 S. Route 59, Naperville,
2108 Plainfield Rd., Crest Hill,
4616 N. Harlem Ave., Harwood Heights,
These franchise-owned resale shops carry gently
used children's apparel, shoes, gear, equipment, furniture, and
toys, all in very good shape. Prices are reasonable and sales
(which differ at each location so sign up for the mailing list for
alerts) are excellent times to stock up.
Children's Boutique 453 Roger Williams, Highland
Designer consignment for kiddos, newborn to teen.
The selection is always changing, but high-end brands can include
Lilly Pulitzer, Burberry, Flowers by Zoe, Wes & Willy, and
Brooks Brothers. Check back frequently for shoes from the likes of
Uggs, Bogs, and Frye, many of which have never been worn. Alongside
designer consignment is new special occasion clothing for tweens
(ideal for the bar and bat mitzvah-bound) and small buys like
candy, wristlets, and backpacks.
Downs 614 Dempster St., Evanston,
This Evanston consignment shop is well-organized
and easy to navigate. It carries clothing for newborns through
pre-teens, as well as gear and furniture. It boasts one of the best
toy selections of any resale store in the area, with a large
section devoted to children's books, American girl doll clothes,
puzzles, and ride-on toys.
Dempster St., Evanston, 847-905-0179
Well-organized children's resale shop selling
clothing, shoes, gear & toys. The shop specializes in items for
kids birth to age 8. No appointment necessary for
Adorable 995 Waukegan Rd., Glenview,
Buy, sell, or trade at this cheery resale shop,
which carries clothing for kids from infants to tweens, as well as
maternity clothing and a small selection of baby gear, toys, and
Wear and Share, Children's
Resale Shop 1026 College Ave., Wheaton,
A well-stocked children's consignment shop that
carries clothing for boys and girls size newborn to 14 from
MiniBoden, Janie & Jack, Tea, Gymboree, and Hanna Andersson.
The front of the store houses toys, games, puzzles and some baby
gear - all in excellent condition. A flat-screen TV keeps the kids
happy while you shop.
Children 220 W. State St., Geneva,
Good Cents - the largest children's resale store in
the Midwest and definitely one of the best - carries a mix of new
and resale merchandise for babies, children and teens. The top
floor is devoted to sizes newborn to 12, with resale apparel from
Gymboree, Hanna Andersson, Ralph Lauren, and Gap that runs from
play clothing and special occasion wear to snowsuits and costumes.
New and resale toys, books, and gifts are also in-store (but no
baby equipment). Downstairs is devoted to resale teen clothing,
from brands such as H&M, Forever 21, Hollister, and Abercrombie
Children's Consignment Sale on Friday September 27
from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturday September 28 from 10 a.m. to 3
p.m. for the half price sale at Kendall County Fairgrounds (Route
71 and E. Highpoint Rd, Yorkville). Admission is free; cash, check
and credit accepted for purchases. No large bags allowed; strollers
checked on the way in. Cloth bags, rolling carts, and laundry
baskets permitted for shopping.
Park Ridge Newcomers Club Spring Kids Sale
runs on Saturday, September 28 from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on
St. Andrews Lutheran Church (260 N. Northwest Hwy., Park Ridge).
Admission is $2 cash but free from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Cash or
credit card allowed for purchases but there's a $50 minimum on
credit cards. Bring a laundry basket to shop; no strollers or carts
Growing Cents of Style on Saturday, Sept.
28 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
and Sunday, Sept. 29 from
10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at 22N102 Pepper Road in Lake Barrington.
Admission is free; cash and credit accepted for
Tots n More (9848 S. Winchester St., Chicago) will
be held on Friday, September 28 from 8:30
a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and doors reopen from noon to 2 p.m. when most
items will be half off. Large tote bags provided (no outside bags
The Moms of
Multiples sale will be held Saturday, October 12
from 9 a.m. to noon at the Unitarian Church of Evanston (1330 Ridge
Ave., Evanston). Admission is $1; purchases are cash only. One
laundry basket allowed; no strollers permitted.
Rhea Lana's children's consignment sale runs
Sunday, Oct. 13 through Friday, Oct.
18 at the Villa Oaks Shopping Center (218
W. Roosevelt Rd., Villa Park). Admission is free; cash or credit
The Here Whee Go Again
resale event runs Thursday, October 17
from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., Friday, October 18
from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday, October
19 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday
October 20 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. (half
price sale) at North Lake Commons Center (291 S. Rand Rd., Lake
Zurich). Admission is $5 on Thursday but otherwise free. Purchases
are cash or credit card for purchases over $30.
Rebecca Little, a native Chicagoan, loves discovering new ways to keep her two very active boys entertained lest they resort to spackling heirloom furniture or flushing toy trains down the toilet - not that those are real examples. Follow her at PinwheelChicago.com.
See more of Rebecca's stories here.
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