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Playing dress-up: Our search for a Halloween costume in one day 

I'm just going to say it: My name is Kim and I am a procrastinator. If there's a story to be written, bills to be paid or toilet paper to be bought, I'm going to wait until the last minute to do it. Hell, even in writing this story, I first watched Grey's Anatomy, Private Practice, gave my dog a bath, checked Facebook and looked at photos on Reddit before I tackled this beast.

So, it's no surprise that in the last couple of years, I've spent $50 to $70 for a packaged costume, purchased a day or two before Halloween. I'm too ashamed to tell you what I wore, as a good number of those packaged costumes for women fall along the lines of "Sexy [Insert occupation here]." Such creativity, right?

This year, I wrangled a friend into hunting for Halloween costumes early, just to see what options are out there for someone who actually plans ahead. We spent the day perusing racks of clothing at three different spots around town, and my friend graciously let me dress her up in a variety of outfits. Read on to see where we went and how much each costume costs. It's definitely cheaper to plan ahead.

Sadly, I still don't know what I'm going to wear this year.

Morris Costumes Superstore

4300 Monroe Road

704-333-4653

www.morriscostumes.com

Rental period is for three days.

1) Angelica Teach, played by Penélope Cruz, in Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides

Dress: $45 to rent

Hat: $19.99, some $5 to rent

Sword: $5 to rent

2) A saloon girl

Dress, with headpiece: $25 to rent

Garter: $3.49

Crinoline: $17, $5 to rent

3) Elvis

Jumpsuit, scarf, sunglasses, wig: $45 to rent

Goodwill

1909 Sardis Road North

704-841-8600

www.goodwillsp.org

4) A vampire

Dress: $4.99

Boots: $3.49

5) Ginger, from Gilligan's Island

Dress: $4.99

Fur coat: $4.99

Earrings: $0.99

Necklace: $1.99

6) A bridesmaid, inspired by the movie Bridesmaids

Formal dress: $9.99

Bouquet of flowers: $1.99

The Magic Maze

325 East Blvd.

704-358-8791

www.themagicmaze.com

Rental period is through Nov. 15.

7) A flapper girl

Dress with accessories: $45

8) Cleopatra

Dress with headpiece: $35

9) Shakespeare

Top and bottom with hat: $35 C

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